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Getting your Real Estate License in Michigan

November 2, 2021
Unlicensed Individuals

If you are wanting to become a real estate agent in Michigan you need to first get a real estate license. First, determine what type of license you would like to get. There are two different types of real estate licenses: salesperson and broker. Becoming a real estate broker requires some experience in the field, so if you are new to the business, you will need to get your salesperson license first. If you have a background in a real estate-related field such as a licensed builder, attorney, investor, loan officer, etc. you may be able to bypass this step and go straight into a real estate broker’s license.

A salesperson’s license allows you to build a profitable estate business and help people with the process of buying and selling real estate. But as a salesperson, you must work under the supervision of a real estate broker. Whereas, a broker license allows you to have other salespeople work under you and run your own independent brokerage business. Many successful real estate agents remain as salespeople their entire careers instead of becoming a broker.

How to Get a Real Estate Salesperson License in Michigan

1. Find Out if you Qualify

Getting your real estate license includes several steps. The first step is to ensure that you qualify for the requirements. LARA, the Michigan licensing bureau, requires all licensees to be at least 18 years of age and complete a detailed application. LARA may perform a background check on you, so answering this question honestly is very important.

2. Find a Sponsoring Broker


To obtain a real estate salesperson’s license, a real estate broker must sponsor you. You may research and interview several different brokers before making your decision. To save you time, NCI Associates, Ltd. can also assist you with the process of locating a great broker. While commission structures can vary from one broker to another, salespersons typically earn a share of the broker’s commission. As you interview brokers, you can inquire about any additional fees, benefits, and educational opportunities they provide. To complete your licensing requirements you will need to provide your employing broker’s information.


3. Meet the Education Requirements

You will need 40 hours of pre-licensure education prior to taking the licensing exam such as the industry-leading course provided by NCI Associates, Ltd. This course can be taken online or in-person and has to be taken through a state-approved educator such as NCI. The course must include at least 4 hours of civil rights law and equal opportunity in housing. The remainder will include a combination of topics that will be on the licensing exam.


4. Submit an Application

Once you complete the educational requirement, you will need to visit www.michigan.gov/miplus and submit an application to get your license. You will need this approval prior to taking the exam. Don’t forget that you have 36 months to apply after completing your pre-license course. If you don’t apply within this time period you will have to retake the course. During the application, you will be asked to provide your employing broker’s information. 


5. Pass the Exam

The next step is to take and pass the Real Estate Salesperson examination. You must meet all requirements and receive approval from the state to be able to take the exam. Once your application is approved, you will receive authorization to test. In Michigan, the exam is administered by “PSI licensure:certification” and needs to be scheduled through them. Each candidate is responsible for scheduling their own exam; you may do so by visiting their website. The passing score for the Salesperson exam is 70%. If you fail, you are eligible to retake it. Once you pass the exam and your employing broker has approved their sponsorship you will be issued your license. Your license will be mailed out to your employing broker, which they will hold and control. It takes approximately 5-10 business days for your broker to receive your license. You will be given a card that shows that you are a licensed salesperson. 


How long is the Michigan Real Estate License Exam?

The Michigan Real Estate Salesperson Exam has 115 questions and has to be completed within 180 minutes. To pass, you will need to answer 70% of the questions correctly. The Michigan Broker Exam also has 115 questions, and you are allowed 210 minutes to complete it. The passing score for this exam is 75%. 

How do I prepare for the Michigan Real Estate Salesperson Exam?

The Michigan Real Estate Salesperson Exam includes questions about real estate principles and practices as a whole as well as a Michigan-specific portion. The contents of the exam are outlined on PSI’s website. There are a couple of ways to study for the exam; one is to obtain the textbooks and self-study, and the other is to take an exam prep course such as the one offered by NCI Associates, Ltd. Exam preparation courses are fast-paced and the experienced instructors will be able to guide you through a comprehensive review of the topics likely to appear on the Michigan real estate salesperson exam.


Tips for Passing The Real Estate Salesperson Exam

Your best bet to pass the real estate exam is to thoroughly study the material. Here are some tips to increase your chances of passing the exam;

  1. Make sure to do lots of practice questions to prepare for the test. This will help you to get used to the multiple-choice format and familiarize you with the questions.
  2. Start by answering the questions that you know and are easy to answer. Do not waste time on the difficult questions. You have limited time and you can always come back to the difficult ones later.
  3. Use the elimination method when answering the questions. Look at the answers and try to figure out the wrong ones. By eliminating some of the answers you will increase your chances of getting the correct answer.
  4. Take your time! You don’t have to finish the exam early. If you get done early, that is a great opportunity to go back and check your answers.
  5. Read the questions carefully. Questions may include words like “all” or “none” that will change the answer if missed.
  6. Mark the questions that you are not sure about and come back to them later. If you are not 100% sure about the answer, it may come to you later when answering a different question. 

Requirements for Getting Your Michigan Real Estate Salesperson License

Real estate licenses in Michigan are regulated by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). LARA sets forth several requirements that you need to fulfill to obtain your license. In addition to the above-mentioned steps to get your license, LARA also requires applicants to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Pay the applicable application fee.
  • Provide your Social Security Number (SSN) on the application, and if you do not have an SSN, then you will need to fill out the SSN affidavit form.
  • Give consent to “Service of Process” which is a form found under Licensing Applications and Forms at www.michigan.gov/realestate.
  • Certain individuals such as those that have served in the armed forces may be exempt from paying the application fee. If you qualify, make sure to fill out the required form and submit it with your application.


Can I Get My Michigan Real Estate Salesperson License Online?

To get your real estate salesperson license in Michigan you need to first take the Real Estate Fundamentals Course which can be taken online as a self-paced course, as a live webinar, or in the classroom. Once you complete this class you will be eligible to take the exam. Before taking the exam you may want to take a course that will prepare you specifically for that, such as a Real Estate Exam Review


How to Get a Broker License

Similar to the salesperson license, there are some requirements that you must meet to qualify for a broker license. The main differences between the two application processes are the educational and experience requirements. According to LARA, all applicants must:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Answer the “Good Moral Character” question
  • Answer the “Embezzlement or Misappropriation of Funds” Question
  • Have at least 3 years of real estate experience
  • Take 90 hours of approved pre-license education courses which include 9 hours of civil rights law and equal opportunity in housing
  • Pass the exam

There are some exceptions to some of these rules. For example, if you have a law or business administration or finance degree, these may be counted towards some of your educational requirements. Make sure to check the latest requirements on LARA’s website for the most up-to-date information.

How Much Does Getting a Real Estate License Cost?

There are a few costs associated with getting your real estate license in Michigan. Here is a breakdown of all of the fees that you will need to account for:

  • Pre-Licensure Education: This is the class you need to take to qualify for the exam. The cost varies depending on where the class is offered but will be around $295.
  • Exam Prep: Taking a course to prepare for the exam will improve your chances of passing the exam on your first attempt. Exam prep courses also vary in cost, most are in the $30-50 range.
  • LARA Application Fee: $88 for a new application and $108 to renew an expired license
  • Exam Fee: $79 per attempt 

Renewing Your Michigan Real Estate License

In Michigan, real estate licenses are renewed every 3 years. To maintain your salesperson or broker license you must obtain 18 credit hours of continuing education within the licensing cycle. At least 2 of those hours have to involve courses in law, rules, and court cases regarding real estate. When your renewal date approaches, you may renew your license by going to www.michigan.gov/miplus 

There is a 60-day grace period for late renewals. Keep in mind that a late fee will apply if you miss your renewal date. 


What Happens if Your Real Estate License Expires?

If you do not renew your license within the 60-day grace period, it will be considered to be expired. In Michigan, you do not have to go through the entire licensing process if your license has expired. However, there are some requirements that you will need to meet before being able to activate your license.

If your license has been expired for less than three years, you will need to complete 6 hours of real estate continuing education for each year and partial year that you missed. 2 of these hours would need to involve laws, rules, and court cases regarding real estate.

If your license has expired more than three years ago then you have three options*:

  • Take and pass the Real Estate Salesperson or Broker exam again
  • Complete the pre-license education courses (same requirements as new licenses)
  • Complete 6 hours of real estate continuing education for each year and partial year that you missed (with 2 hours involving legal matters)

*You will only need to complete one of these options to re-qualify for a license.

How to Get Reciprocity for Your Real Estate License from Another State?

Michigan does not have a license reciprocity agreement with any other state. Even if you hold a license in another state, you will still need to complete all of the requirements to qualify for a Michigan real estate license.


Where Can I Find a Real Estate Salesperson Class Near Me in Michigan?

NCI Associates, Ltd. specializes in providing the state’s best real estate and building education with online self-paced, in-person, and webinar format real estate classes to fit your schedule and needs. Whether you need to take a Real Estate Fundamentals class or are looking to get Continuing Education Credits, NCI has all of your real estate education needs covered. For more information about classes and how to get started with the process of getting your real estate license, visit our website today.


Your Real Estate Future is Promising

However, fulfilling the promise of a successful real estate future requires the right choices at the right times. The most important decision to make right now? Where you’ll begin — or continue — your real estate training. NCI Associates, Ltd. remains your intelligent choice for Michigan Real Estate Classes.

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