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Is Agent Experience Needed to Become a Broker in New York?

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Embarking on a career in real estate in New York often raises the question of whether one must start as a real estate agent before advancing to a broker position. Understanding the difference between these roles is essential, as each requires specific qualifications and offers a distinct career path. In New York, the progression from agent to broker involves not only gaining practical experience but also completing additional education and licensing requirements. These steps ensure that real estate professionals are well-equipped to handle the complexities of the real estate field, from property management to investment properties.

A person studying real estate books, taking notes, and researching online for broker licensing in New York

Before you can achieve a leadership role as a real estate broker, you’re required to demonstrate expertise and a commitment to ethical business practices, including knowledge of fair housing laws and cultural competency. Becoming a licensed real estate salesperson is typically the first step, providing you with the opportunity to learn the legal matters, implicit bias, and discrimination issues pertinent to the profession under the guidance of a broker. Only after acquiring this experience and education can you consider taking on the more autonomous and strategic responsibilities of a real estate broker.

Key Takeaways

  • A career as a real estate broker in New York demands initial experience as a licensed real estate salesperson.
  • Fulfilling the role of a real estate broker requires in-depth knowledge of real estate law and ethical business practices.
  • The transition to a broker includes further education, navigating legal complexities, and a commitment to fair and culturally competent service.

What Do You Need To Become A Broker In NY?

A desk with a computer, paperwork, and a NY state real estate license displayed. A sign on the wall reads "Broker in Training" with a checklist of requirements

To embark on a career as a real estate broker in New York, you’re required to navigate a series of educational and regulatory milestones. Here’s what you need to achieve your New York Real Estate Broker License:

  • Age and Experience: You must be at least 20 years of age. Additionally, a background of two years of experience as a licensed real estate salesperson, or three years in the real estate field which could involve experience such as property management, is required.
  • Education: A 77-hour qualifying salesperson course is mandatory unless you have earned a degree that includes relevant real estate coursework. New York brokers also need to complete a 45-hour broker course. If you possess a higher degree in real estate, a waiver for some educational requirements may apply.
  • Licensing Exam: The broker’s exam is a multiple-choice exam that assesses your knowledge of real estate law and practices. To sit for the exam, you must register through the Department of State.
  • Application: Post-exam, you must submit an application to the Department of State Division of Licensing Services along with the application fee. The application process involves a background check, and you’re required to provide details like your company name if applicable.
  • Sponsoring Broker: Before applying, you’ll need a sponsoring broker. This broker will guide you and take responsibility for your real estate transactions.
  • Continuing Education: To renew your license, New York mandates a 22.5-hour continuing education course every two years, which includes a segment on fair housing or discrimination.

Remember that specific details about educational requirements, fee structures, licensing exam locations (such as New York City or Albany), and reciprocity for out-of-state licenses can be found on the New York Department of State website.

It’s crucial to ensure that every step of your application, from qualifying education to fingerprinting, aligns with the regulations outlined by the state. Starting as an associate broker, your journey is framed by a stringent adherence to New York real estate license laws and a commitment to maintaining the standards that come with the title of a real estate broker.

Do Real Estate Agents Have To Work Under A Broker?

In New York, real estate agents are required to work under a sponsoring broker. This relationship is essential for several reasons:

  • Legal Compliance: As an agent, you must be supervised to ensure all real estate transactions adhere to state laws.
  • Access to Resources: Working under a broker often provides you with necessary tools, such as marketing materials and listings.
  • Mentorship: Brokers often provide guidance and mentorship, helping you navigate complex transactions.

When starting out, you’ll need to find a company or a broker willing to sponsor you. This sponsorship is crucial for your ability to practice and is a regulatory requirement.

  • Pre-Licensing: Before you even become an agent, you must complete a pre-licensing course from an accredited institution like Corofy, which offers a fully online experience.
  • Sponsorship: After passing your licensure exam, securing a sponsoring broker is your next step before you can actively practice.

As a sponsored agent, your broker oversees your work, ensuring compliance with the real estate commission’s rules and regulations. They are responsible for your actions in a professional capacity. You will share commissions with your sponsoring broker, and in exchange, they provide support and structure to your growing real estate career.

Remember, the goal of working under a broker is not only to meet legal requirements but also to gain the experience and knowledge necessary to advance in the field, potentially becoming a broker yourself one day.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Real Estate Agent In New York?

To become a real estate agent in New York, your journey begins with fulfilling the education requirements. This involves completing a state-approved 77-hour pre-licensing course. Here is a breakdown of what to expect:

  • Pre-licensing Course: You must complete a 77-hour pre-licensing course from a state-approved education provider, such as Corofy, which offers fully online courses.
  • Licensing Exam: After your coursework, you will need to take and pass the New York real estate license exam. Scheduling and passing this exam can add a couple of weeks to your timeline.
  • Application Process: Upon passing the exam, you will apply for your license through the eAccessNY system. Part of the application process includes fingerprinting, which is required for a background check.

Estimated Timeline:

  1. Education: Approximately 1-3 months for the 77-hour course (varies by individual pace and course format).
  2. Exam Preparation: Allow 1-2 weeks for review and preparation.
  3. Licensing Exam and Application: Approximately 1-2 weeks to schedule and receive results from the exam, and additional time for the application to be processed by the Division of Licensing Services.

In total, the process to become a licensed real estate salesperson in New York can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months, depending on how quickly you complete the online course, pass the exam, and submit your real estate license application. Remember that these are typical time frames and individual experiences may vary.

Is It Hard Starting Out As A Real Estate Agent?

Embarking on a career as a real estate agent can be challenging, especially during the initial stages. Your success in the real estate field largely depends on various factors, including your experience, ability to earn commissions, and the effectiveness of your training and mentorship.

When starting out, you’ll likely experience a period where you’re gaining market knowledge and learning to navigate the complexities of real estate transactions. Without a consistent salary, your income will fluctuate, as it’s entirely commission-based. Prospecting and building a solid client base is essential, but it doesn’t happen overnight.

Networking with other professionals is a critical step in growing your career. Developing a network can provide you with valuable insights and referrals, which are crucial for new agents. Remember, as with any new venture, patience and resilience are key.

Finding a good mentor can drastically improve your learning curve. A mentor offers guidance and can help you avoid common pitfalls that many new agents face. This is where training plays a pivotal role. Selecting the right educational platform, like Corofy, a fully online real estate school, can provide the foundational knowledge you need to get started.

It’s important to maintain a neutral outlook and set realistic goals as you begin your journey. The road might be winding, but with dedication, continuous learning, and a proactive approach to building relationships, you can establish a foothold in the general real estate arena.

How Much Does A Beginner Real Estate Agent Make In New York?

When embarking on a career as a real estate agent in New York, you’re likely curious about the potential earnings you can expect in your early years. Salary figures can vary widely depending on several factors, including commissions, compensation structure, and the company you work with.

As a beginner, you should understand that your income will primarily be derived from commission sales. The exact percentage you earn per sale can differ, but typically, it aligns with industry standards and may be influenced by your negotiation skills and the policies of your brokerage.

For those starting out in New York, salary data suggests that the average yearly income for real estate agents is around $80,000 to $100,000. Here is an overview based on recent reports:

  • Average Salary: $104,603 per year (Indeed)
  • Salary Range:
    • Low: $46,797
    • High: $233,815

Bear in mind, New York’s market can drastically affect earnings, with some of the city’s bustling boroughs offering higher commission opportunities due to more expensive property prices. The compensation package you negotiate might also include non-cash benefits such as a 401(k), which can be an important part of your overall remuneration.

Your dive into the world of real estate will be full of learning opportunities. If you’ve decided to pursue a career in this field, you might consider leveraging online resources like Corofy to enhance your knowledge and skills. As you grow in experience, your ability to earn higher commissions will increase, enhancing your overall income potential in this dynamic industry.


In New York, transitioning from a real estate agent to a broker involves a series of steps. It is beneficial to start by gaining experience as a real estate agent, which allows you to understand the nuances of the market, from NYC to Buffalo and Rochester. Your journey will require working under a sponsoring broker where you’ll grasp essential aspects like commission sales and client relationships.

Once you’re ready to progress, you must satisfy the experience requirements set by the NYS Department of State. This includes substantial time practicing as a licensed real estate agent or an equivalent, which is crucial before you can undertake the broker remedial course or prepare for the broker’s license exam. As you navigate through the eAccessNY occupational licensing management system, you’ll encounter steps to guide you through this process.

The New York state bar establishes clear prerequisites for licensure, so understanding them is key. If you have completed relevant legal coursework, you may have a more streamlined path to your broker license. It’s important to acknowledge that license reciprocity with other states is not a given and varies based on New York’s agreements with those states.

Financially, you’ll invest in exam fees and, potentially, a broker remedial course. However, upon earning your license, the potential for increased compensation as a licensed real estate broker becomes a reality. The investment in education through platforms like Colibri Real Estate, an entirely online real estate school, can offer flexibility as you further your career.

In summary, while it’s not a prerequisite to be an agent before becoming a broker, the experience and knowledge gained as an agent in New York are invaluable for your future success in real estate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Navigating the path to becoming a real estate broker in New York involves understanding specific requirements and procedures. This section aims to address common inquiries regarding the transition from agent to broker.

What are the requirements to become a real estate broker in New York?

To qualify as a real estate broker in New York, you must have at least two years of experience as a licensed real estate salesperson or three years of experience in the general real estate field. An essential combination of education and practical experience is needed to meet the minimum points required for licensure.

Is prior experience as a real estate agent necessary to obtain a broker license in New York?

Yes, prior experience is necessary; you’ll need a certain amount of experience as a licensed real estate salesperson to fulfill the requirements to become a broker in New York.

Can attorneys bypass the agent stage to become real estate brokers in New York?

Attorneys admitted to the New York State bar are among the few exceptions who can bypass the salesperson’s experience and directly qualify for a broker’s license, provided they meet other licensing requirements.

What is the process for obtaining a real estate broker license in New York?

The process involves completing the requisite educational courses, accumulating the necessary experience points, and passing the New York real estate broker exam.

How does the point system work for a real estate broker license in New York?

The point system for acquiring a broker license in New York evaluates your practical real estate experience. Points are allocated based on the type and complexity of real estate transactions you’ve been involved in.

What educational courses are required for a New York State broker license?

You must complete a state-approved real estate broker course in addition to your salesperson courses. This is to ensure that you have the advanced knowledge necessary to perform the duties of a broker.

Who is Corofy?

Before being a school, Corofy is a community. Our founder, Eddy Boccara, started his real estate career as a real estate salesperson looking for a side hustle.

Since then, he’s had a passion for New York real estate and specifically the talented individuals that take the leap to get their real estate license and help this industry progress.

Eddy created Corofy with one goal in mind: to provide people with quality real estate education that actually helps them build a career they can be proud of.

New York Online 77-hour Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course

Engaging Online Real Estate Course Content

Our New York online real estate course is designed to help you stay engaged and pass the New York real estate exam. With this in mind, our pre-licensing course includes:

Fun activities & quizzes

Chapter review summaries

Easy to follow content

Careers tips and advice

Memory cues to help you learn