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How Easy Is It To Be A Real Estate Agent In New York?

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Embarking on a career as a real estate agent in New York can be a challenging yet rewarding journey. With the bustling market of the nation’s largest city and the picturesque settings of upstate areas, carving out a successful path requires a blend of skill, knowledge, and determination. As one of the most competitive landscapes for real estate professionals, New York offers opportunities for high commission earnings, but also demands a high level of commitment and resilience from its agents.

A bustling city street with skyscrapers in the background, a real estate sign on a building, and people walking by in a hurry

The process of becoming a real estate agent in New York involves fulfilling educational requirements, passing a licensing exam, and obtaining a state license. Prospective agents must complete a 77-hour pre-licensing course from an approved educational provider, such as a fully online real estate school, to ensure they are well-versed in real estate law, principles, and practices. After education and exams, the real test begins: building a clientele, understanding market trends, and continuously learning to navigate the fluctuations of the real estate world. In a state like New York, the complexities of the market can make the journey quite rigorous.

Key Takeaways

  • A real estate career in New York offers high commission prospects in a competitive market.
  • Becoming a real estate agent requires completing educational requirements and a state licensing exam.
  • Success in New York real estate demands continuous learning and market adaptability.

Is Being A Real Estate Agent Easy?

A real estate agent in New York navigates bustling city streets, juggling phone calls and paperwork while scouting properties and meeting with clients

Becoming a real estate agent in New York is a commitment that involves several key steps and a clear understanding of the job’s nature. As an aspiring real estate salesperson, you should be aware that the role can be both challenging and rewarding.

Entering the Field:

Commission Structure:

  • Income is largely commission-based, which means persistence and skill in sales significantly impact your earnings.
  • No fixed salary—your financial success is directly tied to your ability to close deals.

Real Estate Sales Challenges:

  • Must generate your own client base through networking and marketing efforts.
  • Competitive environment—requires diligence and resilience.

Real Estate Sales Rewards:

  • Potential for high earnings if you establish a solid client network and have consistent sales.
  • Flexibility in hours—ability to set your own schedule to some extent.

To carve out a successful career as a real estate agent in New York, you need to be prepared for hard work, continued education, and adapting to the dynamic nature of the real estate market. While the flexibility and earning potential can be significant, the path to becoming a thriving real estate agent demands dedication, excellent interpersonal skills, and a strong work ethic.

Getting Your Real Estate License In New York Starts With Preparation

To become a real estate agent in New York, thorough preparation is the first essential step. Before you embark on this career path, familiarize yourself with the New York State Department of State (DOS) regulations and requirements for real estate licensure.

Initial Requirements:

  • Age: You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Education: Complete the mandatory 77 hours of pre-license education approved by the DOS.

Here is a structured approach to start your preparation:

  1. Research Approved Education Providers: Ensure the school or online platform is recognized by the DOS for real estate education.
  2. Enroll in a Pre-License Course: The course should cover topics critical to real estate practice in New York, such as law, finance, and property management.
  3. Complete Educational Curriculum: Dedicate your time to gain a comprehensive understanding of the material as it will be crucial for the licensing exam.
  4. Scheduling the Exam: After completing your education, plan for the New York State Real Estate Salesperson examination. Registration is typically done online.
  5. Finding a Broker: To apply for your license, you will need sponsorship from a licensed New York real estate broker.

Starting your journey to a real estate license in New York with a focus on preparation will set a strong foundation to build your new career upon.

Basic Steps To Becoming A Real Estate Agent

Embarking on a career as a real estate agent in New York requires a series of specific steps, from meeting initial qualifications to engaging in your first sale. Get familiar with the requirements and processes mandated by New York’s Department of State to start your journey.


To begin, you must be at least 18 years old, have no felony convictions, and be a legal US resident. Ensuring you meet these basic qualifications sets the foundation for obtaining your real estate license.


You’re required to complete a 77-hour prelicensing education course approved by the New York State Department of State. Corofy offers a fully online course that caters to these educational needs. Post completion, you’ll receive a certificate that’s necessary for your license application.

  • Prelicensing Course Topics Include:
    • Real Estate Principles
    • Fair Housing Laws
    • New York Real Estate Law


After fulfilling the educational requirements, you will need to pass the New York real estate salesperson licensing exam. The test covers a variety of topics, including principles of real estate, New York laws, and fair housing mandates. You can schedule your exam through the eAccessNY platform. Remember to bring your course completion certificate to the test.

  • Real Estate Exam Details:
    • Format: Multiple-choice
    • Location: Several regional offices, including Albany

Finding A Broker

To activate your license, secure a sponsoring broker. This broker will act as a mentor and will sponsor your salesperson application. They play a crucial role in helping you navigate the initial stages of your real estate career.

  • Considerations When Choosing a Broker:
    • Broker’s market presence
    • Support and training opportunities
    • Commission structure

Selling Houses

Once you have your New York real estate license in hand and you’ve associated with a broker, you’re ready to start selling houses. Your broker will guide you through the process of listing properties, working with buyers, and navigating closing procedures.

  • Key Focus Areas for New Salespersons:
    • Building client relationships
    • Marketing listings
    • Understanding contract law

What Is The Hardest Part Of Being A Real Estate Agent?

In New York, the path to becoming a real estate agent is not without its challenges. To begin with, New York’s real estate license law requires a thorough background check, completing a set of educational courses, and passing a state exam before you can get your license. As one of the most vibrant real estate markets, New York also has its unique agency laws that you must navigate adeptly.

Once licensed, your journey involves aligning with a brokerage. Here, understanding the commission structures is crucial, as they significantly differ from the national average. The typical commission rate might fluctuate depending on various factors, such as market demand and brokerage policies. Remember, as a salesperson in this fiercely competitive environment, you’re likely to face:

  • Intense Competition: Stand out in a saturated market of driven professionals.
  • Financial Fluctuations: Cope with variable income that’s dependent on closing deals.
  • Complex Transactions: Manage intricate deals that require keen attention to detail.

Moreover, New York’s fast-paced market demands constant learning and adaptability. Staying informed and up-to-date with the latest trends, laws, and market conditions is imperative to your success. You must be prepared for the rigorous responsibilities that come with the job.

Is It Hard To Be Successful In Real Estate In New York?

Pursuing a real estate career in New York presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. The competition in New York City is particularly fierce due to the high density of agents vying for a slice of the lucrative market. To become a real estate salesperson, you’ll need to navigate through a comprehensive process, including a mandatory pre-licensing course and passing the relevant state exams.

  • Pre-licensing Course: You must complete a 77-hour pre-licensing course from an approved provider like Corofy.
  • Exam: After your course, you’ll need to pass a state licensing exam. The pass rate for this exam can vary, suggesting that the test may pose significant difficulty for some candidates.

Success as a real estate agent hinges on understanding the local real estate laws and regulations. You’ll need to have a good grasp of New York’s fair housing laws and other statutory requirements. After getting your license, you’ll also require ongoing continuing education to stay compliant and informed on the latest changes.

Commission Structure:

  • Salesperson: You typically work on commission, with the rate negotiated between you and your New York real estate broker.
  • Broker: As a broker, you have the potential to earn higher commissions through a team of agents.

Salary & Fees: Your income as a real estate agent or broker can be quite variable, with factors like commission, fees, and the property market affecting your earnings.

Reciprocity: If you’re licensed in another state, you’ll need to learn about New York’s reciprocity agreements, which can impact your ability to work across state lines.

In short, succeeding in New York’s real estate market requires dedication, a thorough understanding of the industry, and the ability to adapt to a fast-paced and often challenging environment.


Becoming a real estate agent in New York is a structured process involving specific education and licensing requirements. Initially, you must complete a 77-hour prelicensing course from an accredited institution. With options like Corofy, fulfilling this educational component is convenient as it can be completed entirely online.

Your journey continues with passing the New York Real Estate Salesperson Exam. The exam assesses your grasp of the necessary knowledge, including real estate laws and commission structures specific to NYC and statewide.

After obtaining your license, you must work under a licensed broker who will guide you through the complexities of the profession. The commission you earn will depend on the agreement with your employing broker and the real estate brokerage’s policies.

It’s important not to overlook the costs associated with this career path. Fees for licensing, exams, and continuing education to maintain your real estate license are part and parcel of the profession. License renewal every two years requires additional continuing education, ensuring you stay updated on the evolving real estate regulations.

Your success in the real estate career highly depends on your commitment, adaptability, and continuous learning. Being aware of the prerequisites, financial commitments, and dedication to ongoing education sets a solid foundation for a prosperous career as a real estate agent in New York.

Frequently Asked Questions

Embarking on a career as a real estate agent in New York involves specific steps and requirements. Here, you’ll find answers to common queries that help clarify the pathway to becoming a licensed professional in the real estate industry.

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

To become a real estate agent in New York, you must be at least 18 years old, have no felony convictions, complete a 77-hour prelicensing course, and pass the New York State real estate license exam.

How long does it typically take to complete the New York real estate licensing process?

The time it takes to complete the licensing process can typically range from a few months to a year, depending on your pace of study and exam scheduling. The prelicensing course itself is 77 hours long, and additional time is needed for exam preparation and the application process.

What is the pass rate for the New York real estate license exam?

The pass rate for the New York real estate license exam varies, and the state does not publicly release specific statistics. Passing the exam requires thorough preparation and understanding of the material covered in the prelicensing courses.

Can you take the New York real estate license courses online?

Yes, you have the option to take the required real estate prelicensing courses online through an accredited program like Corofy, giving you the flexibility to complete the coursework at your convenience.

What are the salary expectations for a beginning real estate agent in New York?

The salary for a beginning real estate agent in New York varies widely based on commission rates, market conditions, and individual effort. Many factors can influence earnings, so it’s best to approach this career with realistic expectations and a strong work ethic.

What is the process for out-of-state agents seeking reciprocity in New York?

Out-of-state agents seeking reciprocity in New York must have a current, valid real estate license from a state that has a reciprocity agreement with New York. You should apply for your license and may need to pass the state portion of the New York real estate license exam.

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