This article is part of a larger series on How to Become a Real Estate Agent.
To earn your real estate license in Maryland, you’ll be required to complete 60 hours of Maryland Real Estate Commission-approved (MREC) prelicensing education, pass the real estate exam, choose an affiliate brokerage, and apply for your license. Enjoy your bushel of Jimmys while we guide you through the step-by-step process of how to get your Maryland real estate license.
1. Meet the Legal Requirements for Your Maryland Real Estate License
The qualifications for getting a real estate license in Maryland are very simple. You are required to be at least 18 years old and of “good character and reputation.”
To define “good character and reputation,” the MREC will review your background history to determine if you are eligible for your real estate license. It’s important to note that a felony or misdemeanor conviction does not automatically disqualify you from getting your Maryland real estate license. You must submit all records and documentation of the court case and conviction, and it’s reviewed on a case-by-case basis. If your application is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision.
Did you know? Maryland has reciprocity agreements with Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. This means agents already licensed in these states don’t have to take MREC’s prelicensing courses or exam, but are required to pass the background check and submit the Original Reciprocal Form to earn their license.
Also, Maryland is a cooperative state in terms of portability. It allows out-of-state real estate agents or brokers to physically enter Maryland to conduct real estate business. However, for out-of-state agents to work on a real estate transaction, they must have a co-brokerage agreement with a licensee in Maryland. To learn more about real estate license portability in Maryland, check out our guide on real estate license reciprocity and portability.
2. Complete Required Prelicensing Courses
If you meet Maryland’s qualifications, you’re ready to start your prelicensing courses. The 60 hours of education can be completed in-person or through an accredited online real estate in Maryland with costs ranging from $199 to $328. The courses will cover the following topics, which you will be tested on in the real estate exam:
- Property ownership
- Land use controls and regulations
- Valuation and market analysis
- General principles of agency
- Property disclosures
- Leasing and property management
- Transfer of title
- Practice of real estate
- Real estate calculations
- Duties and powers of the Real Estate Commission
- Licensing requirements
- Brokerage relationship
- Business conduct
Did you know? Active licensed attorneys in the state of Maryland can waive the education requirements and just take the exam to become a real estate agent in Maryland. You must submit an original Letter of Good Standing from the Maryland Court of Appeals along with a cover letter and contact information in order to qualify.
If you’re ready to start your real estate education right away, take a look at Colibri Real Estate as a top online real estate provider in Maryland. They offer tiered prelicensing packages for aspiring agents so you can tailor your learning to fit your needs. In addition, their exam prep and “Pass or Don’t Pay” guarantee will give you a leg up when it comes to passing your exam.
Discount: For Fit Small Business readers, use promo code FSB25 for 25% off your purchase of any Colibri Real Estate class. Click here to get started.
3. Take the Maryland Real Estate Exam
Once you’ve completed your education, passing your real estate exam is the next step in the process of getting your real estate license in Maryland. The exam consists of both national and state portions and you must pass both in order to move forward. There is a state passing rate of 52% on the national portion and 56% on the state portion—while that is over 50%, it still shows that the exam is challenging.
The exam is administered on the computer so you’ll know if you passed immediately after taking the exam. If you only pass one or neither portion of the exam, you can retake it as many times as necessary within a 12-month period. You cannot reschedule on the same day, but you can reschedule within 24 hours.
Maryland Real Estate Exam Details
110 questions 80 nationally focused questions 30 state-specific questions
Items to Bring to Exam
2 valid forms of identification with signatures
70% to pass the Maryland Real Estate Salesperson Exam (at least 56/80 on the national portion, and 21/30 on the state portion)
52% on national portion, 56% on state portion
Schedule Your Exam
After completing the education requirements, your real estate school will submit your certificate of completion to PSI, the provider of the Maryland real estate license exam and a national provider for state licensing exams across the country. Once your information has been submitted to PSI, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to schedule your exam.
To begin scheduling, you’ll be required to create an account on the PSI website, which will then allow access to the scheduling portal. You will receive a copy of the Maryland Candidate Information Bulletin for additional testing information. The fee to take the exam is $44 and can be paid directly on the website using a credit or debit card.
For exam prep, we recommend PrepAgent for a comprehensive exam prep course. Their premium package offers unlimited access so PrepAgent can be your go-to resource for preparation. Also, it offers a money-back guarantee and thousands of questions to test your knowledge and help you practice your skills.
For extra guidance on passing your real estate exam, download our Exam Prep e-book. We include a pre-assessment to test your knowledge as well as helpful information about what’s included in the exam, the length and structure of the exam, study tips, and sample questions from PrepAgent.
4. Pick a Sponsoring Brokerage to Work For
To hold an active Maryland real estate license, you must find a sponsoring brokerage with which to affiliate your license. To make your choice a little bit easier, check out our in-depth guide on choosing the right real estate company to work for. Although there are many successful brokerages in the Old Line State, below you’ll find the top five brokerages reported for 2022.
Nurit Coombe & Alex Martinez Team
The Agency DC
The W Home Group
Next Step Realty
The Maryland & Delaware Group of Long & Foster
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
The Sky Group
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
RE/MAX Advantage Realty
(Source: Real Trends)
5. Apply for Your Maryland Real Estate License
The last step before starting your real estate career is applying for your license. The Maryland licensing application process is fully online through the Maryland Department of Labor website, where you’ll complete the Original License Application. The application fee is $90 and can be paid directly on the website via credit or debit card.
If you’ve confirmed the sponsoring brokerage you’re affiliating your license with, you will apply for an active license and submit your broker information. On the other hand, if you’re still searching for an affiliate brokerage, you’ll apply for an inactive license.
Once you find an affiliate brokerage, you can change your license status on the MREC website. Either way, you must apply for your license within one year of passing the Maryland real estate exam. However, if you’ve applied for inactive status, you have three years to decide which brokerage you’d like to join.
6. Start Your Real Estate Career
Now that you’ve learned how to become a real estate agent in Maryland, you’re ready to start your real estate journey. For more information, here are some of our articles with content that is perfect for new real estate agents:
- Our article with 14 Real Estate Agent Tips covers the basics that every agent should know when they are starting out, including how to write a real estate business plan
- Learn how to generate real estate buyer leads
- Get nine strategies to help with real estate seller lead generation
- Jumpstart your career with the top New Real Estate Agent Tips From the Pros
- Get the tools you need to build a strong real estate business out of the gate using the best real estate software and tools