Before becoming a real estate agent in Montana, you have to complete 70 hours of prelicensing education approved by the Montana Board of Realty Regulation (MBRR). In addition to real estate classes, you’re also required to pass the real estate exam, find a sponsoring brokerage to work with, and apply for your Montana real estate license before being able to officially practice real estate in The Treasure State.
Read our step-by-step guide to navigate the process of becoming a real estate agent in more detail.
1. Meet the Legal Requirements for Your Montana Real Estate License
You first must qualify for a real estate license in Montana by meeting the state’s legal requirements. You must be at least 18 years old, be a citizen or lawful permanent resident, and have at least 2 years of curriculum study at high school―the equivalent of a 10th-grade education―to move forward with licensure.
Did you know? If you plan on practicing real estate in multiple states, you need to know real estate license reciprocity and portability laws. Montana doesn’t confirm reciprocity with other states but does allow out-of-state licensees to apply for reciprocity. According to the Real Estate Salesperson Checklist, with a certificate of licensure from your current state and a passing score on the state portion of the Montana real estate exam, you can be considered for reciprocal licensing.
Also, Montana is a physical location state in terms of portability. It allows agents and brokers from other states to conduct business but doesn’t allow them to enter the state to conduct real estate business. Out-of-state agents or brokers must conduct all business remotely and may not enter the state for showings, closings, or any other reason. To learn more about real estate license portability in Montana, check out our guide on real estate license reciprocity and portability.
2. Complete Required Prelicensing Courses
Once you’ve solidified that you meet the state’s requirements, you should move forward with prelicensing classes. Real estate prelicensing classes are offered in-person or through online real estate providers in Montana ranging from $299 to $675. Each provider tackles the following topics throughout the course:
- Property ownership
- Land use controls and regulations
- Valuation and market analysis
- General principles of agency
- Leasing and property management
- Property disclosures
- Transfer of title
- Practice of real estate
- Real estate calculations
- Recovery/surety fund
- Land description
- Common interest ownership/condominium
- Landlord/tenant relationship
- Foreclosure and redemption
- Statute of frauds
- The real estate licensing agency’s powers
- Requirements governing the activities of licensees
While there are many accredited real estate schools to choose from, Colibri Real Estate provides self-paced online education with additional resources like on-demand videos, downloadable resources, and instructor support to get your real estate career off the ground right away. Even more, at $299 for the basic package, its prices are some of the lowest in Montana.
3. Take the Montana Real Estate Exam
After completing your prelicensing education, you will have to pass both the national and state portion of the Montana real estate exam before applying for your license. The exam is administered on the computer and you will be provided with the results immediately after testing.
If you receive a passing score, you will get a successful passing report. If you fail, you will receive a diagnostic report showing your strengths and weaknesses within the exam. If you pass only one portion of the exam, you can retake just that portion. In the event you do fail, you can reschedule the exam after 24 hours of your failed attempt.
Montana Real Estate Exam Details
80 nationally focused questions
33 state-specific questions
Items to Bring to Exam
2 valid forms of identification (ID) with signatures:
70% to pass the Montana Real Estate Salesperson Exam, with (at least 56/80 on the national portion and 23/33 on the state portion)
Unfortunately, unlike other states, Montana doesn’t post its passing rates
Schedule Your Exam
The Montana real estate exam is provided by PSI, a national provider for state licensing exams. To begin scheduling, you’ll first create an account on the PSI website, which will then allow access to the scheduling portal. You will receive a copy of the Candidate Information Bulletin for additional testing information.
The fee to take the exam is $106 and can be paid directly on the website using a credit or debit card. Your exam results are only valid for one year from the passing examination date, so it’s important to apply for your Montana real estate license as soon as possible after a successful test score.
Preparation is key to passing the exam and starting a successful real estate career. While your education provider will give you valuable learning tools, a little extra assistance never hurts. Check out PrepAgent for comprehensive exam prep. Their premium package offers unlimited access so PrepAgent can be your go-to resource for preparation. Also, they offer a pass guarantee so that you’ll be ready to ace your exam on the first try.
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 real estate license in Montana, 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 real estate brokerages in Big Sky Country, below you’ll find the top five brokerages reported for 2022.
The Rob Ellerman Team
Graddy Real Estate
Graddy Real Estate
The Gellman Team
Cantrell Real Estate
Cantrell Real Estate
Jason Whittle All Pro Team
RE/MAX Lake of the Ozarks
*Data from Real Trends
5. Apply for Your Montana Real Estate License
The last step before becoming a real estate agent in Montana is applying for your license. You can apply for your license via mail with the paper application or through the MBRR’s online portal. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll need to attach the following documents to your application:
- $80 application fee; if mailing, pay with check or money order; if online, pay electronic check or credit card
- Completion certificate confirming your 70 hours of prelicensing education
- Exam results showing you passed the Montana Salesperson Examination (state and national portions)
- Official license verification from any states or jurisdictions in which you hold or have ever held a professional license of any type, if applicable
- If you answered yes to discipline questions, include a detailed explanation on the events and documentation from the source, such as licensing board, federal agencies/programs, or civil/criminal court proceedings such as initiating/charging documents, or final disposition/judgment documents
Keep in mind that your supervising brokerage will be required to complete section 5 on your application to confirm you will be affiliated with their company.
It is possible to get your real estate license in Montana with a criminal record. If you have a criminal history, make sure you disclose it on your application and include any necessary documentation regarding your charges. The MBRR will classify your application as nonroutine and review it on a case-by-case basis. For more information read the Licensing Real Estate Professionals Performance Audit.
6. Start Your Real Estate Career
Now that you’ve learned the process of becoming a real estate agent in Montana, 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