This article is part of a larger series on How to Become a Real Estate Agent.
To get your Nebraska real estate license, you’re required to complete 66 hours of prelicensing education approved by the Nebraska Real Estate Commission (NREC). In addition, you’ll need to submit an application, get a background check, pass your state exam, find a sponsoring brokerage, and acquire errors and omissions insurance. Grab a hot runza and join us as we walk you through the steps of becoming a real estate agent in Nebraska.
1. Meet the Legal Requirements for Your Nebraska Real Estate License
To become a real estate agent in Nebraska, you must first meet the state’s legal requirements. Nebraska requires you to be at least 19 years of age, hold a high school diploma or equivalent education, and be a lawfully permitted resident of the U.S.
Did you know? Nebraska offers license “by recognition” rather than reciprocal licensing. This means that out-of-state agents who are in good standing may be issued an equivalent real estate license in Nebraska. Applicants are required to pass a background check, complete three hours of coursework, submit an application, an Acknowledgement of Personal Jurisdiction, and an Affidavit.
Nebraska is also a physical location state in terms of portability. A turf state does not allow out-of-state agents or brokers to conduct any business in their state, either in-person or remotely. The only option to work with clients in a turf state is to refer them to a licensee of the turf state. To learn more about real estate license portability in Nebraska, check out our guide on real estate license reciprocity and portability here.
If you have a criminal record, you still may be able to become a real estate agent in Nebraska. The Commission will review applicants on a case-by-case basis, but you can also inquire about your eligibility before moving forward with the licensing process.
Write a letter or email to the NREC and include the date of the charge and what the charge was. Indicate the city and state the charge was committed in and declare if it is a misdemeanor or felony. You also need a detailed description of the charge, including any time served, if there was a fine, and the length of probation. Include your contact information, and the Director will respond to your request for eligibility.
For further information, review the frequently asked questions (FAQs) section on the NREC website.
2. Complete Required Prelicensing Courses
After you’ve met the state prerequisites for getting your real estate license in Nebraska, you can start your prelicensing education. Nebraska requires 66 hours of classes that are made up of 30 hours of Nebraska license law, 30 hours of real estate principles and practices, and six hours of developing professional conduct and ethical practices.
You can complete these classes in-person or online through an accredited education provider. Prices range from $299 to $550 and cover the following topics:
- 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
- Statutory requirements governing the activities of licensees
- Statutory requirements governing subdivided or out-of-state land sales
- Fair housing laws
- Closing statements
Getting started with your license education is easy with Nebraska online real estate schools. Colibri Real Estate boasts the most affordable online prelicensing courses available in Nebraska. Choose from self-paced bundled packages or individual courses that have interactive tools like instructor Q&A and live exam prep. In addition, use tools like e-books, dictionary, and flashcards to guarantee you’re ready to pass your exam on the first attempt and start a successful real estate career.
3. Apply for Your Nebraska Real Estate License
After you’ve completed your prelicensing education, you’re ready to submit your Nebraska real estate license application. Request a paper copy of the application by submitting a License Application Packet Request Form or submit your application online through the NREC online portal.
The application fee is $285, which includes the cost of the application and one examination fee. Debit cards will not be accepted, but it can be paid directly online using your checking account, American Express, Discover, Visa, or Mastercard. Your application documents will also need to be uploaded to the portal and include:
- Photograph: Passport-type, includes only head and shoulders, be at least 2×2 inches in size, and taken within the last year
- Educational background: Copy of diploma, GED certificate, or home school program equivalent
- Certificate of completion: Transcripts or certificate from an educational institution to certify completion of 66 hours of education
- Citizenship attestation: As part of the application, the applicant must attest to being a U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted resident (with documentation, if needed)
The NREC will process the application materials to prequalify and notify the applicant of approval to sit for the real estate exam. Your application will be reviewed within 24 to 48 hours, but you can check the status of your application online at any time through the NREC portal.
Your application will be valid for one year from receipt, and the examination fee is valid until the exam is taken. If your application has been on file for more than one year, the applicant must complete a new application and repay the application fee.
4. Get Fingerprints & Complete Background
Once your application has been completed and filed with the Commission, you will be sent fingerprint cards to be used to complete the background check report. Directions will accompany the fingerprint cards and must be followed closely to submit both completed cards to the Nebraska State Patrol.
The NREC recommends getting started on the fingerprint process as soon as possible because criminal reports can take four to six weeks to be received by the Commission. Failure to follow the procedures can result in a delay in processing.
When the Commission receives the criminal background report, the applicant will be sent an email either notifying them they can sit for the exam or that the application is incomplete and needs additional items in order to move forward with licensure.
5. Take the Nebraska Real Estate Exam
The average pass rating for the Nebraska real estate exam is about 60%. You are required to pass both the national and state portions to gain your real estate license. The exam is administered on the computer, and you will be provided with your score report immediately after completing the exam. If you pass, you will receive a successful score report, which you’ll be required to upload with your application within 30 days.
If you fail one or both portions, you will need to reapply using the Real Estate Salesperson Retake Application Form on the NREC portal. Luckily, you will have either three examination attempts or six months to pass both portions, whichever comes first. If you do not pass both portions in the next three attempts or within the six-month window, you’ll be required to retake the full exam.
Nebraska Real Estate Exam Details
80 nationally focused questions
50 state-specific questions
Items to Bring to the Exam
2 valid forms of identification (ID) with signatures:
75% to pass the Nebraska Real Estate Salesperson Exam, with (at least 60/80 on the national portion and 38/50 on the state portion)
Schedule Your Exam
The Nebraska real estate exam is provided by the PSI, a national provider for state licensing exams. To begin scheduling, you’ll be required to create an account on the PSI website, which will then allow access to the scheduling portal. Decide on an exam location that’s convenient for you when you schedule your test date.
You will receive a copy of the Nebraska Candidate Information Bulletin for additional testing information. The $285 application fee will cover the cost of the first examination. If you require a retake, you will be charged a $150 exam fee.
To guarantee you pass the Nebraska real estate license exam on the first attempt, consider using an exam prep tool like PrepAgent. PrepAgent allows aspiring new agents to access their materials from one week to one year and provides valuable study tools. These tools include vocabulary worksheets, videos, e-books, and live webinars. Plus, their no-risk money-back guarantee ensures 100% customer satisfaction.
6. Pick a Company to Work For
In order to hold an active license in Nebraska, you must find a sponsoring brokerage to affiliate your license. To make your choice a little bit easier, check out our in-depth article explaining how to choose a real estate company to work for. Although there are many successful brokerages in the Cornhusker State, below you’ll find the top five brokerages reported for 2022:
The Briley Team
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate
The Metro Pros
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate
Keller Williams Realty
Lincoln Select Real Estate Group
eXclusive Listings Group
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate
(Source: Real Trends 2022)
Nebraska Cities With Highest Median Sales Price 2022
As a real estate professional, you must have an understanding of the price points throughout the state as well as in your area of focus. The median sales prices directly determine the commission you’ll be able to collect from each sales transaction. To get a sense of which cities are bringing in the bucks in Nebraska, check out this sales data from Towncharts.com below:
7. Acquire Error & Omissions Insurance
To have an active license, all agents are required to have errors and omissions insurance (E&O). This is used to protect real estate businesses from mistakes made during professional service. An E&O insurance policy is available to all licenses under a group plan through the NREC’s program administrator or can be purchased individually as long as the coverage is equivalent to the plan through the NREC.
The group plan is provided by Williams Underwriting Group, and you can apply directly online or by using a paper enrollment application. If you choose to get your own plan, you must complete the Certification of Equivalent Coverage form through either online or paper format and submit it to the NREC. With either option, applicants must upload their proof of coverage in order to be approved by the Commission.
For more information, review the Errors & Omission Insurance Fact Sheet.
Pro tip: Before submitting this final piece of documentation, make sure that you’ve included all the necessary items for application approval by reviewing the Salesperson Application Information and Checklist.
8. Start Your Real Estate Career
Now that you’ve learned how to become a real estate agent in Nebraska, you’re ready to start your professional 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.
- Jump-start your career with the top 25 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.