Earning your real estate license in New Hampshire is fairly simple and straightforward. You must complete 40 hours of prelicensing education from a provider approved by the New Hampshire Real Estate Commission (NHREC), pass your real estate exam, submit a background check, choose a sponsoring brokerage, and finally, submit your license application. So grab an apple cider donut―or even an apple cider cocktail―and dive into our guide on how to become a real estate agent in New Hampshire.
1. Meet New Hampshire’s Legal Requirements
In order to become a real estate agent in New Hampshire (NH), you need to meet a few standard qualifications. You must be 18 years of age or older, a U.S. citizen or lawful resident, and have a high school diploma or GED.
Did you know? If you plan on practicing real estate in multiple states, you need to know real estate license reciprocity and portability laws. New Hampshire has partial reciprocity, which means real estate agents from a few states don’t have to take the prelicensing courses, but must still pass the state portion of the exam to get a real estate license. States with reciprocity agreements are Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
New Hampshire is also a cooperative state in terms of portability. This means that agents and brokers from other states are allowed to conduct real estate business in New Hampshire, but must conduct all out-of-state business remotely, and can’t enter the state for showings, closings, or any other reason. To learn more about real estate license portability in New Hampshire, check out our guide on real estate license reciprocity and portability.
2. Complete Required Prelicensing Courses
Once you meet licensing requirements, the next step is to sign up for prelicensing courses in the Granite State. You’ll need to complete 40 hours of required education with costs ranging between $300 and $365.
There are fewer than 20 approved New Hampshire real estate schools, and the majority of them offer only classroom or live online courses, so make sure you check both class formats and schedules before signing up. Your New Hampshire real estate prelicensing classes will 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
- Real estate commission
- Regulation of licensee conduct
- Regulation of agency conduct
- New Hampshire principles and practice
Did you know? Any active member of the New Hampshire Bar who is in good standing and qualified under the real estate license law is exempt from taking the real estate sales associate prerequisite course.
When selecting an accredited real estate school, remember to take customer support, course format, and customer reviews into consideration. Ann Flanagan’s NH Real Estate School offers live and self-paced classes, extensive customer support, and has many rave customer reviews. Check out their website for more details.
3. Complete a Background Check
All real estate applicants in New Hampshire must submit a notarized criminal record report to the New Hampshire Division of State Police prior to licensure. Your report will be reviewed by the New Hampshire Criminal History Record Information to determine if you meet the qualifications for obtaining your real estate license.
You can request your record by applying in person, mail, or through a third party, but will be required to complete a Criminal History Record Information Release Authorization Form and pay a $25 fee by cash, check, money order, or credit or debit card.
You can still apply for a real estate license if you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, but there will be additional requirements and paperwork to submit. If you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense that has not been annulled, you must also submit a criminal record report from that jurisdiction. Criminal record reports are valid for six months, so you must request and pay for a new report after that time period has expired.
On the other hand, if you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense that has been annulled, the NHREC requires you to disclose them on your application in addition to your required criminal record report. You should also submit an Arrest and Conviction form along with your license application.
4. Take the New Hampshire Exam
On average, New Hampshirites have a relatively high pass rate of 70% on the real estate exam, which means that you have a good chance of success if you put in the necessary time and effort. You’ll receive your score immediately after you complete your exam.
If you fail both or either portion of the licensing test, you will be required to retake the entire exam. You have up to eight attempts within six months to pass. If you don’t pass the exam within six months, you’ll be required to complete 40 additional hours of accredited prelicensing courses.
80 nationally focused questions
40 state-specific questions
Items to Bring to the Exam
Two valid forms of identification (ID) with signatures.
70% to pass the New Hampshire Real Estate Salesperson Exam (at least 56/80 on the national portion, and 28/40 on the state portion)
Schedule Your Exam
To register for your NH real estate exam, submit the New Hampshire Real Estate Examination Registration Form at the bottom of the License Examinations Candidate Information Bulletin. You can then mail it along with a $155 Salesperson Examination fee to the Real Estate Commission.
Once the commission approves your request, you’ll receive an email confirmation from PSI, a national provider for state licensing exams. Then you can schedule your exam by phone or on the PSI website, which is the fastest and easiest method.
Since the real estate exam is long and can be stressful, don’t leave your success up to chance. Use the resources and the money-back pass guarantee from Real Estate Exam Scholar to maximize your chance of passing on the first try. There are more than 1,200 practice questions, full explanations for each answer, and unlimited test exam attempts.
5. Pick a Company to Work For
In order to hold an active real estate license in New Hampshire, you must find a sponsoring brokerage to affiliate your license with. Your sponsoring brokerage is responsible for completing Part V on the salesperson application.
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 White Mountain State, below you’ll find the top four brokerages reported for 2021.
Fine Homes Group International
Keller Williams Realty
Inspire Realty Group
Keller Williams Realty
Zoeller Realty Group
Keller Williams Realty
The Douglass Group
Keller Williams Realty
(Source: Real Trends 2021)
New Hampshire Cities With Highest Median Sales Price 2021
The higher that homes are selling for, the higher commission you have the opportunity to earn. To get a sense of which cities are bringing in the bucks for real estate professionals in the Granite State, check out this sales data from Towncharts.com below:
Apply for Your License
After you’ve passed the New Hampshire real estate exam and submitted your background check, you can apply for your license by completing your portion of the salesperson application (the other part of the application must be filled out by the Principal Broker at your sponsoring brokerage). Finally, you need to mail the signed and dated application to the New Hampshire Real Estate Commission and complete this checklist, which is located on the last page of the application:
- Application is signed and dated
- $90 application fee included by check made payable to Treasurer, State of NH
- Final original passing score sheet(s)
- Answered all questions in Part IV (criminal background), and if you answered “yes” to any of questions 1-6, attach a thorough explanation to your application
- Note the date the criminal record release and fee were submitted to the state police
- Non-residents only: completed power of attorney section (Part VI, if applicable)
- Check that you have read and understood both the Administrative Rules of the Real Estate Commission and the state statute as it pertains to Real Estate Salespersons
- Included the checklist with your application
If your application is completed fully and correctly and you pass the background check, you should receive an email from NHREC with your real estate license within five to 10 days.
Start Your Real Estate Career
Now that you’ve learned how to become a real estate agent in New Hampshire, you’re ready to start your real estate journey. For more information, take a look at our Top 25 New Real Estate Agent Tips From the Pros or 14 Real Estate Agent Tips for 2021 to jump-start your career.