This article is part of a larger series on How to Become a Real Estate Agent.
To get hold of a New Jersey real estate license, you must complete 75 hours of New Jersey Real Estate Commission (NJREC)-approved education and pass the licensing exam. Further to these, you should also get a background check, find a sponsoring brokerage, and submit a license application. Grab a cup of coffee and sub from Wawa while we guide you through the process of becoming a real estate agent in New Jersey.
1. Meet the Legal Requirements for Your New Jersey Real Estate License
Before moving forward with your real estate license in New Jersey, you must meet the simple requirements laid out by the state. You are required to be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or equivalent education, and possess good character, trustworthiness, honesty, and integrity to qualify for a salesperson license.
Did you know? New Jersey doesn’t have reciprocity agreements with any other state. However, if you hold a license in Florida, New York, or Pennsylvania, you can complete an educational waiver to waive all or some of the educational requirements. You can use this to pass the full real estate exam and obtain your New Jersey real estate license.
Also, New Jersey is a turf 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 New Jersey, check out our guide on real estate license reciprocity and portability.
New Jersey will run a background check to determine whether your criminal offenses disqualify you from license eligibility. State laws and regulations prohibit licensure to applicants who have been convicted of forgery, burglary, robbery, and similar offenses within the five years prior to applying.
The NJREC will consider the date and nature of all convictions to determine the applicant’s character, trustworthiness, and integrity. For further information, take a look through the Character-based Qualifications for Real Estate Licensure Form.
2. Complete Required Prelicensing Courses
After you’ve met the Garden State’s legal requirements, you’re ready to get started with your New Jersey licensing education. You can either attend an in-person school or opt for the convenience of online education at an accredited real estate school. Costs will range from $149 to $499 and 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
- Duties and powers of the Real Estate Commission
- Licensing requirements
- Statutes and rules governing licensee activities
- New Jersey Real Estate Sales Full Disclosure Act
- New Jersey law against discrimination
- Real Estate Guaranty Fund
- New Jersey Real Estate Timeshare Act
To get started with your prelicensing education right away, choose from the best online real estate schools in New Jersey. Center for Real Estate Education provides livestream education for those looking for an in-classroom experience from the comfort of their own home. In addition to course tools like practice exams, exam prep classes, and a real estate dictionary, the Center for Real Estate Education guarantees placement with a sponsoring brokerage to jump-start your career.
3. Take the New Jersey Real Estate Exam
Candidates are required to take and pass their real estate licensing exam within one year of the completion date of their prelicensing education. Your exam is administered on the computer and can be taken on-site at an exam provider or proctored online from home. Either way, your score will be displayed immediately after completing the examination.
If you pass, you can continue with the licensing process. If you fail, you will receive a diagnostic report that outlines your strengths and weaknesses, so you can prepare to retake the exam. Luckily, you can retake the New Jersey real estate license exam as many times as you’d like within a 12-month period.
New Jersey Real Estate Exam Details
Items to Bring to the Exam
2 valid forms of identification (ID) with signatures:
70% to pass the New Jersey Real Estate Salesperson Exam, with at least 77/110 correct answers
Unfortunately, New Jersey does not post its average exam pass rating.
Schedule Your Exam
The New Jersey real estate exam is provided by the PSI, a national provider for state licensing exams. Once you’ve completed your prelicensing education, the school provider will send your file to PSI, certifying you’ve completed the full 75 hours required by the state. The PSI will electronically send your eligibility to take the exam via email in order for you to move forward with scheduling.
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 New Jersey Candidate Information Bulletin for additional testing information. The fee to take the exam is $38 and can be paid directly on the website using a credit or debit card.
To guarantee you’re prepared to pass your New Jersey real estate exam on the first attempt, enlist the help of an exam prep service like PrepAgent. Tools like video lessons, flashcards, vocabulary, and live online webinars can reinforce the material from your prelicensing courses to start a successful real estate career as soon as possible. Even more, their 100% money-back guarantee promises you’ll pass the exam on your first try.
4. Get Fingerprints & Complete Background
To avoid any delays, the NJREC recommends getting your fingerprints and background check completed immediately after passing your real estate exam. Your fingerprints will be checked against the FBI database to review any criminal history records.
Before scheduling your appointment, candidates should complete the New Jersey Universal Fingerprint Form and organize identification to bring to the appointment. Acceptable ID must include a photo, name, address, and date of birth, e.g., a valid driver’s license or passport.
Salesperson candidates should then make an appointment online through IdentoGO/Idemia, a third-party site that conducts fingerprinting and background checks. The fee for this process is $66.05 and must be paid at the time of scheduling using a credit card, debit card, or electronic checking account.
5. Pick a Company to Work For
In order to hold an active license in New Jersey, 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 Garden State, below you’ll find the top five brokerages reported for 2022:
The Gonnella Team
R J Soens Group
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
The Oldendorp Group
Craig J Worton
Rowack Real Estate Team
(Source: Real Trends 2022)
New Jersey Cities With Highest Median Sales Price 2022
Real estate professionals need to have expert knowledge in their target location as well as general knowledge of the surrounding areas. Knowing the sales prices within different locations will give you an idea of the market trends and income opportunities for your business. To get a sense of which cities are bringing in the bucks in New Jersey, check out this sales data from Towncharts.com below:
6. Apply for Your New Jersey License
After you’ve completed your fingerprints and found a sponsoring brokerage to work under, submit your New Jersey real estate license application. You can apply for your license either online or by using a paper application. Start by registering online through the Licensee Login to begin the process.
The total application fee is $160: $100 license fee, $50 application fee, and $10 guaranty fund fee. While you will be responsible for completing the majority of the application, your sponsoring brokerage will be responsible for approving that you are authorized to work under their supervision.
The completion of the online application does not result in an active real estate license. Your license application will be reviewed, approved, and authorized by the NJREC before you can participate in any real estate business activities. Once approved, you will be notified by the Commission and can generate your real estate license as a PDF document to be printed or emailed directly to you.
For further details on submitting your application, take a look through the NREC online application instructions.
7. Start Your Real Estate Career
Now that you’ve learned how to become a real estate agent in New Jersey, 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.