How To Get Your Real Estate License in Massachusetts

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: November 14, 2022  •  8 min read  •  Real Estate
Approved Course is reader-supported. If you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small commission.

Becoming a real estate agent in Massachusetts requires a real estate license. You will have to learn how to get your real estate license in Massachusetts if you want to enter this industry. It’s a bit of a time-consuming process, and it will cost some money, too.

However, the cost and time you put in are nothing compared to what you can get out of it. With a real estate license, you can start a new career. Plus, the entire education can be done online.

Before you decide real estate is the right career for you, it’s important to know how to get a real estate license in Massachusetts. Let’s look at the steps you will need to follow.

Massachusetts Real Estate License

How To Get Your Real Estate License in Massachusetts in 6 Steps

Step #1 – Meet the Basic Requirements

Massachusetts requires you to be at least 18 years of age and have a social security number to become a real estate agent. You can be a lawfully admitted alien or a United States citizen. As long as you meet these requirements, you can start the journey toward getting your real estate license in Massachusetts.

Step #2 – Complete the Pre-Licensing Education

The main requirement you will need to fulfill is passing the 40-hour pre-licensing course. This course must be approved by the Massachusetts Real Estate Board. There are many online options to choose from.

Choosing the right package will make a difference, as well. Some pre-licensing course options don’t include anything but the course. Others will include exam preparation materials. You might even find a package with a guarantee that you will pass the exam.

The pre-licensing course will cover the following topics:

You will learn everything you need to become successful in real estate from this course.

Step #3 – Submit Your Real Estate License Application

After you’ve completed the pre-licensing education, you will need to submit your license application. this is found in the Candidate Handbook, which will also have more helpful information.

The application checklist should be completed before you take the licensing exam. The completed form will need to be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to the PSI Examination Services.

Your application fees will include a $54 exam fee and a $31 processing fee. As long as you have met the licensing requirements, you will get your license immediately after passing the exam. The license fee ranges from $103 to $150 and there is a $12 PSI fee.

Step #4 – Pass the Real Estate Exam in Massachusetts

You cannot get your real estate license in MA without passing the real estate exam. This exam will be administered by PSI. You will need to apply to take the exam and pass it within two years of completing the pre-licensing education.

The exam will cost $54 per attempt. If you fail, you will have to pay to take it again.

You can give yourself a better chance of passing on the first try with an exam prep course. Many of the online real estate pre-licensing packages will include exam prep materials. Use these materials to ensure you’re fully prepared to take the exam.

The exam must be completed within four hours. you will have 2.5 hours for the national section and 1.5 hours for the state section. As soon as you complete the exam, you will receive your score.

Step #5 – Complete the Application Review Process

All applicants will go through an application review process. If you meet all the licensing requirements and pay all the fees, you will get your license at the actual test center once you pass the exam. The review process will be over at this point.

Step #6 – Gain Sponsorship

Your real estate license will be issued with an inactive status in Massachusetts. You cannot handle any real estate transactions while it’s in this status.

Finding a sponsored broker that is licensed in Massachusetts will give you an active license. You will need to complete the Employing Broker Certification Form from the Candidate Handbook. Once you have submitted this form, you will have an active real estate license.

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Massachusetts

How much can I make as a real estate agent in Massachusetts?

Real estate agents are paid on commissions. Rarely do they earn an hourly wage or a salary. The commission will range from 1% to 3%, typically, depending on the agreement with your broker. This means if you help someone sell a $200K home, you will earn between $2K and $6K as a commission.

It’s common for good real estate agents to earn more than $100K per year. Some of the best will earn well above this figure. However, the average yearly earnings in Massachusetts, according to is about $77K. They put the salary range all the way from $13K to $162K per year.

What will it cost to get my real estate license in Massachusetts?

The fees you will pay total $250 if you pass the exam on the first try. Each additional attempt to pass the exam will cost an extra $54.

Along with these fees, you will also need to pay for the pre-licensing course. This will cost between $200 and $500. Depending on the course you choose, you will spend between $450 and $750 to get your real estate license.

How long is the process to get my Massachusetts real estate license?

You can expect to spend three to six months working towards your real estate license. The most time-consuming part is the pre-licensing education. However, it can be completed in less than two weeks, if you work at it full-time.

Those working quickly and passing the exam on the first try might be able to get their license in less than one month. However, it’s more common for applicants to take two to four months to get their real estate license.

Can I get a real estate license in Massachusetts if I have a criminal record?

There is no black and white answer to this question. Within the Candidate Handbook, you will answer discipline questions. Any answer of yes to these questions could impact your ability to get your real estate license.

The Massachusetts Real Estate Board will not give a license to any application on parole or probation. The full Good Moral Character Policy for the state can be found here.

If you are denied a license, you do have a right to request a hearing on the rationale of the Board for denial. There is a specific process you will need to follow, in this case.

How many questions are on the Massachusetts real estate exam?

There are a total of 120 questions on the exam. The national section will include 80 questions, while the state section will include 40 questions.

You will need to get 56 out of 80 questions correct on the national portion and 28 of 40 correct on the state portion to pass. A good exam prep course can help ensure you pass the exam the first time.

Is the real estate exam difficult in Massachusetts?

Yes. You need to score at least 70% to pass the exam on both the national and state sections. The passing rates are not published, but they tend to be fairly low. However, some exam prep options boast 91% passing rates on the first attempt. With the right exam prep, you can make the exam much easier to pass the first time.

Does Massachusetts offer reciprocity with any other state?

Yes, if you have a real estate license from another state, you may not have to do all the pre-licensing and licensing steps. Complete reciprocity is found with some states, while other reciprocity agreements also exist. Massachusetts offers reciprocity with the following states:

Many other states offer partial reciprocity, as well. If you have a real estate license in any other state, you may not have to go through the entire licensing process.

If you want to get your real estate license in Massachusetts, you will need to follow these steps. Every real estate agent and broker will have to go through the same process. It might seem tedious and it might take up some time, but it can be well worth it.

A career in real estate can be very rewarding. You will be helping people find homes for their families and sell their homes for the best price possible. If you want to work with people and help them with the largest financial transactions of their lifetime, learning how to get your real estate license in Massachusetts is the first step.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path.