How to Obtain a Real Estate License in Ohio

In the State of Ohio, exams, licensing, and continuing education for real estate agents are governed by the Department of Commerce’s Real Estate and Professional Licensing Division, www.com.state.oh.us/odoc/real/.

There are two basic real estate licenses in Ohio, a broker’s license and a salesperson’s license. Generally, a salesperson’s license allows the holder to sell real estate only under the auspices of a licensed broker. (Salesperson’s licenses are generally what people refer to when they say they have a real estate license.) A salesperson must be sponsored by an Ohio broker.

To obtain the salesperson’s license, a person must also be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the United States. The initial questionnaire also asks whether a person, either directly or through a corporation or other entity, has ever had a professional or business license suspended or revoked, and whether they have ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony. Answering “yes” to any of the questions pertaining to personal conduct may either require additional documentation or can be grounds for rejection of an application. Any applicant born after 1950 must also have a high school diploma or equivalent as deemed so by the Ohio Board of Education.

Other requirements include taking college-level courses by an accredited school, Real Estate Principles, Real Estate Practice, and electives totaling 120 hours of classroom work from a state-approved school (available online).

Once the coursework is completed, applicants must take and pass an exam. Upon passing the exam, applicants apply for a real estate license by submitting an official application and the required proof of passing the exam and doing related coursework. Although the Ohio web site had an “e-licensing” feature prominently displayed on its page, the application was not functioning at the time this article was written. Therefore, applicants should plan on submitting items via hard copy, regular mail, or as otherwise instructed.

For a detailed list of requirements, procedures, and exceptions, visit the Ohio Department of Commerce, Real Estate and Professional Licensing Division, http://www.com.state.oh.us/odoc/real/, and download the PDF file entitled, “Candidate Information Bulletin”. This e-booklet provides information on the entire licensing process, from starting the application process to taking the exam, continuing education, and more.

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