Having and maintaining a Real Estate license isn’t cheap.

If you jump right into this career without doing your research you will be unpleasantly surprised by some unexpected expenses.

The costs of having a Real Estate license can stack up pretty quickly, especially if you’re not producing any additional income.

It is very important that you know what you are getting yourself into before you start your Real Estate career. In this post, I will share the top 10 expenses of having a Real Estate license.

What you don't know WILL hurt you and your pockets. Prepare for these expenses when you start your real estate career so you won't be blindsided.

The expenses of having and maintaining a Real Estate license is one of the primary reasons many Real Estate Agents begin their careers part-time while working another job. However, if you start as a full-time Agent like myself do not get discouraged because there are several ways you can make money to cover these expenses (I will discuss this in a later post).  Hopefully, this post will prepare you for the expenses to come.

The Top 10 Expenses of Having a Real Estate License


1.Pre-Licensing Course

A pre-licensing course is the first expense you can look forward to when getting your Real Estate license. Pre-licensing courses are often times offered at your local Real Estate Brokerages, community colleges and online. Keep in mind these classes are not free. The cost of these classes vary by location. I took my pre-licensing course online with the CE Shop. The average costs of pre-licensing courses can range from $100-$400.


2.Exam Fee

Once you finish your pre-licensing course, you will have to take your State’s Real Estate Salesperson exam to receive your license. Again, the examination fee varies by state.


3.License Fee

You will have to pay for your official license through your State’s Licensing Commission. I was able to pay this fee through my Brokerage and it was included with my brokerage fees. Remember your license has to be renewed every couple of years so that is a expense to consider as well.


4.Brokerage Fees

Every Real Estate brokerage has fees. Franchise fee, “royalty fee” whatever the name may be, you will have to pay out of pocket plus any additional dues upfront after getting your license and signing up with a Brokerage. You can also expect to pay brokerage fees usually every quarter.


5.Training/ Coaching

Most Brokerages provide company sponsored training for their agents. However, if you feel that the training doesn’t satisfy your needs, then you may consider paying for training or coaching from other reputable sources. A coach that I have paid for and highly recommend is the Yes Masters Real Estate Training with Kevin Ward.


6.Advertising & Marketing Materials

For new Real Estate Agents, it’s important to have marketing materials so that you can have effective branding and get your face and services in front of the right people. Most Agents begin by starting a website, purchasing business card, car signs etc.


7.Realtor Fees

If you would like to become a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and proudly wear the title REALTOR® instead of Real Estate Salesperson when doing business, then you will have to pay membership fees. These fees are due every quarter. Becoming a member of NAR also gives you a discount on your MLS fees and they also offer specialized training and certification classes.


8.MLS fees

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a network that many Real Estate Agents use to find and list properties for their clients. This is a subscription based service in which you will have to pay to use every quarter.


9.Continuing Education Courses

Once you have your license, the learning never stops. To stay up to date with current market trends and educational requirements you will have to take Continuing Education Courses. Many of these courses are mandatory if you wish to keep your license in an active status.



Many Real Estate agents decide to get certifications to give them more credibility when dealing with a certain market or client. These certifications are given after attending certain classes which can be online or in person.


Remember, if you prepare accordingly these expenses will seem minuscule in relation to your earning potential as a Real Estate agent. Do not get discouraged. Being a Real Estate agent is a very rewarding career. If you stay the course you will be very happy that you did.


Did any Real Estate Expense catch you off guard? Comment below!

Alexandria VA Homes for Sale– Lisa Washington, Your Real Estate Consultant & Friend

I specialize in listing and selling Real Estate in Alexandria, Springfield, Lorton, Fairfax and Woodbridge, VA. I am dedicated to making sure you are the most informed and educated consumer in the Real Estate market. Ready to Buy or Sell? Give me a call or text at (202)999-8166.

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