How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Oregon? – Must Read this Before You Start!


How to become a Real Estate Agent in Oregon?

(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our company, JCHQ Publishing will get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, but at no additional cost to you.

To become a real estate agent in Oregon, you must:

  1. Be at least 18 years old;
  2. Complete the 150 hours of pre-licensing real estate courses; 
  3. Register at the OREA online license management system;
  4. Pay the $300 application fee;
  5. Pass the Oregon Real Estate Broker Exam with a minimum score of 75%;
  6. Conduct a background check through OSP and FBI;
  7. Work with a sponsoring real estate principal broker;
  8. Complete the continuing education and renew the license.

The Oregon Real Estate Agency (OREA) is the entitle which responsible for issuing licenses to real estate salesperson and brokers. They also have the duty to ensure public interest can be safeguarded.

As a real estate agent, your role is to work with clients to buy or sell the right property according to their needs. You would be responsible for showing the property, bringing potential buyers to house tours, and handling the purchase and sale agreement.

Some agents may also help clients in searching for a rental property or lease out their units.

If you are interested in knowing about the real estate career in Oregon, this is the guide for you. You’ll learn about the step-by-step process to become a real estate agent in Oregon, income updates, career outlook and FAQ about this profession.

By the way, in Oregon, the official license is not called an agent or salesperson. Rather it is a real estate broker. But I’ll still use them interchangeably throughout this guide since this is what people commonly call them.

For broker that could recruit other agents, I would specify them as “Principal Broker.”

But before we start, I want to give a brief disclaimer. This post is not intended as legal advice or state/federal real estate training. It is for general information only. Please always follow your State laws and best practices.

Infographic on how to become a real estate agent in Oregon

7 Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent in Oregon

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement

  • Citizen of the United States or permanent resident alien
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Hold a high school diploma or higher

Step 2: Register with the Oregon Real Estate Agency (OREA)

You’ll start off by registering an account in the OREA online license management system.

In there, you need to fill out the application and pay the $300 application fee. (non-refundable). Then they will email you an Applicant ID number.

Oregon Real Estate Agency eLicense

Step 3: Complete the Pre-Licensing Education

You need to take 150 hours of course from an approved education provider. The course will cover different concepts about the Oregon Real Estate Principles.

Step 4: Pass the Oregon Real Estate Broker Exam

Oregon Real Estate Broker Exam

The exam is to test your knowledge on the real estate topics that are covered in the pre-licensing education. The test is administered by the PSI.

To register, you need to complete their online exam registration and provide them with the required documents. The exam fee is $75.

Cramming for the exam is ineffective. Instead, you should study for 45 to 60 minutes, then take a break. Concentration tends to wander if you study for too long. If possible, focus on studying only one to two topics per day. But be really good at it.

I’ll include more details about the Oregon Real Estate Broker exam later in this post.

Rather than studying all random topics in a textbook, here’s a Real Estate Exam Study Hacks to increase your chance in passing the exam on the first attempt. Not only you’ll find tips and tricks about the exam, but I’ll also show you how to cope with the stress.

Step 5: Complete Background Check

To protect the public interest, the OREA would conduct a background check on the real estate license applicant.

Once you pass the broker exam, this will be done while you are at the PSI test center. You’ll need to provide your fingerprints, which are to be processed through the Oregon State Police (OSP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

There is a fee that you’ll need to make directly to the PSI. The processing time would take around 3 to 4 weeks.

Step 6: Find a Sponsoring Real Estate Principal Broker

real estate principal broker

You are one step closer in becoming a real estate salesperson. After you pass the exam, you must work with a Principal Broker who would sponsor your license.

But don’t rush into working for just any broker. Finding a good trainer is crucial at the initial stage of your real estate career. A thoughtful and experienced trainer could teach you a repeatable and systematic process in running your business profitably.

When choosing a real estate brokerage, many people only overfocus on the commission split. But they neglect other essential factors in building a solid fundamental to their real estate business.

For example, what type of training will the brokerage provide? Will they equip you with the skills to find qualified prospects and closing a sale? Is there a shared office space you could use? Can the brokerage provide you with adequate administrative and marketing support? Will they provide you with business leads? Do they utilize up-to-date technology (i.e., CRM, software subscription) to streamline the daily workflow?

You will find a list of the top producing Oregon real estate brokerages later in this guide.

Step 7: Maintain the Real Estate License

Renewal and continuing education of Oregon Real Estate Broker license

You need to renew your license every two years. You may do so through the OREA online system.

Furthermore, you must complete the required continuing education. This is to ensure that you are keeping up to date with the real estate laws, regulations, and best business practices. The curriculum must include:

  • 3-hour Law and Rule Required Course 
  • For first renewal: 27-hour Broker Advanced Practices​
  • For subsequent renewal: 27 additional hours of continuing education in required topic

The renewal fee is $230 and can be paid by credit card.

Keep in mind that there is no grace period where you could continue working without being licensed. So, don’t leave the renewal until the last minute.

A Quick Table Summary of Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Oregon

EligibilityEducationExamFees
Citizen of the United States or permanent resident alien

At least 18 years of age

Have a valid Social Security Number

Hold a high school diploma or higher
150 hours of pre-licensing course



30 credit hours of continuing education every two years
195 minutes

130 questions (50 State, 80 National)

Required passing score is 75%
Pre-licensing courses around $300 to $500

Exam fee $75

Application fee $300

Here’s a Snippet of What a Real Estate Agent Think about The Profession

You can make your own hours, but you have to plan out your week in advance, so you have a work life balance

– Lori James, Real Estate Agent at Real Living Real Estate

If you want to know what Lori and other real estate agents think about this career, here’s an article you must not miss: “Is Real Estate a Good Career?”

More helpful details about the Oregon Real Estate Broker Exam

PrepAgent is an exam prep that I highly recommend. Many students were able to pass the real estate exam after doing their practice questions. Over 97% of users provided a 5 out of 5 stars rating to them on Facebook. Click here to check out their package options. (**)

How many questions are on the Oregon real estate broker exam?

The Oregon real estate exam has 130 questions, and it is a 195 minutes exam. It is divided into two parts, the State portion (50 questions), and the National portion (80 questions).

What will be tested in the Oregon National Portion of the real estate exam?

Exam topicsWeighting
Property ownership8%
Land use controls and regulations 5%
Valuation and market analysis 7%
Financing 10%
General principles of agency13%
Property disclosures 6%
Contracts17%
Leasing and Property Management 3%
Transfer of Title 8%
Practice of real estate 13%
Real estate calculations 10%

What is covered in the OR State Portion?

Exam topicBroker
(# of items)
License Law and Disciplinary Measures 8
Handling of Clients’ Funds 7
Agency Law and Rules
5
Regulation of Broker Activities 8
Document Handling and Recordkeeping 4
Property Management 8
Oregon Real Estate Related Statutes 10

What is the required passing score?

The required passing score is 75%. Once you finish writing the exam, the result will be given to you immediately.

If you do not pass, you could just retake the portion that you fail. However, you must pass both portions within twelve months. Else, you’ll need to retake the entire exam again. Also, a diagnostic report will be given to you. It shows your strengths and weaknesses in your exam writing. 

The passing score is only valid for a year, so you must activate your license within that period.

How hard is the Oregon real estate exam?

The OR real estate salesperson exam contains 130 questions, and you must answer 75% of them correctly to pass it. There will be 195 minutes of writing it. In other words, you’ll only have 1.5 minute for each question.

Doing multiple sets of practice questions is an excellent way to prepare for the exam and also boost your confidence.

Here are some more tips to pass the Oregon real estate broker exam!

Oregon real estate exam tip

Also, you must provide one ID to the test center. One has to be a government-issued identification (Driver’s License, State ID, Passport), which shows your signature and your photograph. Keep in mind that the IDs must not be expired.

How much does it cost to become a real estate agent in Oregon?

How much does it cost to become a real estate agent in Oregon?

It costs approximately $725 to $965 to become a real estate agent in Oregon. Here’s the breakdown of the costs to get the real estate license:

  • 150 hours of pre-licensing courses typically range from $300 to $500.
  • Exam fee is $75
  • Exam prep is $50 to $90
  • License fee is $300

Although the exam prep not mandatory, you should seriously consider to invest into it. It can increase your chance of passing the exam on the first try so that you don’t need to waste time and money in retaking it. 

Once you obtain the real estate license, there would be other business expenses to account for. For instance, E&O, MLS subscription, laptop, travel expenses, advertising and marketing.

How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Oregon?

How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Oregon?

It takes about 4 to 5 months to get a real estate license in Oregon. But it also depends on the time it takes you to complete the 150 hours of pre-licensing education, exam, background check, application, and get sponsorship by an actively licensed principal broker in Oregon.

Can you get a real estate license with a felony in Oregon?

Yes, it is possible to get a real estate license with a felony in Oregon. But OREA will put into consideration the applicant’s honesty, trustworthiness, character, and integrity. Whether a felon can be a real estate broker is subjected to how the licensing commission evaluates the case. 

However, I checked the OREA website. They didn’t specify the type of criminal offenses or circumstances which would prevent an applicant from getting the license. So if you are concerned, you can submit the application and fingerprint before you take the pre-licensing courses.

But don’t get discouraged as everyone has a past. The most important is that you can demonstrate that you will serve the public in a fair, honest, and open manner.

Here’s an article that covers how to apply for a real estate license with a felony record. In there, you’ll find practical tips which could help your application.

What states have real estate license reciprocity with Oregon?

The Oregon Real Estate Agency has reciprocal license agreement with the following states.

  • Alabama
  • Alberta
  • Georgia
  • Nebraska
  • South Dakota

But for more details, you would need to contact the OREA.

How much do real estate agent make in Oregon?

How much do real estate agent make in Oregon?

Real estate agents in Oregon makes an average yearly income of $52,120. It typically range between $32,220 and $63,250. Top earning real estate sales agents are making $102,690 per year.(*)

At the beginning phase in your real estate career, you probably would not make a lot, because you have not built up the client base and established trust with the prospects.

But as you continue to gain experience and sharpen your business skills, you should be able to notice a significant improvement to your earning.

Your earning potential as a real estate agent would depend on the price range of the properties that you work with, the number of transactions you could complete, the commission splitting schedule with the real estate brokerage and other factors.

(*) Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2019

Want to know how to become a six-figures income earner? Check out this “Real Estate Agent Salary Guide“. In there, you’ll find what are the important factors which could significantly influence your income.

Is there a demand for real estate agents in Oregon?

Is there a demand for real estate agents in Oregon?

Oregon has a population of nearly 4.3 million. Portland as the most populated city followed by Salem and Eugene. Currently, there are 1760 real estate agents in Oregon, which works out to be 0.922 real estate agents per 1000 of workers. (*)

Whenever there are transactions in buying, selling or renting property, there is always a demand for real estate agents in Oregon.

When you are deciding the regions to conduct your real estate business, you should target areas that have a high population. After all, transactions can only occur when there are people.

Also, consider working on properties that have good value, as this is one of the major factors when calculating your commission. According to Zillow Home Value Index, the median home value in Oregon is $364,382. with median rent of $1,800.

(*) Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2019

Here are the OR home values and rent info in the most populated cities

CitiesPopulation House ValuesMedian Rent
Portland667,589$454,628 $1,995
Salem177,019$289,208 $1,495
Eugene175,803$332,510 $1,595
Gresham114,835$349,252 $1,695
Hillsboro112,427$391,493 $1,895
Bend103,962$462,050 $1,850
Beaverton102,177$398,720 $1,898
Medford85,518$294,469 $1,572
Springfield65,301$281,671 $1,285
Corvallis59,081$385,186 $1,750

Source: Zillow as of Dec 31, 2019

Top real estate brokerage in Oregon based on their closed transaction sides for 2018

  • RE/MAX Integrity, Eugene
  • Keller Williams Realty Professionals, Portland
  • Keller Williams Realty Sunset Corridor/Eugene, Beaverton
  • Hasson Company, Clackamas
  • Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty, Bend
  • Keller Williams Portland Central, Portland
  • John L. Scott Medford and Ashland, Medford
  • Keller Williams Realty Portland Premiere, Portland

How to become a commercial real estate agent in Oregon?

How to become a commercial real estate agent in Oregon?

To become a commercial real estate agent in Oregon, you need to complete the 150 hours of pre-licensing real estate courses and pass the real estate broker exam.

To my understanding, the OREA does not issue separate licenses for residential and commercial agents. So, the requirement is basically the same one we just went through.

Furthermore, if you are going to pursue a career as a CRE agent, you should look for a brokerage that could give you the right support and resources.

Here’s the “Complete Guide to a Commercial Real Estate Agent Career“, where you’ll find the outlook of this profession, earning potential, and valuable feedback from CRE agents. Be sure to check it out.

I have more questions about the Oregon real estate license, whom should I contact?

You could contact the Oregon Real Estate Agency:

  • Address: 530 Center St NE, Suite 100, Salem, OR 97301
  • Phone: (503) 378-4170
  • Email: orea.info@oregon.gov

Practical ideas to build a real estate career in New York

Tip#1: Network with other real estate professionals

Join the New York State Association of REALTORS

You may consider joining the Oregon REALTORS. This allows you to connect with other real estate salespeople and brokers, thus learn from their valuable experience and share ideas with one another. 

In addition, you should build a referral network with other real estate professionals. such as mortgage agents, lenders, notary loan signing agents, and appraisers.

Here’s a list real estate professional groups on our resource page. Hope this will be useful to you.

Tip#2: Become a principal real estate broker

Become a real estate broker in New York

Once you have established a solid client base and develop the necessary skills, then you could consider expanding your business to become a real estate broker.

This allows you to build a team of real estate agents, where your brokerage could be providing training, marketing, administrative support, office space, and a subscription to industry software.

In return, you would get a share of the commission from the transactions that your real estate sales associates handle. Thus, lead to a scalable business model. 

Here’s a post on how to become a real estate broker in Oregon.

Tip#3: Just enjoy it!

Becoming a real estate agent could be a rewarding career. Not only in terms of financial sense, but you also get the chance of meeting many people and working on different properties every day.

It is very fulfilling when you can help out your clients in finding their dream home or locate the right buyers for their property.

Honesty, hard work, and always putting your client’s interest first are the key components to your long-term success.

Furthermore, you may check out the Oregon Real Estate News-Journal. It’s actually a publication written by industry experts, where they will issue a journal 6 times a year.

So that’s all I have to share for now. Do you like this guide? If so, please share it.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information only, and not intend to provide any advice. They are subjected to change without any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. Some of the posts on RealEstateCareerHQ.com may contain views and opinions from the interviewees. They do not reflect our view or position.

(**) Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. Our company, JCHQ Publishing will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking on the link. Please understand that we include them based on our experience or the research on these companies or products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through the links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Reference:

  • Oregon Real Estate Agency (Source)
    • Active Renewal Tutorial (source)
  • Oregon Real Estate Broker Examination Candidate Information Bulletin (Source)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – Real Estate Agents (Source)
  • Real Trends: Ranking (Source)
  • Zillow.com – Oregon Home Prices & Values (Source)
  • World Population Review- Population of Cities in Oregon (Source)

Jacob Coleman

Jacob is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors.) In order to build a career you love, Jacob believes not only you need a thorough understanding about the profession, but you also have to find out what type of jobs could match your personality, lifestyle and expectation.

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