How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Oregon? [+Starter Career Guide]


How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Oregon

(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our website, RealEstateCareerHQ.com, 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 need to complete the 150 hours of pre-licensing real estate courses and pass the Oregon Real Estate Broker Exam.

You’ll also need to register at the Oregon Real Estate Agency (OREA). This is an agency which responsible for issuing licenses to real estate salesperson and brokers. They also have the duty to ensure public interest can be safeguarded.

If you are interested in the real estate sales profession in Oregon, then this is the guide for you. Not only you’ll learn about the step-by-step process to become a real estate agent, but you will also find helpful details such as the income updates, content of the real estate exam, reciprocal rule, and a list of top brokerage firms in Oregon.

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.”

6 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.

Study Tip: When choosing a real estate school, I prefer one where you could take the courses online. This way, you could study at your own pace whenever and wherever. Here are some helpful details on our education resources page.

Step 4: Pass the 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.

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.

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.

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. (**)

Here are some more tips to pass the OR 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.

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 Broker

real estate clients meeting

You are one step closer in becoming a real estate salesperson. After you pass the exam, you must work with a managing 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.

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

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?”

Real Estate Career Outlook in Oregon

How much do real estate agent make in Oregon?

Real estate agents in Oregon earn an average yearly salary of $49,850 typically range between $25,100 and $88,300. (*)

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 2018

Want to know how to become a six-figures income earner? Check out my “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?

Oregon has a population of nearly 4.3 million. Portland as the most populated city followed by Salem and Eugene. Currently, there are 1170 real estate agents in Oregon, which works out to be 0.621 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 2018

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

How to choose a real estate brokerage firm in Oregon?

When choosing a real estate brokerage, many people only focus on the commission split, but there are many other factors you also need to consider.

For example, what type of training will they provide? Will they equip you with the skills in finding qualify 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 leads to work on? Do they utilize up-to-date technology (i.e.: CRM, software subscription) to streamline the daily workflow.

All these would be extremely important especially at the beginning phase of your career.

Below are the 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

FAQ about being a Oregon Real Estate Agent

1) How much does it cost 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 may want 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. 

Therefore, it would cost around $725 to $965 to get the real estate license in Oregon.

You may find the online school and the exam prep I like on our education resource page.

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.

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

Suppose you will spend 2 hours taking the 150 hours pre-licensing education, then it would take two and a half month to finish the course. Then let’s say another two months to master course materials and work on all the exam prep questions.

Assume that you submit the application right after you pass the exam, it could take the Oregon Real Estate Agency a few weeks of processing time. Therefore, in total, it could take 4 to 5 months to get a real estate license in Oregon.

3) 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. Don’t forget to check out our education resource page.

4) What is real estate license renewal requirements in Oregon?

You need to renew your license every two years. To do so, you must complete the required continuing education.

  • 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.

5) 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.

6) 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.

7) 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.

8) I have more questions about the OR 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: [email protected]

The Bottom Line in Becoming a Real Estate Broker in Oregon

Working in the real estate sales profession could be a rewarding career. Not only in terms of financial sense, but you also get the chance of meeting new 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.

If you decide real estate is the career that you want to explore further, you can 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.

To become an Oregon real estate agent, your first step is to complete the pre-licensing courses. However, don’t select just from any school that comes along the way.

You should find one that has an excellent reputation and long-term track record of satisfying students. I prefer schools that provide online-courses so that you could take them anytime and anywhere that is convenient for you. Feel free to check out our education resources page for more info.

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.

(**) Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. Our website, RealEstateCareerHQ.com, 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)
  • 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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