(**) 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.
If you have been working as a real estate salesperson in Ohio for some time, and wish to bring your business to the next level, then upgrading your license to become a real estate managing broker could be a sensible choice.
Rather than making income solely based on your sales production, being a broker allows you to build a team of real estate agents. You’ll be recruiting, providing training and support to your underlying agents. In return, you would get a share of their commission.
To become a real estate broker in Ohio, you must:
- Have at least 2 years of active real estate sales experience in the past 5 years;
- At least two years of post-secondary education, or equivalent hours of 60 semester or 90 quarter hours;
- Complete 120 hours of pre-license courses from an approved education provider;
- Pass the Ohio Real Estate Broker Exam;
- Go through a background check;
- Submit a Broker Exam Application and a $135 fee to the Ohio Division of Real Estate;
- Complete the 30 hours CE and license renewal requirement
Ohio Division of Real Estate is the regulatory body that protect consumers in matters relating to real property transactions. They are responsible for issuing the licenses and regulates the real estate industry.
In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to become a real estate broker in Ohio, income updates, and FAQs on this profession.
(By the way, if you are just starting the real estate career, but haven’t obtained the sales associate license yet, you should read over this career starter guide first.)
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.
7 Steps to Become a Real Estate Broker in Ohio
Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement
You need to be at least 18 years old and have a valid Social Security Number.
In addition, you need a minimum of two years of post-secondary education, or equivalent 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours from an accredited college or university.
Step 2: Complete the pre-license education
Below are the pre-licensing courses requirements:
- Ohio Real Estate Law (40 hours)
- Ohio Real Estate Principles & Practices (40 hours)
- Real Estate Appraisal (20 hours)
- Real Estate Finance (20 hours)
- A Financial Management course
- A Human Resources or Personnel Management course
- An Applied Business Economics course
- A Business Law course
For the post-secondary school requirement we talked about in step 1, you actually could include courses #5 – 8.
Tip for Passing the Exam: Doing practice questions is one of the best ways to prepare for the real estate exam. It helps you to familiarize with the questions and exam format. You could find the exam prep providers that we like on our resource page.
Step 3: Fulfill the work experience requirement
You must be an active real estate salesperson for 2 years of the past 5 years, where at least 30 work hours per week is required.
However, the work experience requirement is quite interesting when comparing to other states. Because Ohio actually needs you to work on at least 20 transactions.
They also have a specific breakdown of what is considered to be one transaction. If you have worked as:
- A listing agent/selling agent of a property owned by another, then this will consider being 0.5 transaction.
- A listing agent/procuring agent for a lease of commercial or industrial real estate owned by another for a term of at least one year, then it will consider as 0.5 transaction
- A listing/procuring agent for the lease of four residential real estate properties owned by another with term one-year or more, then this will be one transaction
Step 4: Go through a background check
The Ohio Real Estate Division needs to protect the public interest, so they will conduct a background check on all real estate license applicants.
To do so, you will schedule an appointment with a Webcheck user to have their fingerprints taken. You should confirm with the Webcheck user whether they will submit both state and FBI fingerprints to BCI&I as they are mandatory.
- BCI&I Reason Code: 4735 05 and/or 121 08
- FBI Reason Code: 121 08
On the day of appointment, be sure to bring along a valid government issued photo ID. You should also remind the Webcheck user to send the result to:
Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing
77 S High St., 20th Fl.
Columbus, OH 43215-6133
I checked with several providers. Their background check fee is around $60 to $80.
Step 5: Submit application to the Ohio Department of Commerce
Before you can write the Ohio Real Estate Broker Exam, you must submit the License Examination Application to the Department.
In the application, you need to provide personal information such as your contact info, education level, date of birth, and the broker that sponsored your license. You need to provide a statement describing your real estate sales experience. In the broker application, you can find a transaction log which keeps track of your real estate work experience for each property.
In addition, you are required to provide a $135 exam fee and official transcripts or completion certificates of the pre-license courses.
Once you have all the documents ready, you can mail it to the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing, 77 South High Street, 20th floor, Columbus, OH 43215
Step 6: Pass the Ohio Real Estate Broker Examination
This examination is to test your knowledge and understanding of real estate law, principle and practices, and mathematics. It is administered by PSI.
The Ohio Real Estate Broker Exam has 120 questions. The required passing score is 75% and you’ll be given 180 minutes to write it.
Since these are computerized exams, you’ll immediately know your score after writing them. You can find more info about the exam further down this post.
Step 7: Maintain the Ohio real estate broker license
You need to renew your real estate license once every three years. The Division will only accept your application within 60 days prior to your license expiry date.
To do so, you’ll have to:
- Submit the renewal application
- Pay the $243 renewal fee
- Provide proof for completion of continuing education
You can do the license renewal online or through mail-in.
What is the continuing education requirement to renew the real estate license?
You need to complete 30 hours of continuing education courses of which must include the 3 courses in:
- Civil Rights
- Core Law
- Canons of Ethics
For audit purposes, keep in mind you need to maintain the course completion certificates for at least 6 years.
A Quick Table Summary of Becoming a Real Estate Broker in Ohio
|Work Experience Requirement||Education||Exam||Fees|
|Have at least 2 years of active real estate sales experience in the past 5 years||At least two years of post-secondary education, or equivalent hours of 60 semester or 90 quarter hours;|
120 hours of pre-licensing course
30 credit hours of continuing education every three year
|National Portion – 75 items|
Required passing score is 75%
|Broker education $3399|
Exam fee $135
Background check $60 to $80
Ohio Real Estate Broker Examination
Content of the Real Estate Exam
Each test consists of the national and state portions. The required passing mark for the broker exam is 75%.
Real Estate Broker Exam Summary
|Examination Portion||# of Items||Time Allowed||Required Passing Score|
|Broker- National||75 (80 points)||120 minutes||75%|
|Broker- State||40 (40 points)||60 minutes||75%|
National Portion Exams Content Outline
|Exam Content||Weighting (Broker)|
|Land use controls and regulations||5%|
|Valuation and market analysis||7%|
|General principles of agency||11%|
|Leasing and Property Management||5%|
|Transfer of Title||7%|
|Practice of real estate||14%|
|Real estate calculations||8%|
State Portion Exams Content Outline
- State Governance of the Real Estate Profession (4 Items)
- Licensing Requirements (6 items)
- License Law and Rules of the Ohio Real Estate Commission (16 items)
- Brokerage Relationships (Agency Law) (14 items)
Sample Broker Exam Questions
To give you a better idea about the real estate exam, below are two sample questions for your reference.
Sample Broker Questions:
A. A real estate licensee acting solely as a seller’s agent is MOST likely to be held liable for claims of misrepresentation by a buyer if the licensee committed which of the following acts in the course of the transaction?
1. Failed to provide previous purchase prices for the property.
2. Obeyed the seller’s instructions to leave all discussions of property condition to the seller.
3. Continued to accept and present offers on the property after the seller accepted the buyer’s offer.
4. Deposited the earnest money check in a personal account to clear before transferring it to the trust account.
B. A lender wanting title insurance coverage on property pledged as collateral would ask for which of the following
1. A mortgagee’s policy.
2. An owner’s policy.
3. An errors and omissions policy.
4. An extended homeowner’s policy
Sample Questions Quoted from Ohio Real Estate Salesperson and Broker Candidate Information Bulletin
How much does it cost to get a real estate broker license in Ohio?
It costs approximately $3594 to get a real estate broker license in Ohio. Here’s the breakdown:
- Broker education $3399
- Application exam fee $135
- Background check $60
However, if you were setting up a real estate brokerage, the cost of getting a broker license is only part of the expenses. There is also other office expenses such as salary of administrative staff, office lease, furniture, equipment, software subscriptions.
How long does it take to become a real estate broker in Ohio?
It takes at least 2 years to get a real estate broker license in Ohio. That is the required amount of real estate sales experience. But it also depends on the time it takes you to complete the pre-license courses, exam, background check, application.
You may speed up in getting the Ohio managing broker license by taking online courses. This way, you’ll have the flexibility to finish the pre-licensing education at a quicker pace.
How Much do Real Estate Brokers Make in Ohio?
Real estate brokers in Ohio earn an average yearly income of $53,570. It typically ranges between $33,250 to $81,460. Top earning real estate brokers are making over $150,840. (*)
Your earning depends on many factors. For example, the amount of time per week you are dedicated to run the business and the number of agents in your sales team. Having the skills and vision to delegate tasks to others rather than DIY is another major determining factor.
(*) Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2019)
Here’s another post you could be interested. “Do Brokers Make More than Real Estate Agents? (Facts Revealed)”
I have more questions about the real estate license in Ohio, where can I get help?
The best would be to contact the Ohio Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing:
- Phone: 614-466-4100
- Fax: 614-644-0584
(**) 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.
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 this site may contain views and opinions from individual not related to JCHQ Publishing. They do not necessarily reflect our view or position.
- Ohio Division of Real Estate (source)
- Requirements for an Ohio Real Estate Broker’s License (source)
- Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing Real Estate Salesperson and Broker Candidate Information Bulletin (source)
- Bureau of Labor Statistics