The Ultimate Guide to Become a Real Estate Agent in Indiana


Real estate agent meeting couple clients

(**) 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.

Are you looking to become a real estate agent in Indiana? If so, that’s great! Then this guide is for you. But before we jump into the details, I want to let you know that there is no real estate “agent” in Indiana. The reason is unlike most other states, agents are licensed as real estate “broker” in Indiana. Therefore, when I mention real estate “agent” or “salesperson” in this article, I’m really referring to the entry brokers.

To become a real estate agent in Indiana, an applicant must get a real estate broker license from the Indiana Real Estate Commission To do so, applicant must complete 90 hours of pre-license education, pass the broker exam, submit an application and license fee to the Commission.

As a real estate agent, your role is to work with clients to buy or sell the right property according to their needs. You will be responsible for showing the property, bringing potential buyers to house tours, and handling the purchase and sale agreement. You may also assist clients in searching for a rental property or lease out their units.

In this guide, you’ll find out the steps to become a real estate salesperson in Indiana, income figures, career updates and FAQ about this profession.

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.

A Quick Table Summary to Get a Real Estate License in Indiana

EligibilityEducationExamFees
At least 18 years of age

Have a valid Social Security Number

Hold a high school diploma or equivalent
90 hours of pre-license courses

30 hours of post license courses within the first two years

12 hours of continuing education every year from July 1st to June 30th
125 items

240 minutes writing time

Required passing rate is 60/80 on the national portion and 38/50 on the state portion.
Pre-license courses $300 to $440

License fee $60

Exam fee $53

Background check $35

8 Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent in Indiana

Indiana real estate agent working with clients

Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement

  • Citizen of the United States or lawfully admitted alien
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Have a valid Social Security Number

Step 2: Complete the pre-license education

Taking Indiana real estate pre-license courses

You are required to take 90 hours of course which covers different real estate concept. It would include topics such as:

  • real estate basics and law
  • real estate brokerage operation
  • real estate finance
  • real estate contracts
  • Indiana real estate license law and real estate commission rules
  • closing real estate transactions
  • real estate brokerage
  • earnest money and trust accounts
  • property management
  • financing instruments and loan products
  • real estate loan underwriting
  • current and geographic real estate topics

It can be taken in a classroom setting or online, but it must from an approved education provider.

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. RealEstateExpress is a trustworthy real estate education provider. You may click here to see whether they offer pre-licensing course in your state. (**)

Step 3: Pass the Indiana Real Estate Broker Exam

Real estate career studying

The exam is to test your knowledge on the real estate topics that are covered in the pre-licensing education. You must write it within 365 days that you completed the required courses. Make sure you bring along the course completion certificate to the test center.

The Indiana Real Estate Broker Exam consists of two portions, the National portion and State portion. There are 125 items and you’ll be given 240 minutes in writing it. The required passing rate is 60/80 on the national portion and 38/50 on the state portion.

The test is administered by the PSI. To register, you need to complete their online exam registration and provide them with the required documents. There is a $53 examination fee which could be paid by credit card. Also, since the exam is a computerized test, your result will appear immediately on the screen.

(I’ll also include more details on what will be tested later in this guide.)

(Here’s a Real Estate Study Hacks in helping you to pass the exam on the first try.)

Step 4: Work under the supervision of a managing broker

Working in an Indiana real estate brokerage firm

To engage in real estate sales activities in Indiana, you must join a real estate brokerage 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 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? 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.

Here are the top real estate brokerage in Indiana based on their sales volume in 2018. The figures are obtained from RealTrends.com.

Real Estate Brokerages in IndianaCitiesSales Volume in 2018
F.C. Tucker Company, Inc.Indianapolis$2,756,505,324
CENTURY 21 ScheetzCarmel$1,410,068,016
Carpenter RealtorsIndianapolis$1,266,760,126
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Indiana RealtyIndianapolis$970,170,266
Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly GraberFort Wayne$806,103,113
McColly Real EstateSchererville$803,308,545
RE/MAX Ability PlusCarmel$751,863,106
RE/MAX ResultsFort Wayne$703,316,282
Schuler Bauer Real Estate ERA PoweredNew Albany$666,261,906
Keller Williams Realty Indy Metro NortheastIndianapolis$663,037,315

Step 5: Register with the Indiana Real Estate Commission

Now, you may submit the application in registering for the real estate broker license. In there, it will ask you details such as whether you have completed the pre-licensing education, exam, and who is your Managing Broker. There is also a $60 fee payable to the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency.

Once you have completed the application and have all the necessary documents ready, you may mail them to the IN Real Estate Commission. Their mailing address can be found in the top right corner of the form.

Keep in mind that your application must be received within one year of the date that you passed the exam.

Step 6: Go through background check

Getting fingerprint for real estate license in Indiana

The Indiana Real Estate Commission is part of the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA), which responsible for issuing licenses and regulating the real estate industry. To protect the public interest, they will conduct a criminal background check (CBC) on you.

You should only submit it after the commission receives your application. So it’s better to wait for their email notification. Then you will visit the Identogo webpage and schedule an appointment for digital fingerprinting.

At the day of the appointment, remember to bring one of the following:

  • Driver license;
  • Sate issued identification card;
  • Passport;
  • Photo student ID/ work ID/ Alien ID with date of birth;

The process should take less than 5 minutes. At the end of your fingerprinting session, you will be provided with for proof of fingerprinting.

Step 7: Complete the post-education requirement

After you get the real estate license, you need to take 30 hours of approved post licensing courses within the first two years. But you will be exempt from meeting the regular continuing education requirements until a full 2-year CE cycle is done.

Step 8: Maintain the real estate broker license

All Indiana real estate licensee must renew the license three years. Here is the Real Estate Broker renewal form and there is a $60 renewal fee. You may also renew through their online system.

Make sure you’ll do so before the expiry date, else, there will be an extra $50 late fee. Of course, the implication of unable to place a business is even more troublesome.

You also need to complete 12 hours of CE every year from July 1st to June 30th. The curriculum would include the following:

  • Indiana real estate transactions (6 hours)
  • Financing (6 hours)
  • Business Planning/ Sales and Marketing (10 hours)
  • Negotiating and Counseling Skills (5 hours)
  • Cultural diversity and fair housing (1 hour)
  • Construction (2 hours)

Here’s a Snippet of What Dina Hurtado Think about Being a Real Estate Agent!

Dina Hurtado, Real Estate Agent

“Being an agent has its pros and cons. It’s a flexible schedule. I love being outdoors enjoying Mother Nature. You get to know a lot of interesting people. It’s very satisfying to see a new home owner or seller happy with the outcome. Cons are you are never off the clock.

One advice I would give to new real estate agents is to have patience. You’ll need lots of patience and be mentally strong, take criticism well. Don’t take a bad day experience home to your family. Be yourself, clients appreciate.”

Dina Hurtado, Real Estate Agent at Compass

Here’s a post where you can read more on Dina’s thoughts about the real estate sales profession. In there, you can also find valuable feedback from multiple professional real estate agents. Be sure to check it out!

Let’s prepare for the Indiana Real Estate Broker Exam!

Real estate exam study

The Indiana real estate exam is to test your knowledge and understanding of real estate law, principle and practices, and mathematics.

How many questions are on the Indiana real estate exam?

Real Estate Broker Exam Portion# of Scored ItemsTime AllowedPassing Score
National75 items (80 points)150 minutes60 points
State50 items (50 points)90 minutes38 points

What topics will be tested in the Indiana real estate exam?

When you are studying for the exam, it is wise to spend more time on sections that are more heavily weighted. Keep in mind that you’ll need 75% on the national portion and 76% on the state portion to pass the exam.

Here’s the content of National Portion:

Exam ContentWeighting (Broker)
Property ownership10%
Land use controls and regulations5%
Valuation and market analysis 7%
Financing8%
General principles of agency 11%
Property disclosures 7%
Contracts18%
Leasing and Property Management 5%
Transfer of Title 7%
Practice of real estate 14%
Real estate calculations8%

Here is the State Portion Content Outline

Exam Topics# of Items
The Indiana Real Estate Commission4
Licensing8
Statutory & Regulatory Requirements18
Statutes & Rules Governing Licensees16
Real Estate Office Procedures4

Looking for more ideas in passing the real estate exam? Here you go!

Check out these practice questions

SAMPLE BROKER AND INSTRUCTOR QUESTIONS (SCENARIOBASED) Scenario:

You are hosting an open house. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Martin come into the house. You greet them and show them the house. The Martins tell you the house is exactly what they are looking for and they are very interested in purchasing it. You then give them information showing the various types of financing available with down payment options and projected payments.

Mr. Martin tells you they have been working with Mary Hempstead of XX Realty, a competing real estate company. Before leaving, you thank them for coming and give them your business card.

A. The first thing on Monday morning, Mrs. Martin calls and indicates they have tried to reach Mary and cannot. They indicate they have a written buyer’s agent agreement with Mary’s broker. They are afraid someone else is going to buy the house. Which of the following should you do? Select the best answer.

1. Seek advice from your supervising broker.

2. Tell them to come to your office.

3. Ask them to bring the buyer’s agency agreement to you for your interpretation.

4. Tell them to be patient and continue trying to reach Mary.

5. Tell them to call Mary’s supervising broker or branch manager.

6. Tell them you are really sorry, but there is nothing you can do.

Quote from the Indiana Real Estate Commission License Examination Candidate Information Bulletin

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.

RealEstateExpress is an online school that I like. They offer pre-licensing courses and also have excellent exam prep materials. Their programs have a “Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee” in most of the states. That’s how confident they are. You may click here to view their courses. (**)

FAQ about the Indiana Real Estate License

Real estate agent working

1) How long does it take to get a real estate license in Indiana?

It takes approximately four months to become a licensed real estate agent in Indiana. But it also depends on the time it takes you to complete the the pre-license course, exam, background check, application, and get sponsorship by an actively licensed Managing Broker.

You may speed up in getting the real estate license by taking online courses. This way, you’ll have the flexibility to finish the pre-license education at a quicker pace.

2) How much does it cost to get a Indiana real estate license?

It costs approximately $588 to get the real estate license in Indiana. Here is the breakdown:

  • Pre-license courses $300 to $440
  • License fee $60
  • Exam fee $53
  • Background check $35

3) I have a real estate license in another state. Can I become licensed in Indiana by applying through reciprocity?

Indiana no longer have reciprocal agreements with any state. But you may still qualify if the licensing requirements of your original state are substantially similar to those in Indiana.

4) Can a felon be a real estate agent in Indiana?

The Indiana Real Estate Commission would put into consideration of 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. 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 another post that covers how to apply for a real estate license with a felony record. In there, you’ll find practical ideas which could help your application.

5) I have more questions about the Indiana real estate license, whom should I contact?

You could contact the Indiana Real Estate Commission:

  • Phone: (317) 234-3009
  • Email: pla9@pla.in.gov
  • Fax: (317) 233-4236
  • Address: Professional Licensing Agency, Attn: Indiana Real Estate Commission. 402 W. Washington Street, Room W072, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

Real Estate Career Updates in Indiana

Real estate agent reading industry updates in Indiana

How much do real estate agent make in Indiana?

Real estate agents in Indiana earn an average yearly income of $47,410, typically range between $30,070 and $55,120. High-earning real estate sales agents are making over $92,590 per year(*)

At the beginning phase in your real estate career, you probably would not make a lot, because you 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.

Here’s an article that goes through important variables that could significantly affect your annual salary.

(*) Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2020)

Is being a real estate agent a good career in Indiana?

According to the RedFin, as of May 2021, there were 3,727 homes old, and the median sales prices was $245,500 in Indiana. All these figures went up when comparing to the year-over-year period. As I’m reviewing the data now, it seems that the demand far exceeded the housing supply. In fact, 50.3% of homes were sold above the list price.

Therefore, you may want to focus more on listing properties.

Here are the 10 most competitive cities ranked by RedFin. These are the homes that receive multiple offers, and sometimes with even waived contingencies!

  1. Brownsburg
  2. New Whiteland
  3. Whiteland
  4. Beech Grove
  5. Lawrence
  6. Plainfield
  7. Fishers
  8. Greenwood
  9. Noblesville
  10. Pittsboro

Furthermore, there are 3400 real estate sales agents in Indiana, and it works out to be 1.166 real estate agents per 1000 of workers. (*)

After reviewing the figures, I believe there is demand for real estate agents in Indiana. However, there are always people succeeding and failing in each industry. The utmost importance is how you can remain competitive in the real estate market. I will go over some career tips later in the post.

(*) Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2020)

Proven Strategies to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent in Indiana

Successful Real Estate Agent in Indiana

Define your business niche

At the beginning phase of the business, it’s likely that you don’t have many clients, so you would have the urge to take up whoever comes along. However, this might not be a good strategy to grow your real estate business in the long run. After all, you cannot be everything to everyone.

It’s better to clearly define your ideal client segment so you can focus your marketing budget, time, and resources on them. You may define your niche based on the property’s locations, type of real estate, the client’s family condition, occupation, or income range.

This helps you to stand out from the crowd in such a competitive space.

Effective ways to generate leads

Real estate website

The importance of generating online leads can’t be overstated for real estate agents. With the rise in popularity and accessibility of homebuyers through the internet, it is imperative that you are promoting your listing to potential buyers on sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more.

According to the 2020 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, 93% of all buyers used online websites as information sources in their home search.

Here’s a guide that explains how having a professional website can benefit your real estate business, the features you should include, and affordable ways to build it.

Differentiate your practice with expert knowledge

Real estate agents are constantly tasked with new responsibilities and challenges. With the rise of technology, real estate laws and compliance requirements, it’s important for sales agents to be up-to-date on the best practices.

Rather than being just another sales agent, you may consider getting a Professional Designation or Certification. National Association of REALTORS® is one of the largest trade associations in the real estate industry. They offers designations such as Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and many more.

I personally like the Green Designation. It can equip you with the knowledge to help clients make informed choices about the resource efficiency and performance of the homes.

Even though the Designation Courses are not part of the pre-license education requirement, your enhanced knowledge will help set you apart from others in such a competitive market.

You may click here to check out the NAR Designation and Certification courses. (**)

Consider the commercial real estate niche

Indiana CRE agents having meeting

As most sales agents focus on the residential market, the commercial niche (i.e. Office, retail, industrial) could be a blue ocean for your real estate business.

To become a commercial real estate agent in Indiana, an applicant must get a real estate broker license from the Indiana Real Estate Commission To do so, applicant must complete 90 hours of pre-license education, pass the broker exam, submit an application and license fee to the Commission.

Basically, it is the same requirement as we just went through because Indiana does not have separate licenses for residential and commercial agents. However, 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.

We have a “Complete Guide to a Commercial Real Estate Agent Career“, where we cover the career outlook, earning potential, and response from actual CRE agents. Be sure to check it out.

Network with other real estate professionals

You may consider joining the Indiana Association of 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. They also have great resources such as the classes, events, housing reports and industry updates.

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

[Read: 30 Practical Tips to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent]

A Video on How to Get a Indiana Real Estate License

If you are reading up to this point, I bet you must be interested in getting a real estate license. Your first step is to complete the pre-licensing courses. You should select one that has an excellent reputation and long-term track record of satisfying students. RealEstateExpress is exactly that! You may click here to check it out yourself. (**)

(**) 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. For full and exact details, please contact the Indiana Real Estate Commission.

Reference:

  • Indiana Real Estate Commission (Source)
    • Criminal Back Ground Checks (source)
    • Renewal Documents (source)
    • Licensure Law and Administrative Rules (source)
  • Indiana Real Estate Commission License Examination Candidate Information Bulletin (Source)
  • Indiana Association of REALTORS (source)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – Real Estate Agents (May 2018) (Source)
  • Real Trends: 2018 Real Trends 500 by Volume (Source)
  • RedFin – Indiana Housing Market (source)
  • Zillow.com – Indiana Home Prices & Values (Source)
  • World Population Review- Population of Cities in Indiana (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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