(**) 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 Maryland, you need to complete the 60 hours of pre-licensing real estate courses and pass the real estate salesperson exam.
You’ll also need to register at the Maryland Real Estate Commission. It is part of the Maryland Department of Labor, which is responsible for issuing licenses to real estate salesperson and brokers. Currently, they are regulating approximately 40,000 licensees in MD.
If you are interested in knowing about a real estate career in Maryland, then this is the guide for you. Not only you’ll learn about the step-by-step process to become a real estate agent and broker, but you will also find helpful information such as the salary, career outlook, content of the real estate exam and a list of top brokerage firms in Maryland.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Maryland?
Step 1: Meet the Basic 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-Licensing Education
You are required to take 60 hours of course which covers different real estate concept. Of which includes at least a 3-hours course in real estate ethics.
It can be taken in a classroom setting or online, but it must from an approved education provider. Then you need to pass both portions of the salesperson exam within 1 year of course completion.
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 MD Real Estate Salesperson Examination
The exam is to test your knowledge on the real estate topics that are covered in the pre-licensing education. It consists of two portions, the National portion and State portion. There are 110 questions and you’ll be given 120 minutes in writing it. (I’ll also include more details on what will be tested later in this guide.)
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 $61 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.
(Instead of studying randomly throughout the entire 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 4: Find a Sponsoring Real Estate Broker
You are one step closer in becoming a real estate agent. 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 some of the top producing MD real estate brokerages later in this guide.
Step 5: Register with the Maryland Real Estate Commission
Now, you may apply through the Maryland Department of Labor Licensing website. You need to create an account for online access first. In there, it may ask you to provide personal details, the completion info of pre-licensing education, exam, and other necessary documents.
There is also a $90 fee payable, which includes $20 Guaranty Fund payment.
Want to know whether being a real estate agent is a good career path? I connected with several real estate professionals, and they shared their thought and experience of this industry with me. You may read their valuable insight here.
How to Become a Real Estate Broker in Maryland?
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.
There are different types of broker license you could apply for. They are the Individual Broker, Associate Broker, Real Estate Broker Company or Branch Office.
So what type of real estate broker license should you obtain? It really depends on what type of business structure you want to set up your business – for example, do you want the business to operate in your personal name or the brand of a company? Will this be a sole proprietorship or limited corporation? You should discuss with your accountant before applying.
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.
Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement
You’ll need to be at least 18 years old, completed high school education, have a valid Social Security Number, Citizen of the United States or lawfully admitted alien.
Step 2: Fulfill the Work Experience Requirement
You have been a licensed real estate salesperson for at least 3 years. During the period, you must be actively and lawfully in providing real estate brokerage services.
Step 3: Complete the Pre-Licensing Education
You must complete 135 hours of qualifying courses from an approved education provider, then you need to pass both portions of the broker exam within 1 year.
Step 4: Pass the MD Real Estate Broker Examination
The exam is to make sure you have adequate real estate knowledge in becoming a broker.
Similar to the salesperson exam, it also consists of two portions, the National portion, and the State portion. There are 115 items, and you’ll be given 120 minutes in writing it. (You can find more details about the content of the exam later in this post).
Once again, you’ll be submitting the online registration to PSI and provided them with the required documents. The fee is $61.
Step 5: Register with the Maryland Real Estate Commission
Similar to the registration process of being a salesperson, once you pass the exam, you may apply for a broker license through the MD Department of Labor website. The fee is $130 for the Associate Broker License, and $190 for the Broker License.
Want to Know more About the MD Real Estate Exams? Here you go!
The salesperson and broker exams are two separate tests. However, their nature is so similar so that I’ll talk about them here all at once. These examinations are to test your knowledge and understanding of real estate law, principle and practices, and mathematics.
How many questions are on the MD real estate exam? and what is the required passing score?
|MD Real Estate Exam||Number of Questions||Time Allowed||Required Passing Score|
|Salesperson (National Portion)||80 (80 points)||90 min||56|
|Salesperson (State Portion)||30 (30 points)||30 min||21|
|Broker (National Portion)||75 (80 points)||90 min||56|
|Broker (State Portion)||40 (40 points)||30 min||28|
What topics will be tested in the MD real estate exam?
When you are studying for the exam, it is wise to spend more time on sections that are more heavily weighted.
Here’s the content of the National Portion:
|Exam Content||Weighting (Salesperson)||Weighting (Broker)|
|Land use controls and regulations||5%||5%|
|Valuation and market analysis||7%||7%|
|General principles of agency||13%||11%|
|Leasing and Property Management||3%||5%|
|Transfer of Title||8%||7%|
|Practice of real estate||13%||14%|
|Real estate calculations||10%||8%|
Here is the State Portion Content Outline
|MD State Portion Content||Salesperson (# of Items)||Broker (# of Items)|
|Duties and Powers of the Real Estate Commission||4||5|
Looking for more ideas in passing the MD real estate exam? Here you go!
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. (**)
Check out these practice questions
Sample Salesperson Questions
A. Which of the following interests in property is held by a person who is granted a lifetime use of a property that will be transferred to a third party upon the death of the lifetime user?
1. A life estate.
2. A remainder estate.
3. An estate for years.
4. A reversionary estate.
Sample Broker Questions (scenario-based) 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 Maryland Real Estate Exam 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. You could find the exam prep providers that I like on our resource page.
Real Estate Career Outlook in Maryland
How Much do Real Estate Agent Make in Maryland?
Real estate agents in Maryland earn an average yearly salary of $57,450 typically range between $26,340 and $104,600. (*)
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.
There are 2620 real estate agents in Maryland, which works out to be 0.976 real estate agents per 1000 of workers. (*)
(*) Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2018
Which Cities has the Most Real Estate Business Opportunities in Maryland?
Maryland has a population over 6.06 million. Although it is one of the smallest states in size, it is the busiest and most bustling part of the country
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 decent value, as this is one of the major factors when calculating your commission. According to Zillow Home Value Index, the median home value in Maryland is $290,500 with median rent of $1,750.
Here are the home values and rent details in the top 10 cities.
|Cities||Population||Zillow Home Value Index||Market Rent|
How to Choose a Real Estate Brokerage in Maryland?
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 Maryland based on their sales volume in 2018. The figures are obtained from RealTrends.com.
|Real Estate Brokerages||Cities||2018 Sales Volume|
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty
|RE/MAX Realty Group||Gaithersburg||$1,769,577,103|
|Keller Williams Integrity||Ellicott City||$1,048,634,465|
Cummings & Co. Realtors
|Keller Williams Realty Centre||Columbia||$971,037,128|
|RE/MAX Advantage Realty||Ellicott City||$827,076,408|
|Keller Williams Legacy||Pikesville||$653,728,262|
|Real Living At Home||Chevy Chase||$647,746,300|
|Keller Williams Crofton/Ft. Meade||Millersville||$603,445,520|
|Keller Williams American Premier Realty||Bel Air||$584,858,140|
Career tips: To have a better understanding of a career in the real estate industry, you should start connecting with different professionals. You could do so by joining industry associations, forums, or even LinkedIn groups. Here’s a list of professional real estate groups which may be helpful to you.
FAQ about the Maryland Real Estate Career
1) How often do I need to renew the MD real estate license?
You are required to renewal the MD real estate license for every three years and you may do so through the Real Estate Commission website The renewal fee is $70 for salesperson, $110 for associate broker and $170 for broker.
2) What is the continuing education requirement to renew the MD real estate license?
For Salesperson and Associate Broker, you need to complete 15 hours of CE courses in each renewal period. The curriculum must include:
- 3.0 legislative
- 3.0 MREC Agency-residential
- 3.0 ethics
- 1.5 fair housing (required classes)
- 4.5 hours are electives
However, if you only deal with commercial properties, then your 15-hours of CE credits must include:
- 3.0 legislative
- 3.0 MREC Agency-commerical
- 3.0 ethics (required classes)
- 6.0 hours are electives
For Broker (i.e, Designated Branch Office Managers or Team Leaders), you’ll also need to complete 15 hours of continuing education. Most of the topics are similar to the Salesperson CE, but it would include 3 hours of Supervision Course. Once you assume a supervisory role, you’ll need to complete this Supervision Course within 90 days.
3) I have a real estate license in another state. Can I become licensed in Maryland by applying through reciprocity?
The Maryland Real Estate Commission has a reciprocal agreement with Pennsylvania and Oklahoma. If you are actively licensed in one of these states, you may be eligible to waive the education requirement and go straight to writing the real estate exam.
4) Can the MD pre-licensing education requirement be waived?
In addition to being a license holder in OK or PA, if you are practicing law in the State, then the MD Real Estate Commission may waive your education and experience requirements. Once they approve your request, they will provide you with the information to register for the exam.
5) Can a felon be a real estate agent in Maryland?
The Maryland Real Estate Commission would put into consideration of the applicant’s honesty, trustworthiness, character and integrity. When applying, you need to submit True Test copies of the proceedings surrounding the conviction with your application.
Whether a felon can be a real estate agent 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.
However, you should confirm with the Maryland Real Estate Commission before you invest too much of your time and money into this career.
6) How to Become a Commercial Real Estate Agent in Maryland?
To become a commercial real estate agent in Maryland, you need to complete the 60 hours of pre-licensing real estate courses and pass the real estate salesperson exam.
Basically, it is the same requirement as we just went through. Although you could obtain a COMMERCIAL license, you will be restricted in perform commercial transactions only. Whereas having a RESIDENTIAL would give you more flexibility in dealing with both commercial and residential transactions.
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.
7) I have more questions about the MD real estate license, whom should I contact?
You could contact the Maryland Real Estate Commission at:
- 500 North Calvert Street, 3rd Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202-3651
- Phone: 410-230-6230
- Fax: 410-333-0023
- e-mail: [email protected]
The Bottom Line
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.
If you decide real estate is the career that you want to explore further, your first step is to complete the qualifying courses. However, don’t select just from any school that comes along the way. Here are two Excel files from the Maryland Real Estate Commission with the student success rates by school.
Look for a school not just with a good passing rate, but also with a decent number of students. After all, having a passing rate of 100% with only one student doesn’t really tell you much about their program.
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 do you find this guide helpful? 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. For full and exact details, please contact the Maryland Real Estate Commission.
- Maryland Real Estate Commission (Source)
- Maryland Real Estate Exam Candidate Information Bulletin (Source)
- Bureau of Labor Statistics – Real Estate Agents (May 2018) (Source)
- Real Trends: 2018 Real Trends 500 by Volume (Source)
- Zillow.com – Maryland Home Prices & Values (Source)
- World Population Review- Population of Cities in Maryland (Source)