How to Get a Real Estate License in Minnesota? (Must read before you start)


(**) 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 Minnesota, you need to complete the 90 hours of pre-licensing real estate courses and pass the real estate salesperson exam.

You’ll also need to register at the Minnesota Real Estate Board. It is part of the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which is responsible for issuing licenses to real estate salesperson and brokers. 

If you are interested in knowing about a real estate career in Minnesota, 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 details such as the salary, career outlook, content of the real estate exam and a list of top brokerage firms in Minnesota.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Minnesota?

real estate license requirement Minnesota

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 90 hours of course which covers different real estate concept. It consists of three individual courses (Course I, II, III) and 30 hours each. Course II and III can be completed before or after the exam, but you must completed Course I beforehand.

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

You can visit their website to find out which education provider is on their approved list.

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 MN Real Estate Salesperson Examination

Real estate career studying

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 General portion and State portion. There are 130 items and you’ll be given 4 hours in writing it. (I’ll also include more details on what will be tested later in this guide.)

The test is administered by the Pearson Vue. To register, you need to complete their online exam registration and provide them with the required documents. There is a $63 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.

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

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. (**)

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 MN real estate brokerages later in this guide.

Step 5: Register with the Minnesota Real Estate Board

In Minnesota, the salesperson license application must be submitted by your real estate broker. In there, it may ask you to provide personal details, the completion info of pre-licensing education, exam, and other necessary documents. There is a $100 license fee.

Once your application is approved, you’ll receive a notice from the MN Commerce Department.

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 Minnesota?

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.

[Read: Do Brokers Make More than Real Estate Agents? -Facts Revealed]

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

Have been an active licensed real estate salesperson for at least three years within the five years before submitting the broker exam application. Or qualify for the salesperson experience waiver, which I will discuss more in the Related Questions section below.

Step 3: Complete the Pre-Licensing Education

You must complete 30 hours of qualifying courses from an approved education provider, then you need to apply for the license within 12 months of course completion.

It can be taken either online or in a classroom setting. But it must be completed with an approved education provider.

Step 4: Pass the MN 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 General portion, and the State portion. There are 140 items, and you’ll be given 4 hours minutes in writing it. The exam fee is $63.

(You can find more details about the content of the 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: Register with the Minnesota Real Estate Board

Then you may apply for the license as a primary broker through the online portal. The license fee is $190.

Whenever possible, then I would strongly encourage you to use online submission. Not only this is the quickest and most convenient way, but less paper mailing is also good for the environment.

If you choose to remain associated with another licensed primary broker, then they would be the one who submits your license application. Once it is approved, you’ll receive a notification from the MN Commerce Department.

Let’s Take a Closer Look at the MN Real Estate Exams

Real estate career tips

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.

At the day of the exam, make sure to bring along at least two valid IDs to verify your identity. Else, they won’ let you write it. The primary ID must be government issued and photo-bearing with a signature, and the second piece must contain a valid signature.

How many questions are on the MN real estate exam? and what is the required passing score?

 # of ItemsTime Allotted
Salesperson Exam (General Portion)802.5 hours
Salesperson Exam (State Portion)501.5 hours
Broker Exam (General Portion)802.5 hours
Broker Exam (State Portion)601.5 hours

The required passing score is 75 for both exams.

What topics will be tested in the MN 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 General Portion:

Exam TopicSalesperson (# of items)Broker (# of items)
REAL PROPERTY CHARACTERISTICS, LEGAL
DESCRIPTIONS, AND PROPERTY USE
88
FORMS OF OWNERSHIP, TRANSFER, AND RECORDING
OF TITLE
77
PROPERTY VALUE AND APPRAISAL77
REAL ESTATE CONTRACTS AND AGENCY1616
REAL ESTATE PRACTICE1818
PROPERTY DISCLOSURES AND ENVIRONMENTAL
ISSUES
65
FINANCING AND SETTLEMENT 109
REAL ESTATE MATH CALCULATIONS810

Here is the State Portion Content Outline:

Exam TopicsSalesperson (# of items)Broker (# of items)
REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE LICENSE LAW1524
CONTRACTS AND DISCLOSURES 1518
INTERESTS IN REAL PROPERTY76
CONVEYANCE PROCEDURES AND PROTECTION OF
PARTIES
86
FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS: OBLIGATIONS, RIGHTS,
REMEDIES
56

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

Even though PSI no longer administers the MN real estate exam, their provided tips are still a good reminder for your study.

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 Minnesota

How Much do Real Estate Agent Make in Minnesota?

Real estate agents in Minnesota earn an average yearly salary of $46,620 typically range between $22,600 and $74,020 (*)

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 1,740 real estate agents in Minnesota, which works out to be 0.607 real estate agents per 1000 of workers. (*)

(*) Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2018

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.

Which Cities has the Most Real Estate Business Opportunities in Minnesota?

Minnesota has a population of nearly 5.66 million. It is the 12th largest state in the country in terms of surface area.

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 Minnesota is $239,900 with median rent of $1,600.

Here are the home values and rent details in the top 10 cities.

Cities2019 Population Zillow Home Value IndexMedian Rent
Minneapolis424,256$266,400$1,795
St. Paul311,008$220,200$1,500
Rochester119,756$228,500$1,350
Duluth87,082$179,800N/A
Bloomington85,934$272,800$1,662
Brooklyn Park81,336$247,200$1,648
Plymouth80,975$357,100$1,870
Maple Grove73,248$296,200$2,050
Woodbury72,204$340,600$1,825
St. Cloud68,733$156,900$1,225

Source: Zillow.com and WorldPopulationReview.com/

How to Choose a Real Estate Brokerage in Minnesota?

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 Minnesota based on their sales volume in 2018. The figures are obtained from RealTrends.com.

MN Real Estate BrokeragesCities2018 Sales Volume
HomeServices of America, Inc.Minneapolis$125,423,556,020
RE/MAX ResultsEden Prairie$6,487,583,060
RE/MAX Advantage PlusSavage$1,821,538,438
Jackson Hole, Lakes, Sun Valley Sotheby's International RealtyEdina$1,794,039,479
Keller Williams Realty Integrity NorthwestElk River$1,700,036,008
Keller Williams Realty Haigh GroupMaple Grove$1,464,727,360
Keller WilliamsWoodbury$995,468,498
Keller Williams Classic RealtyCoon Rapids$884,517,368

FAQ about Real Estate Career in Minnesota

real estate career studying

1) How much does it cost to get a real estate license in Minnesota?

The broker pre-licensing courses would range between $329 to $529. Adding together the exam fee and license fee. It would cost approximately $582 to $782.

Also, you may want to invest into exam prep. This can increase your chance in passing the exam on the first try, so that you don’t need to waste time and money in retaking it. You may find the exam prep I like on our education resource page.

2) How often do I need to renew the MN real estate license?

You need to renew the real estate agent license before June 30th of every year. It is to be processed by your Primary Broker, where they could do so through the same online registration portal.

The renewal fee for the salesperson license is $60, while it is $120 for the broker.

3) What is the continuing education requirement to renew the MN real estate license?

real estate agent using tablet

As a real estate salesperson, you must complete 30 hours of real estate continuing education before the license renewal deadline (June 30th). However, extra courses taken cannot be carried forward to the next license cycle.

The curriculum must include:

  • At least 1 hour of training in courses in laws or regulations on agency representation and disclosure (“Agency Laws”),
  • At least one hour of training in courses in state and federal fair housing laws, regulations, and rules, other anti-discrimination laws. OR courses that help licensees to meet the housing needs of immigrant and other under-served populations (“Fair Housing”)

It is the responsibility of the Primary Broker to verify your CE credits.

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

Yes, you could apply through reciprocity if you reside in and hold an active license in one of the following States: Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Oklahoma.

You’ll need to provide a Letter of Certification through email. It has to be no more than 90 days old, which proves that you are currently licensed as a salesperson in a reciprocal state.

On the other hand, if you hold an active Salesperson License in a Non-Reciprocal State, then you’ll still need to complete the pre-licensing education and write the exam. But you only need to pass the State Portion.

5) Can the MN real estate work experience be waived?

This question applies to the broker license. There are some situations where the MN Salesperson Work Experience requirement may be waived. For instance,  

  • You have been active licensure in another state for at least three years of the previous five years. The requirement needs to be comparable to Minnesota’s. 
  • You hold a real estate degree at an accredited college or university
  • You are a licensed attorney where your practice involves real estate law 
  • You are currently employed as a public officer where the official duties involve real estate law or real estate transactions 

6) Can a felon be a real estate salesperson in Minnesota?

The Minnesota Real Estate Board 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.

You are required to submit

  • A written statement explaining the circumstances of each incident;
  • A copy of the charging document;
  • A copy of the Sentencing Order. (It is an official document that shows the resolution of the charges or any final judgment)

However, before you invest too much of your time and money into this career, you could consult the MN Commerce Department first. They will be able to determine the effect of the offense on licensure.

7) How to Become a Commercial Real Estate Agent in Minnesota?

real estate professional using computer

To become a commercial real estate agent in Minnesota, you need to complete the 90 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 because most states do not issue separate licenses for residential and commercial agents.

However, I’ve seen some license status designated as “Commercial-Only” where the brokers and salespersons solely engage in commercial real estate. In such a scenario, there are some CE courses that you are not required to take — for instance, a course on fair housing, agency law, and a specific module training course. But you still need to complete all other continuing education requirements.

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 I cover the career outlook, earning potential, and valuable feedback from CRE agents. Be sure to check it out.

8) I have more questions about the MN real estate license, whom should I contact?

You may contact the Minnesota Department of Commerce:

  • Address: 85 7th Place East, Suite 280, Saint Paul, MN 55101
  • Phone: 651-539-1500
  • Email: [email protected]

In Summary

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.

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.

Reference:

  • Minnesota Department of Commerce Real Estate (Source)
  • PSI Minnesota Real Estate Candidate Information Bulletin (Source)
  • Pearson Vue Minnesota Real Estate Candidate Handbook (Source)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – Real Estate Agents (Source)
  • Real Trends: 2018 Real Trends 500 by Volume (Source)
  • Zillow.com – Minnesota Home Prices & Values (Source)
  • World Population Review- Population of Cities in Minnesota (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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