How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Minnesota? (Must read before you start)


(**) 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.

To become a real estate agent in Minnesota, an applicant must complete 90 hours of pre-license real estate courses, pass the salesperson exam, submit an application and license fee to 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. 

Before you decide to pursue further in this profession, it’s important to know what the role of a real estate salesperson is. To put it simply, an agent acts as an intermediary between buyer and seller in order to facilitate the sale or purchase of property.

They help clients find homes that meet their needs and negotiate contracts with sellers for those homes. Some agents also help clients in searching for a rental property or lease out their units.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the step-by-step process to become a real estate salesperson in Minnesota, income figures, career updates and FAQ on 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.

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. (**)

A Quick Table Summary of Becoming a Real Estate Salesperson in Minnesota

EligibilityEducationExamFees

At least 18 years of age

Have a valid Social Security Number

90 hours of pre-license courses


15 hours of continuing education each license year
130 items

4 hours

Required passing score is 75%.
Pre-licensing courses fees – $420 to $570 (approximately)

Exam fee – $63

License fee- $100

8 Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent in Minnesota

real estate agent working on site with clients

Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement

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

Step 2: Complete the pre-license 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 I must be completed before you write the exam.

Although Course II and III can be completed before or after the exam, they must be completed before you apply for the license.

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.

Step 3: Pass the Minnesota Real Estate Salesperson Exam

Real estate career studying

The Minnesota real estate salesperson exam has 130 items and you’ll be given 4 hours in writing it. It consists of two part, the National portion and State portion. The required passing score is 75%.

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.

Since the exam is a computerized test, your result will appear immediately on the screen.

The exam is to test your knowledge on the real estate topics that are covered in the pre-license education. Doing multiple sets of practice questions is an excellent way to prepare for the exam and also boost your confidence.

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

Step 4: Join a real estate brokerage

real estate clients meeting

After you pass the exam, you must associate with a managing broker who would sponsor your license.

Finding a good trainer is crucial at the initial stage of your real estate career. It’s important to learn 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? 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.

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

Step 5: Register with the Minnesota Real Estate Board

In Minnesota, the salesperson license application must be submitted by your real estate broker. You must do so within one year of passing the real estate exam.

In the application, it may ask you to provide personal details, the completion info of pre-license education, exam, and other necessary documents. There is a $100 license fee.

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

Step 6: Provide background documentation

The Minnesota Real Estate Board is responsible for issuing licenses to real estate salesperson and brokers. To protect the public interest, they need to know about applicant’s criminal history.

On the license applications, there are questions on criminal felony/charges or withheld/ deferred judgment. If you have such relevant records, then you need to provide:

  • A written statement explaining the circumstances of each incident;
  • A copy of the charging document;
  • A copy of the official document that shows the resolution of the
    charges or any final judgment/ sentencing order

Step 7: Maintain the real estate license

All MN real estate licensees must 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.

Furthermore, you need to complete 30 hours of real estate continuing education before the license renewal deadline (June 30th). 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. Also, extra courses taken cannot be carried forward to the next license cycle.

So know your deadlines and don’t wait until the last minute to complete CE and renew your license.

Step 8: Keep up with the Minnesota real estate laws

Reading real estate laws

In order for agents to be successful in the real estate industry, they need to keep up with the latest laws and regulations. The best way to do this is by reading the Minnesota Statutes Chapter 82, Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons.

But you must be familiar with Minnesota laws too. Here’s the list you better review:

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.

Let’s Take a Closer Look at the Minnesota Real Estate Exam!

Real estate career tips

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

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)
REAL PROPERTY CHARACTERISTICS, LEGAL
DESCRIPTIONS, AND PROPERTY USE
8
FORMS OF OWNERSHIP, TRANSFER, AND RECORDING
OF TITLE
7
PROPERTY VALUE AND APPRAISAL7
REAL ESTATE CONTRACTS AND AGENCY16
REAL ESTATE PRACTICE18
PROPERTY DISCLOSURES AND ENVIRONMENTAL
ISSUES
6
FINANCING AND SETTLEMENT 10
REAL ESTATE MATH CALCULATIONS8

Here is the State Portion Content Outline:

Exam TopicsSalesperson (# of items)
REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE LICENSE LAW15
CONTRACTS AND DISCLOSURES 15
INTERESTS IN REAL PROPERTY7
CONVEYANCE PROCEDURES AND PROTECTION OF
PARTIES
8
FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS: OBLIGATIONS, RIGHTS,
REMEDIES
5

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.

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.

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 Real Estate License in Minnesota

real estate career studying

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

It costs approximately $733 to get a real estate salesperson license in Minnesota. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Pre-licensing courses fees – $420 to $570 (approximately)
  • Exam fee – $63
  • License fee- $100

The above are just the costs of getting the license. But to start a real estate business, there will be other expenses involved such as MLS subscription, E&O premium, phone, internet, and office supplies.

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.

How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Minnesota?

It takes approximately four months to become a licensed real estate agent in Minnesota. But it also depends on the time it takes you to complete the pre-license course, exam, application, and get sponsorship by a licensed real estate brokerage.

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. Online application submission will also eliminate the mailing time.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

How to become a commercial real estate agent in Minnesota?

real estate professional using computer

To become a commercial real estate agent in Minnesota, an applicant must complete 90 hours of pre-license real estate courses, pass the salesperson exam, submit an application and license fee to the Minnesota Real Estate Board.

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 Minnesota.

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.

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: licensing.commerce@state.mn.us

A Video on Getting a Real Estate License in Minnesota

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. (**)

Real Estate Career Updates in Minnesota

real estate agent reading industry updates

How much do real estate agent make in Minnesota?

Real estate agents in Minnesota earn an average yearly income of $46,760, typically range between $29,100 and $60,560. Top 10% of high-earning real estate sales agents are making over $79,220 per year(*)

At the beginning phase in your real estate career, you probably would not make a lot, because it takes time to build up the client base and established trust with the prospects.

As you continue to gain experience and sharpen your business skills, you should be able to notice a significant improvement to your earning.

Furthermore, 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 2020)

[Read: Real Estate Agent Salary Guide – What Makes a 6 Figures Earner?]

Is being real estate agent a good career in Minnesota?

Real estate can be a good career in Minnesota if you enjoy running a self-employed business, interacting with different people and have flexible work hours.

According to the RedFin, as of May 2021, there were 7,586 homes sold, and the median sales prices was $319,468. 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, 60.9% of homes were sold above the list price.

These transaction volume shows a significant demand for real estate agents. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2020), there were 2,980 real estate sales agents in Minnesota, which worked out to be 1.100 sales agent per 1,000 jobs.

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.

Check out this article: 30 Practical Tips to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent!

So that’s all I have to share for now. Do you like this guide? If so, please share it.

(**) 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 RealEstateCareerHQ.com may contain views and opinions from the interviewees. They do not reflect our view or position.

Reference:

  • Minnesota Department of Commerce Real Estate (Source)
    • Guide to Real Estate Licensing (source)
  • PSI Minnesota Real Estate Candidate Information Bulletin (Source)
  • Pearson Vue Minnesota Real Estate Candidate Handbook (Source)
  • 2020 Minnesota Statues – Chapter 82 Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons (source)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – Real Estate Agents (Source)
  • RedFin – Minnesota Housing Market (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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