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To become a real estate agent in Montana, an applicant must be at least 18 years old, complete 70 hours of pre-licensing education, pass the salesperson exam, submit an application and fees to the Montana Board of Realty Regulation.
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 Montana and FAQ on getting the license.
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.
Infographic on Obtaining a Real Estate License in Montana
7 Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent in Montana
Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement
- At least 18 years old
- Have completed two years of full curriculum study at an accredited high school or equivalent
- Have a social security number
Step 2: Complete the pre-licensing education
You must complete 70 hours of pre-licensing courses from an approved education provider. The curriculum must cover real estate principles, real estate law and ethics, real estate finance, and related topics.
I just checked with an education provider and the course fee is around $210 to $360. Usually, the higher-priced package would come with exam prep which aims to help you pass the exam on the first try. It also better equips you with the knowledge necessary for your real estate practice.
The Course Completion Certificates are only valid for 24 months from the date of issuance.
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 Montana Real Estate Salesperson Exam
The Montana Real Estate Salesperson Exam consists of the National Portion (80 questions) and the State Portion (30 questions) with 3 hours of writing time. The required passing score is 70%. It is administered by PSI and the exam fee is $106.
Here’s a guide covering more details about the Montana real estate exam. In there, you’ll find some sample questions and tips in passing it. Be sure to check it out.
Step 4: Join a real estate brokerage
To activate your salesperson license In Montana, you must be affiliate with a real estate broker. This is the firm who would sponsor your real estate 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.
Here’s a page with a job search engine. You may check whether there is any opening position in your area.
Step 5: Submit an application to Montana Board of Realty Regulation
The exam result is only valid for 12 months. So after you pass it, you may submit the salesperson application.
The application has 5 parts:
- Application Type
- Applicant Contact Information
- Professional License Verification
- Personal History Questions
- Supervising Broker Agreement (This part needs to be signed by the supervising broker.
There is an application fee of $150.
Here‘s a copy of the application, but you may also submit through the Department’s online portal. Actually, I prefer online submission. It eliminates unnecessary mailing and reduces the turnaround time. (It also reduces the carbon footprint, which is good for the environment!)
Be sure to include your email address as this will be the main communication method.
Step 6: Obtain a Errors & Omissions Insurance
The E&O policy is to protect your clients should they submit a claim against your wrongdoing. This is mandatory for all real estate licensees in Montana.
You must obtain the coverage from a qualified insurance carrier.
Step 7: Maintain the real estate license
All Montana real estate licensee must renew their license annually on Oct 31st. You may renew it online within 60 days prior to the expiration date.
Furthermore, active licensees must take 12 hours of education during each license renewal cycle.
The Department may conduct random audits to verify the CE credit. Therefore, it’s better to maintain the CE records and proof of completion documents.
There is a renewal fee of $87.50.
So know your deadlines and don’t wait until the last minute to complete CE and renew your license. Failure to renew on time not only result in late renewal fee, but it can cause interruption to your business.
Video on Obtaining a Real Estate License in Montana
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. (**)
FAQ about Real Estate License in Montana
How much does it cost to get a real estate license in Montana?
It costs approximately $616 to get a real estate license in Montana. Here’s the breakdown:
- Pre-licensing courses – $210 to $360 (approximately)
- Exam fee $106
- Application fee $150
The above are just the costs of getting the salesperson license. In addition, to start a real estate business, there will be other expenses involved such as E&O, MLS subscription, phone, internet, and office supplies, CE, and renewal fees.
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 Montana?
It takes approximately 3 to 4 months to become a real estate agent in Montana. But it also depends on the time it takes you to complete the pre-licensing course, exam, application, and get sponsorship by a licensed real estate brokerage.
Can you apply the real estate license through reciprocity?
If you hold a real estate license in another state, you may apply through reciprocity. But this is only given if the other jurisdiction also grants Montana resident licensees the same privileges.
Can a felon be a real estate salesperson in Montana?
The Montana Board of Realty Regulation will consider the applicant’s honesty, trustworthiness, character and integrity. Although a criminal conviction may not automatically bar you from receiving a license, a criminal conviction could impact your application.
So whether a felon can obtain a Montana real estate license is subjected to case-by-case evaluation.
In the application, you’ll be asked questions regarding conviction, disciplinary actions, license suspended/fined/revoked.
If you answer “yes”, then you will need to provide the Department with detailed information and supporting documents.
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.
How to become a commercial real estate agent in Montana?
To become a commercial real estate agent in Montana, an applicant must be at least 18 years old, complete 70 hours of pre-licensing education, pass the salesperson exam, submit an application and fees to the Montana Board of Realty Regulation.
Basically, it is the same requirement as we just went through because most states do not issue separate licenses for residential and commercial agents.
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 Montana real estate license, whom should I contact?
You may contact the Montana Department of Labor and Industry Professional Licensing Bureau:
PO Box 200513
301 S Park, 4th Floor
Helena, MT 59620-0512
Phone: (406) 444-6880
This article is part of the “Montana Real Estate Career Series.” If you want to know more about being a real estate agent in Montana, I invite you to check out the following articles:
- How to Pass the Montana Real Estate Exam?
- How Much do Real Estate Agents Make in Montana?
- Career Tips for New Real Estate Agents in Montana
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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.
- Montana Board of Realty Regulation (source)
- Montana Secretary of State: Rule Subchapter: 24.210.6 (source)
- Bureau of Labor Statistics – Real Estate Agents (source)