Information about Real Estate Agents
Real Estate Agents handle either side, buyer or seller, of the real estate transaction and are paid a commission, a percentage of the sale price, from the transactions. Agents are also stationed in brokerage firms and are responsible for making sure transactions happen, which include inspections, paperwork, and important dates such as the closing. Real estate agents acquire a license from the governing state after completing the requirements. For Pennsylvania, all steps except taking the exam, can be completed online.
|Required Skills Nationwide*||Business Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Organizational Skills, Problem-Solving Skills|
|Job Growth Nationwide*||7% Growth 2018-2028|
|Average Salary in Pennsylvania (2018)*||$64,490 per year|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent in Pennsylvania Online
All information concerning the five steps can be researched and then completed online except for the actual taking of the exam, which is done in person.
Step One: Complete the Education Requirement
The first step to become a licensed real estate agent in Pennsylvania is to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent along with the 75 classroom hours of college-level courses (5 credits) within 5 years of the passing date of both portions of the exam. These courses can be completed from an accredited Pennsylvania college or an approved real estate education provider in Pennsylvania. The applicant can find a list of approved schools on the Department of State's Real Estate Commission's site. Once completed, the transcripts need to be sent to Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission through their online portal called Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS).
These courses can be taken online at any school that meets the requirements:
- Real Estate Practice (45 hours - 3 credits)
- Real Estate Fundamentals (30 hours - 2 credits)
Step Two: Have a Criminal History Check
Applicants need to provide a recent Criminal History Records Check (CHRC) from the state police or another state agency, which officially has criminal history record information, for every state in which the applicant has lived, worked, or completed any type of professional training or further studies within the past 5 years. This report needs to be within 90 days of the application date. If the applicant lives, works, or is completing training or studies in Pennsylvania, the CHRC will be automatically sent to the Pennsylvania State Police upon submission of the application. More information is available online. This step can be done online through the portal called Pennsylvania Access To Criminal History (PATCH).
Step Three: File the Application
Individuals can submit the application online through the PALS portal along with any required fees. However, the applicant will not be able to practice until the license is issued, which is after the successful passing of both parts of the exam. If the application is approved, the applicant will get notified through the portal. The applicant may also check the status of the application at anytime during the process through the portal.
Step Four: Take the Exam
The exam is taken in-person and not online. Applicants can find testing locations and dates online through the PSI Exams portal. The applicant can also register for the exam through this portal. The applicant must pass both the State and National portions of the Pennsylvania Real Estate Salesperson Exam, submit both score sheets with the passing score to the PALS portal, and pay the Recovery Fund Fee in order for the license to be given.
Step Five: Pay the Recovery Fund Fee
For first time licensees, there is a fee that was established by the Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act to provide reimbursement to anyone who was a victim of fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit during any real estate transaction. The individual can learn more about this fee and fund online. Upon paying the fee, the individual is now a licensed agent or salesperson in the state of Pennsylvania.