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The purpose of the Real Estate Commission Licensing Guide is to provide transparency, inform applicants of expected timelines for receiving your license, and outline steps you can take to reduce mistakes and mitigate delays. To provide the greatest clarity on the licensing process from start to finish, we will break it down into three phases, providing estimated times for each stage of the process, and recommendations for how to reduce processing times.


Real Estate Salespersons License

A Real Estate Salesperson is a person employed by a licensed real estate broker to perform any of the following duties:

  • to perform comparative market analyses
  • to list for sale, to sell or offer for sale, to buy or offer to buy or to negotiate the purchase or sale or exchange of real estate
  • to negotiate a loan on real estate
  • to lease or rent or offer to lease, rent or place for rent any real estate
  • to collect or offer or attempt to collect rent for the use of real estate for or in behalf of such real estate broker.


Standard Method 

 Accordion ‭[1]‬

Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version
Eligibility & Requirements: Real Estate Salesperson License by the Standard Method

Real Estate Salespersons may be granted licensure by the standard method once they have completed and passed both portions of the Salesperson Examination.  Real Estate Salespersons who have held an active salesperson license in another state within the last five years do not need to complete the General/National portion of the examination in order to be eligible for licensure in PA.  However, all applicants by the standard method must contact PSI Exams prior to applying for licensure in order to register for, sit for, and pass the examination relevant to the license they seek.  Please visit the Helpful Links section of this guide for the link to PSI Exams website, where you must register.  Before registering for the exam, make sure you meet the education requirements.

To qualify to sit for the examinations, applicants must complete 75 hours (5 credits) of basic real estate courses from an accredited college or an approved real estate education provider in this Commonwealth.  Courses must have been completed within 5 years prior to the date of successful completion of the licensing examination.  You may also qualify if you received a bachelor’s degree with a major in Real Estate from an accredited college, a juris doctor degree from an accredited law school, or completed 75 hours of pre-licensure coursework in another state or other jurisdiction that was approved to meet the requirements for licensure in that state or other jurisdiction.  Please read section 35.272 of the Real Estate Commission regulations for all information about educational requirements.  

If you are currently licensed in another state and wish to be licensed in Pennsylvania, you must first contact PSI Exams to register to sit for the Pennsylvania State portion of the examination only.  You must first meet the educational requirements outlined in section 35.272 of the Real Estate Commission regulations.  Once you have passed the PA State portion of the exam, you are able to apply for licensure.

If you have never been licensed in any state or jurisdiction, you must complete the education requirements as outlined in section 35.272 of the Real Estate Commission regulations before registering for the exams.  Please read the full section of the regulations for all information about educational requirements.  Once you have passed both portions of the exam you may apply for licensure.


Phases & Timeframes: Real Estate Salesperson License by Standard Method

Phase I

CURRENT TIMEFRAME:
? weeks
in calendar days.

Phase One measures the time between a submitted application and the initial determination of the status of the application by Commission staff. Determinations issued in this phase may include approval and issuance of the license, or notification of missing documents required for licensure.

Phase II

CURRENT TIMEFRAME:
? weeks
in calendar days.

Phase Two measures the time it takes for an applicant to respond to the Commission with all application requirements. This phase may include the applicant providing missing or revised education or examination documents, or background checks.

Phase III

CURRENT TIMEFRAME:
Less than a week
in calendar days.

Phase Three measures the time between the Commission’s receipt of a complete application, including examination results, confirmation of education, and results of background checks, and when a license is issued to an applicant.



Tips for reducing processing time for Real Estate Salesperson License by the Standard Method

To help reduce your processing time, please note the following suggestions and information:  

Prospective applicants must have an employing broker willing to certify that they will supervise and train the applicant once they are granted a license.  You may not apply for a Real Estate Sales license until you have an employing broker who holds a valid PA Real Estate Broker license.  Once issued, a physical copy of your license will be printed and mailed to your broker’s main office, even if you work from a branch office of the company.  You may not come to the Commission’s office to pick up a copy of your license. It must be mailed to your employing broker.

The Real Estate Commission cannot pre-review application materials or qualifications.  Please do not contact the Commission with questions about whether you qualify or whether you would be granted licensure under any particular circumstance, such as past criminal conviction history.  You must meet the education and examination requirements and apply for the license, then submit an application with all required documentation to receive a determination as to your qualifications and eligibility for licensure. 

An official state criminal history record check (CHRC) is required from your current state of residence. For applicants living, working, or completing training in Pennsylvania, your CHRC will be generated automatically as part of your application and the required fee will be included at checkout.

In addition to the background check from your current state of residence, you will need to submit official state CHRCs from every state where you have lived, worked, or completed training during the last 5 years. An FBI background check can be submitted in lieu of state checks where you previously lived, worked or trained. No record checks can be dated more than 90 days prior to the date you submit your application.



Reciprocal Method

 Accordion ‭[2]‬

Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version
Eligibility & Requirements: Real Estate Salesperson License by the Reciprocal Method

​Real Estate Salespersons may be granted licensure by the Reciprocal method if they hold a current, active broker or salesperson's license issued by another state that:

  • agrees to issue a license to a standard Pennsylvania licensee without further requirement, or
  • has qualifications for licensure which are substantially comparable to those required by the Commission.

Reciprocal licensees must maintain their principal place of business in the state through which reciprocity was granted, and must maintain a current, active license in that state in order to maintain the reciprocal license in Pennsylvania.

Currently, the PA Commission has reciprocity agreements with the following states:

  • Arkansas,
  • Georgia,
  • Louisiana,
  • Maryland,
  • Massachusetts, and
  • New York.


Phases & Timeframes: Real Estate Salesperson License by Reciprocal Method

Phase I

CURRENT TIMEFRAME:
? weeks
in calendar days.

Phase One measures the time between a submitted application and the initial determination of the status of the application by Commission staff. Determinations issued in this phase may include approval and issuance of the license, or notification of missing documents required for licensure.

Phase II

CURRENT TIMEFRAME:
? weeks
in calendar days.

Phase Two measures the time that it takes for an applicant to respond to the Commission with all application requirements. This phase may include the applicant providing missing or revised education or examination documents or background checks.

Phase III

CURRENT TIMEFRAME:
Less than a week
in calendar days.

Phase Three measures the time between the Commission’s receipt of a complete application, including examination results, confirmation of education, and results of background checks, and when a license is issued to an applicant .



Tips for reducing processing time for Real Estate Salesperson License by the Reciprocal Method

To help reduce your processing time, please note the following suggestions and information:  

Prospective applicants must have an employing broker willing to certify that they will supervise and train the applicant once they are granted a license.  You are not able to apply for a Real Estate Sales license until you have an employing broker who holds a valid PA Real Estate Broker license.  Once issued, a physical copy of your license will be printed and mailed to your broker’s main office, even if you work from a branch office of the company.  You may not come to the Commission’s office to pick up a copy of your license.  It must be mailed to your employing broker.

The Real Estate Commission cannot pre-review application materials or qualifications.  Please do not contact the Commission with questions about whether you qualify or whether you would be granted licensure under any particular circumstance, including past criminal conviction history.  You must meet the education and examination requirements and apply for the license, then submit an application with all required documentation to receive a determination as to your qualifications and eligibility for licensure. 

An official state criminal history record check (CHRC) is required from your current state of residence. For applicants living, working, or completing training in Pennsylvania, your CHRC will be generated automatically as part of your application and the required fee will be included at checkout.

In addition to the background check from your current state of residence, you will need to submit official state CHRCs from every state where you have lived, worked, or completed training during the last 5 years. An FBI background check can be submitted in lieu of state checks where you previously lived, worked or trained. No record checks can be dated more than 90 days prior to the date you submit your application.




Renewal of Existing Real Estate Salespersons Licenses

On average, renewal licenses for Real Estate Salespersons are issued within three calendar days.

renewal-time-3days.png



Process Overview

How to Apply for a Professional License.

 

What Happens to My Application?

 

  1. Sign in or create account at www.pals.pa.gov

  2. Once you are logged in, scroll to the bottom of your dashboard and click on "Apply for New License," then select "Real Estate Commission" and "Real Estate Salesperson – Reciprocal" OR “Real Estate Salesperson – Standard.”

  3. Answer the survey questions and click on "Next" to open the application. 

  4. Complete the application, upload the required documents, and click on "Send to Broker." You do not need to click "Save" prior to clicking "Send to Broker", but if you wish to save the application and continue it at a later time, you must click "Save" before exiting out of the application.

  5. Once you click "Send to Broker," your prospective employing broker will be notified to log onto the PALS account associated with the broker office license.  Your application will be in the "My Queue" section of their dashboard, at the bottom.  The broker of record will review and approve your application, certifying that they are willing to hire, train, and supervise you as required by the Law and Regulations.

  6. Once the employing broker has approved your application, log back in to your PALS account, scroll to the bottom and locate your “My Queue” section.

    • Click on “Review” to re-open the application and complete the legal questions. 
    • Click on “Submit” and then review the application before clicking on “Add to Cart.”
    • You will now pay for the application and submit it to the Commission.  At this point, the processing time as referenced in this Guide will begin. 

To upload additional documents to your application, you must return to your dashboard, then locate the application in the “Activities” section. 

  • Click on the blue “plus” sign next to the application reference number and then click the checklist item that you wish to upload a document to.  The system will not show that a document has been uploaded, however, if you get a “check mark” after the upload process, it was uploaded successfully.

Please be aware that the status of checklist items will not change until your application is reviewed by a reviewing officer under the timeframe provided.  If there are documents missing or information that needs to be corrected, you will receive an e-mail at your registered e-mail address with details on how to resolve the missing or incorrect information. 
Once your license has been issued, you will see it immediately under the Professional License Details banner of your dashboard.  You will receive the license at your broker’s main office in 7-10 business days after date of issue.


Start the application process at PALS

PALS Help Center

Real Estate Commission Law and Regulations

To register for the exams: www.psiexams.com or call 1-800-733-9267

Locate an approved Real Estate Education Provider:

  • Go to: www.pals.pa.gov/verify,  
  • click on “Facility Search” and then select the Board/Commission as “Real Estate Commission” and license type as “Real Estate Education Provider”. 
  • There are three subtypes in the drop-down menu, the RE type is for in-state schools, the RU type is for out-of-state schools, and the RUC type is for accredited colleges/universities. 
  • You must contact each school individually to determine if they offer courses that would suit your needs.

 

Contact 

State Real Estate Commission
Phone - (717) 783-3658
Fax - (717) 787-0250
Email: RA-REALESTATE@pa.gov