Obtaining a real estate license in Rhode Island offers professionals access to diverse properties. Although the “Ocean State” is the smallest state in the union, its landscape includes urban, suburban, and rural properties while only being 37 miles wide and 48 miles long. In terms of making a living in real estate, it’s entirely possible to work in residential and commercial properties as well as undeveloped land all within a 60-minute commute. That being said, securing a real estate in Rhode Island requires the following.
Minimum Requirements for Real Estate Licensing
Earning a real estate license involves completing substantial educational courses and providing documentation to the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation that you are a reliable and upstanding individual. These are the minimum requirements to begin a career in Rhode Island.
Meet Age and Residency Requirements
Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or an equivalent. Two proof of age and identity documents are expected and may include presenting a valid Rhode Island driver’s license, state ID, or passport. Proof of age and residency IDs must be current. The state may reject expired documents. Rhode Island also has a real estate reciprocity agreement with neighboring Massachusetts and Connecticut. Applicants may reside in either of the border states and present valid ID from their home state.
Minimum Education Sales Course Requirements
In order to secure a sales license, applicants must complete a 45-hour pre-licensing course. The educational course generally covers pertinent issues with a state-mandated emphasis on specific areas and topics. The real estate sales pre-licensing coursework emphasizes the following:
- A 3-hour New Agency Law Course training requirement
- A 3-hour Lead Poisoning/Lead Hazard Mitigation course requirement
- Successful completion earns a Lead Poisoning/Lead Hazard Mitigation certificate
- Successful completion satisfies mandatory lead paint educational requirement
Pre-licensing courses are conducted through the Rhode Island Association of Realtors, and interested parties can register online. The online resource also provides access to practice quizzes and testing.
Minimum Education Broker Course Requirements
In order to obtain a broker license, which allows real estate professionals to work independently, the following pre-licensing requirements apply.
- 90 hours of pre-license education
- Satisfy the 3-hour Lead Poisoning/Lead Hazard Mitigation educational requirement
- Secure a Lead Poisoning/Lead Hazard Mitigation certificate
- Satisfy the 3-hour New Agency Law Course requirement (may not be included in the 90-hour course)
Both sales and broker applicants must pass an examination before applying to the RI Dept. of Business Regulation for their respective licenses.
What to Expect on the Real Estate Exam
Before submitting materials to the state, applicants must pass the real estate examination. Sales applicants must achieve an 80 on the general practice portion and a 40 on State Law questions. To apply for a broker license, an applicant must earn an 80 on the general practice portion and 50 on the State Law questions. These are general areas test-takers are expected to know.
- Real property characteristics
- Real estate definitions
- Real estate ownership and restrictions
- Real estate transfers
- Forms of ownership, transfer, and title recording practices
- Property values and appraisal guidelines
- Contracts and agency guidelines
- How to practice in real estate
- Disclosures and environmental concerns
- Real estate financing
- Appropriate industry math
- Legal obligations and duties
- Licensing statutes
- Topics specific to brokers
Some latitude is offered for prospective brokers, and applicants may be allowed to apply for licensing with a combined 70 percent test score. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in real estate can petition the state to waive the pre-licensing requirement. These are documents sales, and broker applicants are asked to submit for consideration.
Documents Necessary for a RI Real Estate License
Rhode Island sets a reasonably high bar when licensing real estate professionals. In order to secure a license, applicants must generally have at least three references from property owners that support the fact they are trustworthy. People supplying references must know the applicant for a minimum of three years. Other documents include the following.
- Certificate of Errors and Omissions insurance
- Taxpayer status affidavit
- Taxpayer identity verification
- Criminal record history
The real estate sector continues to support robust careers. The Rhode Island market offers niche opportunities across sectors. It’s a small state with big real estate earning possibilities for licensed individuals. For more information, contact the RI Dept. of Business Regulation.