Have you worked hard to get your real estate license, but are now moving states and worried about starting over? Then you need to know about real estate license reciprocity! It’s a much easier way for agents to become licensed in a new state, provided they meet certain criteria. Agents who want to actively sell in multiple states can also use reciprocity to expand their business faster. So, let’s break down what real estate license reciprocity is, how real estate agents can use it, and what the alternate options are.
What Is Real Estate License Reciprocity?
Real estate license reciprocity enables agents in one state to become licensed in another without retaking all the pre-licensing courses and the national exam. This saves time and money for agents who frequently work with military members, traveling nurses, and other clients who need to relocate states. It’s important to note that reciprocity agreements don’t automatically recognize an out-of-state license as valid. They simply expedite the process for an additional license, depending on the “new” state’s laws. Members of NAR can log in and search the State Issues Tracker for each state’s reciprocity laws.
Types of Reciprocity
There are three types of real estate license reciprocity: selective, full, and none. In “selective reciprocity” states, agents are only required to take state-specific courses if their original state has an agreement with the “new” state. They’re also exempt from taking the national portion of the licensing exam but will need to pass the state portion. States with “full reciprocity” agreements only require a passing grade on the state portion of the exam. Agents moving to a state with no reciprocity laws will need to take all the pre-licensing courses and pass both the national and state exams.
Alternatives to Reciprocity
Let’s say you’re only working temporarily in a neighboring state or helping a one-time client move across the country. License portability allows agents to work transactions in other states with their current license (under certain circumstances). “Cooperative” states let an agent work within the state but they need a co-brokering agreement with a local agent. Meanwhile, “physical location” states only allow agents to help clients in their state remotely. A “turf” state doesn’t allow out-of-state agents to be involved in any transactions. In that case, you can work with a referral agent for a smaller fee.
Whether you’re working under real estate license reciprocity or portability laws, always become familiar with the local area. That’s part of a real estate agent’s due diligence to help clients to the best of their ability. Keep track of market trends and changes to local laws and regulations that might affect buyers, sellers, or renters. Network with local real estate professionals, including lenders, title reps, inspectors, and photographers. You’ve already built a successful business with your first real estate license, so you have the strong foundation needed to expand.