Whether you want to be a real estate agent or broker, if you want to buy and sell real estate in Georgia, you’ll need one of these real estate licenses. You’ll have to be at least 18 years old to become an agent and 21 years old to become a broker, and you must complete specific real estate coursework, pass an exam (or two, depending on the license), and undergo a criminal background check.

Which license is right for you? The difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker is largely based on years of experience and education. For one, an agent must work under a licensed broker, whereas brokers can work for themselves and/or hire agents to work for them. Becoming a broker in Georgia also requires completing additional coursework and working a minimum of three years as an agent.

Key Takeaways

  • The annual average salary for a Georgia real estate agent is $71,241; for a broker, that rises to $97,762.
  • First, you’ll need to get the appropriate license as either an agent or a broker.
  • Agents must work for licensed brokers, while brokers can work for themselves or hire agents to work for them.
  • Seventy-five hours of real estate coursework are required to become an agent; a broker license takes an additional 60 hours and three years of practical experience.
  • Coursework for both licenses is valid for four years after completion and additional continuing education prior to renewal is mandatory.
  • Both licenses call for passing a final exam and undergoing a background check.

Georgia Real Estate License Requirements

There are two types of licenses in Georgia, so the requirements will vary depending on the license. A Georgia real estate agent, for example, is authorized to handle real estate transactions but must work under a licensed broker. On the other hand, a broker is able to own their own company and to hire other agents to work for them.

Agent license requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must complete 75 hours of real estate coursework through an approved provider or complete 10 quarter hours/six semester hours of eligible real estate coursework at an accredited U.S. or Canadian college, university, or school of law
  • Must pass a final exam and apply for the license within 12 months of the date of the exam
  • Must be truthful about all information provided and pass a background check
  • Must be sponsored by a broker

Broker license requirements:

  • Must be at least 20 years old to take the exam and 21 years old before the license can be activated
  • Must have worked for at least three years as an agent or three years in the general real estate field
  • Must complete 60 hours of pre-broker real estate coursework through an approved provider or complete 15 quarter hours/nine semester hours of eligible real estate coursework at an accredited U.S. or Canadian college, university, or school of law
  • Must pass a final exam and apply for the license within 12 months of the date of the exam
  • Must be truthful about all information provided and pass a background check

A note on background checks: You must disclose any and all criminal convictions on your application. Depending on the crime, a conviction may or may not be disqualifying. Failure to disclose a conviction for even a minor offense is grounds for immediate denial of your application. If you do have a conviction record, you can submit a background clearance application prior to pursuing licensure.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Real Estate License in Georgia?

From start to finish, it takes roughly four to six months to become a real estate agent, depending on where you live. In Georgia, however, it could take as little as three to nine weeks to get your license. However, you might need as much as another couple of months to secure a sponsoring broker, if you haven’t done so already. The average annual salary for a Georgia real estate agent is $71,241.

The road may be a little longer for a broker due to the additional requirements of completing an additional 60 hours of pre-broker real estate coursework and having already worked three years as an agent or three years in the general real estate field. The annual average salary for a Georgia real estate broker is $97,762.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Georgia?

Becoming a real estate professional in Georgia will run aspiring agents roughly $540 to $690 for their initial license, while brokers can expect to pay $785 to $959 due to the additional coursework required. Here is how those costs break down.

  • On average, the cost of pre-licensing exam coursework for agents will run around $200 to $350.
  • Brokers can expect to pay an additional $245 to $269 for the additional coursework hours.
  • Fees for both agent and broker licenses run $170.
  • Exam fees for both licenses cost $121.
  • Both licenses also require a criminal background check, which will run around $50.

Note that there may be other miscellaneous fees for association memberships, office space, other training, and requesting exceptions from certain requirements. Furthermore, to keep licenses active, agents and brokers can expect to pay $145 for continuing education and renewal fees of $100 to $125 every four years.

Real Estate License Reciprocity

Georgia has reciprocity agreements with all states. In order to buy or sell real estate in Georgia, you must hold an active license in good standing from your home state.

If you meet the above criteria, you can submit a real estate reciprocal application. Florida agents and brokers must also pass a Georgia-specific exam before being allowed to practice in the state. Brokers who wish to open their own practice must submit an open-a-firm application.

Can You Apply for a Georgia Real Estate License Online?

In Georgia, you are able to get your license immediately after passing your exam, which you can sign up for online after completing the requisite number of pre-licensing coursework.

If you pass the exam, you are able to get your license on the spot, assuming you have all the proper paperwork, including a sponsoring broker statement, a lawful presence notarized affidavit, and a Georgia crime information report. You have up to 12 months to activate your license before having to retake either exam.

Georgia Real Estate License Exam

Before you take your Georgia real estate license exam, you must complete the required amount of pre-licensing coursework and show evidence of years worked if you are applying for a broker’s license. The Georgia Real Estate Commission (GREC) contracts with a company called Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP) to administer the state's real estate licensing exams. You can apply to take your exam online through the AMP portal, unless you are applying using college course credit or out-of-state reciprocity, or are a Florida applicant. In those cases, you’ll need to mail the application found in the candidate handbook.

The agent exam consists of 152 multiple-choice questions, 52 of which focus specifically on Georgia. You have four hours to complete the exam and will receive your score immediately after you’ve finished. If you wish to have your license activated on the spot, you must also bring your broker sponsorship application.

The broker exam is structured differently than the agent exam is. Instead of multiple-choice questions, you’ll have three hours to solve 11 simulation problems. If you are a Florida resident applying to be a broker in Georgia, you'll need to pass the Georgia Supplement Exam, which consists of 48 multiple-choice questions. If you fail your exam, you can apply to retake it.

Georgia Real Estate License Application

When you have successfully completed the required coursework and passed the exam, you will immediately be able to obtain your license at the testing site provided you have the requisite paperwork. You will also need to shell out $170 via credit card or check. Note that agents must submit a sponsoring broker statement before they can be granted a license, and brokers who aren’t affiliated with a firm must include an open-a-firm application.

Georgia Real Estate License Renewal

All Georgia real estate licenses are good for four years and may be renewed either online or by mail up to 120 days before expiration. Renewal fees will run $125 for both agents and brokers, although online renewals get a $25 discount.

If you miss your renewal date by 30 days, you will need to reinstate your license and pay a late fee. If you miss your renewal date beyond 30 days but by less than a year, your license will be moved to inactive status, and you’ll need to submit a real estate change application. If your license has lapsed for more than one year, you will need to fill out an application for reinstatement in addition to the change application. All delays will incur late fees.

Does Georgia require post-licensing education?

Georgia real estate agents and brokers who are renewing their licenses must complete 36 hours of approved continuing education coursework for each four-year renewal. All coursework must be completed at one of Georgia's approved real estate schools.

Special Considerations

Georgia has a number of statutes and regulations that apply to different real estate issues throughout the state. There are several specific property and real estate laws that every agent and broker should know, including homestead laws, which allow property owners to protect a portion of their home from creditors in certain cases, and adverse possession laws, which allow for someone who’s fixed up a neglected property to take ownership. In addition, the Georgia Real Estate Commission & Appraisers Board publishes monthly newsletters with the latest changes and updates.