I recently decided to get my Real Estate License in Indiana and having just gone through everything I decided to write this complete guide for how to get your real estate license in Indiana. For all of you wondering how hard it is to get your license or how much it costs, this should clear it up. For the record, I am now a licensed real estate broker/Realtor in Indianapolis and loving it so far! It’s what I was meant to do.
A little back story about me in case you were wondering. I have been investing in Real Estate since 2006 and I finally only just now decided to get my Real Estate License. I had been stuck working an IT job at a software company for the past forever ago and just recently decided to make a huge career change into Real Estate full time. I left a six figure W2 employee salary to do this! Am I crazy or what!? Doing something like this is both exciting and scary at the same time.
I am excited about leaving a career I despised, eliminating working for a boss, being able to work my own hours, being able to do whatever I want and make unlimited amounts of money depending on how much effort and work I put into this. Well that is also what makes this a scary thing to do.
What if I don’t make any money? What if I am not successful in my new business? There are a lot of “what if” type questions you can ask yourself but the way I see it is that if you are passionate enough and have that drive for success, then it will be hard to fail.
Below you will find what it takes to get a real estate license, the amount of time and effort it took, the cost and dedication needed to be able to pass the tests on the first time around. Which I did by the way. I passed both the main Real Estate broker Exam as well as the Indiana state exam on the very first try.
**Please note these were the requirements and information at the time and based on my experience with getting an Indianapolis Real Estate License in 2020.
What are the basic Requirements for being able to obtain a real estate license in Indiana?
- At least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Complete an approved 90 hour real estate Pre-licensing course (via an actual classroom or online courses)
- Pass the licensing exams which consist of a Real Estate broker exam and an Indiana State exam.
Step 1 – Find a 90 hour Pre-Licensing course to take.
I personally decided to go with the online course option. Being able to take the course at my home on my own time is my kind of style. Not to mention, I took the course while working at my old W2 day job. 🙂 So I basically got paid to take this course. But don’t tell anyone that! The program I went with was from Real University because it was the cost friendliest. I only paid $500 for it and all the other online courses and even live courses through other sites where more expensive.
FYI – if you end up going through this same course and type in the referral code of 4637016747, you should get a $10 credit. This program covers both the main Real Estate License exam as well as the Indiana State exam. There are two different tests that need to be passed in order to get your license. Both of these tests are taken at the same time through the same enrollment.
Step 2 – Take the course and STUDY, STUDY, STUDY!
The online course was a long 90 hours of video plus actually reading the whole book it comes with. It took me almost a month to complete this on my own time. The beauty of the class I took is that the instructor made it as fun as it could be with his personality that grows on you. Each day I had available for my class, I read through a whole chapter in the book, took the book unit quiz, then watched the whole video session on that chapter and took the online unit quiz. Doing that I was able to pass all the unit quizzes the first time around.
Move on to Step 3 only AFTER completing the Pre-Licensing course.
Step 3 – Schedule to take the Real Estate and Indiana State Exams
You will need to schedule to take both tests from PSI Exams, here it will show you what facilities, dates and times are available for taking the exams. I recommend scheduling this within days if not the day that you finish the course. This way the content is still fresh in your mind. I scheduled my tests 5 days after finishing the course so I could give myself 3 days before to do a cram session.
Step 4 – Cram Session Time
Just like back in college, it’s time to bust out your cram session time and hit the notes and practice tests hard. I did this for 3 days straight before taking the actual tests. There is a LOT of content so it will be overwhelming. Be sure to give the same amount of time for the Indiana State portion as well. I have heard that most people pass the main real estate exam the first time around but fail the Indiana State one. If you fail any of these, you will need to reschedule and take the test.
Step 4 – Find a Sponsoring Broker
Assuming you pass the exams, you will need to find a sponsoring broker to hold your license. A real estate broker will have to hold your license in order for it to be Active. This will be the broker you work for. I actually interviewed a few different brokers weeks before so I that I would know exactly which one I wanted to work for. You will find that most brokers will want to hire you because they want more agents! The more agents they have making money, the more money they make as well.
The main differences between the brokers will be what size company they have, how many agents…, what kind of training they provide, whether or not they provide any leads or marketing and last but not least, what the commission splits are. Once you compare all these and speak to the managing brokers, you will know who you want to work with.
The managing broker will then sign a document for you which you will take to the Real Estate Commission building located at 302 W Washington St. Another option is to mail them the documents from passing the exam and the broker sponsorship document. This is required when submitting an application to get your license. I actually went to the building because its in downtown Indianapolis and I live in downtown Indianapolis. The whole process from entering the building to walking out with my license was about an hour. Not bad at all.
You can the documents needed for applying for your license at the IN.gov site.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Your Indiana Real Estate License?
Let’s just say that you need money in order to make money. It costs a lot of money to just get your license and it costs even more money once you are an active real estate agent. Here is a cost breakdown of what I have spent so far for my new career: **Prices could be different for you**
$529 for the class (and this was the cheapest one)
$52 both exams
$60 license fee
$571.50 Mibor MLS access
$400 Mibor entry fee
$431 yearly Mibor technology fee (and this was just a partial prorated for the year)
$10 for a sentrilock smart card (necessary card reader to get into some of the lockboxes)
Ouch! That is already $2k! That is a lot of money so far. The good news is that the commission from just one transaction (buy/sell) should cover all of this. The bad news is that it’s not easy finding business once you become an active realtor. Lucky for me, my broker gives me leads and my first client was a relative so I am getting ready to close on my first deal only about a month after getting my license and it will be for just over $4k in commission to me. Not bad for my first deal!
Is a Background Check or Fingerprints Needed?
Surprisingly, there is no background check or fingerprints needed to get this license here in this state.
What Is The Most Difficult Part in Getting Your Indiana Real Estate License?
Definitely the exams, its a bit overwhelming how much content there is to cover and if you don’t already have a real estate background and are not familiar with some of the terms and processes already, it will be that much harder for you. Lucky for me, I have been transacting real estate properties for years now on my own with no license for my own investment properties so I am very familiar with how the process and rules are which was a huge help in passing these tests.
What Is The Best Part of Having Your Indiana Real Estate License?
As an active real estate investor, I absolutely LOVE that I now have my own MLS access and can submit my own offers on properties that I want for my own portfolio. I have always wanted this access and in the past month, I have already submitted two different offers for investment properties just for me. The first offer was rejected and the 2nd offer is still pending so we’ll see how that turns out.
Are you planning on getting your Real Estate License in Indiana? Does this info make you want to get it more or does it scare you off a bit? Feel free to ask me any questions about this process. I am not claiming to be an expert at getting your license and there may be more to it then all this but this was my own personal experience with acquiring my real estate license.
Alexander, thanks for sharing your journey. Your thinking helped me model my real estate business and investment strategy. I’m closing on two SFRs (in the Indianapolis area as luck would have it) later this month which will increase my portfolio to four properties. Inspired by your creativity, I’m looking at other real estate investment and entrepreneurial options too. Much success!
Hi Tim! Wow that is super awesome bud. Congrats! Sounds like you are doing great and are making good decisions which is super important if you want to succeed long term.
Hey if you ever want to work with a new agent here in Indy to submit offers on MLS properties, let me know, I’d be more then happy to help a fellow investor.
Wow – this is really cool news. Congrats! Long time reader who wants to say THANK YOU for sharing your knowledge and stories over the years. Within the past year, I finally took the plunge and am now the proud owner of 1 SFR rental and 1 duplex, closing on another SF this month. Would not have gotten there without the information you’ve shared over the years.
I’m in Central Indiana as well, though I invest in the Noblesville, Frankfort, Lafayette areas and focus on recession proof housing. Would love to work with you if you do business there!