How to Get a Real Estate License in Ontario?

Lakshita Facts & How-To's
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The provinces in Canada all have different processes to become real estate agents. If you’ve been considering becoming a real estate agent in Ontario, you must have wondered, how to get a real estate license in Ontario, and is it challenging.

You need to appear for certain courses before registering with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) to become a licensed real estate agent.

If you’re interested in learning more about this profession, then read on to find out as this guide highlights how you can begin to take timely steps towards your career as a real estate agent, the courses and programs you need to take, how to ace your exams, navigation of the registration process and, finally, how to get a real estate license in Ontario.

1. What is a Real Estate Agent?

A real estate agent is a licensed professional representing buyers and sellers in real estate transactions.

Real estate agents, also known as realtors, are trained and licensed to guide both the buying and selling parties through the process of a property transaction, from finding perfect properties for their buying clients to finding the perfect buyer for their clients who are selling their property, as well as finding tenants for properties going on rent, or tenants for persons looking to let their property.

Commonly, the duties of a real estate professional center around research, marketing, and administrative work. However, they would vary slightly depending on whether the agent is collaborating with a tenant, landlord, seller, or a buyer.

home buying handshake 1920
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

A real estate agent helps a seller list their property, set a price, prepare the property for sale, schedule viewings, and find buyers. In contrast, a real estate agent helps a buyer look for properties that match their requirements.

They find and recommend property listings, visit properties with them, and aid them in making an offer, including commercial real estate transactions.

Additionally, a real estate agent can function as an intermediary between the buyer and seller and be of assistance during legal negotiations.

Usually, real estate professionals are paid through commissions for commercial properties. The amount is generally a percentage of the amount the property was sold for or brokerage- a percentage of the rent being paid per month.

The percentage of sale or brokerage received as a commission is dependent upon the state’s regulations.

2. Real Estate Agents in Ontario

Since the real estate industry in Canada has grown a lot over the years, the government saw fit for different support services for the profession to be regulated in each province.

As the field of real estate is regulated in Ontario, a real estate professional is mandated to be registered with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO).

The function of the Real Estate Council of Ontario is centered around the regulation of real estate transactions in the real estate industry on the part of the Ontario government.

The increasing demand for real estate has provided many an opportunity for individuals with the right motivation, effort, and support to carve out a rewarding career as a real estate agent.

Starting your career as a licensed realtor in Canada is a reasonably uncomplicated process.

Screenshot 407 edited
Courtesy: RECO

As you think about a real estate license, some things to know are a permanent Canadian Residency, a minimum of 18 years of age, enrollment for the real estate certificate course, and registering with RECO.

Let’s read further about how to become a real estate agent in Ontario so we can understand the process of getting a real estate license in Ontario.

3. How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Ontario

You must be curious about how to become a full-fledged real estate agent in the province and enter the real estate profession; there are a few prerequisites that must be satisfied. An individual must be:

  • A Canadian Resident
  • At least 18 years of age
  • A Canadian Secondary School Diploma or an equivalent credential

Like any other profession, you will have to approach becoming a licensed agent on a step-by-step basis. From training to licensing requirements and licensing examinations, we will go through the general overview with the following steps:

  • Enrol for a real estate certificate course
  • Connect with a brokerage agency
  • Application for licensing
  • Appear for the licensing exam
  • Get insurance
  • Complete professional practice
  • Find your first clients
real estate contract signing keys 1920
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Becoming a real estate professional in Ontario is a little on the expensive side, so you should be aware of the total costs you will incur while prepping and going through professional training.

You have to invest around $7,5000, including the registration, course fee, and insurance fee.

4. Education for Becoming Real Estate Professionals

To answer your question about “How to get a Real Estate License in Ontario,” your first step towards becoming a registered realtor is to enroll and complete all the basic real estate licensing certificate courses.

In Ontario, Humber Real Estate College offers the Real Estate Salesperson Program, comprising 5 courses for people looking to become realtors. The total cost of what you will have to invest is around $4,500 for the entire process, including the examinations.

The first course is Real Estate Essentials, followed by Residential Real Estate Transactions, Additional Residential Real Estate Transactions, Commercial Real Estate Transactions, and Getting Started is the last pre-registration course.

There will be invigilated examinations after each of the courses. Additionally, there will be 2 simulation sessions for the real estate course.

The first is Residential Real Estate Transaction, which will occur after the 3rd exam. The other simulation session is the Commercial Real Estate Transactions, after the 4th exam.

how to get a real estate license in ontario
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The pass percentage is 75%, and a person must pass the exams for each of the first four courses before they can move on to the next course.

The entire course under the Real Estate Salesperson Program will take up roughly 150-200 hours of work, depending on a candidate’s pace.

5. How to Get a Real Estate License

So far, the process seems quite simple. As we look at the process, we see that after completing the Real Estate Salesperson Program at Humber College, the next step is joining a brokerage firm.

Before you can register for your license with RECO, you must be employed at a brokerage firm.

Since you’ll most likely work with this firm for a few years in the beginning, you must ensure that you find one where you’re comfortable with the staff and their work environment.

Once you’re employed with a brokerage, you have to join RECO’s insurance program before your registration with RECO.

“How do you get a real estate license in Ontario, and why is insurance important?” you ask.

RECO’s insurance program provides critical protection to both the salesperson and their clients through consumer deposit insurance, errors & omissions insurance, and commission protection insurance, which will cost you $500, including taxes.

Obtaining insurance signals the completion of the pre-registration phase, and now you can apply for a real estate salesperson registration with RECO.

The registration process requires applicants to fulfill specific requirements like the requisite educational qualifications we saw above and get a Canadian Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check (CCRJMC) from your local police.

home viewing with realtor
Photo by Alena Darmel on Pexels 

But you must register within 12 months of completing your last exam, and if you don’t, then you’ll have to retake the entire program to be eligible for registration again.

The application will be online, and you’ll have to pay the application fee at the time of your registration. You should know that the licensing process takes 3-4.5 years to complete. However, the benefits you reap afterward would not be less as it is a very well-paying profession.

And that’s it. Upon completing all the steps, you’ll receive approval from RECO; you will have your real estate license to work in the real estate industry.

The post-registration phase will see your first two years as a licensed real estate agent, known as articulating. You’re required to take some more mandatory continuing education (MCE) programs, the successful completion of which will make you a full-fledged real estate professional.


Thus, every licensed real estate salesperson is mandated to take MCE courses to renew their registration, the failure of which could cause a termination.

Also, if you’re already a registered real estate salesperson in another province and you’re hoping to get a real estate license in Ontario.

Then, as per the Ontario Labor Mobility Act, a person who is a valid real estate salesperson or broker in another Canadian province can appear for the Interprovincial Challenge Exam in Ontario.

Upon passing this examination, such a person can then register with RECO as a real estate broker or a real estate salesperson. Thus, you don’t have to worry about how to get a real estate license in Ontario, even if you’re registered in another province.

Additionally, if you wish to join the Real Estate Broker Program, you’ll need to wait for a year after having obtained your license to be eligible. Once you pass the final exam for this program, you’re required to register with RECO as a real estate broker within the next 12 months.

I hope this guide answers your questions about how to get a real estate license in Ontario and that you have all the information you need to begin pursuing your career as a Real Estate Agent in Ontario.

Last Updated on by Narayani Bhardwaj

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