How to Get a Real Estate License in Ontario?

How to get a Real Estate License in Ontario
Image by mohamed_hassan from Pixabay

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 difficult?”

There are certain courses you need to appear for before you can register yourself 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.

Also, if you’re thinking of moving to Ontario, then check out the Best Cities To Live In Ontario—You Must Know, so you can choose the best place for you.

1. What is a Real Estate Agent?

A real estate agent is a licensed professional, who represents 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.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

A real estate agent helps a seller with listing their property, setting a price, prepping the property for sale, scheduling viewings, and finding buyers. In contrast, a real estate agent helps a buyer look for properties matching their requirements.

They find and recommend property listings, visit properties with them, and aid them to make 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 for commercial properties are paid through commission the amount generally is 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 industry of real estate 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.

how to get a real estate license in ontario
Courtesy: RECO

As you think about how to get a real estate license in Ontario, some things to know are: a permanent Canadian Residency, a minimum of 18 years of age, enrolled 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 how to get a real estate license in Ontario.

3. How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Ontario

As you wonder about how to get a real estate license in Ontario, you must be curious about how to become a full-fledged real estate agent in the province and enter the profession of real estate, 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
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 one is Residential Real Estate Transaction, which will take place after the 3rd exam. And the other one of the simulation sessions is the Commercial Real Estate Transactions, after the 4th exam.

how to get a real estate license in ontario
Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels/Copyright 2020

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.

And, 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 in Ontario

So far, the process seems quite simple. As we look at the process of how to get a real estate license in Ontario, we see that after completing the Real Estate Salesperson Program from 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 to 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.

To understand how to get a real estate license in Ontario- 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.

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 relevant at the time of your registration. However, you should know that the licensing process takes around 3-4.5 years to be completed.

So, when you think about how to get a real estate license in Ontario, consider the fact that it will take some time, 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. That’s all there is on how to get a real estate license in Ontario.

The post-registration phase will see your first two years as a licensed real estate agent known as articling. 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 wondering how 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. Hopefully, this answers your question on how to get a real estate license in Ontario.

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 answered your questions about how to get a real estate license in Ontario, and you have all the information you need to begin pursuing your career as a Real Estate Agent in Ontario.

Lakshita enjoys giving form to the thoughts in her head. She likes to curl up with a good book and her dogs and swap reality with fiction for hours on end. And much prefers her dogs and fictional characters to people.
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