First things first - a little known tidbit about NY commercial real estate brokers. In NY (and I believe many other places as well), if you sell or lease commercial real estate you call yourself a broker. Not an agent, not a salesperson, not a realtor . . . a broker. If you're not a "broker" you may find this odd. Why? Because most of us aren't brokers!

Truth is, there are 2 legal designations -"Real Estate Salesperson" and "Real Estate Broker" (OK, there's also "Associate Broker," but I'm trying to keep this simple). Anyway, "Real Estate Salespeople" can do all the same things as brokers, except having a broker's license allows you to own a real estate brokerage firm. Since real estate salespeople aren't limited in what we can do, and since most of us work for a firm anyway, most of us don't have broker's licenses. Whatever the case, we all call ourselves brokers!

Now that I've clarified this, I'll get on to the point at hand. I'm a licensed NY Real Estate Salesperson. I've decided that I would like to get my NJ real estate license. I thought this would be a relatively simple process. As it turns out, it's a big pain in the ass. I'll walk you through it, in case you care.

In NJ, you must meet 3 main requirements to become a licensed real estate salesperson.

1) 70 hours of accredited real estate training
2) Pass the state exam
3) Be sponsored by a license real estate brokerage firm

In NY, however, you only need 45 hours of real estate training (at least until that changes to 75 in a couple months). As a result, NY has virtually no reciprocity with other states for real estate licenses (most states require 70+ hours). So, in order to get my NJ license, I had 3 options 1) take a 75 hour course in NJ, 2) show proof of 75 hours of education from an accredited masters degree, or 3) take the NY broker course (for 45 hours) and combine those hours with the hours I spent getting a NY real estate license to fulfill the requirement. This is easier said than done. Here's how it plays out.

1) Take 45 hour NY broker course (a few hundred bucks)
2) Send a letter to the NY Department of state to apply for Certification of Licensure - $20
3) Wait to receive Certification of Licensure
4) Send in certificate of completion of NY broker course and Certification of licensure to NJ Real Estate Commission (send in certified check for $25 + certified check fee)
5) Wait to receive waiver of education requirement for NJ Salesperson's license
6) Sign up for NJ Salesperson test ($60)
7) Study for NJ Salesperson test (Buy book - $45)
8) Schlep to NJ for Salesperson test
9) Get fingerprinted at a center in NJ
10) Submit proof that you passed test, met the education requirement, got fingerprinted and have a sponsoring broker to get license

As you can see, they don't make it easier on you. Oh well, at least I'm up to step 7!