Frequently Asked Questions about obtaining a Real Estate License:

What are the requirements to get a license in Tennessee?

You must be at least 18 years of age with a High School diploma or GED. 60 hours of Prelicensing fundamentals classes must be completed in order to take the Tennessee State Exam. In addition to passing the exam, you must complete a 30-hour Course for New Affiliates that will help you get started. Then you may affiliate with a Real Estate Broker and then apply for an affiliate broker license.

How long will it take to get my license?

The 60 hours of  Prelicensing education can be completed in as little as two weeks. Some people schedule the exam for the following week. Completing all requirements can be done in approximately a month. The real estate industry has a short entry period for such wonderful opportunities.

Why should CLI be my choice for real estate education?

CLI has 39+ years of experience preparing students to pass the real estate exam and keep their licenses. Tens of thousands of graduates attest to the quality education they received. Additional reasons include:

  • Excellent pass ratio.
  • All materials are included. Some schools may offer lower prices, but then you pay for materials which makes the total price higher.
  • Outstanding instructors with decades of experience teaching and selling real estate.
  • Multiple, flexible schedules. We can accommodate most schedules with day and weekend classes every month.
  • Audit policy. If seats are available, you may return with your materials and repeat Prelicensing classes at no charge (for up to 1 year) if you feel you need more support.
  • Accelerated Review option available. This is a home study video course focused solely on taking the exam with lots of sample test questions.
  • Full service staff to answer questions and assist you.
  • Individual tutoring is available on request for a nominal charge.
  • Full real estate bookstore with additional study and exam prep guides.
  • Long term member of both the BBB and Nashville Chamber of Commerce.

Is now a good time to get in the real estate business?

The current economic climate has caused a lot of people to wonder if this is a good time to get started in real estate. If you’re not a hard worker, you should not consider this industry now or probably at any time.

This could be the best time to get started for several reasons:

  • Interest rates are at all time lows.
  • Middle Tennessee is strong economically and has not seen the dramatic shifts of many other states.
  • Plenty of opportunities for new agents.
  • Some of the financing rules have changed and new agents won’t be burdened by “old thinking.”
  • People are still buying and selling real estate!
  • There is always room for honest, hard-working people in real estate.
  • Now may be the time to get your education and learn the basics so you’re ready to capitalize on the real estate rebound.

Are real estate companies looking for new agents?

Yes, many real estate companies are actively looking for new agents, both full and part time.

Do I have to work full time?

No. One of the exciting things about real estate is you can get started full time or part time. Many agents start while working another full time job until they begin earning enough to go full time.

What happens if I get started, decide to not continue actively in the business, but don’t want to lose my license?

You may complete any education requirements and then retire your license. By paying a small renewal fee, you can keep it in a retired status until you are ready to be active again.

How hard is it to change real estate companies?

By law, if you want to change companies, the real estate broker cannot refuse. There is a small change fee and a form to be completed.

How much money can I make in the real estate business?

Your income is only limited by how hard and smart you work. Some new agents think this is a “get rich quick” profession, and they are sadly disappointed. With hard work, diligence, honesty, and continuing to learn the craft, you can earn an extremely high income. At the same time, you can enjoy great satisfaction as you help people with what is often their biggest financial decision.

Are there any ongoing education requirements after getting my license?

Yes, all Affiliate Brokers must complete 16 hours of approved continuing education every two years for renewal of the license. CLI has a wide variety of Continuing Education Courses to help you meet this requirement.

May I take the real estate Prelicense course online?

Tennessee does allow this, but from experience, CLI encourages students to take the course live. We constantly receive calls from students taking online courses who don’t understand the material and have questions. Often they want to drop out and take our course instead. Over the years we’ve found the best way to fully understand the material and confidently take the exam is to have an experienced instructor walk you through the material in an environment that allows for questions and practice.

*Note: Current Pre-license classes are offered through Zoom.


What is the difference between an Affiliate Broker and a Broker? What would I have to do to become a Broker?

The initial licensee in Tennessee is called an Affiliate Broker. Each Affiliate Broker must place their license with a Broker. To become a Broker you must have at least three years experience, complete 120 hours of education and pass the Broker exam. You may still work with another real estate company or you may now start your own company.

When I get my license does this mean I’ll be a Realtor?

No. Being an Affiliate Broker means you have a license from the Tennessee Real Estate Commission which is the state governing body. Becoming a Realtor means you have joined the National Association of Realtors which is a trade association. There is no requirement in Tennessee to join the association although a majority of agents are Realtors and are part of their local association.