As of October 7th, 2016: yes!
The FTRS Team
TL;DR: Yes, you can take the Massachusetts real estate course online. You can also take the State license test online. Click here to learn more about our online course. For more information, keep reading.
Over the past few years we've received a lot of questions about online real estate licensing courses for the Massachusetts real estate license. So, are you allowed to get your real estate license online, or can you take the MA real estate classes online?
Good news: On October 7th, 2016 the Massachusetts Real Estate Board passed new regulations that allow you take the real estate license class online. You can read the new regulations here. This means that approved real estate schools (like us!) can now offer real estate classes online, and we are the first ever real estate school approved by Massachusetts to offer the pre-licensing course online!
What about the license test? Starting on January 28th, 2021 you can take the real estate license exam online with PSI Exams. This means that you can now complete the entire licensing process online from start to finish. The only thing you need to do in person is pick up your license, so that you can pay the licensing fee and take a license photo.
Be aware that, per Massachusetts law, online real estate classes have to have a live instructor. According to the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons online class regulation FAQ the State of Massachusetts does not allow any real estate school to teach the Massachusetts real estate class without a live instructor available:
Q: May schools offer a 40 hour pre-licensure online course that is go-at-your-own pace, such as a video lecture?
A: No, per Massachusetts law, pre-licensure classes must be classroom based. Prior to now, no online pre-licensure classes were allowed in Massachusetts because of this restriction.
Q: If pre-licensure courses must be classroom based, how can the Board allow online classes?
A: The Board has taken the position that the reference to classroom based in the law is a requirement that instructors be able to interact with students in real time, not that they must be physically in the same location. As a result, commencing with these regulations, the Board can approve online pre-licensure courses which utilize communications technology to allow this link between the instructor and students.
This means that you can't just watch self-paced videos to get your license. You have to take at least half of your online classes with a live licensed Massachusetts real estate instructor available for real-time interaction online so that you can ask them questions. Some websites claim to offer State approved self-paced video only classes, but it is against the State licensing rules to take MA real estate classes online without a live instructor available. You need to take at least half of your classes when an instructor online and available for live interaction to count as the 40 hours of classroom time you need to get your real estate license.
Under the Massachusetts Real Estate Board's online course regulations, up to 19 hours of your 40 hours course requirement can be taken any time as pre-recorded videos and other materials, and the remaining 21 hours of class time must be taken as live webinars or other online real-time interaction sessions. You can call the Board at 617-727-2373 to confirm with them that you have to get your real estate license online from a live instructor, or click the link above for their FAQ.
So good news to anyone that wants to get your real estate license online: it's allowed! Still wondering how to get your Massachusetts real estate license? To get your Massachusetts real estate salesperson or broker's license, you take the 40 hour real estate class with a live instructor at a MA approved school, and then pass the Massachusetts real estate test.
We're very excited that the State has allowed real estate schools to offer the realty class online. Click here to learn more about our Board approved online Massachusetts real estate course. We look forward to seeing you online!