Real Estate as a Career

There are many opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in the real estate industry as the industry offers specialties such as residential or commercial trading, commercial leasing, investment real estate, counselling and research. Your decision to undertake a career in real estate, however, is worth careful consideration for several reasons.

Expenses & Income

Making a commitment to a career in real estate includes a number of upfront and annual out of pocket expenses. Licensing course fees, licensing fees, association membership fees (only applicable if licensing with a brokerage which is a member of the Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS®), brokerage desk fees, errors and omissions insurance and other business-related expenses (transportation, cell phone, computer, etc.) are just a few of the expenses that need to be considered.

When licensed, your compensation structure is typically commission based, which means that that you may have little or no guarantee of income. While predicting income is difficult, you should also take into account the cost as well as the time needed to establish a practice and to build up an income to meet your personal requirements. It is recommend that you have sufficient capital available to support yourself prior to embarking on a career in real estate.

Compensation structures vary from brokerage to brokerage. It is recommended that you talk to several brokerages to see what type of compensation structure they use and determine what you are comfortable with.

Being Suitable for Licence

The Real Estate Trading Act requires that only those who meet the standards of the Commission be licensed. The Registrar has the right to refuse any applicant who:

  • provides false or misleading information in the course of applying for a licence;
  • has previously been licensed to trade in real estate and had a judgement against them arising from a public complaint and no reasonable arrangements have been made to satisfy it; or
  • is not in the public’s best interest to license or is otherwise suitable for licensing.

When applying for a licence, criminal convictions and charges must be disclosed, including whether any conditional or absolute discharges were granted. These are not necessarily prohibiting factors to being licenced and each circumstance is evaluated individually.

Choosing a Brokerage

In order to obtain a real estate licence in Nova Scotia, you must be licensed by the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission and be engaged by a real estate brokerage. Talk to the broker at several real estate brokerages to find one with a fee structure and corporate environment that is the best fit for you. All brokerages have their own ways of operating, so you should ask each of them what makes them different from the others. A phone call or email to brokerages might be a good first step in approaching them. You may also contact the Commission at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a discipline history of any broker you are contemplating working for.

When you apply to the Commission for licensing, you must provide the name of the brokerage with whom you intend to work. You may change brokerages at any time once you are licensed, see Reinstating for more information. Remember, you cannot conduct any business unless you are engaged by a brokerage and any business that you do conduct must be done in the name of and on behalf of the brokerage with which you are engaged.

Licence Prerequisites

Click here to see the most recent licence prerequisites for first time applicants.

The Nova Scotia Real Estate
Commission
is the regulator of the
Nova Scotia real estate industry.

Contact Us

Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission

601-1595 Bedford Highway
Bedford, NS
B4A 3Y4

p: 1.902.468.3511 or
1.800.390.1015

f:  1.902.468.1016 or
1.800.390.1016

e: For licensing information
licensing@nsrec.ns.ca
For complaints
compliance@nsrec.ns.ca