How to Get a North Carolina Real Estate License
Real estate all across the country is booming right now, and North Carolina is no different. North Carolina’s real estate market is exploding, with a 26% year-over-year growth according to Zillow.
If you’re interested in exploring a new career path and want to become a real estate agent in North Carolina, now is a great time to obtain your real estate license.
Getting Your North Carolina Real Estate License in 6 Easy Steps
In North Carolina, getting your real estate license is straightforward and simple. But it’s important to understand and follow the appropriate steps.
Here are the 6 steps required to obtain your real estate license in North Carolina.
Meet the North Carolina Requirements
Before you can apply for a real estate license, make sure you meet the North Carolina requirements. To qualify for an individual broker’s license, you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- A U.S. citizen or be legally allowed to work in the country
- Have a social security number
Enroll in an Accredited North Carolina Real Estate School
To receive your real estate license in the state of North Carolina, you’ll need to enroll in an accredited North Carolina Real Estate School that the real estate commission has approved.
Most of the time, this involves a 75-hour prelicensing course that will walk you through a variety of topics — everything from the basic principles of real estate to fair housing regulations.
An accredited course will cover both national regulations and local North Carolina rules to ensure you’re prepared to take the real estate exam.
Once you’ve successfully completed the course, your educational institution will electronically report your completion to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, which will then pave the way for you to apply for the exam.
Apply to the North Carolina Real Estate Exam
Before you can schedule your exam, you’ll have to show the real estate commission that you are eligible for the exam. This involves submitting the necessary application and documents, as well as showing that you’ve completed the required class. Once the real estate commission grants your notice of exam eligibility, you will have 180 days to schedule your exam.
The North Carolina real estate exam is held in person at a testing facility that the real estate commission has partnered with.
To schedule your exam, you can call or go online to the PSI Services website to create an account. Once your account is created, you can enter your zip code to see a list of testing sites closest to you with the available dates.
In most cases, you should be able to schedule a test within the next 7 days. Keep in mind that there is a $56 testing fee (separate from the $100 application fee) in order to schedule your final exam. On the day of your exam, make sure to bring a valid form of identification.
Pass the North Carolina Real Estate Exam
You’ll have 4 hours to complete the multiple-choice exam and will take it on a computer at the test center. Once you’ve submitted your answers, you’ll immediately be able to see your results.
The North Carolina real estate exam has two sections — a national and local North Carolina section. In order to pass the exam, you must correctly answer 72% of the questions.
Get Commission's Approval on Requisite “Character”
Finally, once you’ve completed your course, submitted your application, and passed the exam, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission will determine if you possess the requisite “character” needed for licensure.
The commission expects that every real estate agent possesses the “truthfulness, integrity, good moral character, and general fitness” necessary to protect the public interest.
This is done by disclosing all related criminal offenses, professional licensure disciplinary actions, and unpaid judgments on your application. A criminal report is part of your application, so the commission expects applicants to also self-disclose these issues. Failing to do so will also decrease your chances of getting approval.
Sign with a North Carolina Brokerage
If you’ve completed all the steps and passed, you now have your real estate license and can sign with a brokerage! Until you do so, your license will be considered inactive, but upon being hired by a brokerage, it will be placed on active status.
The brokerage will be supervised by a broker-in-charge, and from there, you’ll be ready to work with clients to buy or sell homes.
North Carolina Real Estate License Reciprocity
If you have your real estate license in another state and are looking to obtain a North Carolina license, you can apply for license reciprocity. North Carolina has a reciprocity agreement with all the U.S. states, territories, or Canadian provinces.
Out-of-state licensees applying in North Carolina are not required to take the 75-hour pre-licensing coursework or take the national section of the exam. However, they will be required to complete the state-specific questions of the exam.
How Long Does it Take to Get a North Carolina Real Estate License?
The most time-consuming aspects of getting your North Carolina real estate license are the 75-hour pre-certification course and the test preparation that is recommended to pass the test.
It’s safe to allocate about 3-6 months to adequately prepare and complete the necessary requirements from start to finish. While that’s a realistic timeline, if you study hard and are focused, you could possibly get it done in around 2 months.
Should You Become a Real Estate Agent in North Carolina?
Working in real estate provides a unique career path that puts you in charge of your business.
Real estate is a popular career for many individuals for a variety of reasons, including the ability to set your own hours, be your own boss, have unlimited salary potential, and work in an exciting industry.
While it’s not the right fit for everyone, if you’re someone that is self-motivated, hardworking, looking for flexibility, and wants to make a difference in the lives of their clients, real estate could be the career for you.
TL;DR: To become a real estate agent in North Carolina, you have to complete your pre-licensing education, pass the state exam, and sign with a brokerage. This will take about 3 to 6 months to finish. When you do, your career as a real estate agent will be very rewarding.