A Comprehensive Guide to Getting a Real Estate License in South Carolina

By Ciprian Morariu Published: May 20, 2024

Getting a Real Estate License in South Carolina


Why Pursue a Real Estate License in South Carolina?

Does a career with great flexibility and a high earning potential excite you? 

Do you wish to be a part of a dynamic, exciting, and rewarding industry? 

If your answer is yes, choose the real estate profession in South Carolina. 

After gaining some experience, you can move up the career ladder and become a broker. 

Better yet, you can even start your own brokerage firm or real estate agency and be your boss! And the icing on the cake is that you can make about $100k as a base annual salary. 

Imagine the lifestyle you can live with a six-figure salary in just a few years. Not to mention, the extra commission and perks you will gain as a real estate agent or broker. 

In this article, we will walk you through all the steps required to obtain a real estate license in South Carolina, including the qualifying requirements and costs. 

Scope and Potential for Real Estate Agents in South Carolina

South Carolina’s real estate market is witnessing strong growth and demand in both residential as well as commercial properties. 

In addition to the high base salary, the state offers an impressive commission rate of around 5.95%, which is higher than the national average. 

Since real estate agents and brokers earn on a commission basis, you can expect high earnings in the South Carolina real estate market. 

To put this into context, an average selling price for a home in Charleston, South Carolina is around $530K which translates into an impressive commission of $31K for real estate professionals on a single deal. 

If these stats make you excited to become a real estate agent in South Carolina? If the answer is yes, you are making the right choice. 

There is immense potential for career growth and earnings in a popular real estate market.

The best part? As a real estate agent, you can choose to work as hard as you want to. 

This means you can choose to work with more clients and directly influence how much you can earn in a month. 

In the long run, a career in real estate can also help you pave your path to become an entrepreneur and start your own business. 

After amassing enough experience and obtaining the required certifications, you can operate your own real estate business. 

Requirements for Getting A Real Estate License in South Carolina (SC Real Estate License Requirements)

Basic Qualifications

To engage in a real estate transaction, you will need a state-issued license. 

To obtain your license, you must first meet the basic eligibility criteria which are as follows: 

  • You must be at least 18 years of age or older
  • You must be a legal resident of the U.S. or a legally admitted alien
  • You must have a high school education or a GED equivalent

Listed above are the statutory requirements that must be fulfilled to qualify for a real estate career. 

Apart from these eligibility norms, let us now dive into other SC real estate license requirements

Pre-licensing Education Courses   

All aspiring real estate agents must mandatorily go through pre-licensing education as established by the South Carolina Real Estate Commission.  

This means if you are applying for a real estate salesperson license, you must complete 90 hours of coursework from a school accredited by the South Carolina Real Estate Commission. 

You can choose between the different education providers and select the one most suitable for your learning needs. 

The 90 hours of pre-licensing education is divided into two mandatory courses as follows: 

  • 60 hours Unit 1 Salesperson course
  • 30 hours Unit 2 Advanced Principles of Real Estate course

Pre-licensing courses are formulated to give applicants an overview of the state and federal laws, rules, and guidelines for the real estate industry. 

You will also learn about real estate principles, practices, and policies as part of the coursework.

This knowledge will help you understand more about how the real estate market works and what your daily duties as a real estate salesperson will look like. 

You can sit for the licensing exam only after completing the required hours of pre-licensing education. 

Exam Registration and Completion

To obtain your South Carolina real estate license, you must take the state licensing exam. 

You can do so by paying a fee of $63 and submitting your licensing application via mail or online. 

The South Carolina licensing exam tests your knowledge of the real estate industry and consists of 120 questions.  

To clear the exam, you must score at least 70% or above. You will get 200 minutes to attempt all the questions. 

Immediately after you have completed the test, you will receive a scoring document that states whether you have passed the test or failed it. 

Background Check

Once you have cleared the licensing exam, you will receive your initial application eligibility. 

According to the South Carolina Real Estate Commission (SCREC), every applicant must undergo a background check before they become a licensed real estate agent or broker. 

The SCERC requires all candidates to complete a dual-step verification from both the State Law Enforcement Department as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

To do so, you will have to visit a state-approved fingerprinting center where you can get your electronic fingerprints taken. This state-specific check is conducted by the State Law Enforcement Department. The national check is conducted by the FBI using the social security number to look for any criminal records. 

It will cost you around $25 to get your electronic fingerprints. 

Step-by-step Procedure for Getting A Real Estate License in South Carolina

Step 1: Assess Your Eligibility

If you are wondering how to get a real estate license in South Carolina, you must first start by assessing whether you are eligible or not.

We strongly recommend meeting the eligibility requirements before investing time, effort, and money. 

Like most states, South Carolina has a general set of statutory requirements that are related to age, education, and citizenship. For more details in this regard, visit the website of the SCREC.  

Step 2: The Duration of the Pre-Licensing Exam

SCREC mandates 90 hours of pre-licensing education split into 60 hours of basic salesperson course and 30 hours for advanced real estate principles.  

Many students seek expert assistance and guidance in pre-licensing courses to help them reach their goal of clearing the SC real estate licensing exam. 

Step 3: Clearing the Licensing Exam 

For getting a real estate license in South Carolina, the most critical aspect is cracking the licensing exam.  

The test is a closed-book one and it requires the presence of a proctor as a supervising authority. 

Every applicant is required to take and pass the test by scoring a minimum of 80 percent in each of the national and state-specific portions of the exam. 

Step 4: Legal Documents and Paperwork

Once you have completed the pre-licensing education and cleared the South Carolina licensing exam, you can move to the next step. 

This step requires the completion of legal documents such as electronic fingerprints and proof of social security number. 

This is to ensure that every applicant meets the standards of safety, integrity, and truthfulness. 

Expenses For Obtaining a SC Real Estate License

Pre-Licensing Course Fees

The total expenses for obtaining a real estate license in South Carolina are between $200 to $700.

The course fees vary as per the education provider, content delivery type, and your package of choice among other reasons. 

Since you have to complete 90 hours of pre-licensing education, it is often recommended to enroll in a self-paced online course. 

Many online course providers in South Carolina allow students to work through the curriculum at their own pace and this provides great flexibility compared to in-classroom learning. 

Examination Fees

Taking the South Carolina licensing exam is a mandatory step for aspiring real estate professionals. 

It will cost you $63 for each attempt at the licensing test. You can choose to repeat the exam if you do not succeed by paying the fees again. 

Licensing and Application Fees

The fee to submit and approve your SC real estate license application is $50.