Guide to Earning A Real Estate License in North Carolina

By Ciprian Morariu Published: June 25, 2024

Real Estate License in North Carolina

Introduction to Real Estate Licensing in North Carolina

The Importance of Obtaining A Real Estate License

Working in real estate is one of the most exciting and fulfilling career options you could choose. It offers a wide range of career options based on your skill sets and areas of interest.   

Did you know that you can earn as high as $110K annually as a real estate agent in North Carolina? The profession opens doors to a steady stream of income for both freshers and established real estate agents.  

In this article, you will learn about what it takes to be a real estate agent in North Carolina. We will go into all the details, from the eligibility norms and how to submit your North Carolina real estate license application.

Further, we will cover the expenses to get an NC real estate license at every step of the process. 

Let’s start with why getting a real estate license in NC is so important to your career goals.  

  • High earning potential

With an North Carolina real estate license, you will be permitted to practice in the state. Hence you can put in all efforts to earn a high commission in your career.   

  • Access to MLS

Only licensed agents and brokers have access to the wide network of MLS (Multiple Listings Service). 

MLS is a statewide database of real estate properties and helps agents and brokers know about available properties in the market. 

By gaining access to MLS, you will know about the properties you can offer your clients. 

  • Be more employable

With a NC real estate license, you can work in top brokerage firms and get access to more job opportunities. Your services will be in demand, both among clients and senior brokers.   

If you have a real estate license, you will stand out from competing professionals applying for the same job as you. 

  • More networking opportunities

You have more opportunities to meet industry experts at open invitations to members-only communities and events. 

Only licensed agents and brokers can become part of exclusive groups and communities in the industry. 

After knowing why should you get a real estate license in NC, let us study the process of getting a license in the state.  

Overview of the North Carolina Real Estate Licensing Process

Becoming a real estate broker requires you to complete a number of steps and meet state-specific guidelines. 

As mandated by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission (NCREC), you must meet certain eligibility norms. These include fulfilling educational and background verification requirements.

If you are looking for an overview of the licensing process, listed below are the key steps:

  • Step 1: Meet the North Carolina real estate eligibility requirements
  • Step 2: Complete the mandatory pre-licensing education coursework
  • Step 3: Provide your fingerprints and complete the background check
  • Step 4: Submit your North Carolina real estate license application
  • Step 5: Take and pass the NC real estate licensing exam
  • Step 6: Find a sponsoring brokerage

After completing these steps, you should get your real estate license within a few weeks. 

You might be wondering how to get an agent’s license in North Carolina. The fact is - in NC, there is only a single license type in real estate: broker’s license. 

Next, let us learn more about the specific requirements you need to fulfill to obtain your NC real estate license. 

Requirements for the North Carolina Real Estate License

To obtain a real estate license in North Carolina, you should meet the eligibility requirements first. Ensure that you are at least 18 years old, are a citizen of the U.S., and have completed a high school diploma or a GED equivalent.  

Once you meet the statutory requirements, you can proceed further to complete the next set of educational requirements. 

Go through 75 hours of pre-licensing education as mandated by NCREC. This must be from a state-approved course provider in either a classroom setting or online. This clause is essential to get an NC real estate license.  

After completing the pre-licensing coursework, you can take the state licensing exam. 

The exam will test your preparation related to fundamental real estate subjects and courses covered in your pre-licensing education. 

The exam has multiple-choice questions covering both national and state-level real estate laws and regulations. The passing score for this licensing test is 75%.  

Next comes the background verification and criminal history check requirements to gain eligibility for an NC real estate license. 

This is done through the submission of fingerprints to check for any past criminal records. This clearance must be submitted with your real estate license application. 

After completing all these stages, you will now receive a “provisional broker” license in North Carolina. This is like a real estate agent in other states.  

However, as the last step, you will have to activate your license to start working in the industry. This can be done by joining a brokerage firm to gain experience in this field. 

Now, let us go through the total real estate license in North Carolina cost for an aspiring real estate professional in the state. 

Let us give you a detailed breakdown of the various expenses with each component so you can budget better.

Detailed Breakdown of Real Estate License North Carolina Cost

Application Fee for the North Carolina Real Estate License

It takes between 8 to 10 weeks to submit the real estate license application and get a license.  

The application will include details about your personal information, educational qualifications, background verification, and pre-licensing course certification. 

Along with the application, you will have to pay a $100 fee for processing the application. 

Background Check Costs

To fetch electronic fingerprints and a criminal record report from the state authority, you will have to spend $35 as a one-time fee. 

Exam Fee for North Carolina Real Estate License

After completing the pre-licensing education, schedule your North Carolina real estate licensing exam on the NCREC portal. 

You will have to spend $60 as the real estate exam cost in North Carolina and take the test at a Pearson VUE center. 

Note that if you are unable to clear the test on your first attempt, you can take another attempt. However, to retake the licensing exam, you will have to spend $100 as an exam fee. 

Cost of Licensing Course Materials and Study Resources

The most significant expense of getting an NC real estate license is the cost of the 75 hours of pre-licensing coursework. 

How much does a real estate course cost? There is no fixed answer as it depends on various factors. The cost of the pre-licensing courses alone ranges between $200 to $600.  

Understanding the Cost of Real Estate Courses

Factors Affecting the Cost of Real Estate Courses

The fee may vary depending on whether you opt for in-person classes or join an online course provider. 

The type and medium of content delivery as well as the unique learning features are important factors in determining the cost.