HOW TO GET A REAL ESTATE LICENSE IN South Carolina
STEP BY STEP GUIDE HOW TO BECOME A SOUTH CAROLINA REAL ESTATE AGENT IN 2023
By: RealEstateUUpdated: 6 January 2023
In a nutshell here is how to get your real estate license in South Carolina.
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- A high school diploma or equivalent certificate
- You must be a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien
- You must have a social security card
You must complete one 60-hour course and one 30-hour course (90-hours in total). These courses must be approved by the South Carolina Real Estate Commission.
Submit your application to take the SC Real Estate State exam.
Schedule your SC Real Estate State exam with PSI Services.
Pass the SC real estate license exam to be able to move to the next step.
The State exam is divided into two parts: a national portion and a state portion.
Complete background and fingerprint checks. The South Carolina Real Estate Commission will email you with instructions after it receives your exam application.
Find a South Carolina Sponsoring Broker.
Submit your application for your SC Real Estate License.
Now let’s cover each of these steps in detail.
How To Get A Real Estate License in South Carolina: Introduction
Welcome to this comprehensive guide on how to get your real estate license in South Carolina!
Are you looking to build a career in the real estate industry in South Carolina? This guide will help you find answers to the following questions:
- Who needs a real estate license in South Carolina?
- What basic qualifications do you need before you can apply for a real estate license in South Carolina?
- What are the education requirements you need to complete?
- What should you expect in terms of costs?
- How much time would you need to get your SC real estate license?
- and more…
If you’re looking to save time and money while studying to become a real estate agent in South Carolina, you will love this updated guide!
South Carolina Real Estate License: The Basics
In this chapter, you will learn about the basics of real estate licensing in South Carolina.
First, you will learn why you need a real estate license in South Carolina. You will also understand why it is useful to have one!
Next, you will learn how you can have a successful career in real estate in South Carolina.
Who Needs a Real Estate License in South Carolina?
If you have a passion for real estate, and want to make it your career in South Carolina, you will need an active real estate license.
A real estate agent in South Carolina is called a real estate salesperson.
All SC real estate agents meet all the requirements set by the South Carolina Labor Licensing Regulation (LLR) to practice in the state.
Once you know the requirements needed to qualify for a real estate license, you can decide if it is a career path for you.
All individuals looking to earn a living in real estate sales in the state of South Carolina must start as a real estate salesperson. You will be able to earn a commission and represent buyers and sellers who want to sell, buy, list etc. any real property.
After 3 years of active, licensed salesperson activity, you can become a broker. Having a South Carolina real estate broker license you can be your own boss and oversee an entire real estate firm.
How Much Can a South Carolina Real Estate Agent Earn?
Let’s look up average annual salary information for real estate salespersons in South Carolina using a handy online resource: indeed.com.
The average annual salary for a real estate salesperson in South Carolina is around $101,662 and that includes the real estate commissions.
Here is how you can search for this information:
- Using your web browser, access the Indeed.com website.
- In the What box, type “Real Estate Agent”.
- In the Where box type, “South Carolina”
- Then click “Search”
If you need to know which are the highest paying cities for real estate agents in South Carolina, you will also find that information by scrolling down.
Below you can see how much a SC real estate agent can earn in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Fort Mill, Mount Pleasant, Hilton Head Island, Summerville, Anderson, and Myrtle Beach.
Now that you know what a real estate Salesperson does and their potential earnings, let's dive straight into how to get a real estate license in South Carolina.
South Carolina Real Estate License: Becoming Licensed
To become a licensed real estate licensee in South Carolina, you will need to follow seven steps.
In this chapter, you will learn exactly what these seven steps are.
Let’s dive right in!
Complete the 90-Hour South Carolina Real Estate License Course
In the state of South Carolina, it is necessary that you complete a 90-hour pre-licensing education course and pass the course exams before you apply for your South Carolina Real Estate License.
This course is split into 2 units.
Sales Course: Real Estate Principles and Practices (60 Hours)
Advanced Real Estate Principles Course: Advanced Real Estate Concepts and Topics (30 Hours)
You also have 2 options when you take these exams.
Unit I - You must complete this unit before you appear for the State exam.
Unit II - You must complete this unit before you submit your license application.
We recommend that you complete both units together if you want to get your license faster!
Each course includes a final exam, which consists of 100 multiple-choice questions with a passing grade of 70%.
You will receive a Certificate of Completion for each course as soon as you pass each final exam. Do not confuse this with the state exam!
The state exam is separate and we will discuss more about this in Step 4.
So keep reading.
You do not have to complete the South Carolina real estate licensing courses if you hold a Juris Doctor (a graduate-entry professional degree in law). Also you are exempt from the SC education requirements if you have a BA in Law or hold a baccalaureate degree or masters degree with a major in Real Estate.
You will have to upload a copy of the official transcript from the accredited College or University at the time of applying for your state exam.
Both the Units of the Pre-Licensing Education must be completed before you apply for your South Carolina Real Estate license.
Submit Your South Carolina Real Estate State Exam Application
Once you have completed the South Carolina Pre-Licensing Education, you can apply to take the SC real estate State exam.
You can do this online or by mail.
You will have to complete the Exam Application for Real Estate.
As part of the application, you must submit the following supporting documents:
- $25 as a check or money order, made payable to the South Carolina Real Estate Commission (SCREC)
- A copy of your driver's license, state ID, or passport
- A copy of your social security card
- A notarized Verification of Lawful Presence Form.
- A copy of your Certificate of Completion for the South Carolina Unit I Sales course
- A Criminal History Explanation Form, if applicable
If you choose to mail the application, you can do so at the following address:
South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
South Carolina Real Estate Commission
110 Centerview DR. Columbia. SC 29210
P.O.Box 11847. Columbia.SC 29211-1847
Once the South Carolina Real Estate Commission approves your exam application, they will email you the Examination Eligibility Letter.
This letter will allow you to schedule your State exam.
Your Examination Eligibility Letter is valid for up to 1 year.
If you do not pass the exam within 1 year, you must submit a new exam application to the Commission. You will then receive a new Examination Eligibility Letter before you take the exam again.
Schedule Your South Carolina Real Estate State Exam
PSI is the examination provider for the Commission.The South Carolina Real Estate License Examination has to be scheduled and attempted through PSI Services.
PSI Services offer a lot of different examination programs used by many South Carolina to host their state exams.
You can register for the license examination in two ways:
- Schedule online, or
- Schedule via telephone
1. How to Schedule Your South Carolina Real Estate Exam Online?
Go to the PSI Services website and do the following:
- register for an exam on the PSI website
- pay the examination fee
- schedule your examination
- take the license examination online
If you don’t already have an account with PSI, then this is the time to create your own account.
Here is how to sign up for PSI for taking your South Carolina Real Estate Exam.
A. On the PSI Exams website PSI exam, click ‘Create an account’.
B. Next you have to fill in the details and personal information requested. Click ‘Submit’ once you are done.
Now that you have created your account, you can go ahead and schedule your exam.
Click on the ‘Learn More’ tab under the I’m a Test Taker’ section.
Type South Carolina Real Estate in the ‘Find Your Test’ search bar and select ‘South Carolina Real Estate: SC Sales’.
The next page will provide you with information related to exam portions and fees.
You can now log using the account you created earlier.
You will then be able to view available tests and check for available dates.
2. How to Schedule Your South Carolina Real Estate State Exam via Telephone?
You can call PSI at 855-340-3701 to schedule an examination appointment.
You can speak to a PSI registrar Monday through Friday between 7:30 am and 10:00 pm, and Saturday & Sunday between 9:00 am and 5:30 pm, Eastern Time.
PSI offers the exam Monday through Saturday in Beaufort, Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, and Charlotte, N.C.
On the day of the examination, you should arrive at least 30 minutes before your appointment.
It is not possible to make a new examination appointment on the same day you have taken an examination. This is due to processing and reporting scores.
A candidate who tests unsuccessfully on a Wednesday can call the next day on Thursday. The candidate can retest as soon as Friday, depending upon available space.
Pass the South Carolina Real Estate State Exam
The South Carolina state licensing exam is divided into a National portion and a State portion.
- The National portion includes 80 multiple-choice questions. To pass, you must answer 56 out of the 80 questions (70%) correctly in 120 minutes.
- The State portion includes 40 multiple-choice questions. To pass, you must answer 28 out of the 40 questions (70%) correctly in 80 minutes.
You must pass both portions of the exam in order to pass the overall exam. If you do not pass one of the portions, you can retake only that portion for $55.
You will receive your SC real estate exam results at the testing center right after you complete the exam.
Remember to prepare well and get to the exam center in time.
You will receive the link for the PSI Exam Candidate Information Bulletin when you receive the Examination Eligibility letter from the Commission.
Or you can go to the Licensure FAQs tab on the South Carolina Labor Licensing Regulation (LLR) Real Estate website.
Click on ‘Salesman/Broker — PSI Candidate Information Bulletins’.
Remember that you must be sponsored by a broker-in-charge when you apply for a sales license.
You must apply within one year of passing the South Carolina real estate state exam.
We will cover these details in Step 6 and 7. So keep reading.
Complete the Background and Fingerprint Checks
You are required to get the following background checks:
- Fingerprint-Based Checks
- Social Security Number-Based Check
The South Carolina Real Estate Commission will email you with instructions on how to obtain your fingerprints after it receives your exam application.
You should NOT begin the process of obtaining the background checks until your application is received.
Once you receive confirmation from the Commission, you can go ahead with the Fingerprint checks.
The state fingerprint-based criminal background check is conducted by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
The national fingerprint-based criminal records check is conducted by the FBI.
Information on getting fingerprinted for these background checks will be provided once the Commission receives your complete application.
To get your fingerprints done you will need to visit Identogo and schedule an appointment.
To do this type South Carolina in the Search for services by state’ box.
Your search will display all centers that are available for fingerprinting in South Carolina. You can choose the one closest to you.
Social Security Number-Based Check
The Commission has approved Surveillance, Resources and Investigations (SR&I) to conduct the additional social security number-based criminal records check.
After you send your license application to the Commission, you can visit the SR&I website.
You have to submit an Authorization statement to SR&I to conduct and release the result of the checks.
Do not have your fingerprints processed until the instructions are sent directly from the South Carolina Real Estate Commission.
Find a South Carolina Sponsoring Broker
To work as a real estate salesperson in the state of South Carolina, you need to find a broker who will sponsor you. You cannot work as a real estate salesperson unless you're working under a broker.
You can find active brokers in your area by visiting the LLR website.
1. Click on ‘Look Up A License’.
2. Select ‘Real Estate Commision’ from the drop down box
3. Enter the options available to narrow down your search and from the ‘License Type’ drop down select ‘Broker’. You will see a list of active and inactive brokers.
Alternatively, if you know the brokerage you want to work for in your area then please use them to complete your SC real estate license application.
Apply for Your Real Estate License
After you pass the state exam, PSI will provide you with an initial salesperson application form.
You will have to pay a license fee of $50. You can make your payment to the commission by Visa, Mastercard or online check.
If you have a history of convictions or criminal activity, you will need to provide an explanation of each conviction as well as any relevant court records and details.
This is in addition to your criminal background report.
Once your license application is approved by the South Carolina Real Estate Commission, your license will be mailed to your sponsoring broker.
Then you can start practicing as a South Carolina real estate agent!
South Carolina Real Estate License Reciprocity
The South Carolina Real Estate Commission offers full reciprocity for residents of Georgia. You can find more information on the SC LLR website Reciprocity Application.
Active Georgia real estate licensees would have to provide the following details to apply for a SC real estate license using reciprocity:
- Copy of the state ID showing proof of Georgia residency
- Copy of social security card
- A notarized verification of lawful presence
- A certification of licensure history form the Georgia Real Estate Commission
- Any other jurisdiction where they have held a license
- A criminal history explanation form ( if applicable)
- Pay the South Carolina salesperson license fee of $50
The Commission also recognizes qualifications of other non-resident applicants who have already been licensed in other jurisdictions.
Even if they are not required to take the national portion of the exam they will still have to take the South Carolina state portion of the exam.
To receive the exemption for a portion of the exam, their exam applications should include applicable certification of licensure from any other jurisdiction where a license was held within the past five years.
To qualify, licensees applying using reciprocity must have been actively licensed within six months of submitting their South Carolina application.
South Carolina Real Estate License: The Costs
Getting your South Carolina real estate license will cost money. This Chapter will help you understand how much you would be looking to spend.
There are fixed and variable costs.
Fixed costs are what you will spend for the South Carolina application fee, the examination fee, and the fee for background checks.
Variable costs are what you will spend for the SC real estate licensing courses you need to take.
Online courses are cheaper than in-person classroom courses. Also, the fees you pay will depend on the school you choose.
Ready to learn the details?
What are the Variable Costs?
Online South Carolina Real Estate Licensing Courses
Online real estate Salesperson license courses for South Carolina will cost between $199 and $650.
The cost varies across education providers.
You will also pay less if you choose an online class over a classroom course. The advantage of online courses over classroom courses is that they offer savings in terms of time and money.
We have provided prices for the South Carolina Real Estate License Course from different real estate schools operating in South Carolina.
Most schools follow the same curriculum provided by the state.
So the licensing courses are somewhat similar.
Please do your own research as the prices may change after the publication of this page.
RealEstateU is providing the South Carolina Real Estate License Course for $199. We believe this is the most affordable real estate licensing course in SC.
PDH Real Estate Academy offers the SC Real Estate License Training for $416.
The CE Shop offers its basic South Carolina real estate licensing course starting at $449.25.
Aceable Agent offers the SC real estate license course starting at $479.
The Real Estate School of South Carolina offers the South Carolina pre-licensing standard package for $645.
In-Person South Carolina Real Estate Licensing Classes
Apart from the online courses, there are real estate schools in South Carolina that provide in-person classes.
Let’s have a look at the available options.
The Real Estate School for Success offers its SC real estate in-person classes for $644.
More options needed for in-person classes.
Next, let’s look at the fixed costs you can expect when acquiring a real estate Salesperson license in South Carolina.
What are the Fixed Costs?
You can find the SC Real Estate Commission Fees for the application and exam fee on the South Carolina LLR website.
Here is a breakout on all the pertinent South Carolina real estate fees you can expect to pay.
SC Exam Application Fee
SC State Examination Fees
Per attempt, for both units
SC New License Fee
Once in 2 years
If you choose the most cost-effective online course from RealEstateU, your total estimated costs would look as follows.
SC Real Estate License Course with Real Estate U
Exam Application Fee
State Examination Fee
New License Fee
South Carolina Real Estate License: Time Needed
The last few pieces of information you’re probably wondering about are:
- How much time would I need to study for the South Carolina real estate license?
- How long would the SC application process take?
- When can I expect to receive the state exam results?
That’s what this Chapter will focus on.
Let’s jump right in!
Estimated Time for Completing the Education Requirements
3 - 6 months (depends on you)
The amount of time it takes to acquire your real estate license largely depends on how much time you are able to study.
Some factors to keep in mind are:
- Dedicated study and preparation time.
- Clearing your background check.
- The amount of time it takes you to find a broker to sponsor you.
- Complete the 60 hour UNIT I course - This can take on average up to 3 weeks, if you dedicate 3 hours per day to study.
- Applying and passing your State Exam - After you have completed and passed the first unit you can apply for your state exam. This usually takes about 5 days.
- Complete the 30 hour UNIT II course - Before applying for your license you must complete and pass the second 30 hour unit. This course can be completed in around 2 weeks.
Application Process, State Exam, and Background Checks
Once you have passed your exam and submitted your application, you have to wait to clear your background check. Usually this gets verified in 7 business days.
When you clear your background check, your broker will receive your license.
The broker will hold your license for you as long as they are your SC sponsoring broker.
If you want to switch brokerages in the future, you can. Your license will be transferred from your old SC real estate broker to the new broker.