In a nutshell, here’s how to get your Washington Real Estate Broker License!
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent
Complete the 90-hour Washington Real Estate Broker Course. This course must be approved by the Washington State Department of Licensing.
Schedule your Washington Real Estate Broker Licensing State Exam.
Take your Washington Real Estate Broker Licensing State Exam.
Get your fingerprinting reports and complete your background checks.
Find a WA Managing Broker to help begin your real estate career.
Apply for your Washington Real Estate Broker License.
Now, let’s cover each of these steps in detail!
How To Get A Real Estate License in Washington: Introduction
Welcome to this comprehensive guide on how to get your real estate license in Washington!
Are you looking to shift careers? Do you want to build a successful career in real estate in Washington? If so, you’ve come to the right place! This guide will help you understand:
- Who needs a real estate license in Washington?
- What basic qualifications do you need before you can apply for a real estate license in Washington?
- 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 WA real estate license?
- and more…
So, if you want to save time and money while studying to become a real estate agent in Washington, then you will love this updated guide!
Washington Real Estate License: The Basics
In this chapter, you will learn about the basics of real estate licensing in Washington.
First, you will learn why you need a real estate broker license in Washington. 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 Washington.
Who Needs a Real Estate License in Washington State?
Do you find real estate interesting? Do you want to change your career and try your hand at selling property in Washington? If so, then you first need to be licensed.
With a real estate license, you can assist people in buying, selling, renting, and leasing properties. Your license will also let you earn commission from your clients in exchange for these services.
The Washington State Real Estate Commission assigns and regulates real estate licenses in the state. It is a part of the Washington State Department of Licensing (WA State DOL).
We will walk you through the process of becoming licensed.
But first, here’s some information about salaries!
How Much Can a Real Estate Agent Earn in Washington?
As a real estate agent in Washington, you can earn an average annual income of $114,281. How do we know this? We looked it up on Indeed.com.
This information is updated regularly, so you can check out this resource.
Go to Indeed.com and in the What box, type Real Estate Agent. Then in the Where box type, Washington State. Now, click Search.
If you want information on the highest paying cities for real estate agents in Washington State, you can also find that on Indeed.com.
Scrolling on the page you will be able to see a few examples for real estate agent salaries in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Everett, Tacoma, Vancouver, Spokane, Puyallup and Port Orchard.
Now, let’s look at the different types of real estate licenses that you can work with in Washington!
Please check out our article: What Makes Real Estate A Good Career.
What are the Types of Licenses offered in Washington State?
Washington State Real Estate Commission offers many types of real estate licenses. Here are two that you will need to know about:
- Broker License:
If you have a Broker License in Washington State, you can offer to buy, sell, rent or lease property for a client and earn commissions. You have to do this under the supervision of a WA licensed managing broker.
As a beginner, you need to start with a WA Broker’s License. You must have at least three years of experience as an active Broker before you apply to become a Managing Broker.
- Managing Broker:
If you have a WA Managing Broker License in Washington state, you can supervise other brokers who work under you. You can also conduct real estate business on behalf of a firm under the supervision of a Designated Broker. You must work as an active Broker for at least three years before you can become a Managing Broker.
In this guide, we will look at how you can get your Broker License in Washington State. This is because having a Broker License will be the first step in your real estate career.
Now, let’s look at how you can get a Broker License in Washington State!
Washington Real Estate License: Becoming Licensed
To become a licensed real estate broker in Washington, you will need to follow six steps.
In this chapter, you will learn exactly what these six steps are.
Let’s dive right in!
Complete the 90-hour Washington Real Estate License Course
If you want to get a real estate license in Washington State, you first need to complete the 90-hour Washington Real Estate pre-licensing Course.
This education includes two courses:
- 60-hour course in Real Estate Fundamentals
- 30-hour course Real Estate Practices
You can complete this pre-licensing education either as classroom training or online sessions.
The pre-licensing education is offered only by education providers that are approved by the Washington State DOL.
To find out the list of approved WA real estate schools, you will first need to create an account to help you access the WA DOL website.
1. Go to the DOL Home page and click Set up account access.
You will need to follow the instructions to create your user access to the Professional and Business Licensing System.
You will then find the list of approved education providers on the Washington State Department of Licensing website.
After you complete your pre-licensing education, you need to pass your course final exam.
You must complete your pre-licensing education within two (2) years before applying for the WA Real Estate State Exam.
Once you pass the course final exams, you will be given a Certificate of Completion. You will have to present this certificate when you appear for the Washington State licensing exam as proof that you have completed your pre-licensing education.
The Course Exams are different from the Washington real estate State Exam.
Passing the Course Exams makes you eligible to apply for the WA Broker license, while passing the WA State Licensing Exam actually gets you your license.
So, don’t confuse the two exams!
Schedule Your Washington State Licensing Exam
Once you complete the 90-hour pre-licensing exam, you must schedule and pass the Washington State Real Estate State Examination.
You must schedule your exam with the PSI Testing Center. PSI is a nation-wide recognised entity that offers testing programs.
Before you register for your PSI Exam, you must register as a student on the PSI Student Portal before you complete your course.
Your registration will be completed after your school submits your course competitions to the PSI electronically.
Here’s how you can register as a student with PSI:
Access PSI's Portals page. Under the Student User section, select Washington. Then follow the registration instructions.
You can schedule your exam online PSI Candidate Services or by telephone.
Here is how you can Schedule your WA Real Estate Broker Examination Online
1. Go to the PSI Candidate Services website.
Select the following options from the drop down lists.
- In the first field, select Real Estate.
- In the second field, select Washington Real Estate Examination Program.
- In the third field, choose Broker Examination.
2. You then select Register for this exam.
After you register for your Washington State Broker Examination, you can select one of the following PSI testing centers in Washington state: Bellevue, Bremerton, East Wenatchee, Ellensburg, Everett, Kennewick, Lakewood, Olympia, Spanaway, Spokane, Vancouver, and Yakima.
You must also pay the fee of $121.00 to PSI.
Once you schedule your appointment with PSI, you will receive a date and time to report to the Test Center. You will only be allowed to take the examination type that you applied for.
Here is how you can Schedule your WA Real Estate Broker Examination by Telephone
You can schedule your WA State Broker Exam by calling the PSI at 855-746-8168 from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) Monday through Thursday, 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday and 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Keep your credit card available for payment of examination fees.
The PSI Candidate Handbook is a great reference for additional details on all steps in the scheduling process.
Pass the Washington State Licensing Exam
Now that you have registered for the Washington Broker State Licensing Exam, let’s look at a few details about the Exam.
The WA Broker State Licensing Exam consists of 130 multiple choice questions. These questions will be split across the National and the State portions.
Out of the 130 questions, 100 will be from the National portion and 30 from the State portion. These questions will be intermixed and won’t appear as different sections.
The National portion includes seven broad topics such as:
- Agency relationships and contracts
- Real property
- Property management
- Investment, and
- Market regulations
The State portion includes topics that are related to the Washington Real Estate License Law.
You will be given 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete the entire exam.
If you want to apply for a WA Broker license, you need to score 70% to pass the exam. This means that you should answer at least 91 questions correctly. You must pass both the National and the State portion of the exam.
After you complete your WA Broker State Licensing Exam, your score will be displayed on your computer screen. If you pass the exam, you will receive an application for attaining a broker’s license in Washington.
After you pass your WA Broker State Licensing Exam, your results will only be valid for 12 months. If you don’t apply for a Broker license within that time, you will have to start the process again.
If you fail the exam, you will receive the instructions on how to retake your exam. You only have to retake the portion of the exam that you failed.
You need to pass the failed portion of the exam within six months. If you don’t pass the exam within those six months, you will have to take both exams again.
You can reschedule your exam by visiting the PSI Candidate Services website and following the steps described in Step 2.
Complete your Background Check
Once you pass your WA real estate broker examination, you must complete your criminal background check.
You will also need to submit your fingerprints. Your fingerprints will be used to conduct a background check by the Washington State Patrol (WSP) and the FBI.
For this, you will be given a fingerprint card at the testing center at the time of taking the WA Broker’s examination. To fill this card, you need to get your fingerprints taken.
You can schedule your fingerprinting appointment by visiting IdentoGO.
You can schedule your fingerprinting appointment online by following the steps below:
1. Scroll down on the homepage and select Digital fingerprinting.
2. On the Digital Fingerprinting page, choose Washington in the dropdown.
3. Next, scroll down and click on Digital Fingerprinting under Enrollment Services.
4. Click Schedule a New Appointment.
5. Choose the Department of Licensing (DOL) from the agency/application dropdown.
6. Select Real Estate Brokers and Managing Brokers as the reason for fingerprinting.
7. Find the nearest fingerprinting location by entering your zip code or searching by region.
8. Select a convenient location and schedule an appointment.
If you live outside Washington state, you can get your fingerprints taken at the local law enforcement agency or a private fingerprinting company.
Find a Washington Real Estate Managing Broker
After you pass the Washington Real Estate Broker Exam, you will get an active Broker license right away IF you already are employed by a Managing Broker at the time of applying for your license.
You should remember that most Managing Brokers in Washington will be happy to take you on board. They will train and help grow your skills and expertise.
Here’s how you can find a WA Managing Broker:
- Google a list of Managing Brokers in your area. Make a list of at least 8 to 10 Managing Brokers.
- Reach out to those Managing Brokers. Explain that you want to work with them.
- You can then shortlist a few Managing Brokers and schedule an interview with them.
- Ask them about the training they offer, their commission splits, and if they will provide you clients right away.
- You can then choose your Washington Managing Broker depending on your goals.
As a newly licensed Washington State real estate agent, it is best to look for a sponsoring broker that has a strong education program for new agents.
Focus less on getting the high commissions early on, and focus more on getting properly educated.
You’re almost there!
Keep reading to find out how you can apply for your Washington State Real Estate license.
Apply for a Washington Real Estate Broker License
Now that you have passed the WA State Real Estate State Exam and your background checks are complete, you can submit your Washington Real Estate Broker License application!
Remember that once you pass your WA Broker State Licensing Exam, your results will only be valid for 12 months. If you don’t apply for a Broker license within that time, you will have to start the process again.
Here’s how you can complete your WA Real Estate Broker License application.
1. You will receive a notification from the Washington State Department of Licensing about your passing exam results.
2. Login to your SecureAccess Washington (SAW) account to start your application.
You must use Google Chrome as your default browser when you login to your SAW account. You also need to allow pop-ups.
If you don’t have a SAW account, you can learn how to create your account on the Washington State Department of Licensing guide.
3. After logging in to your SAW account, you need to go to the Your To-Do’s section on the homepage.
- Don’t apply for your license if you don’t see the Apply for License button in the Your To-Do’s section. This means that the WA State Department of Licensing has not received your results.
- You can’t proceed with your application if you see a reminder to submit your fingerprints, even if you already submitted them. This means that the WA State Department of Licensing has not received your results. It can take upto 14 days for your fingerprints to reach them.
- Please contact [email protected] if it’s been more than 14 business days since you submitted your fingerprints and 4 business days since you passed your exams and you still can’t see Your To-Do’s section.
4. In Your To-Do’s section, you need to click Apply for License.
5. After clicking Apply for License, you need to pay your fees online.
- You need to pay a licensure fee of $223.
- You also need to pay a $10 research fee.
6. You can now get your license.
- A firm can also invite you to join them after you get your license. This way you can activate your license.
- If you want to accept their invitation. You just have to log in!
Washington State Real Estate License Reciprocity
Are you licensed in another state? If you are, then you could use the WA real estate reciprocity program to apply for a broker license.
Here is how you will do that.
If you have been actively licensed in another state, at a level equivalent to or greater than a WA real estate broker, within the last 6 months, you will need to:
- Upload a License History from the state in which you have a license
- Submit fingerprint background check results
- Provide documents for the legal background questions, if needed.
This information will be reviewed by the Washington State DOL and you will receive further instructions for scheduling your Exam once you have been approved. You will only need to take the Washington law portion of the State Exam.
Washington Real Estate License: The Costs
Getting your Washington 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 WA real estate license application fee, the examination fee, and the fee for background checks.
Variable costs are what you will spend for the WA real estate licensing course 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 Associated with Getting Your Online Washington Real Estate Licensing Course?
There are multiple schools that offer online and in-person courses for Washington real estate licensing.
These courses usually cost approximately between $199 and $500 for online courses and between $300 and $600 for classroom and live streaming courses. These costs can vary depending on the content and the type of services that these schools offer.
If you choose an online course over a classroom course, you will have an advantage in terms of saving time and money.
You should note that prices may change after the publication of the page. Please do your own research for the most recent prices and programmes.
You can find some online educational providers below.
RealEstateU® offers the Washington Real Estate Broker Course Online Full 90-Hour Package for $199. We believe this is the most affordable real estate licensing course in Washington.
AceableAgent offers the 90-hour Real Estate Course approved by WA DOL starting at $215.
TheCEShop offers 90-hour Washington Broker Real Estate License Packages ranging from $239.20 to $543.20.
RealEstateExpress offers Washington Real Estate License Education Packages ranging from $309.00 to $589.00.
Washington Real Estate Physical Classroom Licensing Courses
Other than online courses, you can also enroll yourself in classroom courses and live streaming programs.
You can find some options below.
Gateway School of Real Estate offers classroom courses starting at $575.
Rockwell Institute offers classroom courses for Washington Real Estate License starting at $599.
SAVE MONEY & TIME:
The prices between online and classroom courses can differ.
Online courses are generally more affordable when they are entirely eLearning based (i.e. there is no live instructor involved and you study at your own pace).
Some educators offer live streaming courses, which have a live instructor conducting the sessions in an online environment. These types of online courses are typically more expensive as they mimic a classroom setting.
Now that you know the variable costs for getting your Washington Real Estate Broker License, let’s look at the fixed costs.
What are the Fixed Costs Associated With Getting Your Washington Real Estate License?
Now that you know the variable costs, you also have to pay certain fixed costs when you apply for your Washington Real Estate Broker License. These fixed costs are as follows:
State Exam Fee
License Application Fee
Background Check/ Fingerprinting Fee
Now that you know the variable and fixed costs for your Washington Real Estate Broker License, we can calculate the total cost of obtaining your Washington Real Estate broker License.
Online Course at RealEstateU
State Exam Fee
Criminal Record Check Fee
License Application Fee
The total cost to acquire your Washington Real Estate Broker License will be $649.
Washington 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 Washington license?
- How long would the WA real estate license application process take?
- When can I expect to receive the WA real estate state exam results?
That’s what this Chapter will focus on.
Let’s jump right in!
The estimated time you need to complete the entire process of getting your Washington Real Estate Broker License is approximately 4 months.
Estimated Time for Completing the Education Requirements
6 weeks (depends on you)
The estimated time you need to complete your 90-hour Washington Real Estate Broker pre-licensing course online is approximately 6 weeks. However, you can finish it sooner or later depending on the speed of your progress.
In the end, your willingness and the time you devote to studying everyday determines your progress. The more hours you put in a day, the sooner you complete the course.
Application Process, State Exam, and Background Checks
The estimated time you need to complete the rest of the process and receive your license is approximately 2 months. This also includes the time needed by the Department of Licensing to approve your license.
You also need to account for time needed to transfer your fingerprinting reports, exam results, etc. to the Department of Licensing.
Keeping these points in mind, we usually see students complete the entire process in approximately 4 months.