In a nutshell, here is how to get your real estate license in Wisconsin.
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You must have a Social Security number (SSN) and be either a U.S. citizen, or be legally authorized to work in the U.S.
Complete the 72-hour Wisconsin real estate license course. This course must be approved by the Wisconsin DSPS.
Get a background check done by submitting a form to the DSPS. Disclose any prior convictions you may have under Federal or State law, no matter how insignificant you may think it is!
Apply for your Wisconsin Real Estate Salesperson license.
Find yourself a WI sponsoring broker to help begin your real estate career.
Apply for your Wisconsin Real Estate Salesperson license.
Now, let’s get into the details of each step.
How To Get A Real Estate License in Wisconsin: Introduction
Welcome to this step-by-step guide on how to get your real estate license in Wisconsin!
Are you thinking of pursuing a career in the real estate sector in Wisconsin? This guide will help you find answers to questions like:
- Who needs a real estate license in Wisconsin?
- What qualifications do you need to be able to apply for a real estate license in Wisconsin?
- What are the WI education requirements you need to complete?
- How much will you need to spend on getting a license?
- How long does the whole process of getting your Wisconsin real estate license take?
- and more…
Would you like to save time and money while studying to become a real estate agent in Wisconsin? Then this guide will help you do just that!
Wisconsin Real Estate License: The Basics
In this chapter, you will learn about the basics of real estate licensing in Wisconsin.
First, you will learn why you need a real estate broker license in Wisconsin. 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 Wisconsin.
Who Needs a Real Estate License in Wisconsin?
If you wish to work as a real estate agent in Wisconsin, represent buyers, sellers, tenants or landlords and earn a commission in the state of Wisconsin, then you will first need a valid real estate license.
As a licensed real estate agent in Wisconsin, you will be able to work actively in the real estate industry. You would start as a real estate salesperson and then move on to becoming a broker. Someday, you could even own your own brokerage business! But the first step in your journey is to become licensed.
Real estate agent licenses in Wisconsin are issued by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS). It is responsible for ensuring the safe and competent practice of licensed professionals in Wisconsin. DSPS licenses and regulates more than 200 different types of credentials.
How Much Can a Real Estate Agent Earn in Wisconsin?
As a licensed real estate agent in Wisconsin, you could earn an average of $103,697 per year, including commissions. For updated information on earnings, you could refer to Indeed.com.
How do I do that?
- Using your web browser, access the Indeed.com website.
- In the What box, type “Real Estate Agent”.
- In the Where box type, “Wisconsin”.
If you scroll down the site will also tell you how much real estate agents earn in different cities in Wisconsin. Here is a list of the highest paying cities and what real estate agents can expect to earn in Milwaukee, Madison, Waukesha, Brookfield, Green Bay, Wauwatosa, Appleton, Janesville, Sun Prairie.
What are the Types of Real Estate Licenses in Wisconsin State?
There are two types of real estate licenses offered by the state of Wisconsin.
- A real estate Salesperson license
- A real estate Broker license
All individuals looking to earn a living from real estate sales in the state of Wisconsin must start as a real estate salesperson.
All salespersons must work for a licensed broker, also called a ‘sponsoring broker’.
A ‘sponsoring broker’ is a brokerage company experienced in the Wisconsin real estate market, who can guide you through the initial stages of your real estate career.
You can apply for a WI real estate Broker license only once you have held a real estate Salesperson license for at least two years (within the last four years). Your experience as a salesperson should have been under the direct supervision of a WI licensed real estate broker.
This guide will focus on the information you need to get your real estate Salesperson license in Wisconsin.
Please check out our article: What is digital real estate?
Wisconsin: Becoming Licensed
To become a licensed real estate agent in Wisconsin you will need to follow five steps.
In this chapter, you will learn exactly what these five steps are.
Let’s dive right in!
Complete the 72-hour Wisconsin Real Estate License Cours
The first step in getting your license is to complete the 72-hour Wisconsin Real Estate pre-licensing course. This course will cover everything you need to know to become a Salesperson and will help you prepare for the Wisconsin State Licensing Exam.
The pre-licensing education is offered only by education providers that are approved by the DSPS.
You can take the pre-licensing education either as classroom training or as online classes. You’ll find more information about this in Chapter 3.
So, keep reading!
Here’s how you can view the list of approved WI real estate schools.
1. Access the Wisconsin DSPS website.
2. Click on Professions and scroll down to find Real Estate Salesperson.
3. Click on Real Estate Salesperson. On the page that appears, click the link ‘72-hour pre-license program’.
4. You will now see a PDF of the list of DSPS-approved course providers.
Here is an example of RealEstateU being approved as a Wisconsin real estate school.
The 72-hour pre-license course will have a Course Exam at the end. You must pass this Course Exam to qualify for attempting the Wisconsin State Exam.
The Course Exam has 100 multiple-choice questions and you will need to answer at least 70% correctly to pass this Exam.
You will receive your WI Course Completion Certificate as soon as you pass the Course Exam. When scheduling the Wisconsin State Exam, you will be asked to provide this certificate as evidence that you have completed the pre-licensing course.
Keep in mind that the Course Exam is separate from the State Exam. Passing the Course Exam only qualifies you to apply for the WI real estate State Exam. If you fail the State Exam, you cannot get your license. So, don’t confuse the two exams!
Complete a Background Check
The next step towards getting your license is to complete your background check.
You must disclose any conviction of a felony, misdemeanor or any other violations of federal, state, or local law to DSPS.
You must submit the Application for Predetermination only if:
- you have been convicted of any felony, misdemeanor or other violations of federal or state law in Wisconsin or any other state, and
- you want a review of your conviction record before applying for a license
You will have to pay a fee of $68, by check or money order payable to DSPS, and attach it to this application. You can also pay by credit card. Refer to page 1 of the Application for Predetermination for more information.
The time taken to review the conviction varies depending on whether all information is complete. All documentation that is received will be reviewed by the WI real estate licensing Board.
Schedule and Pass the Wisconsin Real Estate State Exam
The next step in getting your license is to pass the Wisconsin real estate State Exam.
You will need to provide evidence of having completed the pre-licensing course, when scheduling the State Exam. You must take the Wisconsin State Exam through Pearson Vue.
Pearson Vue provides assessment services to regulatory agencies and national associations.
You can go to the Pearson Vue website to create an account and then schedule your Wisconsin real estate State Exam.
On the Home Page, click Create Account.
Fill in your personal information. Complete the steps as instructed in the online form.
After you complete your registration process, you will be able to select the dates on which to take the WI real estate State Exam.
You must schedule the State Exam at least twenty-four (24) hours before your desired examination date.
To select a test center, you may choose one of 39 locations from where you can sit for your exam.
Click Find a test center on the Wisconsin Real Estate Sales and Brokers link.
Next, type in the address or state in the Search bar.
You will now see a list of test center locations that you can choose from.
Next, pay the examination fee of $65 either by credit card, debit card, or voucher.
Payments will not be accepted at the test center.
The only thing left to do now, is to pass the WI real estate State Exam!
Make sure you reach the test center thirty minutes before the examination!
The State Exam consists of national and state-specific questions.
There are 145–150 multiple-choice questions in the State Exam. You will get four hours to complete it. You must score at least a 75% to pass.
You will receive your exam result immediately after completing the State Exam.
You can read more details about the real estate licensing examination and the testing process on the Pearson Vue website.
Click the Real Estate Candidate Handbook link. The Real Estate Candidate Handbook is a great resource for information on how to prepare for the day of the State Exam!
Your Wisconsin state licensing exam results expire one year after you pass the exam.
You must apply for your Wisconsin Real Estate Salesperson license within one year. Otherwise, you will have to retake and pass the state licensing exam.
Find a Sponsoring Broker in Wisconsin
Licensed real estate salespersons in Wisconsin are required to work under a sponsoring broker. This simply means you need to be employed by a licensed broker or brokerage firm in Wisconsin.
As a new Wisconsin 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.
One easy and practical way to choose a broker in Wisconsin is to check out Indeed.com.
We searched for “real estate agent” in “Wisconsin” and found a list of brokerage firms. The list also includes information about how much a real estate agent can potentially earn working for each of these firms.
Submit your Wisconsin Real Estate License Application
Once you have a sponsoring broker, you can apply for your Wisconsin real estate license.
Before you start your license application process, you must have a Social Security number (SSN). You can either be a US citizen, or legally authorized to work in the US.
If you do not have a SSN, you will have to fill out the SSN Exempt Form DCF-F-2462.
You will have to mail the original, notarized copy to:
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services
Division of Professional Credential Processing
P.O. Box 8935 Madison, WI 53708 893
You can apply for your license through the DSPS Online Licensure Application System (OLAS). You will have to create an account if you don’t already have one.
1. Click on the Self Registration tab to sign up for your Wisconsin login.
2. Fill in the information to create your account on OLAS.
3. After you have created an OLAS account, click Log In on the OLAS Homepage. Then use the username/password created to start a new application.
Next, follow the steps and complete your application.
You will need to make a payment of $60 during the registration process. This can be done using a credit card or through a savings/checking account. You will receive an email from DSPS after you make the payment.
You will also need to upload the following documents:
- A copy of your Certificate of Completion for the 72-hour Wisconsin Real Estate Salesperson course
- A copy of your Certificate from PearsonVUE, which shows that you have passed the state licensing exam
Your Wisconsin real estate license will be issued within 5-10 working days after the approval of your application.
The Department will send you an email informing you that your license has been granted. You will also receive instructions on how to access and print a copy of the license online.
Congratulations! You can now begin your career as a real estate agent in Wisconsin!
Wisconsin Real Estate License Reciprocity
The state of Wisconsin offers a reciprocal agreement to active licensed real estate agents from the states of Illinois and Indiana.
If you are licensed in one of the two states you can apply for a WI real estate license using the Verification of Examination or Registration form along with your license application form and pay a fee of $60.
Wisconsin Real Estate License: The Costs
Getting your Wisconsin 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 WI real estate license application fee, the examination fee, and the fee for background checks.
Variable costs are what you will spend for the WI 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 Wisconsin Real Estate Licensing Course?
The online courses for the Wisconsin real estate Salesperson license can cost between $199 and $629. The cost varies depending on the course provider. You will generally pay less if you choose an online class over a classroom course.
Taking the Wisconsin course online will also help you study at your own schedule and pace.
For a quick reference we have included courses from various schools below. They follow the same curriculum provided by the state. Most of these courses are similar.
RealEstateU® offers the full 72-Hour Wisconsin Real Estate License Course
for $199. From our research we believe this is the most affordable real estate licensing course in Wisconsin.
Kaplan offers the 72-Hour Wisconsin Real Estate Pre-License Course for prices ranging from $349 to $629. You can take these courses either online or you can study by yourself.
Wisconsin REALTORS® Association(WRA) offers you an online study option for $345.
Wisconsin Real Estate Physical Classroom Licensing Courses
You can also opt for an in-person class to complete the Wisconsin pre-licensing education requirements.
In-person classes tend to have a higher fee structure. You also have to consider traveling to the education center and studying according to a regimented schedule. That could be time consuming.
Here is an example of an in-person class.
First Class Real Estate School offers in person classes at a price of $420 for day session and $450 for evening or Saturday sessions.
Action Real Estate School offers classroom sessions at a price of $450.
What are the Fixed Costs Associated With Getting Your Wisconsin Real Estate License?
Some costs are fixed and are set by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS).
Application for Predetermination
State Examination Fee
$125 - $193
Now that we have both the variable and the fixed costs, we can calculate the total cost for acquiring a Wisconsin Real Estate Salesperson License.
The costs we’ve presented below include the pre-licensing course from Real Estate U as it is the lowest priced course (according to our research).
REU’s Wisconsin Real Estate Salesperson Licensing Course
State Examination Fee
Application for Predetermination
$ 324.00 - $ 392.00
Now that we know the cost to obtain a Wisconsin real estate license, let’s look at the time required to get one.
Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin license?
- How long would the WI real estate license application process take?
- When can I expect to receive the WI real estate state exam results?
That’s what this Chapter will focus on.
Let’s jump right in!
Estimated Time to Complete the Wisconsin Real Estate Licensing Courses
Typically we see students complete the entire process in as little as 2-4 months.
The amount of time it takes to obtain your WI real estate license will depend on how much time in a day you can dedicate to studying for the 72-hour pre-licensing course.
Some students are able to finish the course in about 1 month. Others may need a couple of months to complete the requirements and qualify for the State Exam.
Application Process, State Exam, and Background Checks
Scheduling the State Exam can take 1-2 days. Studying for the WI real estate State Exam will depend on how much time you are able to put aside for it.
Finding a sponsoring broker can take around 2 weeks taking into account the time it would take to find, interview and assess if the broker meets your expectations.
The license application process from start to finish can take up to 2 weeks.
Keeping these points in mind, we usually see students complete the entire process in approximately 2 months.
And there it is! Your one-stop-shop to getting your Wisconsin license.
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