Overview of Real Estate Licensing Costs and Procedures in South Carolina

By Ciprian Morariu Published: June 18, 2024

Real Estate Licensing Costs and Procedures in South Carolina

Your new career in real estate is calling and if you are ready to embrace it, then it’s important to put a plan to achieve your professional goal. 

Starting a new career is no easy feat, especially if it is going to be your first professional step. 

However, you can set yourself up as a licensed real estate professional in South Carolina if you fulfill all the eligibility norms as per requirements. 

One major aspect of preparing for a new career is budgeting the costs and calculating the necessary expenses required. 

The costs can quickly add up and there can be multiple expenses both planned and unforeseen in your professional journey. 

If you are an aspiring real estate agent, you must be aware of the price of becoming one. 

Yes, becoming a licensed real estate professional is an investment that will pay off in the long run, but you must be fully prepared for how much will that investment cost you. 

If you are planning to apply for a real estate license and start your career, we are here to help. 

A career in real estate is a rewarding and exciting journey but it is important to make an informed decision before committing to it. 

In this post, we will give you a detailed description of all the expenses associated with your professional journey - from real estate school costs to application fees and beyond. 

Real Estate License South Carolina Cost

Initial Licensing Fees

In your pursuit of becoming a licensed real estate professional, one of the most important steps will be to obtain your state license. 

Getting a license is mandatory for anyone who wants to help clients buy, sell, or lease commercial or residential real estate. 

The South Carolina Real Estate Commission requires every aspiring real estate agent to complete the educational qualifications to get a license in the state.  

Now the eligibility requirements to obtain a real estate license in South Carolina are pretty like what you will find in any other state.  

  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • A high school pass or equivalent
  • A citizen of the USA
  • Complete 90 hours of pre-licensing education 

Pre-licensing education costs generally between a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand. We will get into the details of pre-licensing costs later in this article.

Assuming you have successfully completed state-approved pre-licensing coursework, you will have to pay a one-time South Carolina real estate license application fee of $150. 

This is a fixed cost you will have to incur for each attempt at submitting a real estate license application to the SCREC. 

Along with your license application fee, you will be required to submit a few important documents and paperwork. Let’s take a look at the additional costs involved in the process.

Breakdown of Additional Costs

The process of obtaining a South Carolina real estate license requires the completion of a couple of additional and critical steps. 

One is the submission of fingerprints for verification of past criminal records.  

This is a mandatory step for all applicants, irrespective of whether they are applying for a real estate license for the first time or not. You must submit electronic fingerprints to a state-approved scan vendor.

This means you will have to incur the processing fees for procuring each of the above-mentioned documents and paperwork. 

Generally, completing background checks will set you back by $100 to $125. 

Another real estate license in South Carolina cost is the application fee for appearing for the licensing exam. It is a mandatory requirement for anyone interested in becoming a legally compliant real estate agent or broker in SC.

This will cost you a one-time fee of $25 for application processing.  

For each attempt at the exam, you will have to pay anywhere between $50 to $100. 

The South Carolina real estate licensing exam will test your knowledge and understanding of the pre-licensing course curriculum.  

It is important to note that if you fail to clear the SC licensing exam in one attempt, you can re-take the exam but you will have to pay the exam fee again for another attempt. 

How to Make Payments to SCREC

The typical cost to get a real estate license in SC ranges from $500 to $1000. 

If you are wondering how to pay for it, you can choose to pay via credit card, cheque, or demand draft as your preferred method of payment. 

Regarding the mode of payment, you can opt for online or via mail. 

How Much Does a Real Estate Course Cost?

Expense for Pre-Licensing Courses

To complete your pre-licensing education, you will have to choose between joining a real estate school in an in-person learning environment or enrolling in an online course or class.

To give you an estimate of the real estate school cost, you can expect to pay anywhere between $200 to $1000. 

The actual price of education will vary significantly on your education provider, the medium of content delivery, the type of package you opt for, and any additional features or value-added benefits such as test prep packages and resources. 

Put simply, you are free to choose between the most basic, bare-bones, and functional pre-licensing education provider or opt for a feature-rich, comprehensive, and popular educational course. 

The only important aspect to keep in mind before deciding on a pre-licensing education provider is that they must be approved and accredited with the SCREC. 

Cost of Continuing Education

While calculating the total real estate school cost for a licensed professional in South Carolina, it is important to note that you must also include the expenses for post-license education. 

Post-licensing education is a set of educational requirements which are mandatory for all license holders to complete. 

Also known as continuing education, it is a must for successfully renewing and maintaining your South Carolina real estate license. 

After you have successfully earned your real estate license, you must complete 10 hours of continuing education coursework every two years. Failure to do so would result in penalties, late fees, and in the worst cases, cancellation of your license. 

Generally, it costs between $100 to $150 to complete post-license continuing education. The actual costs vary depending on the course provider, type of content delivery, and additional features and course packages. 

In addition to the continuing education cost, you will also have to pay the South Carolina real estate license renewal fee of $45 to renew your license after every two years. 

Factors Affecting Course Cost

Many aspiring professionals and students often wonder how much does a real estate course cost in South Carolina so can they plan their expenses better. 

Let’s take a look at some of the key factors affecting the cost of a real estate education: 

1. Type of course: 

Not all courses are created equal and each of them has its own distinctive features, benefits, and advantages. 

Some courses focus more on theoretical aspects of the curriculum while others focus on practical training. 

Based on the type of course, its cost will vary from option to option. In-depth courses cost more than basic ones. 

2. Coursework teaching method 

Broadly, there exist three types of content or course delivery methods namely - in-person, online, and virtual. 

Based on the type of learning method you opt for; the cost of your education will be calculated. 

Generally, in-person classroom courses are more expensive than online and virtual education formats. 

3. Course features and add-ons: 

Many students believe all courses cover the same information and curriculum however, in reality, they are created differently to offer specific benefits. 

Advanced and expensive pre-licensing courses come equipped with more resources and features to boost your preparation. 

Highly-priced courses provide valuable add-ons such as mock tests, sample questions, study guides, and on-demand doubt-clearing sessions for students. 

Based on the course’s features, benefits and offerings, its price will vary. The more exclusive and advanced a course is, the higher it will be priced. 

Additional Costs (Books, Materials, etc.)

In addition to the cost of pre-licensing education, you should also factor in the expenses for study essentials such as books, guides, notes, and other materials. 

This cost varies from person to person and your individual learning needs, however, as a ballpark figure, you can estimate it around $50 to $100 for the duration of your education. 

Real Estate Exam Cost South Carolina

Fee Structure for Initial Exam

The fee structure for the real estate exam cost in South Carolina is $63 for each attempt. 

Since you will be required to submit your exam application along with background verification documents, you can add another $25 as an application fee. 

Retake Fees

If you are unable to clear the South Carolina licensing test on the first attempt, you will have to pay the exam fee of $63 for another attempt. 

In addition to the exam fee, you will also have to incur the $25 exam application processing fee for retaking the exam. 

South Carolina Real Estate License Renewal Fee

Renewal Fee Breakdown

You must complete additional continuing education to renew your real estate license. The cost for CE is generally between $100 to $300. 

Additionally, you will have to spend $45 for the South Carolina real estate license renewal fee. 

Frequency of Renewal

As per the SCREC, every active real estate license holder must renew their license after every two years.