Your Practical Guide to a North Carolina Real Estate License

By Ciprian Morariu Published: January 30, 2024

Do you dream of helping people get their dream homes while earning handsomely by doing so? 

If the answer is yes, then a career in real estate is what you need to achieve your dreams.

If you are looking to switch from your present job or even start a career from scratch, entering the real estate market in North Carolina is ideal for you. 

North Carolina is home to beautiful beaches and hence, seaside properties are a much sought-after destination for home buyers and real estate investors. 

Overall, the housing and commercial real estate market in NC has never been better for real estate brokers. 

Be it Charlotte, Rayleigh, Durham, Fortville, or Wilmington - there are many popular housing markets where you can work. 

North Carolina has no agents as it is a ‘brokers only’ state. Therefore, you will start as a provisional real estate broker which is the equivalent of a real estate agent in other states. 

If obtaining a real estate license in NC is one of your career goals, then you have made the right choice. 

However, you will need more than just luck and good timing to achieve your goal. Getting a license requires education, practice, and preparation. 

We will walk you through our step-by-step guide on how you can complete the education qualifications and meet the state requirements.

Guide to a North Carolina Real Estate License

Real Estate License NC Requirements

The question that first comes to mind for aspiring real estate agents is the process of getting a real estate license in North Carolina.

We are going to take you through the ins and outs of obtaining a real estate license legally. 

Let us take a closer look at the criteria for getting a real estate license in North Carolina

Overview of Licensing Criteria

North Carolina has its own set of rules that aspiring real estate professionals have to fulfill to get a real estate license. 

According to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission (NCREC), every applicant must meet the following requirements: 

  • You should have attained at least 18 years of age 
  • You may or may not be a resident of the state of North Carolina
  • You must be a legal resident of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien
  • You must have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • You must have a social security number

You can only proceed further to the next set of requirements after you have fulfilled the ones above. 

The next step is completing the educational requirements as established by the NCERC. 

Educational Requirements

According to NCERC, to obtain a license, every applicant must complete the NC real estate pre-licensing course first. 

Completing the 75 hours of real estate broker pre-licensing course is your first step towards achieving your goal. 

This course covers the basic concepts, key fundamentals, and the workings of the real estate industry in detail. 

As part of the pre-licensing course, you will learn more about important subjects such as: 

  • Real estate laws
  • Real estate transactions 
  • Property ownership
  • Fairtrade and ethics

The good part is that you can easily complete this course from anywhere as it is available online or in a classroom environment. 

However, make sure you choose anNCREC state-approved and accredited real estate college or course provider. 

After completing the North Carolina real estate course, you must meet the background check requirements by submitting your fingerprints. This requires filing a criminal record clearance report to the NCERC six months before submitting your license application. 

You must also find a sponsoring broker willing to mentor you in the initial stages of your career. 

As per the NCERC, every applicant must pass and clear the state and federal standards for character and ethics. 

North Carolina Real Estate Course

Importance of a Real Estate Course

Completing the NC real estate pre-licensing course is a mandatory step toward having a state-approved real estate license. 

Every real estate aspirant must complete the NC real estate pre-licensing course as part of meeting the educational requirements of NCREC. 

The importance of a real estate course is manifold. 

A pre-licensing course helps learners understand the fundamentals of the real estate market trends and the industry. 

This is important to have a solid foundation of the core concepts and a clear understanding of how the industry works. 

The better prepared you are, the higher your chances will be for clearing the North Carolina real estate license exam. 

North Carolina Real Estate License Guide

Navigating the Pre-Licensing Course

Course Duration and Curriculum

The course duration is 75 hours in total and you can choose to complete it either in-person or online as per your preference. 

Given below is the North Carolina real estate course curriculum with details of the various topics. 

  • Real Estate Laws
  • Real Estate Principles
  • Real Estate Investment
  • Property Insurance
  • Basic Construction
  • Property Ownership
  • Land Use Controls
  • Real Estate Contract Laws
  • Real Estate Taxation
  • Sales and Agency Contracts
  • Property Management
  • Fair Housing
  • Real Property Valuation
  • Real Estate Commissions

Exam Preparation Tips

1. Understand the Exam Format and Content

The most important aspect of any exam, and often the most overlooked one, is the structure of the exam itself. This includes knowing how the exam is conducted, the languages supported, and the questionformats.  

2. Create a Study Schedule

Creating a structured learning routine will help you to pace your studies during the tenure of the course. 

This way you can avoid stress and minimize the chance of burn-out before the exam day. 

3. Review Course Materials and Textbooks

A few days before the final exam, review the course materials with a special focus on key topics and the subjects you are weak. 

Choosing the Right Pre-Licensing Course

There are many different real estate schools in North Carolina and while the courses taught are the same, the teaching methods will differ. 

Some focus more on student-teacher interaction in the classroom while others provide anytime doubt-solving support online. 

To get the most out of your investments of time and money, you need to choose the right pre-licensing course or college. 

Thus, research the various schools in the state before selecting the course that matches your learning style. 

You should carefully evaluate the pros and cons of the wide array of options available. 

Here are some aspects you should consider while choosing a real estate school or course provider: 

  • What is their primary method of content delivery and whether it is an online or in-person course?
  • Do they provide mock test papers and sample practice questions along with regular lessons and classes?
  • What do previous students and learners have to say about their experience and overall feedback
  • What is the exam pass rate proclaimed by the college or course provider?
  • Do they offer any money-back guarantee or not?
  • Do they provide instructor support for doubt-clearing sessions?

One more thing that you must be clear about is that you should only opt for state-approved real estate training. 

This is important to ensure that you are meeting the latest curriculum and learning guidelines established by the NCERC.