How To Become A Real Estate Agent In the D.C.

Earning and keeping a real estate license in Washington, DC, requires both initial and continuing education. Standards are set by the DC Real Estate Commission (DCREC). They also designate certain approved educational providers.

Unfortunately, AgentCampus by 360training doesn't offer real estate courses in the District of Columbia at this time. You'll need to visit the DCREC website to find a list of eligible schools.

Even though we don't offer courses to DC licensees, we understand how overwhelming it can be to parse the licensing requirements in any jurisdiction. To make things a little easier, we'll review the licensing process for you below: the coursework, exams, deadlines, and more. We'll also explain how license renewal works in Washington, DC, and where you can get your CE online.

What Are Washington, DC's Real Estate Pre-Licensing Education Requirements?

DCREC requires 60 hours of pre-licensing coursework from an approved educational provider.

By regulation, the District of Columbia Principles and Practices of Real Estate course includes: 

  • Principles of Real Estate (2 hours)
  • Salesperson's Duties and Responsibilities (2 hours)
  • Rules of Agency and Listings (2 hours)
  • Deposits, Escrow, and Recordkeeping (2 hours)
  • Interests and Rights in Real Property (2 hours)
  • Forms of Ownership (2 hours)
  • Forms of Legal Description (1 hour)
  • Real Estate Contracts and the Law (2 hours)
  • Fair Housing/Equal Opportunity in Housing (2 hours)
  • National Ethical Practices in Real Estate (1 hour)
  • DC Code of Ethics (2 hours)
  • DC Real Estate Licensing Laws and Regulations (2 hours)
  • DC Law and Common Violations of the Real Estate Licensure Act of 1982, Case Studies and Review (1 hour)
  • Regulatory and Consumer Affairs (1 hour)
  • Tri-area Issues, Reciprocity and Dual Licenses (1 hour)
  • Federal and Regional Laws and Practices (2 hours)
  • The Property Manager (3 hours)
  • Landlord/Tenant Relationship (2 hours)
  • Condominiums, Cooperatives (1 hour)
  • Transfer of Title to Real Property (2 hours)
  • Real Estate Economics and Fiscal Policy (1 hour)
  • Real Estate Financing (4 hours)
  • Real Estate Mathematics (3 hours) 
  • Pricing Property and the Appraisal Process (2 hours)
  • Taxes and Assessments (2 hours)
  • Real Property Insurance and Investments (1 hour)
  • Title Insurance and Settlements (3 hours)
  • Introduction to Commercial Property (1 hour)
  • Land-Use Control (1 hour)
  • Securities and Syndication (1 hour)
  • Residential Construction and Home Inspection (1 hour)
  • Environmental Issues (2 hours)
  • Real Estate Office Management (1 hour)
  • Technology and Real Estate Trends (1 hour)
  • New Home Sales and Marketing (1 hour)

Who is Eligible to Become a Real Estate Agent in Washington, DC?

To be eligible for a real estate salesperson license in the District of Columbia, you need to be at least 18 years old.

What Else Do I Need to Do to Earn My District of Columbia Real Estate License?

To earn your salesperson license in Washington, DC, you need:

  • Proof of completion for your pre-license education
  • A passing score on the DC Real Estate Salesperson Exam
  • Complete your DC licensing application

What is the District of Columbia Real Estate Licensing Exam Like?

The exam is administered by a third-party testing company named PSI at their District of Columbia testing site.

When you report to the testing location, you need to bring:

  • An accepted form of ID that matches the name on your reservation
  • Proof of completion for your pre-license education

The salesperson exam consists of 80 national topic questions (with a 2-hour time limit) and 30 District of Columbia-specific questions (with a 1.5-hour time limit).

You'll know how you did before you leave the testing center.

What is the Deadline for my Real Estate License Application in Washington, DC?

You have 6 months after passing your District of Columbia licensing exam to submit your application.

How Often Does a District of Columbia Real Estate License Have to Be Renewed?

Real estate licenses need to be renewed every 2 years in Washington, DC. To renew, you must:

  • Complete your renewal application
  • Upload a passport-style photo
  • Complete continuing education requirements (except for the renewal period in which your license was first issued)

Real estate licenses have universal expiration/renewal dates:

  • For brokers and property managers, it's 2/28 of every odd-numbered year
  • For salespersons, it's 8/31 for every odd-numbered year

What Are the Real Estate Continuing Education Requirements in Washington, DC?

DCREC requires real estate licensees to complete 15 Continuing Education hours from an approved provider every 2 years, including:

  • 9 hours of mandated courses, including:
    • 3 hours of DC Fair Housing
    • 3 hours of DC Ethics
    • 3 hours of DC Legislative Updates
  • 6 hours of approved electives

Continuing Education hours must be completed before you turn in your renewal application. Your education provider will report your credits within 7-10 days.

If you've just earned a salesperson, broker, or property manager license, you're exempt from CE requirements for the remainder of the licensing cycle when your license was issued. New licensees should not start any continuing education until after their first renewal deadline, because DCREC doesn't allow credit for courses taken in previous cycles.

If you're renewing an inactive license, you must show proof of completion for the CE credits you would have completed, had your license been active. After 5 years, you'll need to repeat the licensing process to return to active status

What Kind of Jobs Can I Get with a District of Columbia Real Estate License?

Getting a real estate license in Washington, DC, can lead to different career options, including:

  • Residential real estate agent
  • Commercial real estate agent
  • Real estate broker
  • Property manager

No matter what role you choose, you can pick from a wide array of specialties and niches. You'll make more money in some than others – and unsurprisingly, the more profitable areas often call for extra certifications or licenses.

You can get a general idea of the salary you can expect as a real estate agent in the District of Columbia based on 2019 wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Job Title Average Hourly Wage Average Yearly Wage
Sales Agents $22.16 $46,090
Brokers $50.00 $104,000
Property Managers $35.73 $74,320

Since a real estate agent's income is largely commission-based, it differs a lot from individual to individual. Some people work part-time to earn supplemental income. But the top earners in Washington, DC, the 90th percentile of sales agents, make $106,670.

You can learn more about career options, potential real estate niches, and how commissions work, by checking out our Resources page.

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