How To Become A Real Estate Agent In North Carolina

Real estate licensure in North Carolina requires you to meet certain educational requirements. Before you apply for a license, you need coursework that covers the basic principles and practices of real estate. After you earn your provisional license, you need post-license education to earn your full broker's privileges. Throughout your career, you'll have to take continuing education prescribed by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission (NCREC).

Below, you'll find an explanation of the training and additional steps for you that are necessary to earn and maintain your real estate license in North Carolina.

What Does "Broker" Mean in North Carolina?

In most states, the licensing authority calls entry-level licensees "salespersons" or "sales agents." They only use "broker" when they're talking about the next stage of licensing where you can own a brokerage, handle transactions, sponsor new agents, and more.

North Carolina is a "broker license only" state. Entry-level licensees are Provisional Brokers, who must be under the supervision of a broker-in-charge.

Once a Provisional Broker finishes their post-license education, they gain a Broker license and may operate independently if they wish.

A Broker-in-Charge license enables a licensee to be in charge of a real estate firm and supervise Provisional Brokers.

We'll use North Carolina's terms while we talk about their process.

What Are North Carolina's Real Estate Pre-Licensing Education Requirements?

To qualify for a Provisional Broker license, North Carolina requires 75 hours of pre-licensing coursework from an approved training provider. Certain other college degree options will also fulfill your educational requirements.

You need to submit your application within 3 years of completing your educational requirements.

Sadly, AgentCampus by 360training doesn't offer North Carolina pre-license courses at the moment, only continuing education. You can find an approved pre-license course on NCREC's website.

Who is Eligible to Become a Real Estate Agent in North Carolina?

To qualify for a broker's license in North Carolina, you need to:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a US citizen or be a legal alien
  • Have a Social Security Number

What Else Do I Need to Do to Earn My North Carolina Real Estate License?

Once you meet educational requirements, you need to:

  • Get a criminal record report
  • Submit your license application with a criminal record report no older than 6 months
  • Pass the state licensing exam.

What is the North Carolina Real Estate Licensing Exam Like?

Once you submit your license application, NCREC will process your request and provide a Notice of Exam Eligibility. That qualifies you to register for the North Carolina Broker Exam.

You need to pass both parts of the exam within 180 days of being granted eligibility.

The exam is administered by named PSI, a third-party testing company, in several locations throughout the state. It consists of 80 national topic questions (with a 2-hour time limit) and 40 North Carolina-specific questions (with a 1.5-hour time limit).

You'll know how you did before you leave the testing center. If you only pass one portion on your first attempt, you only need to retake the portion you failed. You have to wait at least 10 days between attempts.

After 180 days, you'll need to reapply and take the entire exam again.

Once you've passed both sections of the exam, the Commission will assess your character for eligibility. If there are no issues, they will issue your Provisional Broker's license.

What Are the Real Estate Post-Licensing Requirements in North Carolina?

After your licensing application is approved, North Carolina issues a Provisional Broker's license. To provide brokerage services, you'll need to operate under the supervision of a Broker in Charge.

You need to complete 90 hours of post-license education within 18 months of your license issue date (as of July 2020). The requirement includes three courses:

  • 30-hour Broker Relationships and Responsibilities course
  • 30-hour Contracts and Closings course
  • 30-hour North Carolina Laws, Rules, and Legal Concepts course

The courses can be taken in any order, but the courses must be taken with an approved provider. As soon as you complete all 90 hours, you can upgrade to a full Broker's license.

If you don't meet the 18-month deadline, your license will automatically be placed on inactive status.


How Often Does a North Carolina Real Estate License Have to Be Renewed?

North Carolina real estate licenses need to be renewed once a year by June 30th.

What Are North Carolina's Continuing Education Requirements for Real Estate?

To renew your license on active status, North Carolina requires 8 hours of Continuing Education (CE) to be completed every year between July 1st and June 10th.

Courses must be taken through an approved provider (like us!) and need to include:

  • 4 update hours whose topic changes every year
    • For brokers eligible for BIC status, you need the Broker-in-Charge Update (BICUP)
    • All other brokers need the General Update
  • 4 hours of approved electives

You don't owe CE for the first renewal of your Broker license. You will need to complete 8 hours before the second renewal.

What Kind of Jobs Can I Get with a North Carolina Real Estate License?

You can serve a variety of roles with a North Carolina real estate license, including:

  • Residential real estate agent
  • Commercial real estate agent
  • Broker in charge
  • Property manager

Your career path will also be influenced by the niche and specialty you choose to inhabit. Some specialties are more lucrative than others. Be aware that you often need additional licenses or certifications for those.

You can get a ballpark of how much money you can make in North Carolina based on Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data:

Job Title Average Hourly Wage Average Yearly Wage
Sales Agents $19.00 $39,520
Brokers $28.76 $59,820
Property Managers $27.13 $56,430

With commission-based professions like real estate, agents experience a wide range of earnings because income is based directly on how well you sell. Some real estate professionals have earnings well below average. Others make well above; the top 90th percentile of North Carolina brokers make $83,620.

You can learn more about career opportunities, niches, specialties, and how commissions work by checking out our Resources page for more information.

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