Posted On: September 13, 2016

How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Washington

Real estate is a rewarding career, and you won’t be stuck behind a desk all day. You’re out meeting people, showing properties, analyzing markets, and staging homes. As a real estate agent, you guide people through the biggest financial investment of their lives. You can even help dreams come true. In Washington State, there are brokers, managing brokers, designated brokers, and branch managers. So, how do you become a real estate broker? The short answer: take a course, pass a test, get a license. The long answer is more complicated.

General Licensing Requirements

Each state regulatory agency develops licensing systems and requirements to protect the public from unqualified, unethical real estate professionals. If you want to buy or sell property, you must have an active real estate license from the Washington Department of Licensing. To qualify for a Washington broker’s license, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Successfully complete 90 hours of approved real estate education within 2 years before applying for the exam.
  • Pass the broker’s exam.

Course Requirements

To qualify for a broker’s license, you must successfully complete 90 hours of approved real estate education including a:

  • 60-hour course in Real Estate Fundamentals and
  • 30-hour course in Real Estate Practices
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Steps to Get Your Real Estate License

Do you want to be a real estate agent in Washington? To do that, you must complete the steps below.

  1. Register with AMP: Before completing your course, you must register as a student with the testing vendor, Applied Measurements Professionals, Inc. (AMP).
  2. Successfully complete prelicense education: Complete 90 hours of approved prelicensing education online or in person within 2 years before applying for the exam.
  3. Schedule your exam: After your education information is submitted to AMP, schedule your exam online by phone or by mail.
  4. Pass the licensing exam
  5. Find a designated broker: Real estate brokers must be sponsored by a licensed designated broker. This broker’s office is where you’ll be working and learning. There is a section on the license application for employing firm information.

Then it’s time to apply for a real estate broker license. To apply for a license, you must:

  1. Complete the Real Estate License Application form.
  2. Submit the application with a check for the $146.25 broker fee, payable to the Department of Licensing.
  3. Submit fingerprints for state and national background checks

You don’t even have to leave your house to take and complete the education necessary to become a Washington broker. 360training.com, a leading online real estate license school since 1999, offers DOL-approved online prelicensing courses that meet the state requirements. 360training.com’s Washington 90 Hour Broker Premium Prelicense Package includes:

  • WA Real Estate Fundamentals course
  • WA Real Estate Practices course
  • WA Broker Exam Prep
  • Plus unlimited practice exams and study guides

After completing the pre-license course, you can return to your student profile page where your Certificate of Completion is available for printing.

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To earn your real estate license in Washington, you need to complete 90 hours of pre-license education approved by the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL). You also need to pass your state licensing exam. As a Washington DOL-approved online training provider, we designed this Premium Package to put you on the road to success in your new career. It includes the required pre-license courses, plus a full exam prep course and real estate math practice to...

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How to Pass the Washington Real Estate Exam

Know What to Expect

Learn everything you can about the exam, process, rules, and the testing center beforehand. The testing company, AMP, provides a candidate handbook for licensed candidates that includes:

  • Examination administration guidelines
  • Exam rules
  • Exam study materials
  • Exam content outlines
  • Sample questions
  • Scheduling and registration procedures

There are two portions in the Washington Real Estate Broker Examination -- national and state -- and 3.5 hours is allowed to complete both portions. National and state questions will be mixed, not relegated to separate sections.

There are 100 multiple choice national questions. The state portion, which deals with Washington real estate license law, contains 30 multiple-choice questions.

Review What’s on the Test

Real estate licensing exams are extensive and require memorization. If you paid attention during your pre-license course, there should be few surprises because the exam covers the same subjects in the real estate course you had to complete.

The candidate handbook provides exam content outlines that tell you exactly what is on the test and how many questions per topic. Topics include:

  • Agency Relationships and Contracts
  • Real Property Ownership/Interest
  • Finance
  • Real Property
  • Marketing Regulations (purchase and rental)
  • Property Management
  • Real Estate Calculations
  • Washington statutes governing the licensing and activities of licensees

Use Exam Guides

Take advantage of the available materials to help you pass the exam. Exam preps or practice tests allow you to gauge your strengths and weaknesses and pinpoint sections you need to focus on. Taking the practice tests will also allow you to get familiar with the time allotted, the types of questions on the exam, and how questions are worded.

Remember to memorize the math formulas to solve common real estate calculations such as profit and loss, mortgage interest, down payments and commissions, and closing prorations.

While practicing, carefully read the question to determine exactly what is being asked. Regardless of the specific numbers and scenarios in the question, if you use the correct formula, then your answer should be correct.

Study Buddy

Sometimes, studying with a friend who is also preparing for the licensing exam will keep you motivated. Studying with others can be mutually advantageous. You help each other learn while holding each other accountable.

You will be motivated to not only do well on the exam, but to make sure that your friend does well, too. While you review the pre-license course materials, take notes and highlight key concepts. Use flashcards to quiz each other on major concepts. Study for 45 to 60 minutes before taking a break.

Get Plenty of Sleep and Fuel

It is important to maintain your health in general and specifically before taking an exam. Get eight hours of sleep for several days before the exam and eat a well-balanced meal. An empty stomach can be distracting.

Don’t take practice tests on the day of your real estate exam; it may increase your anxiety and tension. Remember to relax, breathe, and remain calm. Concentrate only on the material presented on the exam.

Be Thorough

Be aware of the time allotted and manage your time wisely, but don’t rush. Read every sentence and every word carefully. It’s much harder to answer correctly if you’ve misunderstood the question. It’s easy to overlook words such as “all” and “none” and mistake “is” and “if” for each other.

Test makers are also testing for attention to details and are aware of common mistakes and assumptions. They may include an answer that would be correct for the misconstrued question, so watch out

Don’t Forget the Details

It’s easy to miss details when you are overwhelmed taking a 130-question licensing exam. Ensure that your question number corresponds to the number on your answer sheet. One mistake will jeopardize the entire test, and you may not have time to fix it.

If you don’t know an answer, guess. Answer all of the questions and don’t leave any empty spaces on your answer sheet. Passing the Washington real estate exam is not as hard as you think if you are prepared, calm, and thorough. Commit to the steps above, and you should pass the test.

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Once you've studied Washington's pre-license curriculum, this course will help you master the concepts that will appear on the National and State portions of the Washington Broker License Exam. First, you can download and review condensed study guides that focus on the relevant material. There are dozens of pages of need-to-know information. Then, you can take an endless number of practice exams to test your knowledge. Practice exams have 130 questions and a 210-minute time limit...

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How to Get Your Real Estate License Renewed

Your real estate license will expire every two years. You must complete the required continuing education, pay a fee, and renew your license online or by mail. Washington broker continuing education requirements include:

  • First renewal:
    • 30–hour Advanced Practices Course
    • 30–hour Real Estate Law Course
    • 30 hours of approved continuing education, including a 3–hour Core Course
  • Subsequent renewals: 30 hours of approved continuing education, including a 3–hour Core Course

The Current Real Estate Market

According to Glassdoor, the average salary range for a real estate agent in Washington state is $60,00 to $66,000, but this can vary quite a bit according to location and an agent’s motivation and hustle. A broker’s pay comes from a portion of commissions based on the sales price of completed transactions.

Washington Real Estate Commission

The mission of the Commission is to protect and promote the public interest, including the interests of regulated licensees and the interests of consumers, by the development and administration of the licensing laws and regulations.

National Association of REALTORS®

The largest professional association in the real estate industry, the National Association of REALTORS® was first organized in 1908. To become a member, you must be licensed in an individual state to sell real estate and join the local NAR association. A REALTOR® is a real estate professional who subscribes to a strict code of ethics known as the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. So there it is. A quick breakdown of what you need to do to get a real estate broker license in Washington. If you have any questions, visit the WA Department of Licensing web site. States periodically update their requirements, so it’s smart to visit the DOL website once in a while to stay up to date.

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