How To Become A Real Estate Agent In South Carolina

To earn and maintain a real estate license in South Carolina, you have to meet certain education requirements set by the South Carolina Real Estate Commission (SCREC). You have to complete pre-license courses to secure your license then take a certain amount of professional coursework every other year for renewal.

Below, you'll find guidance on how to earn and renew your South Carolina real estate license.

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

SCREC requires 90 hours of pre-licensing coursework from an approved provider.  

The coursework is split into 2 "units." The first unit is 60 hours long and needs to be completed before you can apply to take the South Carolina Real Estate Sales exam. The second, 30-hour unit has to be completed before you can submit your license application.

Each unit has a final exam that has to be "proctored" – monitored by a third party in order to discourage cheating.

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South Carolina Unit I: Real Estate Principles and Practices for Salespersons

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

To apply for a real estate license in South Carolina, you need to be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A high school graduate or the equivalent
  • Lawfully present and eligible to work in the U.S.

In South Carolina, "lawfully present" does NOT include DACA status recipients.

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

Aside from the required pre-license courses, you also have to:

  • Complete a background check
  • Submit an exam application
  • Pass the real estate salesperson exam
  • Find a sponsoring broker
  • Submit your license application online

What is the South Carolina Real Estate Licensing Exam Like?

The exam is administered by a third-party named PSI in locations throughout the state. It consists of 80 national topic questions (with a 2-hour time limit) and 40 South Carolina-specific questions (with an 80-minute time limit).

You'll receive a score report before you leave the testing center.

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

Licenses have to be renewed every 2 years (24 months) by June 30th. You'll gain access to renewal applications on the first weekday of May in your expiration year.

If you fail to turn in your renewal application before that date, you'll owe late renewal or reinstatement fees that increase every month. If you haven't renewed by December 31st, your license will be canceled. You can't be reinstated unless you repeat the process for initial licensure.

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

South Carolina requires you to complete a total of 10 Continuing Education hours from an approved provider every 2 years, including:

  • 4 "core" hours whose curriculum changes every 24 months
  • 4 hours of Broker-in-Charge education (for Broker-in-Charge licensees ONLY)
  • Approved electives (2 hours for Brokers-in-Charge, 6 hours for other licensees)

Continuing Education hours are due by June 30th of your expiration year. If you don't meet your CE requirements before your expiration, you can only renew your license into "inactive" status.

There are a few license types that don't require any continuing education: Property Manager, Property Manager in Charge, or Timeshare Salesperson.

Additionally, while your license is in an "inactive" status, you don't need to keep up with required CE until you want to activate it again.

There are a few other conditions for full or partial exemption, which you can find on SCREC's website.

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South Carolina 10 Hour Broker In-Charge Renewal CE Package

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

Having a real estate license in South Carolina can lead to a variety of careers, including:

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

Each role has a wide array of niches and specialties to choose from. Some specialties make more money than others, but those often take further licensing or certification.

You can get a ballpark of your potential income in South Carolina based on Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data:

Job Title Average Hourly Wage Average Yearly Wage
Sales Agents $19.65 $40,880
Brokers $23.17 $48,200
Property Managers $24.32 $50,580

Your income as a real estate agent is typically commission-based, so actual earnings will depend on how well you sell. As a result, some real estate professionals earn supplemental income, while others make much more. In South Carolina, the top 90th percentile of sales agents make $78,930.

You can learn more about different career options, real estate specialties, and how commissions work by checking out our Resources page for more information.

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