Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education

Iowa FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Must be 18 years of age - no residency or citizenship requirement
  • Must be sponsored by broker after they pass the exam; cannot apply for an inactive license
  • Complete the 60-hour pre-license course from an approved provider
  • In addition to the 60-hour pre-licensing salesperson course, all persons applying for a salesperson license beginning January 1, 2009 must show evidence that the following three courses have been completed:
    • 12-hours Buying Practices
    • 12-hours Listing Practices
    • 12-hours Developing Professionalism and Ethical Practices
  • Successfully pass the state and national portions of the examination
  • Undergo a criminal history and background investigation
  • Obtain errors and omissions insurance

Educational Requirements to Obtain a Broker's License:

  • A broker applicant must have 24 months of active salesperson experience and complete 72 hours of broker pre-license education within the preceding 24 months of passing the examinations
  • Successfully pass the state and national portions of the examination
  • Undergo a criminal history and background investigation
  • Provide verification of current errors and omissions insurance
  • Include current salesperson wall license with the application
  • Brokers who have never renewed as a salesperson must provide documentation of attendance of the following three courses: 12 hours Buying Practices, 12 hours Listing Practices and 12 hours Developing Professionalism and Ethical Practices. (Not applicable to salespersons originally licensed after December 31, 2008.)

Educational Requirements to renew a Salesperson License for the 1st Time:

All salespersons originally licensed prior to January 1, 2009 that are renewing for the first time must complete the following 36 hours of Commission approved education:

  • 12 hours Developing Professionalism & Ethical Practices
  • 12 hours Buying Practices
  • 12 hours Listing Practices

Educational Requirements to renew a Broker's License:

The state of Iowa requires 36 hours of Continuing Education to be completed during every 3 year renewal cycle. All education must be completed by December 31st of the expiration year. The 36 hours must include 4 hours of mandated ethics and 8 hours of legal update. The remaining 24 hours may be elective courses. Only 24 of the required hours may be completed via distance education. All courses must be completed within 6 months of purchase and include a final exam with a state mandated passing rate of 90%.

The state of Iowa requires 36 hours of Continuing Education to be completed during every 3 year renewal cycle. All education must be completed by December 31st of the expiration year. The 36 hours must include 4 hours of mandated ethics and 8 hours of legal update. The remaining 24 hours may be elective courses. Only 24 of the required hours may be completed via distance education. All courses must be completed within 6 months of purchase and include a final exam with a state mandated passing rate of 90%.

1.  Complete Your Required Education

Before you can apply for the exam, you must complete a 60-hour Principles Course, as well as 12 hours of each of the following topics: Buying Practices, Listing Practices, and Developing Professionalism and Ethical Practices.

2.  Take the Iowa Salesperson Licensing Exam

Register and pass the salesperson’s exam with the exam provider, Psychological Services, Inc. (PSI). To schedule your exam, you may visit the PSI website at: http://candidate.psiexams.com/index.jsp.

3.  Undergo a Background Check

Undergo a criminal history and background investigation. The Real Estate Commission conducts a check for felony and misdemeanor convictions through the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Iowa Courts On-line. These reports are reviewed for final approval once the Commission receives a completed application for licensure. The background check is valid for 210 calendar days.

4.  Get E & O Insurance

Obtain errors and omissions insurance. All active licensees must carry uninterrupted E & O insurance coverage in Iowa. Proof of coverage must be provided with all new applications.

5.  Apply For Your State License

Complete and submit the Iowa Real Estate Commission Application for Individual License.

  • Currently enrolled students with questions about reprinting a certificate, locating/tracking materials, or requesting a transfer, please contact our Customer Support team Monday–Thursday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, and Friday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Eastern Time via email at restudentsupport@brightwoodsupport.com or via phone: 

800.636.9517

If you live in:   
California, call direct at: 800.660.8105
Colorado, call direct at: 800.660.2188
New Mexico, call direct at: 800.777.1171
Texas, call direct at: 800.638.9708
Minnesota, call direct at: 888.523.1020

  • For questions about accessing or viewing your courses, or assistance with online education, our Technical Support team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to assist you by phone or email. If you require immediate assistance, please call. Emails will be responded to promptly and always within 24 hours from being sent.

Phone: 888.213.5124
Email: retechsupport@brightwoodsupport.com

We make every attempt to make our websites and products mobile- and tablet-friendly. However, not all features are compatible with all tablets and phones.

  • When working on regulated course material, we recommend using a Windows- or Mac-based desktop or laptop computer.
  • We recommend the use of Windows 7-10 or Mac OS X operating systems. We also support Windows Vista and Windows XP.
  • We recommend the use of Chrome or Firefox browsers. We also support Internet Explorer 8-11. We do not recommend Safari due to limited capabilities with certain features.
  • We recommend online learners have the latest versions of Flash and Java installed.
  • We recommend online learners have at least a 2MB connection.

In general, online access to study materials for courses shall be granted for a period of up to 6 months from the date of purchase. Online access may be less than 6 months, if limited by state law or changes made at the discretion of Brightwood Real Estate Education, powered by Kaplan.

View our Terms and Conditions policy.

All Brightwood College and Brightwood Career Institute, powered by Kaplan Real Estate Education licensing, postlicensing and continuing education courses are submitted and approved by that state's governing body.

Each state handles reciprocity differently. We encourage individuals who are licensed in a state and desire to become licensed in additional states to contact the target state regulator body for details. After obtaining the requirements necessary to be licensed in that state, our customer service team can assist you with matching courses to state reciprocity rules. 

What is the difference between a sales person and a broker? A real estate salesperson or broker is a professional licensed by their state to help consumers with real estate matters.  A salesperson must work under a managing or principal broker, this is the broker who is in charge of the brokerage firm.  Some states only license brokers, in that case, new brokers may be called broker associates and are required to work under a managing or principal broker. Much like a salesperson. 

A managing, principal or employing broker is a licensed broker who is in charge of a brokerage firm and the salespersons or broker associates of the firm. Typically to become a managing broker at least two years of active license experience and further course work and sometimes license exams are required.

No matter if you are a real estate salesperson, broker associate or managing broker the job is the same work with buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords to help them reach an agreement.

An appraiser gives an opinion of the quality, value, or utility of a specific property. An appraisal is usually required whenever real estate is sold, mortgaged, taxed, insured, or developed. A typical appraisal might include physically inspecting the property, measuring the improvements and collecting the associated costs, preparing a site drawing, writing the physical description of the property, researching official records and deeds, finding similar properties to compare, and writing a final appraisal report.

  • Make a list of brokerage firms you want to talk with. If you don't know where to start, browse real estate ads to see if some firms seem more interesting than others.
  • Visit your local Chamber of Commerce or Board of REALTORS® to find out which firms are best represented. Pay attention to television and radio advertising, billboards, and the “For Sale” signs you see in yards.
  • Make appointments with the managing or principle broker of each real estate firm on your list. Larger firms may have recruiting managers.
  • Ask the broker for an itemized list of startup expenses. Are you required to join local, regional, and national professional organizations? Are there recurring monthly or quarterly expenses for membership?
  • Find out if advertising expenses are paid by the agency. How about “For Sale” signs and other signs? Do they provide them to agents free of charge?
  • Who pays for long distance telephone calls to clients? How about photocopies, stamps, and other office-related expenses?
  • Does the firm provide in-office computers and printers for real estate agent use, or are you expected to bring your own?
  • Ask if the firm carries errors and omissions insurance for agents. If so, find out what's covered. Discuss the policy with an insurance carrier to make sure it's adequate.

According to Salary.com, most real estate agents earn on average between $36,566 and $47,610 annually. How much agents make depends on the number of transactions they complete, the commission paid to the brokerage, and their split with the sponsoring broker. If you are talking with a franchised agency, be sure to ask what percentage of each sales commission is deducted and sent to the franchising company. Top producers earn a lot more than the average real estate agent. Each real estate office sets its own standards for top producers, but it's probably safe to say that a top producer would need to sell at least one home a month to qualify. Mega-stars earn $200,000 and up per year. Very few real estate professionals earn a salary versus commission.

On September 3, 2015, Kaplan concluded a previously announced agreement to sell its nationally accredited schools, including Kaplan Real Estate Education, to Education Corporation of America (ECA).  This close secures the goals of both ECA and Kaplan, as each business is strengthened. This partnership continues to be a great fit and is immediately scalable while maintaining strong, career-focused education for our students.

Going forward, your Kaplan Real Estate Education courses will be offered by Brightwood College, or Brightwood Career Institute, both are divisions of ECA. You will still receive the same high-quality education you’ve come to expect from Kaplan, written and led by the same industry-leading authors and instructors.