How to Become a Real Estate Agent in North Carolina

Kaplan Real Estate Education

If you’re interested in starting a North Carolina real estate career, you likely have questions. This is a big move! People come to real estate from all walks of life…recent high school graduates, career changers in their mid-30s or 40s, and older people looking to supplement their income during retirement. The state of North Carolina has very specific requirements for people who want to become real estate agents.

First of all, it’s important to establish a few vocabulary terms in North Carolina real estate. In North Carolina, a licensed real estate agent (traditionally called a salesperson in other states) is called a broker. The person at the brokerage who oversees the agents (traditionally called a broker) is called a broker-in-charge in North Carolina. Becoming a real estate broker in North Carolina requires a state-issued license.

Requirements to Qualify to Become a North Carolina Real Estate Broker

To be eligible to become a licensed North Carolina real estate agent, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be a US citizen, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien under federal law. You are not required to be a resident of North Carolina.
  • Complete a state-approved 75-hour broker prelicensing course.
  • Pass the North Carolina State Licensing Examination with a score of at least 75%.
  • Once you receive your broker’s license from the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, brokers must complete all three postlicensing courses within 18 months of initial licensure to retain eligibility.

This list includes all of the basic requirements to earn your North Carolina broker’s license. But launching a successful career will take additional work.

Are You a Good Fit for a Real Estate Career?

Before going through the education and applying to take the licensing exam, you need to make sure you understand what a real estate career entails and determine if you are a good fit. When you work as a real estate broker, you’re the boss. You handle all of the day-to-day functions of your career, including office management, paperwork, lead generation and prospecting, networking, managing relationships, and negotiating transactions on behalf of your buyers and sellers. Do you know any licensed North Carolina real estate brokers? If so, talk to them! Find out what their world is like on a daily basis. Ask about the skills necessary to make a real estate career work. Get the answers you need and decide if you have what it takes to be a full-time real estate broker.

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Understand North Carolina’s Real Estate Licensing Requirements

North Carolina has very specific real estate licensing requirements, and those requirements change from time to time. The North Carolina Real Estate Commission’s website has the most current official prelicensing requirements. Kaplan Real Estate Education also has a Steps to Licensing page that provides simple steps to outline what you must do in order to earn your North Carolina real estate broker’s license.

Enroll in a North Carolina Real Estate Prelicensing Course

As listed previously, in North Carolina, you must complete your 75-hour real estate prelicensing course in a live online or online classroom. These courses are offered by a number of private real estate schools, as well as community colleges throughout the state. Choosing a school is a critical decision in your journey. Find a school with a solid reputation, top-notch content and instructors, and a focus on student success. The state exam is not easy. It’s also important to ask your real estate education provider if they offer any guarantees for prelicensing students. Your real estate prelicensing education will take a lot of hard work and cover a comprehensive breadth of material. The education you receive will lay the foundation for your career as a North Carolina real estate agent.

Apply To Take the North Carolina Real Estate Broker Exam

You need to apply to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission to take your exam. Once you apply for your license, you will receive your notice of examination eligibility from the Commission. Once you have received the notice, you can schedule your North Carolina real estate licensing exam with AMP, the state’s exam provider. You have three years from the date your application is filed to pass the licensing exam.

Pass the North Carolina Real Estate Broker’s Exam

Completing your education requirements is a critical first step toward passing the exam. But it often isn’t enough for most students. You’ll likely need to spend more time studying. Kaplan Real Estate Education highly recommends enrolling in an exam prep class. All of the work you do will be for naught if you don’t pass the state exam. Our prelicensing course comes with free enrollment in our comprehensive exam prep course. Completing practice exams, identifying and quantifying your strengths and weaknesses, and immersing yourself in comprehensive review of topics will develop your knowledge and prepare you to pass the exam.

On exam day, show up with a positive attitude. Use the knowledge you’ve acquired to master the exam and walk out with a 75% or better. You’ve done the work…now reap the rewards!

You’re Almost Ready to Start Your North Carolina Real Estate Career

Passing the exam is a requirement to practice as a licensed North Carolina real estate broker. But now you need to find a broker-in-charge to hang your license with. As a real estate broker, you are licensed to act on behalf of a broker-in-charge and may not act as broker independently. Many people will begin seeking a broker early in the licensing process.

The license you receive will be a Provisional Broker’s License. The state of North Carolina requires that you also complete postlicensing education to remove the provisional status of your license. There are three 90-hour courses you must complete. You must complete all three courses within 18 months of licensure to complete your postlicensing education.

Good luck on your journey to becoming licensed and launching your successful North Carolina real estate career! No two days will be the same, but they will all be a part of your rewarding and exciting journey in real estate.


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