FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Why would I need a real estate license?

In general, anyone who transacts real estate business (including property management, time-share sales, and referrals) for compensation, as an agent for someone else, must have a real estate license.

What do I have to do to get a real estate license in North Carolina?

Take and pass an approved 75-hour prelicensing course, submit an application to the Real Estate Commission and pass the state licensing exam. The license is initially on “provisional” status, which means the license can only be “active” and used if the licensee is under the supervision of a Broker-in-Charge (“BIC”).

Are all real estate agents REALTORS®?

No. The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Note: You do NOT have to become a REALTOR® in order to obtain or keep a real estate license; however, if you join a typical real estate firm (which is affiliated with a local REALTOR® board or association), you will probably be required by that firm to become a REALTOR®.

How do I sign up for a class?

You can register on the website, call on the phone or email us.

State License Exam – Where can I take it? How many questions are on it?

The comprehensive state license exam consists of 120 scored questions. There are 80 scored questions (2 hours allowed) on the National section, and 40 scored questions (1.5 hours allowed) on the State section.  PSI/AMP, a professional testing service, administers the state license exam. The Asheville testing center for PSI/AMP is located at: 1306-C Patton Avenue Asheville, NC 28806.

What costs are involved in getting a real estate license?

$495 tuition for the licensing course (includes the textbook); $100 for the application fee to the state; $15 or more for a criminal background report; and $64 to take the state license exam.

I have a real estate license in another state. What do I have to do to get a North Carolina license? Click here for more information.

An applicant who holds a current real estate license in another state (or U.S. territory or Canadian jurisdiction) that has been on active status within the previous three years may obtain a North Carolina license without having to take the 75-hour prelicensing course.The applicant has two choices: (1) pass the “State” section of the State license exam and receive their license on “full” status (i.e., not on provisional status); or (2) not take any part of the state license exam and receive their license on provisional status (and having to then complete the three, 30-hour postlicensing courses).

What are the yearly requirements to retain a real estate license and be able to use it?

Let’s break this question into two parts.

  1. Retaining or keeping a license. Licensees must pay $45 by June 30th each year to “renew” their license. If not paid, the license “expires.” An expired license can be “reinstated” if done within two years of expiration (otherwise, the former licensee has to go back to square one if they want a license in the future).
  2. Keeping a license “active” or usable. Several factors have to be considered. For a provisional license to be active, the licensee must be supervised by a Broker-in-Charge (“BIC”), and the licensee must complete the three, 30-hour postlicensing courses within a limited time period (effective 7/1/20, within 18 months of licensure).

For all licensees, two 4-hour Continuing Education (“CE”) courses must be taken every license year (an Update course and an elective course). The General Update (“GENUP”) is the Update for most licensees, but the Broker-In-Charge Update (“BICUP”) is for licensees who want to maintain their BIC or BIC eligible status.

The schedule for CE courses is located on our Continuing Education page.

I have an inactive real estate license. What do I have to do to activate it?

Several things could cause your license to be inactive. What is required to activate an inactive license can vary substantially, from a simple request to activate the license to possibly 68 hours of education. You should call the Real Estate Commission, 919-875-3700, to confirm the status of your license and requirements for activation.

GETTING A REAL ESTATE LICENSE

What do I have to do to get a real estate license in North Carolina?

Take and pass an approved 75-hour prelicensing course, submit an application to the Real Estate Commission and pass the state licensing exam. The license is initially on “provisional” status, which means the license can only be “active” and used if the licensee is under the supervision of a Broker-in-Charge (“BIC”).

How do I sign up for a class?

You can register on the website, call on the phone or email us.

Are textbooks included in the cost of the class?

The textbook is included in the cost for the prelicensing course.

Do I have to pay for a prelicense course before it starts?

A payment of at least $250 is required to register for a prelicensing course. The balance must be paid on or before the half-way point of the course.

What do I need to bring to class?

For licensing courses bring writing materials and a calculator. Financial or real estate calculators are allowed, but any basic four-function calculator is sufficient. Calculators should be silent, should not have a paper tape, and should not have the capability to store words. You may also want to bring a coat, sweater or wrap even during summer months.

POSTLICENSING COURSES

What are the postlicensing courses?

Newly licensed agents receive their real estate broker license on “provisional” status. The postlicensing courses (three, 30-hour courses) must be completed within 18 months of receiving the real estate license. After completing all three postlicensing courses, the license will be removed from “provisional” status.

How do I sign up for a class?

You can register on the website, call on the phone or email us.

Are textbooks included in the cost of the class?

For the postlicensing courses, the North Carolina Real Estate Manual is required ($50 in addition to the tuition). The Real Estate Manual may also be purchased directly from the Real Estate Commission.

What do I need to bring to class?

For licensing courses bring writing materials and a calculator. Financial or real estate calculators are allowed but any basic four function calculator is all that is required for the course. Calculators should be silent, should not have a paper tape, and should not have the capability to store words. You may also want to bring a coat, sweater or wrap even during summer months.

CONTINUING EDUCATION

What are the yearly requirements to retain a real estate license and be able to use it?

Let’s break this question into two parts.

  1. Retaining or keeping a license. Licensees must pay $45 by June 30th each year to “renew” their license. If not paid, the license “expires.” An expired license can be “reinstated” if done within two years of expiration (otherwise, the former licensee has to go back to square one if they want a license in the future).
  2. Keeping a license “active” or usable. Several factors have to be considered. For a provisional license to be active, the licensee must be supervised by a Broker-in-Charge (“BIC”), and the licensee must complete the three, 30-hour postlicensing courses within a limited time period (effective 7/1/20, within 18 months of licensure).

For all licensees, two 4-hour Continuing Education (“CE”) courses must be taken every license year (an Update course and an elective course). The General Update (“GENUP”) is the Update for most licensees, but the Broker-In-Charge Update (“BICUP”) is for licensees who want to maintain their BIC or BIC eligible status.

The schedule for CE courses is located on our Continuing Education page.

How do I sign up for a class?

You can register on the website, call on the phone or email us.

BECOMING A BROKER-IN-CHARGE (“BIC”)

Why would I need two years of experience working in real estate?

The only experience requirement is for a licensee who wants to become eligible to be a Broker-in-Charge (“BIC”). Each real estate office is required to have a BIC. A real estate licensee must have two years of experience to become BIC eligible (and would also have to complete the 12-hour BIC course taught by the Real Estate Commission).

Do you teach the Broker-in-Charge course?

The one-time, 12-hour BIC course must be taken within 120 days of appointment as BIC and is taught only by the Real Estate Commission. This is a separate requirement from the annual Continuing Education that a BIC is required to take to maintain their BIC status.