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Real Estate License Cost Summary (2024)

To obtain your real estate license in North Carolina, you should expect to spend approximately $565, covering the costs of the prelicensing course, background check, application fee, and the state examination.

1. Pre-Licensing Course

2. Background Check

3. Application

4. State Examination

Total Cost

$374

$35

$100

$565

$56

No prior education background required

Complete the process entirely online from anywhere

North Carolina residency is not required

how get real estate license North Carolina

How to Get Your Real Estate License in North Carolina

Discover how to become a real estate agent in North Carolina and explore the licensing requirements to succeed as a Realtor®.

journey to goal

Schedule and Pass the State Licensing Exam

After your license application and criminal record check are approved, you'll get an email with your Exam Eligibility Notice. From then, you have 180 days to sit for the exam.

 

You can schedule your licensing exam online via PSI, the official exam provider for North Carolina. The test must be taken at a PSI testing facility within the state.

 

The real estate examination in North Carolina, with a duration of 3.5 hours, consists of 120 questions. This includes 80 questions that cover national real estate principles and practices, and 40 questions that are specifically tailored to the real estate laws and regulations of North Carolina.

Step
4

Submit Your Application

Applicants must submit a license application along with all required documents. You must be at least 18 years of age and be a US citizen or a qualified alien under federal law.

 

Apply for your license entirely online via the Commission's website.

Step
3

Request a Criminal Background Check

Order a criminal background report online through the North Carolina Real Estate Commission's exclusive provider. Once the report is ready, it will automatically be attached to your application in the next step.

If you have a criminal history, your application will be reviewed on its own merit to determine if the good moral character requirement has been met.

Step
2

Step
1

Take and Pass a Pre-License Course

To obtain a real estate license and become a real estate broker in North Carolina, you are required to complete a 75-hour pre-licensing course

In North Carolina, real estate broker licensing courses can be completed online with a state-approved school. The course certification is valid for three (3) years from the date of completion. 

Steps to Become a North Carolina Real Estate Agent

In North Carolina, individuals commonly referred to as "real estate agents" are officially designated as "real estate brokers." All real estate brokers begin their careers as Provisional Brokers. Learn the four key steps to start your career as a real estate broker in North Carolina.

Affiliate with a broker-in-charge

Once you have successfully passed the state exam, you will be set to activate your license and launch your real estate career. A broker-in-charge must ensure that a provisional broker conducts all licensed real estate activities under appropriate supervision.

Connect with a local Realtor® association

The association offers several success opportunities. You should become a member of the North Carolina National Association of Realtors®.

Complete Your North Carolina Real Estate 90-Hour Post-Licensing Courses

Provisional brokers are required to finish a series of three 30-hour postlicensing courses within 18 months of receiving their initial license to maintain active real estate brokerage eligibility.

You Have Passed the State Exam. Now What?

Steps to Become a North Carolina Real Estate Agent

Step 1

Take and Pass a Pre-License Course

​To obtain a real estate license and become a real estate broker in North Carolina, you are required to complete a 75-hour pre-licensing course

In North Carolina, real estate broker licensing courses can be completed online with a state-approved school. The course certification is valid for three (3) years from the date of completion.

Step 2

Request a Criminal Background Check

Order a criminal background report online through the North Carolina Real Estate Commission's exclusive provider. Once the report is ready, it will automatically be attached to your application in the next step. ​

If you have a criminal history, your application will be reviewed on its own merit to determine if the good moral character requirement has been met.

Step 3

Submit Your Application

​Applicants must submit a license application along with all required documents. You must be at least 18 years of age and be a US citizen or a qualified alien under federal law.

 

Apply for your license entirely online via the Commission's website.

Step 4

Schedule and Pass the North Carolina State Licensing Exam

​After your license application and criminal record check are approved, you'll get an email with your Exam Eligibility Notice. From then, you have 180 days to sit for the exam.

 

You can schedule your licensing exam online via PSI, the official exam provider for North Carolina. The test must be taken at a PSI testing facility within the state.

 

The real estate examination in North Carolina, with a duration of 3.5 hours, consists of 120 questions. This includes 80 questions that cover national real estate principles and practices, and 40 questions that are specifically tailored to the real estate laws and regulations of North Carolina.

In North Carolina, individuals commonly referred to as "real estate agents" are officially designated as "real estate brokers." All real estate brokers begin their careers as Provisional Brokers. Learn the four key steps to start your career as a real estate broker in North Carolina.

  • Obtaining your North Carolina real estate license is mostly online, including the pre-licensing course, application, and background check. The State exam, however, requires in-person attendance at an authorized North Carolina location.

  • To obtain your real estate agent license in North Carolina you must be at least 18 years of age, have a U.S. social security number, be a US citizen or a non-citizen national, and complete the following 4 steps:

    1. Take and pass a pre-licensing course

    2. Order a criminal background check

    3. Submit your application

    4. Schedule and pass the State licensing exam

  • To obtain your real estate license in North Carolina, you should expect to spend approximately $726, covering the costs of the pre-licensing course, background check, application fee, and the state examination.

  • Candidates typically take from 12 to 24 weeks to fulfill the real estate licensing requirements, but it can be accomplished much faster.  If you plan diligently, you can get the entire process done in less than 8 weeks.

  • The difficulty of the real estate broker licensing exam in North Carolina can vary depending on your background and preparation. The exam has 80 national questions and 40 state specific questions. You will have 2.5 hours to complete the national section and 1.5 hours to complete the state specific section. Preparation is the key to success and thousands of students pass the North Carolina licensure exam every year.

  • In North Carolina, you can retake the real estate exam as many times as you need within a 180-day eligibility period. However, after a failed or missed exam, you must wait at least 10 days before trying again.

  • No, the North Carolina real estate broker licensing exam is not open book. It's a closed-book exam that tests knowledge in real estate practices and laws.

  • North Carolina doesn't have formal reciprocity agreements with other states for real estate licensing. However, applicants who holds a current real estate license in another state that has been on active status within the previous three (3) years can expedite their North Carolina licensing by waiving the 75-hour pre-license course and only taking the state-specific exam.

  • The average salary for a realtor® in North Carolina is approximately $78,830 per year. This figure is based on data reported in January 2024. However, it's important to note that realtor incomes can vary widely based on factors such as location, experience, and the volume of transactions they handle.

Frequently Asked Questions
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