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After Getting Your License

Obtaining your real estate license is just the first step of your new career in North Carolina. You’ll need to invest time and money to maintain your license and be competitive on the real estate market.

Still, it’s a small price to pay when you consider how lucrative a career in real estate can be. Remember, you’re essentially launching your own business and it obviously involves some fees. Most of these expenses are tax-deductible. Moreover, all of your initial expenses will pay for themselves when you close your first deal.

Here are some of the most common expenses as a active real estate agent in North Carolina:

​Real Estate License Cost in North Carolina

​How much does it cost to get a real estate broker license in North Carolina.

​To obtain your real estate license in North Carolina in 2024, you should expect to spend approximately $569, covering the costs of the NC real estate license course, background check, application fee, and the state examination.


Candidates generally take from 12 to 24 weeks to complete the whole process of getting their real estate license in North Carolina. After activating your license with a broker-in-charge, you will be able to launch your real estate career and start earning commissions.

Here is a breakdown of the costs to obtain your North Carolina real estate license:

number one

​Pre-Licensing Education

​Candidates are required to complete a 75-hour online or classroom pre-licensing course. That fee may vary depending on the school and education package.

Cost: $374

number two

Criminal Background Check

​Cost: $35

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission mandates a criminal background check to process your initial application. The report will automatically attach to your application once ready. Fees may vary based on your previous residences.

number three

​License Application

​Cost: $100

Submit your application and required documents to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission. Approval takes approximately 10 days, after which you will receive an Exam Eligibility Notice via email.

number four

​Scheduling Your State Exam

​Cost: $60

Upon receiving your Exam Eligibility Notice, you can schedule and take the North Carolina real estate exam in person at a Pearson VUE test center. Every time a candidate retakes the exam, they must pay a $100 license application fee to the Commission. The Pearson VUE fee is $60 for the comprehensive 2-part exam, or $50 for a single exam section.

Real Estate License Cost Summary (2024)

1. Pre-Licensing Course

2. Background Check

3. Application

4. State Examination

Total Cost






Realtors® Membership

Estimated Cost: $250 per Year

There are many benefits of becoming a member of your local Realtor® association. In doing so, real estate agents are included in the National Association of Realtors listing and given access to useful tools and information such as the multiple listings service (MLS).

Post-Licensing Education

Estimated Cost: $367

All new North Carolina real estate agents must complete 90 hours of post-licensing education prior to their first renewal deadline.
The license renewal date is between 18 and 24 months after receiving their initial license. The education contains practical instructions and information about real estate business planning, marketing, prospecting, and closing the transaction.

Business Expenses

Estimated Cost: $900 per Year

There are several business expenses real estate agents should expect to pay to maintain regular operations in North Carolina. These may include the cost of office space, phone, internet, computer, client meetings, and more. Essentially, business expenses refer to anything you need to spend to be efficient and competitive as a real estate agent. These costs may vary depending on your business plan and location.

Marketing Costs

Estimated Cost: $1,000 per Year

Marketing yourself as a real estate agent is the most important aspect of a successful career. This means getting the word out about how you can help potential clients. A few costs to consider include business cards, a website and various types of advertisements (social media, flyers, boards, etc.).

Professional Liability Insurance

Estimated Cost: $1,100 per Year

Many potential clients require proof of professional liability insurance before contracting with a real estate agent. This policy, also called errors and omissions insurance (E&O), can help cover legal expenses if a real estate agent is sued for unsatisfactory performance or a work mistake.

Continuing Education

Estimated Cost: $150 Every Years

Continuing education will be required for the rest of your real estate career. North Carolina real estate agent must complete 8 hours of continuing education every year by June 10.

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