How to become a real estate agent in NC

These days, the real estate industry is more popular than ever around the world. Advertising about this topic can be observed on numerous billboards. People are trying to invest their money in their own property. Real estate prices are rising, but it is still a great option for investing money. The same trend can be seen in the USA.

What is also interesting is that this country is one of the few where the career of real estate agent is popular. People all over the world offer such services for housing transactions, but only in the States, it is prestigious and in demand like nowhere else. Today, we propose to focus our attention on one of the popular US states. How to become a real estate broker in North Carolina? No need to search anymore. Let’s find out more information about it and how this specialist can help you find a new home.

A Real estate career is formalized and necessitates additional validation of specialized qualifications. As a result, both locals and individuals from elsewhere enroll in courses and engage in estate programs to have their expertise officially recognized. What’s interesting, specialists in this field don’t get a base salary, but a percentage of the sale. Curious about how to obtain a North Carolina real estate license? You’ll find the answer to this question in this article. Let’s get started.

5 Steps to becoming a real estate broker in North Carolina

How to get a real estate license in NC state? It’s much simpler than it might seem at first glance. Familiarize yourself with 5 simple but actionable steps that will lead you to this goal. Let’s begin our journey.

1. North Carolina realtor license requirements

There are several requirements that a candidate for real estate agent license North Carolina must meet. Let’s go through them point by point.

Under state law, a person must be 18 years of age or older.
A real estate agent candidate must have a general level of education and a high school diploma.
A minimum of 75 hours of classes is required.
You have to pass an identity and criminal background inspection to become a real estate agent.
You need to pass the exam and give more than 70% correct answers.

These and other requirements will help you become an excellent real estate professional, as well as earn your coveted license to work in the state of North Carolina or Virginia for example.

2. Complete 75 hours of official pre-licensing classes with the NCREC approval

Recommended education and training providers
The best courses for pre- and post-licensing in real estate.

See License Courses

To obtain a real estate license in this area, one of the prerequisites is to complete a minimum of 75 hours of prelicensing classes approved by the NCREC. This education will be an asset to every career development. According to the commission, this timeframe is sufficient to grasp the fundamental rules and principles of being a licensing real estate agent. Prelicensing classes are available in various formats, including:

  • In-person real estate
     license classes;
  • Live stream classes;
  • Online real estate agent classes.

A license candidate has the right to decide which format suits him or her best. The main thing is that the courses should be validated by NCREC and the person might have completed a minimum of 75 hours of training.

3. Submit Fingerprints and Pass a Criminal Background Check

This phase of the real estate agent onboarding involves verifying your identity and background. There’s no need to worry excessively. It won’t affect your privacy in any way. It’s a standard procedure that comprises the following steps:

  1. Start the process by visiting the NCREC site for guidance on preparing for fingerprinting and a criminal background screening.
  2. Continuing the process through the portal at, set up an appointment to be fingerprinted. It will not take you much time.
  3. Prepare any necessary documents you may be asked for before submitting to fingerprinting or undergoing a criminal background check for a real estate agent.
  4. Get fingerprinted and undergo a background screening.

These procedures should be completed before you are allowed to apply and take the real estate license North Carolina exam.

4. Complete the Application

Two application forms for becoming a real estate are suggested to fill out for the following referrals:

  • Firm license for a business entity;
  • Limited Nonresident Commercial Broker License.

They are available both in printed form, which can be downloaded at, and in online format. You can read all the details in the brochure while you are preparing for such a license. Complete these applications so that you can be admitted to the licensing exam.

Be aware that some users may not have full access to the data on the national NCREC portal. Check if you have given permission for cookies and also clear your cache on your computer. These features can help you get the best user experience on the company’s website.

5. Pass the North Carolina Real Estate Exam

This stage is one of the most important steps in the journey of getting a real estate agent license in the North Carolina state. The performance of the exam shows how much a person knows about the real estate laws and regulations in this state, the principles, and rules of behavior in the direction of sales, how to work with individuals and companies and so on. You can be sure that if a real estate agent has passed this test, he or she is a qualified professional.

How hard is the NC real estate exam?

Many brokers who have taken this exam may say it is tough. That’s right. All because such a test is a check before a specialist starts his/her journey in real life, working with clients and selling real estate.

The candidate has to know the local laws, the principles of being a real estate agent, as well as learn the procedure of communicating with the client, and so on. All this requires fruitful prep as well as years of experience in real estate or sales practice.

How many questions are on the North Carolina permit test?

The test creators endeavored to ensure that the questions were diverse and aligned with the training level of prospective real estate agents. The number of items provided to assess candidates’ knowledge ranges from 100 to 120 carefully crafted questions. They are not repeated and offer several options from which to choose the correct answer. Please note that there will be no privacy questions.

What Score Do You Need to Pass the NC Real Estate Exam?

The NCREC establishes the minimum passing score for the licensing exam, ensuring that it’s adequate to guarantee the future broker’s ability to perform their work effectively and responsibly, build a great career. This passing threshold varies, but typically, it averages around 70% of correct answers out of the total number of questions. This is generally considered a realistic benchmark for exam success.

What Happens if You Fail the Real Estate Exam in North Carolina?

In such a scenario, the candidate fails the background screening and is ineligible for licensure in the field. In the US, particularly in the North Carolina state or, for example, Pennsylvania, a real estate agent must be licensed to practice and help to find the client’s new home. Nevertheless, it’s important not to lose heart. There’s no need to hang any label on it. Every candidate has the chance to reapply, retake the tests, and make another attempt at passing the exam. His status is not yet tainted.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Real Estate License in North Carolina?

At this stage, you should no longer be wondering how to become a real estate broker in the North Carolina state. The previous paragraphs have been able to give details about this. But how much could such a desire cost you? It’s certainly not free. Below, you can see the pricing table for the real estate license expenses.

Cost of education $149-$350
Application fee $55
Examination fee $15
Total $200-$425

This list may not encompass all the services you might require. The specifics will hinge on your preferences and any requests from NCREC at the time of your exam.

NC real estate license renewal

This case already belongs to the post-licensing period. In North Carolina state, like in other states across the US, you have the option to re-new your real estate agent license. To proceed with the renewal, fulfill certain terms and follow these steps:

  1. See when your current documents expire. Use them if they are currently fine.
  2. Visit NCREC’s official site on any device and fill out the form to renew your real estate agent license. Store the data.
  3. Submit the form and pay the fees for such a procedure.
  4. Await confirmation from the organization for your real estate license renewal.

You should not worry too much about this information. If you have once become a holder of such a license, this can be used for a positive response in the decision to renew the document.

North Carolina Real Estate Commission (NCREC)

Here is the most up-to-date contact information for the NCREC organization.

Address of the commission 313 Navaho Dr #106, Raleigh, NC 27609, United States
Phone +1 919-875-3700

Before contacting the real estate commission through one of these channels, make sure the data is current through the NCREC website.

Becoming a real estate agent NC: FAQs

How Long Does it Take to Get a North Carolina Real Estate License?

The timeline varies depending on various factors. However, on average, it takes approximately four months to complete the process. You will receive a notice upon confirmation of receipt of the license.

How to Get a North Carolina Commercial Real Estate License?

Please find a step-by-step guide below:

  • Make sure your decision to become a real estate agent is correct.
  • Take a course. This kind of education is necessary to complete a certain number of hours before the authorities allow you to sit for the exam.
  • Apply for a broker’s license online through
  • Pass your background inspection. Schedule an exam date.
  • Pass an exam to prove your good knowledge and qualifications.
  • Get the real estate agent license you’ve worked so long and hard for.

Is a college degree necessary for becoming a realtor in NC?

Education in this matter plays an important role not from the point of view of the diploma received earlier or information you found, but from the point of view of passing theoretical and practical knowledge of the future brokerage.

What types of real estate licenses are there in North Carolina?

The main types of license include:

  • Provisional Broker License;
  • Broker Real Estate License;
  • Broker-in-Charge License;
  • Firm License;
  • Limited Nonresident Commercial Broker License.

These are the licenses that are most in demand in North Carolina or, for example, in California, Minnesota for becoming a real estate agent. More detailed and up-to-date information can always be found on the official NCREC website or from other official resources.

Pre-Licensing Courses
About the author
Michael Baker is a journalist with over 5 years of experience in the real estate industry. His knowledge of licensing processes, procedures and requirements makes her an expert in the field.