How to become a realtor in Virginia

A real estate agent license in Virginia is the first and foremost condition for a salesperson to operate legally as a real estate agent and engage in property sales. The profession of a real estate agent is one of the regulated occupations, and it is not occasionally. Typically, real estate salespersons help people and companies manage their realty properties, and this requires special experience and lots of practices, particularly in laws, contracts, mortgages, financial transactions, insurance, and home management. This type of skill doesn’t emerge essentially, and you have to put some effort into gaining them, Yet, after you succeed with your training, become a reliable and reputable broker or agent, and gain the devotion of home sellers and buyers, this may instantly reflect in your salary rates as realors earn high.

Although the real estate market in Virginia is not at its peak, it still is stable and quite prosperous.

So, it is worth applying your effort to start your career as a real estate agent in Virginia.

6 Steps to getting a real estate license

In this blog, we are going to share some tips, necessary and important information and official insights wrapped in the form of a comprehensive guide for candidates who want to learn how to get a real estate license in VA. We’ll show you the path and help learn the main steps you may take. Just keep on reading it to explore the fastest and most effective way of getting a real estate license in Virginia we offer you to start.

The whole process of licensing as a real estate agent in Virginia takes 6 steps from you. Let’s leap from one to another and create a clear vision of becoming a real estate agent.

1. State of Virginia real estate license requirements

The first step to be completed is the requirement list provided by Virginia government. We cannot say that the state requirement package in Virginia is different from New York or Tennessee. There are three of them to meet.

  1. At least 18 years of age.
  2. Being a citizen of the US or a legally approved alien.
  3. Providing a high school diploma or any equivalent to it.

As you can see, in Virginia, you can get a real estate agent’s license even if you are not a resident of this state.

2. Complete 60 hours of required pre-licensing education

When you are approved as a candidate for real estate licensing you have to pass a special education course. It is the most effective prep idea for further undergoing a state test. The course of education for real estate agents consists of 60 hours related to numerous topics you may need in your future career.

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

See License Courses

In Virginia, you can take a course of pre-licensing education in three forms.

In-person classes

In-person coursework is the best option to boost the development of necessary skills. You prepare for exams under the guidance of an instructor and you can ask all the questions you may have instantly. Although, it’s not a good idea for working people, and this course are the most expensive, your chances to succeed with a final exam are high when you choose such type of learning.

Livestream classes

Most schools offer livestream classes available online. That’s a more convenient current option as you save time on getting to training facilities. Besides, they are more affordable.

Self-paced online classes

In case you are too busy to maintain the schedule offered by the training center, self-paced classes are made for you. You get access to all resources and materials to prepare for the exam, and you study them when you have free time. The only drawback is a lack of feedback and support from your tutor.

3. Pass the Virginia real estate examination

The results of your studies should be confirmed by taking the final exam in a state-approved examination center. In Virginia, the real estate exam is provided by the PSI testing center which offers both in-premise examination and online test undergoing with a proctor. You can register online, enter your login, and schedule your exam. Then do not forget to pay examination fees ($60 per attempt). As for the content you’ll face during your exam, here we have a table which encloses the current number of tasks, their dispersion, and a passing score.

Exam Section Number of Tasks Time for completion Score to pass
National 80 105 minutes 56
State 40 90 minutes 30
Total: 120 150* minutes 86

*Periods can overlap.

How hard is the Virginia real estate exam?

We cannot say that the Virginia real estate exam is too difficult as most applicants succeed with it on their first try. Yet, the score for it is 70%, and this requires thorough preparation in advance to make sure you cope with it.

What score do you need to pass the VA real estate exam?

The score you need to get is 70% of all tasks. In case you manage with it, you get a scoring document which states whether you passed the exam or failed.

Interest fact:
– Do you know that average salaries for real estate agents in Virginia are above the median? They are something like $96,039. At least, an Indeed resource provides such statistics.

What happens if you fail the real estate exam in Virginia?

You have a limitless number of retakes if you fail. If you failed due to lack of knowledge, it is better to take some time for preparation, if you simply got too nervous and thus failed, you can retake right in a couple of days.

4. Find a brokerage firm or a sponsoring broker

When your exam is passed, it’s to find a sponsor. That can be either an independent broker or a brokerage firm engaged in the Virginia real estate market. Sponsorship is a must for aspiring realtors, and it’s the best way to start your career. How to become a real estate agent in Virginia with a sponsor? Let’s get into details.

  • Search for the most popular brokerage companies.
  • Evaluate reviews of other agents.
  • Consider if the broker you choose shares your values and goals.
  • Do not forget to clarify payment conditions (splits, flat commissions, etc.)

You must request a sponsorship from a broker you select to go further and take the next step toward your real estate license.

5. Submit fingerprints and pass a criminal background check

As the real estate business deals with huge amounts of money, deluxe home offers, and high responsibility, checking your background is a must for a licensee. This check is assumed to take your fingerprints and a criminal background report.

The great news is that you can undergo fingerprinting in the PSI center while passing a final test or after that at any time you want. Yet, don’t delay your license application, as electronic fingerprints are valid only for 45 days.

6. Complete license application

The last of the requirements to complete is namely the application for your real estate license. You can get the form to fill in. It is available on the DPOR’s site. Then you need to print it, fill it in, and sign the document. You also should submit all documents that prove your education, background check, and examination score. Besides, you have to submit checks of paid fees of $150. The whole procedure takes a couple of minutes, while processing and approval of your license requires 3-5 business days. Then you get it in a printed form via US Mail.

Become a member of a local or national realtor association

Besides becoming a real estate licensed salesperson, in Virginia, it is also a great idea to join NAR. The National Realtor Association provides its members with multiple benefits including protection of their rights, an access to advanced continuing education options, and realtors community membership which helps to withstand numerous challenges related to the job of a realtor.

The main requirement for joining NAR is to get a license and pay an annual membership fee. Today, in 2024, it is $156.

Do you know?
– The NAR unites over 1.5 million of realtors around the US?

How much does it cost to get a real estate license in Virginia?

Now let’s consider costs you’ll have to keep reserved for your real estate license acquisition. For your consideration, we created a table where all numbers are indicated.

Cost item Pricing range
A VE course for a real estate license $199-$400+
Examination $60
Application fee $150
Fingerprinting and background check $52
Total: From $392 and more
Do you know which states’ home sales are top-rated?
– The stats say these are North Carolina, Arizona, and Florida, and California.

Virginia real estate license reciprocity

The best thing to know about the real estate industry in Virginia is that it’s a state with full reciprocity. Thus, you are welcome to transfer your activity to this area without additional licensing. However, when you decide to move to Virginia and continue your professional activity as a real estate agent, you still need to comply with the following reciprocal conditions:

  • Provide your license which was issued by one of the US states and remains valid and active to the date of your reciprocal application.
  • Sign a paper that you read and comprehend the chapters of the Virginia Code relating to the RE industry.
  • Pass an exam which is related to local laws and specifics additionally to your licensing certificate. You can do it in a written form either on a board basis or using online testing services.
  • Pay the fee for the association.
  • Provide VDPOR with the information about your sponsorship.

Virginia real estate license renewal requirements

When you work as a real estate agent or broker in Virginia, you need to control the expiration date of your license, as it is not issued once and forever. To keep it active, a regular renewal is required. The license of a real estate agent or broker is issued for 2 years. Then you’ll have to apply for its renewal. The good news is you can do it on VDPOR’s site and here you can also get a lookup for your license’s terms.

As usual, the date for renewal should be no later than the last day of the month of your licensure. The whole prolongation process is quite simple and it takes not too long to complete all the requirements for successful prolongation. They are as follows:

  1. Completing mandatory continuing education (16 hours for agents, 24 hours for brokers);
  2. Applying for renewal on the services’ provider’s site using your unique ID assigned when you were licensed;
  3. Paying a renewal fee (it is $65 for an agent and $80 for a broker).

As for CE requirements, as a real estate agent, you have to complete 16 hours which include:

  • Three hours devoted to professional ethics and standards.
  • Two hours of fair housing courses.
  • One hour of legal updates.
  • One hour of practice in a real estate company.
  • One hour devoted to RE contracts.

When you complete them all, you can simply attach the CE certificate to your renewal application.

Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (VDPOR)

The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation is the main body which regulates multiple professions including the real estate business. It is responsible for licensing, certification, post-licensing education, and license registration of real estate agents in Virginia.

The institution is open for application and contact of already licensed agents and those who only started their real estate careers. You can contact VDPOR both in person and online using the following communication channels.

Now let’s check the main questions about how to obtain a real estate license in VA. It’s a kind of summary of the information we provided above, and it may help you clearly understand the whole process of obtaining a real estate license in Virginia. So, please, read it thoroughly.

Becoming a real estate agent VA: FAQs

Can I get my Virginia real estate license online?

Yes, unlike North Carolina where the main stages of licensing are mandatory and held in person, in Virginia you can take required education courses, apply for examination, and even pass it online. The same is true for applying for a license.

How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Virginia?

Typically it takes up to 4 months to pass all the stages of real estate licensing in Virginia. Yet, it depends on your own pace. You can study intensively to pass your education part rapidly, and then it will take only a couple of weeks to obtain a license. Or, vice versa, you can take your time and consistently go to the end of the process at a small pace making your licensing time longer.

How much money can I make as a Virginia real estate agent?

Based on the data of April 2024, a real estate salesperson in Virginia makes approximately $92,296 per year. Yet, it’s not an ultimate figure because your earnings depend on your qualifications, your strive for work, your communicative skills, the type of property you specialize in, and your sponsoring agency’s policy for commission splits.

Can a felony be a real estate agent in Virginia?

According to the principles provided by DPOR, a felony isn’t directly banned from being a real estate agent. Yet, you can be disqualified while licensing if your felony relates to the practice of a real estate salesperson.

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.