North Carolina Real Estate License Requirements & Costs

North Carolina real estate license requirements
Getting Your North Carolina Real Estate License

In this article, we will cover the step-by-step North Carolina real estate license requirements and the associated licensing costs.

We will also cover some NC pre-licensing schools, what to expect on the real estate exam, introduce you to NCREC, and cover several North Carolina real estate license requirements FAQs.

Select a North Carolina real estate license requirements topic in our table of content below or read from beginning to end.

What Are the North Carolina Real Estate License Requirements?

  1. You must be 18 years old or older.
  2. Under federal law, you must be a US citizen, a quasi-foreigner, or a permitted immigrant. You don’t have to live in North Carolina.
  3. Pass a 75-hour state-accredited salesperson pre-licensing training.
  4. Get a rating of 75% or higher score on the North Carolina Licensure Examination.
  5. Get the required background check.
  6. Find a North Carolina brokerage to work with.
  7. Finalize your application with the North Carolina real estate commission.

We will cover each of these required steps in more detail below.

Step 1: Complete the 75-hour North Carolina Pre-Licensing Course.

The first step in completing your North Carolina real estate license requirements is to take the 75-hour North Carolina pre-licensing course.

Most aspiring North Carolina real estate agents opt to complete their pre-licensing education online.

We recommend the CE Shop North Carolina Pre-Licensing Course which costs $536.25 to $809.25 depending on the course package (with current discount). We also have an in-depth review of the CE Shop on our website.

North Carolina Real Estate Pre-Licensing Cost

The North Carolina Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course Will Cover Each of These Topics.

  1. Basic Real Estate Principles and Legislation
  2. North Carolina Property Taxes
  3. North Carolina Land Utilization Limits
  4. Environmental Dangers
  5. Broker-dealer Partnerships and Practices
  6. North Carolina Real Estate Contractual Agreements
  7. Realty bankrolling
  8. Completing a North Carolina Real Estate Purchase Agreement
  9. Real Estate Asset Value
  10. North Carolina Insurance Policy Essentials
  11. Fair housing legislation
  12. North Carolina Rent and Lease agreements
  13. Property Governance

Pass the End-Of-Course North Carolina Pre-Licensing Exam

Your pre-license training organization supplies the exam, and it verifies that you have finished and understood the content of the pre-licensing course.

This examination is closed-book and notes, the same as the certification test. Students are permitted to carry a basic-function calculator and blank paper, but there is no access to mobile phones or access to the internet.

Step 2: Get the Required North Carolina Real Estate Background Check

You must submit your fingerprints and do a background check before completing your registration. This state requires a background check and if not done, it will hinder further progress on the application to be a real estate agent.

Criminal Record Check (CRC) is the only approved criminal record provider for the NC Real Estate Commission. Reports from other agencies will not be accepted.

The North Carolina Real Estate Department allows users to file their background checks through the internet. The Board will solely consider a report submitted by the Agency six months after applying.

The cost of the North Carolina real estate background check is $15 for residents of North Carolina plus a $2.50 Personal Identification Verification Procedure fee.

Your background checking procedure will start once you have completed and turned in the fingerprinting results. The North Carolina Real Estate Board will review all results in the background investigation to guarantee your qualification. Their agents may contact you throughout this procedure to request further data or evidence to clarify any results.

It’s possible that you won’t be able to get a certification in North Carolina if you’ve been convicted of a crime or have a lawsuit over you. You shall be informed of your entitlement to a judicial review before the North Carolina Real Estate Commission. If you do not request a review before 60 days, you will forfeit your entitlement to one, and your application will be dismissed.

Step 3: Take the North Carolina Real Estate Exam

It’s best to sit for the North Carolina professional licensing test within six months to pass the state and nationwide components of the pre-licensing test. The state of North Carolina requires that your final course exam be proctored.

You should wait ten days to retake the exam if you fail either or all portions. But You must apply and repay the $100 application cost and a $56 test fee if you fail both portions of the exam in 6 months. The cost of taking the exam is $64 for each try.

The PrepAgent course can help you pass the state exam with confidence.

You’ll want to take this North Carolina real estate exam prep course before taking the state exam.

What’s the Structure of the North Carolina Real Estate Exam?

You have to answer 120 questions on the North Carolina Real Estate Examination. There are 80 questions in the National section of the exam and 40 questions in the state section.

The real estate exam will take you about 210 minutes to finish. The duration for the National segment is 2 hours, and the duration for the State portion takes 90 minutes.

This National component of the North Carolina salesperson Real Estate License requires a score of 57 out of 80, while the State portion requires 29 out of 40.

How Do You Schedule the North Carolina Real Estate Exam?

You should wait for one working day after receiving your Notification of Test Eligibility before actually enrolling for the North Carolina real estate exam on the PSI portal.

Following registration, students pay $56 to PSI and then select a test day and place which is most appropriate for them. However, you are supposed to do the exam within a week after registering in most situations.

Since there’s a limited amount of time to complete your North Carolina real estate test, you might want to revise the 75-hour pre-license course materials to prepare yourself.

What To Bring to the North Carolina Real Estate Exam?

Bring one of these credentials to the exam stations on examination day.

  • A sort of government signing identification that requires a photograph. The identification must be valid and fall into one of the groups below:
  • State-issued identification, such as a driver’s license
  • The US INS certified ID.
  • Credential showing US citizenship status
  • A Passport

What Should You Expect on the North Carolina Real Estate Exam?

The test is split into two sections, the national and the state.

These are the topics that make up the national component of the North Carolina real estate exam:

  1. North Carolina Agreements and Agency Partnerships
  2. Possession of Real Estate and Interest Financing
  3. Rules for North Carolina Real Estate Marketing
  4. Handling of North Carolina Real Estate Property
  5. Mathematics for Real Estate


The North Carolina examination state-specific section includes the following:

  1. North Carolina Real Licensing Law and Commission Regulations
  2. Related Laws and Regulations in North Carolina
  3. Usage of license in North Carolina real estate

Step 4: Find A North Carolina Broker to Work For

Even when you acquire your North Carolina professional realtor license, it will remain in the “inactive” condition.

Students must register a License Affiliation (REC 2.08) with the North Carolina Real Estate Commission to activate license activation. On the affiliation registration, you will need to enter your North Carolina sponsoring brokerage.

How To Choose a Good North Carolina Real Estate Brokerage to Work For

  • Does the North Carolina Real Estate Brokerage Serve a Particular Niche?

This may be your greatest advantage to specialize in a certain field in your profession. If you want to work with industrial real estate, retirement homes, or personal holdings, you need to get a supportive brokerage.

  • What’s the Culture of the North Carolina Brokerage?

The mentality of the company you will work for will shape your perception of the North Carolina real estate sector over time. Thus, you should pay attention to how they perform their tasks and values. Keep an eye out for their technological achievements. Is it accurate that they use social media for marketing? Is there a plan in place for online marketing? As tech advances, the real estate sector in almost every state adapts to it. If your brokerage employs old technologies, you would have fewer technological skills.


  • Will the North Carolina brokerage provide you with the assistance you require?

It could be beneficial if you could establish if the company where you’re working takes great care of its employees. You should be aware that you must be a seasoned salesperson after your contract with the brokerage expires. Such will be impossible if your sponsorships brokerage cannot give you a platform to learn, get mentored, and receive teaching aids.

  • Establish communication with former workers and ask questions.

Research how the North Carolina brokerage firm treats its employees and how commissions are paid. Calling the brokerage’s previous representatives is the simplest way to find out. Inquire about their past experiences. After that, make a sensible judgment.

How Much Does It Cost to Get Your North Carolina Real Estate License?

North Carolina real estate license costs

Finalize Your North Carolina Real Estate License Application

You must submit your permit application through the NCREC Website following the finishing of your pre-licensing classes and criminal record checks. You are required to fill out the additional data after signing in on the portal:

  • Names and addresses
  • Residence
  • SSN
  • Email account
  • Educational institution, teacher, and course details
  • License record
  • Employment and experience

Ensure your vetting process is completed within six months of submitting your North Carolina realtor license registration. You must also pay a $100 licensing fee after the process.


After 2 or 3 days of completing your registration, you’ll get an email containing a Notification of Test Eligibility, which will enable you to book your examination. This Notification is effective for 180 days from the day it is issued.

You should complete your registration after completing the North Carolina real estate licensing exam, even if you have previously sent it.

The North Carolina commission for real estate will evaluate your conduct and decide whether or not to grant you a license.

After passing your real estate test, you should get your licensing certification within ten days. 

What is the North Carolina Real Estate Commission?

Since 1775, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission has been an independent govt agency regulating and licensing real estate personnel. It’s made up of 9 members serving three years each. There are seven governor appointees and two by the general assembly. Three of the members are licensed brokers, while two are members of the public with no real estate ties. 

What Are the North Carolina Real Estate Commission’s Authorities and Responsibilities

The Agency’s principal goal is to ensure the protection of all community members while dealing with real estate agents. This is accomplished by utilizing the Agency’s legislative authority:

  • Registration of timeshare developments and certifying brokerage businesses and realtors.
  • Developing and implementing North Carolina pre-licensing training programs.
  • Educating the public about the North Carolina real estate business.
  • Overseeing all aspects of North Carolina brokerage companies and brokers’ operations, including penalizing those who break the Agency’s regulations or the North Carolina License Law.

Are There Any Reciprocity or Portability Rights In North Carolina?

There are no reciprocity arrangements made between North Carolina and other states. Therefore, anybody with equal status and who has had a real estate license (inside the United States or Canada) in the previous three years can register & complete just the state component of the test to earn a North Caroline (NC) professional license.

The North Carolina Real Estate Regulation has referred to this new strategy as “restricted license validation.”

The state of North Carolina is also cooperative when it gets to portability, and agents not living in the state and firms are permitted to do operations in the state”.

North Carolina Real Estate Licensing Requirements – Final Thoughts

To get your North Carolina real estate license, you can use this post as your step-by-step guide. Be persistent and dedicate time to acquiring your North Carolina real estate license for a lucrative career.

If you would like to learn more about the real estate license requirements for another state, you can do so in the drop-down menu below.

If you are ready to get started with the real estate licensing process, here is some additional reading to get you on your way:

Best Online Real Estate Schools
North Carolina Real Estate Exam Prep Options

Best of luck with your new career as a successful North Carolina real estate agent!

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