If you’re considering real estate as a career, you might be surprised to learn that the requirements in Washington aren’t as onerous as you might imagine. There are ultimately only four major requirements to earn your real estate license:
Once you’ve completed and passed your license exam, you’ll be required to submit an application for your state license. To submit your application, you’ll need to have completed a background check and fingerprint card, and, of course, you must complete the DOL application.
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The education required to become a real estate agent in Washington state includes two main components: a high school diploma or equivalent, and 90 hours of courses in real estate that have been approved by the DOL.
More specifically, Washington state currently requires a 60-hour course in Real Estate Fundamentals, and a 30-hour course covering Real Estate Practices. According the DOL, those requirements can be waived for “qualified applicants currently licensed in another state”.
The most important part of figuring out where to complete your required coursework is ensuring that it has been approved by the DOL.
Beyond that, you should consider the amount of in-class and out-of-class time that will be required to complete your classes, and plan ways to fit that time into your current routine as you are currently required to complete all coursework within a two-year period.
Finally, it is important to ensure that you are being educated by a reputable provider with a history of good outcomes for its students. The DOL publishes statistics outlining exam pass rates by school – since pass rates range from 0 percent to 100 percent, it is important to do your research first.
The cost of real estate classes varies widely from provider to provider, but generally cost at least $300. Courses can be delivered in person or online, and money might be saved by choosing an online provider.
The time it takes to acquire a license and put it to use differs from person to person. In theory, it could be as few as 90 hours plus the time it takes to schedule and pass your exam, as well as submit your completed application info to the DOL.
The largest amount of time that can elapse between beginning your courses and submitting your final application to the DOL is two years.
Not entirely. You can complete your coursework online, but your license exam is completed in-person at a testing center.
Additionally, you may be required to appear in person to have your fingerprints taken to complete your fingerprint card.
Washington requires that potential real estate agents complete an exam administered by the state DOL. Before the exam, students are required to:
Once you’ve registered and submitted your course completions, you can schedule your exam.
The only items required by the DOL are two forms of identification. According to the DOL, these forms of ID must adhere to the following criteria:
In Washington, your results are valid for one year.
If a student does not pass the state exam, they will receive instructions on retaking the exam with their results packet. If a student fails only a portion of the exam, they might only be required to retake that portion. Students must retake their exam within six months.
In order to earn your real estate license in Washington state you must complete and background check and submit a fingerprint card with your application to the DOL.
Washington state currently works with MorphoTrust’s IdentGo process to acquire fingerprints electronically for Washington state residents. You can schedule an appointment to submit your fingerprints online at a local office. You are required to bring current ID to their appointment. Your fingerprints will then be sent to the Washington State Patrol (WSP) so a background check can be run. Those results will then be forwarded by the WSP to the DOL.
According to the DOL, background checks that reveal past convictions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Items of consideration during these reviews include:
There are several costs and fees related to applying for your real estate license in Washington state. While it is difficult to estimate the precise cost for each individual because of the range in price one might pay for the required coursework, there are several approximate fees set by the state:
Estimated Total: $343
Real estate licenses in Washington state are valid for only two years, and active real estate agents are required to complete a number of continuing education hours in order to renew. These requirements differ between those agents submitting for their first renewal and those who have already renewed their license at least once.
In addition, you might be required to submit updated fingerprints and background check information – you will be informed about whether you will be required to submit this information when you receive your renewal notice from the DOL.
Agents up for their first renewal are required to complete and submit the DOL’s real estate license renewal form, pay the renewal fee, and complete a total of 90 hours of continuing education (which must start after the issue date of their first license) in the following areas:
Real estate agents who have renewed their license at least once before are likewise required to submit the renewal form and fee to the DOL. Additionally, they are required to complete at least 30 hours of continuing education. Those 30 hours must include the following:
Of the 27 hours of “other” continuing education, a minimum of 15 hours must be completed within 24 months of your renewal date, while the remainder can be completed within 48 months of the renewal date.
In Washington, you are permitted to renew up to 120 days (four months) before your current license expires.
It is possible for agents who have let their license lapse to renew and reactivate it. Depending on the agent’s particular circumstances, they may simply be required to complete the normal requirements and pay an additional fee.
The cost of renewal depends on the specific circumstances of the agent.
In general, there are two costs to be paid: the fees related to the required continuing education hours and the renewal fee itself. While the cost of continuing education can vary greatly, the state license renewal fee is currently $146.25. For real estate agents renewing their license late, the cost is $172.75 including the late fee.
The overall earnings of real estate agents and brokers varies widely between agents depending on a number of factors, but in Washington state, the average earnings of real estate sales agents is $69,700, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS).
On average, real estate agents in Washington tend to earn more than the national average. According to the BLS, the median national wage for real estate agents was $49,040 in 2020, while the bottom 10 percent of earners made $25,100 and the top 10 percent of earners made $112,410.
License reciprocity is an agreement between states that allows holders of a real estate license in one state to potentially fast track the process of acquiring a license in another state. When a license holder from another state applies for the Washington state real estate license, as long as they’ve maintained their out-of-state license in good standing for at least six months, they will only be required to take the Washington State law portion of the license exam, submit their application, and pay the related fees.
Skyline teams with local education providers for real estate agent training that covers everything you need to be successful in the real estate industry. These classes are offered at competitive prices and cover current market related topics and trends, as well as all the basic fundamentals of obtaining a realtor license.
For more information on our programs, call one of our managing brokers directly, or visit the websites of our partner schools listed below.
Visit our real estate training calendar for a list of upcoming events.
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