Getting a real estate license in Virginia is a straightforward process. However, there are different requirements depending on whether you are planning to work as a real estate salesperson or a real estate broker.
There is also a timeline and cost involved. Because of this, you will want to plan ahead before starting to make your career transition. In this article, learn the steps to take to get a real estate license in the state of Virginia.
General Requirements for a Virginia Real Estate License
In the state of Virginia, you will need to meet the following basic general requirements to sit for your real estate license. You will notice the requirements are different depending on whether you plan to become a real estate salesperson or a real estate broker.
Requirements to become a real estate salesperson
First, you need to complete a 60-hour course called the Principles of Real Estate. The course you choose must be a real estate board-approved by the state.
Local realtor Darren Robertson explains, unlike real estate broker candidates, you do not need to hae any related work experience to apply for a real estate salesperson license.
Then you need to pay the $60 fee to apply to sit for the real estate exam.
As a part of the exam application process, you will also need to submit your fingerprints and have a background check done. You only have 45 days from the date your fingerprints are taken and your background check is completed to apply for licensure.
Next, you need to sit for the real estate exam and pass both portions: the state and the nation. The exam is offered on a daily basis in multiple cities. The minimum passing score is 75 percent on each portion. If you fail one portion of the exam you must retake that portion and pass before you can apply for your license. You will need to pay another $60 fee to retake any portion you failed.
If you have an active (NOT an expired) real estate license in another state and wish to transfer that in, you will only be required to pass the state (VA) portion of the exam to do so.
After passing both portions of the exam (as applicable), you will need to pay the $170 fee to submit your application to receive your license from the VA licensing board.
Requirements to become a real estate broker
In VA, you must become a real estate salesperson first and maintain a full-time (40+ hours per week) schedule practicing real estate for at least 36 months (out of the prior 48 month period) before you apply to take your broker exam.
This means you need to complete all of the above steps and get your real estate salesperson license first so you can complete your broker work hour requirements.
Then you need to take additional prequalifying education. For aspiring real estate brokers, you must complete 180 hours of prequalifying education. Your 180 hours must include the following: a real estate broker course and three additional board-approved courses.
You cannot use your continuing education requirements OR any courses are taken to get your real estate salesperson license to meet your broker prequalifying education requirements.
You must acquire official transcripts of all completed prequalifying education coursework and submit those as a part of your broker application for licensure.
Once you have completed all of your required coursework and acquired your official transcripts as verification, you will need to pay the $60 fee to sit for the exam. You must pass both the state and federal portions of the exam (as applicable) with a 75 percent score to apply for licensure. If you need to retake a portion of the exam, a new $60 fee applies.
Once you meet the minimum score requirements for the VA exam, you can apply for your real estate broker license.
Before you can apply for your license, you must have your fingerprints taken and complete a background check. Once these two steps are successfully completed, you will only have 45 days from the completion date to apply for your real estate broker license.
You must pay $210 to apply for the real estate broker license in VA.
If you plan to work as a sole proprietor, you only need to complete the broker application for yourself. If you are applying to work as a broker with a larger firm, you must also complete the firm application as well as your individual broker application.
If you have previously (or are currently) licensed to practice real estate in another state, you must provide licensure certification from all such states at the time of your application to become a licensed real estate broker in VA.
How Long Does It Take to Get Your Real Estate License in Virginia
Depending on what level of licensure you are seeking and whether you have an active real estate license you are transferring in from another state, it can take several weeks or up to two years to get your Virginia real estate license.
Becoming a real estate salesperson generally takes much less time than applying to become a real estate broker, which requires 36 months of full-time work experience as a real estate salesperson as a prerequisite.
How to Take the Real Estate Exam in Virginia
The real estate exam in the state of Virginia is taken online at a PSI testing center. Several PSI testing center locations are available throughout the state. It is necessary to register in advance for your desired test date and time.
The real estate salesperson state test takes about 45 minutes. The real estate salesperson national test takes about 105 minutes.
The real estate broker state test takes about 55 minutes. The real estate broker national test takes about 105 minutes.
Cost of Getting Your Real Estate License
You will need to pay several fees before you can get your license to practice real estate in Virginia. You will also need to pay periodic renewal fees to maintain your Virginia real estate license.
It is important to add alerts in your calendar to avoid allowing your license to lapse. If your license lapses, you cannot practice real estate in Virginia until you renew it again. You will also have to pay a renewal late fee.
This holds true whether you plan to practice as a real estate salesperson or as a real estate broker (whether as a sole proprietor or as part of a larger firm).
Here is a schedule of fees to expect as you begin the process of applying for your Virginia real estate license:
Prequalifying education coursework tuition: ranges from $300 to $700+ depending on what coursework you must take and which course service you select.
- Real estate exam fee: $60
- Real estate exam re-take fee: $60
- Real estate license application fee: $170 (salesperson application); $210 (broker application)
- Real estate renewal license fee: $65 (salesperson); $80 (broker)
- License reinstatement fee (for late renewals): $100 (salesperson); $120 (broker)
- Fingerprinting and background check fee: $62
Now you have the basic information and the steps to take to get your Virginia real estate license. You also have a general idea of what fees you will need to pay to get your license and renew it when the time comes.