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How To Become A Real Estate Agent in Washington

Learn how to get a real estate license in Washington and choose the pre-license courses right for you.

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How To Get A Real Estate License In Washington

To get a real estate broker license in Washington, all applicants must:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age
  2. Have a high school diploma or GED
  3. Register with the Washington Department of Licensing
  4. Pass a 60-hour Real Estate Fundamentals course
  5. Pass a 30-hour Real Estate Practices course
  6. Pass a state licensing exam
  7. Pass a background check

The first thing you need to do is register with the Department of Licensing at PSI, the state exam proctor. Follow the registration instructions on the site. It will only take a few minutes. This registration begins your education record with the state of Washington. It is NOT a real estate license application. You will apply for a license after your education and testing are complete.

Once you have registered with the state, you can immediately shop for state-required pre-license education and start learning about real estate. With online courses, you can literally start today.

Washington Real Estate Pre-License Education Requirements

Washington requires that all candidates take 90 hours of real estate pre-license courses in order to qualify to take the state exam. These 90 hours are broken into two required courses:

  • Real Estate Fundamentals - This course teaches the conceptual nuts and bolts of real estate, including what defines property, how ownership works, writing contracts, Washington real estate law and fair housing protections, and financing. The Fundamentals course is broken into 5 modules and 21 chapters. Each chapter contains segment quizzes and a chapter test, and each module concludes with a comprehensive review.
  • Real Estate Practices - This course takes what you learned in Real Estate Fundamentals and puts it into practice. You will learn about running a real estate business, agency, listings, negotiations, closings, and how to work with buyers and sellers. Each chapter will include a quiz to test your knowledge.

Both courses conclude with a final exam. You must pass each final exam with a score of at least 70% to complete the course.

You can complete online courses entirely at your own pace. You are allowed 365 days to complete the coursework.

OnlineEd offers all required Washington real estate pre-license courses as a bundle that includes instructor support and exam prep materials to help you pass the state exam on the first try.

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Schedule Your State Exam

When pre-license courses are completed, your school will transmit your course completion data to the state exam proctor, PSI. After all of your Washington real estate pre-license education is completed, you can schedule your state exam.

Schedule your Washington real estate examination with PSI here.

You must bring two current forms of ID to the testing center. These must include your name and signature and at least one of them must have your current photograph. If you don't bring identification, you can not take the exam.

Exam results are valid for one year. Make sure you apply for your broker's license before the results expire.

If you fail the exam, you will be given instructions on how to retake it. If you only failed part of the exam, you will only need to retake the part that you failed. You must retake the exam within six months.

When you pass the exam, you are ready to submit your official Washington real estate license application.

Submit Your Application

After you pass the broker's exam, complete the Real Estate License Application.

The state exam testing center will give you a card for fingerprints. Take the fingerprint card to any fingerprinting service that has been approved by the Washington State Patrol and have your fingerprints taken. Include the fingerprint card with your application, but do not fold it! Submit the application along with all applicable fees to the Washington Department of Licensing by mail:

Real Estate Licensing
Department of Licensing
PO Box 3917
Seattle, WA 98124-3917

When your application is approved, you will be granted a real estate broker license which must be renewed every two years. You are now licensed and able to do business as a real estate agent. Congratulations!

Frequently Asked Questions About Washington Real Estate Licensing

Do I need a license to be a real estate agent in Washington?

Yes. Washington requires anyone working as a real estate agent to be licensed by the Washington Department of Licensing (WDOL). This includes listing properties, showing properties, and negotiating real estate transactions on behalf of clients. Persons working strictly as office assistants do not need to be licensed.

What does it cost to get a real estate license in Washington?

About $600-800 total. The cost breaks down as follows: $200-400 for pre-license education depending on the school. $210 for the licensing exam. $223 for the license application fee. For more information, visit the Department of Licensing's fees page. Getting your education online is a great way to save money.

How long does it take to get a real estate license in Washington?

2-3 months. Your pre-license education will take about 4-8 weeks. A background check will take up to 14 days to process. You will need to schedule and pass a licensing exam before applying for the license itself. Students taking online courses can work at their own pace and take the material as fast or as slow as they wish.

What is the difference between a "real estate broker" and a "managing broker" in Washington?

In Washington, "real estate broker" is the legal term for a real estate agent that works under supervision. A "managing broker" runs an independent real estate office and may supervise employees as brokers. If you are looking to get into the real estate industry, you will be applying for a broker license.

What is the difference between a Washington "real estate agent" and a "Realtor"?

A "real estate agent" is a person who conducts real estate business under the supervision of a managing broker as part of a real estate brokerage. A "Realtor" is a member of the National Association of REALTORS trade organization. Being a Realtor is not required to be a real estate agent.

Can I work independently as a real estate agent in Washington?

Real estate brokers must work under the supervision of a managing broker and must have their license associated with a brokerage. To work independently, you must be licensed as a managing broker and establish your own licensed business. This requires additional experience and training.

Do I need a Washington real estate license if I am already licensed in another state?

Yes. However, you do not need to take Washington-specific pre-license education if you already have a valid license from another state. You must still take the Washington real estate exam and apply for a Washington real estate license.

Does Washington have a real estate license reciprocity agreement with other states?

Yes! You may qualify if you had an active real estate license in another state within the last 6 months that is in good standing. You will need to submit a License History document from the state that holds your license before you can take your Washington real estate exam.

Do I need a college degree to become real estate agent in Washington?

No. Instead you must take state-required real estate pre-license courses and pass a licensing exam. An unrelated college degree will not count towards your real estate education. However, a similar college course may count towards your pre-license course credit.

Can I get a Washington real estate license if I have bad credit?

Yes! Credit checks are not used when applying for a license or when taking pre-license courses. A criminal background check is still required before a license can be issued.

Can I get a Washington real estate license if I have a criminal record?

Possibly. You can still apply for a real estate license, but must submit to a background check and disclose the nature of any convictions or legal actions in the last 10 years. The Department of Licensing will ask for supporting documents and review your situation. Generally speaking, they will be looking for persons who have learned from past mistakes and that do not pose an active threat to the community.

How difficult is the Washington real estate licensing exam?

The state average pass rate is 58% for first-time applicants. This means that a solid pre-license education along with strong study tools and habits are needed to pass the exam. All of the topics tested over are contained in the pre-license education, but it is up to students to make the best use of the material. If you need help studying, consider OnlineEd's free exam prep course and test simulator.

What should I study for Washington real estate licensing exam?

The licensing exam has a national portion and a separate portion for Washington-specific law. You must know both. If you need help studying, OnlineEd offers a free exam-prep course.

How long can I wait before taking the Washington real estate licensing exam?

You must take the exam within 2 years of completing your pre-license education. If it has been more than two years, you will need to complete the education again.

What happens if I fail the Washington real estate licensing exam?

You can retake exams. You will receive instructions from the exam provider after testing. If you fail part of the exam, you will need to retake only the part you failed. You must pass both the state and national portions within 6 months of each other.

How long does it take to finish Washington real estate school?

4-8 weeks. Washington requires 90 credit hours of pre-license education. Students taking courses online are free to complete their course work at whatever pace that fits their schedule. You are allowed up to one year to complete the courses.

Can I take Washington real estate courses online?

Yes! Both pre-license and continuing education courses can be taken entirely online.

Choose OnlineEd For Your Washington Real Estate Pre-License Education

  • Everything is online.
  • Work at your own pace.
  • Mobile-friendly courses.
  • Get help from an assigned instructor.
  • Exam prep materials included.
  • Downloadable PDF and ePub files.

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Free Info Packet

Request a free info packet in the mail that includes:

  • A state information booklet on how to obtain an Washington real estate license
  • Complete information about the OnlineEd pre-license program

Request Your Free Information Packet

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