So, you want to get your Iowa real estate license?

First things first, not every real estate agent is a realtor. Realtors adhere to a strict code of ethics, maintain continuing education credit hours, and are members of the National, State, and local association of Realtors. If you’re interested in buying and selling property in Iowa, read on to learn how to become a realtor.

How to get a real estate license in Iowa

Becoming a realtor necessitates proper skills and training. Before you get your Iowa real estate license, make sure you meet all of the prerequisites below.

  • Meet the requirements. What are they? (Must be 18 or older within 6 months of taking the exam). 
  • Take a pre-license course. Where can I take the course? (An Iowa Real Estate Commission-approved course is required before you take the Real Estate Exam).
  • Pick a brokerage.
  • Successfully complete 36 hours of listing, buying, and developing courses within 12 months of passing the licensing exam. Where can I take these courses?

Are you kidding? I thought this was going to be quick

We know what you are thinking - becoming a realtor sounds like a lot of steps and will take a long time to complete. You would be correct. Think of it this way, though. You will be handling some of the biggest financial decisions of people's lives. As a homebuyer or seller, you would want to work with someone who has gone through hours of training and knows what they are doing, right? Also, in comparison to other professions, the time it takes to complete the requirements for an Iowa real estate license is relatively short - up to a year vs. 4+ years!

Let's break it down a bit more.  

Requirements To Become a Realtor In Iowa 

  1. A salesperson must be assigned to a licensed broker or firm and can not conduct business independently.
  2. You must be 18 years of age or older. (You may actually sit for the exam before you are 18, but you MUST be 18 before you make the application for a real estate license, which must be within six months after you pass the exam.) An applicant is not ineligible because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, residency or citizenship although the application form may require citizenship information.
  3. You must not have had an application rejected for licensure in this or any other state within twelve months prior to the date of application, and whose real estate license has not been revoked in this or any other state within two years prior to the date of application.

Education Requirements for an Iowa Real Estate License

For your convenience, we offer Iowa Real Estate Commission-approved courses for those interested in becoming a realtor. From online courses to spending time in the classroom, we provide a variety of courses to fit your unique needs. Click the buttons below to find out where and when the classes are taking place!  

Pre-License 60-Hour Real Estate License Course

An Iowa Real Estate Commission-approved course is required before you may take the Iowa Real Estate Exam.

Our courses are approved by the Iowa Real Estate Commission, and we offer the following options:

Weekday Classroom 60 Hours $460 More Info
Weekend Classroom 60 Hours $485 More Info
REcampusOnline Self Study 60 Hours $425 More Info
LectLearn Online Self Study 60 Hours $425 More Info

 

Additional Required Courses for an Iowa Real Estate License

An applicant applying for an original salesperson license must provide evidence of successful completion of the following courses:

This coursework must be completed during the 12 months prior to license application. This education is in addition to the 60–hour salesperson pre-license course. These courses can be taken in any order.  

Pass the Iowa Real Estate Licensing Exam

The real estate licensing exam costs $95 and is comprised of the following sections, with a required minimum score for each section.

Section # Questions Passing Score Time Allowed
National 80 56 120 minutes
State 40 28 60 minutes
Combined Total 120 84 180 minutes

More information is available in the PSI Exam Bulletin.

What You Need to Know About The Iowa Licensing Exam

  • The exam is administered by PSI Examination Services at locations around the state. Register for the computer-based exam by calling 800-733-9267 (24 hours) or www.psiexams.com. The cost is $95 each time you take the exam. View PSI Exam Locations
  • Do not register for your exam until you have a completion certificate for the Commission-approved 60-hour Pre License course. Your certificate will be issued by the Iowa Association of REALTORS.
  • Examination results are confidential and will only be reported to you and the Iowa Real Estate Commission.
  • If you pass the examination, you will receive a real estate license application form with your score report. You are responsible for submitting your application to the Iowa Real Estate Commission no later than the last working day of the sixth month after the qualifying examination date.
  • If you do not pass, you must retake the examination before you can be licensed. Submit a new registration form and the appropriate fee to PSI and schedule an appointment to retake the examination.
  • Click here for online drill and practice study materials, or visit our book store if you’d prefer study materials by mail. 

Filling Out the Real Estate License Application Form

Once you take and pass the Iowa Licensing exam, you’ll be asked to fill out the real estate license application form and submit this to the Iowa Real Estate Commission. Here are some tips for completing the application form.

Background Check Process

A criminal background check is required by Iowa law of all real estate licensee applicants. This process can take 8-10 weeks to complete, but you do not need to wait for your completed background check before applying for your real estate license.

How to Complete Your Background Check

As of September 11th, 2017, all applicants and/or licensees will need to create a DataPro account on the Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau website, also known as My Iowa PLB. You’ll need to submit a request for a fingerprint packet electronically through the application named "General - Background Packet Request." There is no fee for the packet. However, the fee to be submitted to the Iowa Real Estate Commission with the completed fingerprint card and waiver form is $51.00.  

You do not need to wait for your background check to be approved to send in your license application, and once the background check has been reviewed by the commission, the report is only valid for 210 days.

An applicant for an Iowa real estate salesperson license who has been convicted of forgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses, theft, extortion, conspiracy to defraud, or another similar offense, or of any crime involving moral turpitude, in a court of competent jurisdiction in this state or in any other state, jurisdiction, territory, or district of the United States, or in any foreign jurisdiction, may be denied a license by the commission on the grounds of the conviction. “Conviction” is defined in Iowa Code section 543B.15(3) and rule 193E—2.1(543B).

How to Complete the Real Estate License Application Form

In addition to completing the background check, when applying for a real estate license, you need to submit the following:

  • Complete a notarized Iowa Real Estate Commission-provided application. You must have your signature notarized on the license application form.
  • Complete a background check submitted to the Iowa Real Estate Commission.
  • Pay a license fee of $125.
  • Obtain a pass notice from the PSI Examination Services.
  • Provide proof of completion of the 60-hour pre-license course in the form of a completion certificate. This must be completed during the 12 months prior to license application.
  • Provide proof of completion of the approved additional 36-hour pre-license coursework in the form of a completion certificate. This must be completed during the 12 months prior to license application.
  • Provide proof of Errors and Omissions insurance.
  • You must provide the signature of your employing broker on your license application form.

For Questions Regarding Real Estate Licensing, Please Contact:

Iowa Real Estate Commission
200 E. Grand Suite 350
Des Moines, IA  50309
515-725-9027

What to Expect as a Realtor

There are many different options to consider on your path to becoming a Realtor. The Iowa Association of REALTORS is here to help you reach your goals and build a business to be proud of.