How To Get Your Washington Real Estate License

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: November 29, 2021  •  8 min read  •  Real Estate
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Are you ready to become a real estate agent in the state of Washington? If you want to work as an agent, you will need a real estate license. There are many steps you will need to take to get your license.

In Washington, there are no real estate agents, per se. There are only brokers and managing brokers. When you want to become an “agent” you will actually become a broker. Let’s look at how to get your Washington real estate license.

Washington Real Estate License

5 Steps to Getting Your Washington Real Estate License

1. Meet the Basic Requirements

Before you can start the process to get your real estate license in Washington, you will need to meet a few basic requirements. This includes being at least 18 years of age and having your high school diploma or GED.  You will also need to be a citizen of the United States. Along with these basic requirements, you will need to be able to pass a background check every six years.

2. Complete the Necessary Education Courses

The most time-consuming part of getting your real estate license in Washington is the education courses. You will need to complete two courses within two years before you can apply to take the necessary exams.

The courses you have to complete include the 60-hour Real Estate Fundamentals course and the 30-hour Real Estate Practices course.

These courses are offered online by many different providers. Several of the online real estate schools in Washington are self-paced and come with practice study materials, such as flashcards. You can choose to take these courses with a live streaming version, but this will cost a bit more.

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If you choose the right provider, you might even get a guarantee that you will pass the exam on the first attempt. Make sure you choose a provider that offers the right type of materials for you. Some offer text formats, while others offer video or audio lessons.

3. Pass the Real Estate Exams

After completing the courses, you will need to pass the broker’s exams. This will include the state and national exams, which have to be taken within 6 months of each other. It’s also important to apply for your real estate license within one year of passing both of these exams.

4. Pass the Background Check

After passing your exams, you will still need to pass a legal background check and submit your fingerprints. This must be done every six years and you should be ready to answer some legal background questions, along with providing necessary documents, in some cases.

5. Submit your Application

The final step to get your Washington real estate license is to apply for the license. After passing the exams and completing your background check, you can apply through the government website here.

6. Get a Real Estate License Sponsor

You will also need a real estate license sponsor. This will be your sponsoring broker. They will need to fill out the second page of your Washington Real Estate License application before you can submit it.

Careers Available for Those with a Real Estate License in Washington

If you get your Washington real estate license, you can work as more than just a real estate agent. This will also qualify you to work as a property manager. It’s also possible to get a commercial broker license, which allows you to focus on other types of properties.

Most commonly, you will work in residential sales, but this isn’t the only option. With a real estate license, you can help buyers and sellers with a variety of properties.

Frequently Asked Questions About Washington Real Estate Licenses

Do I need a real estate license in Washington?

If you plan to work as a real estate agent or provide brokerage services, you will need a real estate license. If you plan to act on behalf of a real estate firm or work under a supervising managing broker, a real estate license will be required. You can get a more in-depth answer to this question from the Washington State Department of Licensing.

What is the cost to get a real estate license in Washington?

There are several fees you will need to pay to get your real estate license in Washington. These fees include:

Along with these fees, you will pay another $223 to renew your license every two years. If you need to retake the exam, it will cost $210 for the retake, as well.

How long will it take me to get my Washington real estate license?

For most people, the entire process will take from three to six months. This includes the pre-licensing courses, which last a total of 90 hours. You can complete things faster with a full-time schedule. If you want to get your license faster, it’s possible to complete everything in just one or two months.

However, it’s recommended you take your time and pace yourself. You need to learn the information in the courses if you want to pass the exams. It can also be helpful to choose pre-licensing courses offering test prep options.

How often do I need to renew my real estate license in Washington?

Every two years, your license will expire. You will need to pay a renewal fee to keep your license current. Once every six years, you will also need to submit a new fingerprint background check.

How much can I make as a real estate agent in the state of Washington?

According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a real estate agent in Washington is about $92K. Most real estate agents are paid on commission only, so this is the average commission earned by agents reporting to the site throughout the state.

ZipRecruiter.com has a pretty similar average at $92,287 for the state of Washington. This works out to about $7,600 per month or around $44 per hour, based on a 40-hour workweek.

How hard is it to pass the real estate exam in Washington?

The rate for passing the Washington real estate broker exam is 70% on the first try. It’s a difficult test, but with the right test preparation, you can make sure you pass on the first try. Make sure you choose a good pre-licensing course with the necessary study materials to help you prepare.

How many questions are on the real estate exams?

The National section of the real estate exam consists of 100 questions, while this state section includes 30 for a total of 130 questions. You will have 3.5 hours to complete the entire exam with 2.5 hours for the national section and one hour for the state section.

Each section also includes five additional questions, which will not be scored. These are typically new questions being tried out by the testing company to determine if they offer the necessary quality to be used in the future.

You must answer at least 70 questions right on the national section and 21 correct on the state section to pass.

What happens if I don’t pass the exam on the first try?

If you fail to pass the real estate exam in Washington, you will need to retake it. Failing just one of the two parts means you only need to retake that part, not both. You will need to reschedule your retake within six months of passing the other part, however.

Retaking the exam will cost another $210 for each additional attempt. If it takes you longer than six months to pass the part you failed, you will need to retake the entire exam again.

Am I able to work for myself with a real estate license in Washington?

Yes and no. You will need to be affiliated with a brokerage firm to work as a real estate broker in Washington. However, you will likely work as an independent contractor, which means you control your schedule and marketing budget. This can be a good thing for those looking to work independently of a boss.

How long will it take before I get paid as a real estate broker?

Since you will likely be paid 100% on commission, you will need to close a transaction before you can get paid. For many, this means you will have to list a property or find a property for a buyer, and wait another 30 days for it to close. Before you go into this career, make sure you’re prepared to go without getting paid for a month or two as you work on building your client list.

There are many benefits to getting your Washington real estate license. By using the steps above, you can achieve this goal and enjoy these benefits. If you want to work in real estate in the state of Washington, you will need to get your license. Make sure you follow the right steps so you can get the necessary education first.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path. I, personally, am the high school dropout son of two teacher parents. So how did I get here? That story is coming soon!