How to apply for a real estate license in Washington

A real estate agent (also known as a realtor) is a licensed professional who represents buyers and sellers in real estate transactions.

Most agents work for a real estate broker, and they typically work entirely on commission, so their income depends on their ability to help clients and close deals.

If you are interested in this subject, here we will show you the steps to get your license in the state of Washington.

Reasons to become a real estate agent

  • You will help others to buy or sell properties.
  • You can have a flexible work schedule.
  • Earn money while being your own boss.
  • Have control on how much money you earn.

Requirements

Eligibility criteria

Although there are different requirements for every state, there is a general eligibility criteria that all applicants must fulfill, such as:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be a US citizen or have a legal resident status.
  • Have a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Real Estate education

To apply for your real estate license, the state of Washington requires you to complete a minimum of 90 hours of coursework within 2 years (60 hours of Real Estate Fundamentals, and 30 hours of Real Estate Practices). You can take it in two ways:

  • In-person: You can take it at a local real estate school; typically, they are around 20 individual classes, lasting 3 to 4 hours. The course usually takes 8 weeks.

The advantage of in-person classes is that you can interact with the instructors and meet other students face to face. The downside is that they tend to take much longer and are more expensive. The cost ranges from $300 to $465 (without including course textbooks).

  • Online: The advantage of the online course is that it allows you to take it on your own time and pace. Most lessons have to be accompanied by a textbook. You should read the course content with the textbook and then take a test to verify that you have understood the material.

These courses are also generally cheaper. You can find options online from $99 to $250.

Whatever your choice is, the course must be approved by the Washington State Department of Licensing. To make sure, you can call them at 360.664.6505 or check this list of approved courses and schools.

real estate education course catalog

On the other hand, you also need to pass the final exam after completing the course. Note that this is not the broker’s exam, but it is similar.

It generally consists of 75 multiple-choice questions, limited to 90 minutes. You must score at least 70% to pass the exam, and then you will receive your completion certificate.

Broker’s exam

After completing your courses, you are ready to take the broker’s exam. Even though we want to encourage you to become a real estate agent, you must know that this exam is hard, so you need to study a lot; you can find prep guides or courses online (free and paid).

When you feel ready, then you can follow these steps:

Step 1, register: Before finishing the course, you must register in the Applied Measurements Professionals (AMP) portal; this is Washington’s testing vendor.

amp portal

  • Select “Washington Student User” on the left sidebar.
  • And then follow the instructions to complete your registration.

Note: by the time you are doing the registration, you will be asked to pay a $138.25 fee for the test.

Step 2, schedule: When you finish the course, your school or agency will submit your information to AMP. Then, you can schedule a date to take the exam.

  • Enter again to www.goAMP.com
  • Click on “Portals”
  • Select “Washington Student User” on the left sidebar
  • Open your account
  • Click on “Schedule/Reschedule Examination.”
  • And follow the instructions

We recommend you to schedule your exam at least 2 weeks in advance, as you will not always be able to take it immediately.

Step 3, take the test: The exam will generally evaluate everything you have learned in the course. It consists of 140 multiple-choice questions, limited to 3 and a half hours; 100 questions are related to national facts, and 40 to Washington facts.

Also, these are the things you must bring to the testing center:

  • Two identification documents (not expired) that show your name, signature, and current photo in at least one of the documents.
  • A calculator. Any other device or accessories are not permitted.

You will receive your score as soon as you finish the exam. If you pass, the results will be valid only for 12 months; if you fail, do not worry, you can prepare and retake it in 6 months.

Application process

  1. Go to: https://fortress.wa.gov/dol/solar/Home/Login and login or create an account if you do not have one.
  2. Pay the license fee: $146.25.
  3. Submit your fingerprints (they are used to check your criminal background). To get more information about how to complete this step correctly, read here: https://www.dol.wa.gov/business/fingerprinting.html.
  4. Then, just wait for your license. You will receive an email with the approval.
  5. After receiving it, you will be ready to join a broker’s firm and activate your license.

However, if you have further questions about how to get a real estate license in Washington, you can send an email to realestate@dol.wa.gov or call to 360.664.6500.

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