As a brokerage manager for eXp Realty in Iowa, I’m often asked what it takes in order to become a licensed real estate professional. Here in Iowa, there are seven steps to getting your real estate license from the state:

1. You must be within six months of becoming 18 years old. That means you can take the classes and the exam before you turn 18, but you have to be 18 to be issued your license. For those of you go-getters and Type-A personalities, feel free to sign up for classes and start them whenever you like.

2. You must take 60 hours of pre-licensure education. This can be done in person or online, depending on what works best for you. Once you finish those hours, you can apply to take your in-person exam through a PSI testing center. The exam costs $95, and you pay for it when you sign up for the exam.

3. Take the exams. Each question is multiple-choice, and you’ll have 180 minutes to complete the exam. There are 80 questions for the national portion, and 40 questions for the state portion. If you fail one or both portions of the exam, you can go back and retake it as quickly as the next day, schedule permitting. Don’t feel bad if you don’t pass them on the first try—even the greatest agents had trouble passing the test.

“No matter where you’re located, I can get you up to 20% off of any online classes you take.”

4. Request a background-check packet. Go to and create an account. Once you do, request a background check packet; you’ll have to go into your local police station to have your fingerprints scanned, which will be sent in. After eight to 10 weeks, you’ll get the result of your background check. The check costs $51, and you may be charged an additional fee to have your fingerprints scanned.Once you’ve completed it, you can send in your application packet. Be sure to answer the questions truthfully; if they find something in your background check that you failed to disclose on paper, it will tie everything up and delay you getting your license. You’ll have to go meet with the Real Estate Commission in person to explain yourself.

5. Send in your license fee. After you’ve been cleared, send in your $125 licensing fee.

6. Join the brokerage of your choice. While your license fee is processing, you’ll want to interview eXp Realty and any other brokerages in your area so you can find out what types of meetings, trainings, coaches, commission splits, and services they have. For example, do they have someone on staff to help you put your listings into the MLS, or are you expected to do that on your own? You’ll also want to determine which local board of Realtors and which MLS you want to join.

7. Apply for your NAR membership. Once you receive your license from the state, apply at to join the brokerage, who will assist you in signing up for your National Association of Realtors membership, your local Board of Realtors membership, and your MLS membership.

If you live in another state, I’d be happy to help you search the process you’d need to undergo in order to get your license. No matter where you’re located, I can get you up to 20% off of any online classes you take. Reach out to me and sign up for my newsletter to get free business planning, coaching, and all sorts of useful advice as you start out on your real estate journey.In the meantime, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to help you.