Getting your Iowa Real Estate License is the first step to becoming a real estate agent in Iowa. Nowadays, this process can be done almost entirely online. You will still need to take your Iowa real estate license exam in person, but the rest of the process can be completed entirely online!
This article outlines the process to get your IA Real Estate License in an easy to understand, step-by-step manner. You’ll learn how much it will cost, how long it will take, what is on the exam, and much more.
Becoming a real estate agent in Iowa is as simple as getting your license, finding a broker sponsor, and getting to work selling real estate! As long as you fulfill the below requirements, you are already on your way to your goal.
The requirements to become a real estate affiliate in Iowa are:
Iowa requires that real estate sales agents complete 60 hours of pre-license coursework before sitting for their exam. This coursework will consist of three classes.
These three required classes are:
In addition to the required pre-licensing course, you must also complete the following three courses. All courses must be completed less than 12 months before the Iowa Real Estate Commission receives your completed application. You may take the courses in any order.
Most people choose to take their pre-license education course online. The majority of online courses are self-paced and include study materials like real estate practice exams and flashcards. Some also come with a “guarantee” that you will pass the exam on your first attempt if you complete their course. These benefits are all dependent on the education provider and package you choose, so be sure to get the course that best suits your needs.
Remember that the point of these courses isn’t just to check a box and complete a requirement, but rather to prepare you to pass your exam and become a better agent.
Iowa does not require the final pre-license exam to be supervised by a proctor. This is not the same as the state exam. This test is provided by your pre-license education company and is an indication that you have completed and retained the information from your pre-license education course.
Similar to the state exam, this test is closed-book and closed-note. You are allowed a basic-function calculator and scratch paper, but no cell phones or outside internet access.
After you’ve completed your pre-license education, it’s now time to take the Iowa Real Estate Exam.
The fee to take the exam is $95 per attempt.
The Iowa Real Estate Exam consists of 120 questions. This includes 80 for the National section and 40 for the State section.
You will have 180 minutes (3 hours) to complete the entire exam. The National section time is 120 minutes (2 hours), and the State section time is 60 minutes (1 hour).
A passing score for the Iowa Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 56/80 on the National section and 28/40 on the State section.
After completing your exam, you will receive a scoring document that states whether you passed or failed. If it is marked “Fail,” then you will see a breakdown of your score in the different areas of the exam. If you decide to retake the exam, use this as a guide for your studies.
You can register to take your exam on the PSI Iowa Real Estate page. On this page, you will find some other helpful resources as well, including the Candidate Handbook and Content Outline.
Before taking the exam, check out StateRequirement’s guide on how to pass the real estate exam. This in-depth guide works as a great partner to your pre-license course to prepare you to pass on your first attempt!
After submitting your application, the next step is to complete your fingerprinting and background check. The Iowa Real Estate Commission requires that all applicants have a background check performed before becoming a licensed real estate agent in Iowa.
To begin this process, licensees will need to go to Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau and create a login for DataPro (aka “My Iowa PLB”) and then submit their 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.
You should then mail it to the address below:
Iowa Real Estate Commission
200 E. Grand, Ste. 350
Des Moines, IA 50309
If you do not want to pay by check or money order, you can pay online through your “My Iowa PLB” account after the completed waiver and fingerprint card are received by the Iowa Real Estate Commission. At that time, you will receive an e-mail notification or see an application status of “Ready For Payment” on My Iowa PLB – Home, asking that you submit the required $51 fee. Once payment is received, a receipt will be generated, and that is an indicator that the fingerprint card will be submitted to the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
Completing and turning in your fingerprints will begin the background check process. The Iowa Real Estate Commission will review any findings in your background report to ensure your eligibility. During this process, they may reach out to you to provide additional information or documentation to clear up any findings.
For those who have criminal offenses or judgments against them, there’s a possibility that you may not be eligible for a real estate license in Iowa. If this is the case, make sure to attach documents to questions you answer yes to.
All active licensees must carry uninterrupted E&O insurance coverage in Iowa.
The Iowa Real Estate Commission selected RISC to continue to provide the state group E&O insurance policy. The program is designed specifically for Iowa licensees and exceeds state minimum requirements.
Proof of coverage must be provided with all new applications. An Enrollment form to obtain Errors and Omissions Insurance is also available.
The last step to getting your real estate license in Iowa is to complete your license application.
You can fill out your application online using Iowa’s Professional Licensing system.
You will need to attach to your license application the following items:
You must apply for your real estate salesperson’s license no later than six months after the qualifying examination test date.
Once you’ve passed your exam, you will only need to wait for your background report to come back as a pass. Once you have applied for a review, the status of your application will be “Pending Internal Review.” At a minimum, please allow 3-5 business days for staff to complete their review of your application. If you have any questions at this point, you should contact IREC at (515) 281-7393 or RealEstateCommission@iowa.gov.
Be sure to take some time to celebrate your accomplishment. You’ve put in a lot of work and effort and deserve a celebration!
You may not file an original application as “inactive.” You will need a sponsoring broker to sign the Broker Certification section of your application for the license, verifying that you are associated with, or engaged by, that broker. You must have a broker sign to get your original license.
If you don’t yet have a broker to work with check out StateRequirement Jobs for a real estate salesperson opening in your area.
All Iowa fees: $415
Real Estate Pre-Licensing Education (Estimated): $359-$574
The total estimated cost to get an Iowa Real Estate license is $775-$990.
The two steps that take the most time when getting your license are pre-license education and test preparation. The average amount of time that people take from start to finish is generally 3-6 months.
If you dedicate a full-time schedule to this process and study hard, you could possibly complete this process in 2 months. We wouldn’t recommend trying to go any faster than this. Take your time to study and prepare yourself for the exam.
To sell commercial real estate in Iowa, a standard Salesperson or Broker license is all that you need. There is no specific “commercial real estate license”.
If you wish to take on a career selling specifically commercial real estate, choose a broker that handles the types of deals that you want to be a part of.
Check out StateRequirement Jobs to find open real estate jobs in your area!
Iowa Real Estate Commission
200 E. Grand, Ste. 350
Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone: (515) 725-9022
Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated in July 2022.
Any Information on this site is not guaranteed or warranted to be correct, accurate, or up to date. StateRequirement and its members and affiliates are not responsible for any losses, monetary or otherwise. StateRequirement is not affiliated with any state, government, or licensing body. For more information, please contact your state's authority on insurance.
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