Becoming a South Carolina real estate broker is a strong step forward in your career. Not only does this advanced license look great on a resume, it also allows you to work independently, open real estate brokerage firms, and manage other agents within these firms.
Getting the South Carolina Real Estate Broker License is a fairly simple process, but it does require you to complete five steps, and have a few prerequisites before applying or taking the broker’s exam.
This guide covers all of these requirements in a simple, easy to understand way that will make it easier for you throughout this process.
South Carolina Real Estate Agent vs Real Estate Broker
South Carolina offers two different types of real estate license: Sales and Broker.
A sales agent’s license is the initial license that real estate agents get in order to sell real estate.
A broker’s license is an advanced license that allows the license holder to operate at a higher level within real estate businesses in South Carolina.
People often confuse sales agents and brokers. A simple way to look at the difference is that holders of the sales agent’s license are called real estate agents, while holders of the broker’s license are called real estate brokers.
If you are working towards getting your first license, check out our South Carolina Real Estate License guide. If you’re working on the South Carolina real estate broker license, keep reading this page!
South Carolina Real Estate Broker License Requirements
First, to be eligible for a real estate broker’s license, you must meet the prerequisites to become a real estate broker in South Carolina.
These prerequisites are:
- Be 21 years old or older
- Have active experience as a licensed real estate agent or broker for three years during the five-year period before application
- Complete the Broker IIIA and IIIB pre-licensing courses (60 additional hours), then apply to take the South Carolina real estate broker examination
How to Become a Real Estate Broker in South Carolina
Once you meet all the requirements listed above, you can follow these five steps to easily help you get your real estate broker license in South Carolina.
Step 1: Complete a South Carolina Broker Pre-Licensing Course
The first step to getting your real estate broker license in South Carolina is to complete Broker IIIA and IIIB pre-licensing courses (60 additional hours).
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These real estate courses mostly cover the fundamentals of working in real estate and must be completed within a year of your broker’s license application. This requirement is divided into two sections:
The required 60 classroom hours of qualifying real estate courses, including the following mandatory courses:
- Brokerage Management (30 hours)
- Basic Fundamentals of Real Estate (30 hours)
The state requires 150 hours of real estate training to become a broker. However, 909 of those hours are covered during your application to be a real estate salesperson. This must be completed through approved continuing education (CE) courses.
South Carolina offers reciprocity, so if you’re an agent (or broker) in a different state, your qualifications and licenses are recognized. However one must still apply for and take the South Carolina portion of the real estate examination (and if applying to become a broker, meet the three years of actively licensed sales experience requirements).
After completing the courses, you must also pass the final broker course exam. The minimum passing grade is 70%. The final pre-license exam is to be supervised by a proctor, whether on-site or online. This is not the same as the state broker exam.
After passing your broker course exam, your pre-license education provider will provide you with your course completion documents. The South Carolina Real Estate Commission (SCREC) recommends submitting your completion documents via the online services portal or email Contact.REC@llr.sc.gov.
Step 2: Pass the South Carolina Real Estate Broker Exam
Once you meet the broker pre-licensing education requirements and pass the course exam, you must take the real estate broker licensing exam via PSI Exams.
The fee for the broker exam is $63 for both the national and state portions and $55 for one portion.
In South Carolina, brokers take the same national section as real estate agents which consists of 75 scored questions. The state-specific section of the broker’s exam consists of 50 scored questions. You must complete the South Carolina real estate broker exam within 200 minutes.
The passing scores for the South Carolina real estate broker exam are: 60/75 on the national section and 36/50 on the state-specific section.
If you happen to fail the exam you may retest on an unlimited basis during a one-year period. If your examination eligibility has expired, you will need to reapply to SCREC before you can register to retake the examination.
For more information on the exam, PSI provides a Candidate Handbook and Real Estate Broker Exam content outline.
Taking an exam prep course provides you helpful tools and materials, such as quizzes and specific state-only practice exams, to increase your chances of passing your broker license exam the first time.
Step 3: Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check
The next step is to submit to a total of three criminal background checks: two (state and national) are fingerprint-based, and one is Social Security number-based.
The fingerprint check is conducted by the State Law Enforcement Division.
The national fingerprint-based criminal records check is conducted by the FBI. The fingerprinting fee is $25.
The SCREC has approved SR&I to conduct the Social Security number-based criminal records check. After sending their applications to SCREC, applicants can go to the SR&I website and request the Social Security number-based criminal records check.
If you aren’t sure whether you are eligible for a real estate license based on your history, check out our article on Real Estate License Eligibility.
Step 4: Submit a South Carolina Broker License Application
After you fulfill the above requirements, you can now apply for your license.
To submit your broker license application, you must use SCREC’s labor licensing regulation site. The application fee is $125250. Use your registered username with SCREC to log in and submit your application.
Make sure to include your score report and application provided by PSI.
Step 5: Application Review
Once you have submitted your application, you will only need to wait for SCREC to review and approve your application.
The process should take about seven business days. After this, you should receive a notification from SCREC.
If you have any questions at this point, you should contact SCREC at (803) 896-4400 or Contact.REC@llr.sc.gov.
Now that you’ve successfully passed the broker licensing exam and obtained your license, there are a few things you need to do to keep your broker license active and updated.
South Carolina Real Estate Broker License Renewal and CE
In South Carolina , you must renew your real estate broker license every two years. The renewal process is the same for the broker license and sales agent license.
To renew your license, you must visit SCREC’s website to download the relevant form or apply electronically. The renewal fee is $55. Renewing your broker license after its expiration date is possible but comes with a penalty relative to the time frame.
As part of renewing your broker license, you must also complete the CE requirement of 10 hours of SCREC-approved courses.
SCREC recommends completing your CE at least 10 days before your expiration date to make time for processing.
SCDLLR – South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation
South Carolina Real Estate Commission
110 Centerview Dr., Suite 201
Columbia, SC 29210
Phone: (803) 896-4400
Fax: (803) 896-4427
Website: South Carolina Real Estate Commission
South Carolina Real Estate Broker License FAQ
How much does it cost to get a real estate broker license in South Carolina?
The costs of getting a real estate broker license in South Carolina can range between $547 and $737.
The cost breakdown is as follows:
Pre-license education courses: $209-$399
Broker exam fee: $63 for both portions and $55 for one portion
Fingerprint-based background check: $25
Application fee: $125
How long does it take to get a real estate broker license?
The steps that typically take the most time when getting a broker license include taking pre-license education courses and exams. The average amount of time to get a broker license is generally three to six months.
What is the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker?
Real estate agents focus on working with clients on individual real estate transactions, while real estate brokers have more experience with the added responsibility of managing a team of real estate agents or brokerage business. See our Real Estate Agent vs. Broker vs. Realtor page for more information.
How much does a real estate broker make?
Real estate brokers get paid just like real estate agents by earning commissions on their agents’ sales. Brokers can also charge the real estate agents they manage a fixed monthly fee or have the option to earn money on commission sales by helping their own clients buy and sell property. According to Payscale data, brokers earn $61,314 per year in base salary, with anywhere between $10,000 and $147,000 in commissions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the median broker salary is $62,010.
How do I get a job as a real estate broker in South Carolina?
Browse through available real estate broker jobs in your area using our StateRequirement Job Board!