Getting your South Carolina Real Estate License is the first step to becoming a real estate agent in South Carolina. Nowadays, this process can be done almost entirely online. You will still need to take your South Carolina 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 SC 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.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in South Carolina
Becoming a real estate agent in South Carolina 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.
South Carolina Real Estate License Requirements
The requirements to become a real estate agent in South Carolina are:
- Be a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Must have a high school diploma or equivalent education
How to Get Your Real Estate License in South Carolina
Step 1. Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course
To begin the licensing process, you must successfully complete 90 hours of approved pre-licensing salesperson courses.
South Carolina requires that real estate sales agents complete 60 hours of Unit I Salesperson pre-license coursework prior to sitting for their exam. The 30-hour Unit II Advanced Real Estate Principles course can be taken after passing the licensing exam but must be taken prior to applying for licensure. Both courses must be completed before obtaining initial licensure.
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.
For South Carolina real estate license exam courses and study tools, StateRequirement recommends:
South Carolina is one of the few states that 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.
In most cases, you can take this test in your own home, but you must have a proctor overseeing you when sitting for the test. When purchasing your real estate pre-license course, check to see if a proctor is included in your education package.
Step 2. South Carolina Real Estate License Exam
After completing the 60 hours of Unit I Salesperson pre-license coursework, you can now apply for exam eligibility from the South Carolina Real Estate Commission (SCREC) by submitting the South Carolina Exam Application for Real Estate Form (REC 231). Make sure you include a check or money order in the amount of $25 made payable to SCREC. Eligibility, once granted, is valid for one year.
After approval, it is time to take the South Carolina Real Estate Salesperson Exam.
The fee to take the exam is $63 per attempt.
The South Carolina Real Estate Salesperson Exam consists of 120 questions. This includes 80 for the National section and 40 for the State section.
You will have 200 minutes (3 hours and 20 minutes) to complete the entire exam. The National section time is 120 minutes (2 hours) and the State section time is 80 minutes (1 hour and 20 minutes).
A passing score for the South Carolina Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 56/80 on the National section and 28/40 on the State section.
Immediately 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.
How Hard is the South Carolina Real Estate Exam
The passing rate for the South Carolina Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 70%. This test is purposefully difficult, but not impossible. Be sure to pay attention during your pre-license course and take studying seriously. If you put the proper effort forth, we know that you can pass on your first attempt!
You can register to take your exam on the PSI South Carolina 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!
Step 3. Fingerprinting and Background Check
After receiving your initial application eligibility, you will now receive the instructions on how to obtain the fingerprint criminal background check. The South Carolina Real Estate Commission requires that all applicants have a background check performed before they can become a licensed real estate agent in South Carolina.
You will be required to obtain state and national fingerprint-based criminal records checks from the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
The fee to complete your fingerprinting services is $25.
Completing and turning in your fingerprints will begin the background check process. The South Carolina 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 South Carolina. If this is the case, you should complete and submit an SC Real Estate Commission Criminal History Explanation Form before your license application.
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. Real Estate License Application
After you’ve finished your exam and background check, you can now complete your real estate license application in South Carolina.
The fee for this application is $50. You can complete and fill out your application online using South Carolina’s LLR Online Applications system.
Step 5. Application Review
Once you’ve passed your exam, you will only need to wait for your background report to come back as a pass. In most cases, this process should take about seven business days. After this, you should receive an email from SCREC with a license document. If you have any questions at this point, you should contact TREC at (803) 896-4400 or Contact.REC@llr.sc.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!
Step 6. Real Estate License Sponsorship
When you receive your initial Real Estate License in South Carolina, your license will be in an “inactive” status. This means that you cannot transact real estate yet.
In order to “activate” your license, you will need to be sponsored by a licensed real estate broker in South Carolina.
If you already have a broker in mind or have an agreement with a real estate company, you can apply for sponsorship on the SCREC website.
If you don’t yet have a broker to work with check out StateRequirement Jobs for a real estate salesperson opening in your area.
SCDLLR – South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
South Carolina Real Estate Commission
110 Centerview Dr. Suite 201
Columbia, SC 29211
Phone: (803) 896-4425
Fax: (803) 896-4402
South Carolina Real Estate License FAQ
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Real Estate License in South Carolina?
All South Carolina fees: $165
Real Estate Pre-Licensing Education (Estimated): $600-$815
The total estimated cost to get a South Carolina Real Estate license is $770-$1,000.
How Long Does it Take to Get a South Carolina Real Estate License?
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.
How to Get a South Carolina Commercial Real Estate License?
To sell commercial real estate in South Carolina, 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.
Are There any Real Estate Jobs Open Around Me?
Check out StateRequirement Jobs to find open real estate jobs in your area!