How to Get Your Washington Real Estate License

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

Last updated:

Getting your Washington Real Estate Broker License is the first step to becoming a real estate broker in Washington. Nowadays, this process can be done almost entirely online. You will still need to take your Washington real estate license exam in person, but the rest of the process can be completed entirely online!

This article outlines how to become a real estate broker in Washington 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.

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How to Become a Real Estate Broker in Washington

Becoming a real estate broker in Washington 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.

Washington Real Estate License Requirements

The requirements to become a real estate broker in Washington are:

  • Be a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent education (GED)

How to Get Your Real Estate Broker License in Washington

Step 1. Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course

The State of Washington requires that real estate sales brokers complete 90 hours of pre-license coursework prior to sitting for their exam.

This education must include:

  • 60 hours in Real Estate Fundamentals
  • 30 hours in Real Estate Practices

Before you complete your course, you must register as a student with the testing vendor, Applied Measurements Professionals, Inc. (AMP), so your school can submit your course completion electronically.

To register as a student with AMP, do the following:

  • Go to the Applied Measurements Professionals website
  • Click the Portals tab at the top of the screen
  • Select “Washington Student User” and follow the registration instructions

You will not be allowed to schedule an examination appointment until your education provider has electronically submitted your course completion to PSI.

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 broker.

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Washington does not require the final pre-license exam 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.

Step 2. Washington Real Estate License Exam

After you’ve completed your pre-license education and your school has submitted your education information, it’s now time to take the Washington Real Estate Exam.

The fee to take the exam is $138.25 per attempt.

The Washington Real Estate Exam consists of 130 questions. This includes 100 for the National section and 30 for the State section.

You will have 210 minutes (3.5 hours) to complete the entire exam. The National section time is 150 minutes (2.5 hours) and the State section time is 90 minutes (1.5 hours).

A passing score for the Washington Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 70/100 on the National section and 21/30 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 Washington Real Estate Exam

The passing rate for the Washington Real Estate Broker 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 Washington 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 passing your exam, the next step is to complete your fingerprinting and background check. The Washington State Department of Licensing requires that all real estate applicants have a background check performed before they can become a licensed real estate broker in Washington.

To begin this process, use MorphoTrust’s IdentoGO process to take and submit your fingerprints electronically at one of their many Washington locations. You can also schedule and pay for a fingerprint appointment online.

The scanned fingerprints will be sent electronically to the Washington State Patrol (WSP), and WSP will forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Results will be electronically sent to the Washington Real Estate Licensing Department.

Note that a background check is required not only during the initial license but also every six years afterward.

The fee to complete your fingerprinting services is $42.80.

Completing and turning in your fingerprints will begin the background check process. The Washington State Department of Licensing 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 Washington. If this is the case, you should upload documents if they help explain the situation – charging documents, court orders, disciplinary letters, etc.

Note

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 Broker License Application

The last step to getting your real estate license in Washington is to complete your license application.

The fee for the license application is $146.25.

You can fill out your application online using Washington’s SecureAccess (SAW) system.

Suppose you would like to mail your application. In that case, it is possible to fill out a paper application instead-but note that there is a delay for mailed applications, so an online application is encouraged.

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 between 3-5 business days. Once your license is available, you can print them for a $5 fee. If you have any questions at this point, you should contact WREL at (360) 664-6488 or RealEstate@dol.wa.gov.

Congratulations! 

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

To complete your license application, your sponsoring broker must certify your application by filling in Page 2/2 of the Washington Real Estate License Application form.

If you don’t yet have a broker to work with check out StateRequirement Jobs for a real estate salesperson opening in your area.

WSDL – Washington State Department of Licensing

Mailing Address: 

Washington Real Estate Commission
PO Box 3917
Seattle, WA 98124-3917

Phone: (360) 664-6488

Email: RealEstate@dol.wa.gov

Website: https://www.dol.wa.gov/business/realestate/brokers.html

Washington Real Estate License FAQ

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Washington?

Obtaining a Washington broker license involves Washington fees of $327.30 and real estate pre-licensing courses can cost from $239 to $379. The total estimated expenses for the license amount to $570-$710. Aspiring real estate professionals in Washington should budget for these when considering a real estate career in the state.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Washington Real Estate License?

Washington doesn’t require a real estate agent license, but provides broker licenses. Getting a broker license may take three to six months, with the longest steps being real estate education, passing the course final exam, and state exam preparation. It’s advisable to take the time to prepare thoroughly for the exam and not rush the process.

How to Get a Washington Commercial Real Estate License?

To sell commercial real estate in Washington, a standard 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 managing broker affiliated with a commercial real estate firm to help you with these types of transactions.

Are There any Real Estate Jobs Open Around Me?

Check out StateRequirement Jobs to find open positions from our partners and at real estate firms. You can also connect with real estate agents and brokers who may have job openings or can provide valuable insights into the local real estate job market.

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