How to Get a Wisconsin Real Estate Broker License

Written by: Mary Gerardine

Cartoon woman holding a Wisconsin Real Estate Broker License sign

    Becoming a Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin Real Estate Broker License is a fairly simple process, but it does require you to complete four 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.

     

    Wisconsin Real Estate Agent vs Real Estate Broker

    Wisconsin offers two different types of real estate license: Sales and Broker.

    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 Wisconsin.

    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 Wisconsin Real Estate License guide. If you’re working on the Wisconsin real estate broker license, keep reading this page!

     

    Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin.

    These prerequisites are:

    • Complete a 72-hour pre-license education course within four years of submitting your application or complete 20 academic semester hours at an institution of higher learning in real estate or real estate-related law
    • Have experience that totals at least 40 points. Must be documented and verified with a supervising broker

    Wisconsin has a point value system that measures your qualifying work experience. For example, a closed residential sale or purchase is worth five points per transaction, while a closed commercial sale or purchase is worth 10. The total number of points required is 40 to become a broker in the state. Professionals with a license to practice law are exempt from these requirements.

     

    How to Become a Real Estate Broker in Wisconsin

    Once you meet all the requirements listed above, you can follow these four steps to easily help you get your real estate broker license in Wisconsin.

    Step 1: Complete a Wisconsin Broker Pre-Licensing Course

    The first step to getting your real estate broker license in Wisconsin is to take 72 classroom hours of qualifying real estate courses.

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    These real estate courses mostly cover the fundamentals of working in real estate and must be completed within four years of your broker’s license application.

    The requirements include 20 academic hours at a higher learning institution or 72 classroom hours of qualifying real estate courses. The classroom hours will cover the following topics:

    • Fair housing
    • Agency law
    • Contract law
    • Appraisal
    • Real estate financing
    • Land use
    • Calculations
    • Real estate Law

    Wisconsin offers reciprocity for two states: Illinois (broker managers only) and Indiana. If you have an active license in either state, you must pass the broker state examination for Wisconsin and pay a $60 license fee.

    If you are a licensed broker in another state (and have been active at least two of the last four years), you can apply for an endorsement license. This requires you to fulfill additional educational requirements as well as pass the state exam. To get your endorsement, you must complete a broker’s six-hour course and a 13-hour pre-licensing course for salespersons.

    After completing the courses, you must also pass the final broker course exam. The minimum passing grade is 75% and can be taken a maximum of two times. 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 Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) recommends submitting completion documents via the DSPS OLAS – Online Licensure Application System or via dsps@wisconsin.gov.

     

    Step 2: Submit a Wisconsin Broker License Application

    Once you meet the broker pre-licensing education requirements and pass the course exam, you can now apply for your license.

    To submit your broker license application, you must use the DSPS OLAS – Online Licensure Application SystemThe application fee is $60.

    You may also fill out an Application for Real Estate Broker License (Form 809) and pay an additional $10 fee.

    You do not need to submit fingerprints. However, the license application form will ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime or if you’re currently on parole. If applicable, you will be asked to submit additional information for consideration, such as the details of your incarceration or report copy from a parole officer. If you have ever been denied a license in the past before, you can also submit details as to why. Your application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

    Note:

    If you aren’t sure whether you qualify for a real estate broker license based on your history, check out our article on Real Estate License Eligibility.

     

    Step 3: Pass the Wisconsin Real Estate Broker Exam

    After completing the steps above, you must take the real estate broker licensing exam via Pearson VUE.

    The fee for the broker exam is $65. You must complete the exam within 195 minutes (3.25 hours). You’ll need to create an account on Pearson VUE to access information. Please note that testing centers and fees may change.

    For more information on the exam, Pearson VUE provides a Candidate Handbook containing the Wisconsin 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 4: Application Review

    After passing your state exam, you’ll need to submit proof via DSPS OLAS – Online Licensure Application System.

    Processing times vary, but DSPS recommends submitting your information within 8-12 weeks in advance, when possible.

    Once your application is approved, you will receive documents online and instructions on how to print them. Wisconsin’s DSPS will not send you a hard copy of your license.

     

    Congratulations!

    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.

     

    Wisconsin Real Estate Broker License Renewal and CE

    In Wisconsin, you must renew your real estate broker license every two years. Broker licenses will always expire in even numbered years, so you may have your first renewal earlier depending on when you apply.

    To renew your license, you can use the DSPS online login or submit to dsps@wisconsin.gov.

    You can also call (608) 266-2112 to request a paper renewal form. The renewal fee is $60.

    As part of renewing your broker license, you must also complete the continuing education (CE) requirements that include 18 hours of DSPS-approved courses. These courses must be listed on the renewal form, but there are no requirements listed for which courses need to be taken.




    Wisconsin Real Estate Broker License FAQ

    How much does it cost to get a real estate broker license in Wisconsin?

    The costs of getting a real estate broker license in Wisconsin can range between $334 and $524.

    The cost breakdown is as follows:

    Pre-license education courses: $209-$399

    Application fee: $60

    Broker exam fee: $65

     

    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 with 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 Wisconsin?

    Browse through available real estate broker jobs in your area using our StateRequirement Job Board!




    WIDSPS – Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services

    Mailing Address:

    Wisconsin Real Estate Commission
    Hill Farms State Office Building 
    4822 Madison Yards Way
    Madison, WI 53705

    Hours: Monday to Friday, 7:45 am-12:30 pm

    Phone: (608) 266-2112

    Emaildsps@wisconsin.gov 

    WebsiteDSPS Real Estate Broker




    Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated in October 2022.

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