• Home
  • |
  • Blog
  • |
  • How to Get a Real Estate License Online in North Carolina (A Complete Guide)

How to Get a Real Estate License Online in North Carolina (A Complete Guide)

Last updated on November 9, 2022

How to Get a Real Estate License Online in North Carolina

Quick note! RealEstateLicenseTraining is partnered with the best online real estate schools. When you sign up using our links, we may get a small affiliate commission. Read how we conduct our reviews here

Interest in a real estate career has grown recently. 

We’ve seen a rise in young millionaire agents who have inspired many to try their luck in the industry.

In addition, the lack of educational requirements makes real estate a level playing field open to everyone, regardless of whether you have a college degree or not.

So if you’re hoping to get started with real estate in North Carolina and are looking for a guide on how to start, you’ve come to the right place. 

In this article, we’re going to take you through a complete guide on how to get a real estate license online in North Carolina. 

Let’s get straight into it.

Note: in North Carolina, real estate agents are referred to as real estate brokers, while real estate brokers are referred to as a broker-in-charge.

Real Estate Licensing Qualifications in North Carolina

What are the qualifications?

You might be surprised to know that there are only 2. These are:

  • Be at least 18-years old
  • Be a legal resident 

Yup, that’s about it!

How to Get a Real Estate License Online in North Carolina

If you checked those boxes, then these are the steps to obtain your NC real estate license: 

Step 1: Take a real estate pre-licensing course

Step 2: Submit a real estate license application to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission

Step 3: Pass the North Carolina real estate exam

Step 4: Get sponsored by a broker-in-charge

Step 5: Complete a real estate post-licensing course

Now, let’s talk about these steps in detail. 

Step 1: Take a real estate pre-licensing course

The first step is to gain knowledge about the real estate world. I mean, you can’t expect to succeed if you know nothing about it. 

This is why, in North Carolina, it is required to take a 75-hour real estate pre-licensing course. 

Some real estate courses may include an end-of-course exam that you have to pass if you want to receive your certificate of completion (necessary for the license application process). To pass, you usually need a score of at least 75%.

You’ll be happy to know that North Carolina allows online pre-licensing courses!

You can study the course at your own convenience. 

Now, if you’re looking for a reliable online real estate school, we recommend Kaplan Real Estate Education. 

Their courses are a mix of video lectures, live online classroom lessons, and study material that you can do from the comfort of your home.

Definitely go check them out! 

Step 2: Submit a real estate license application to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission

After completing the pre-licensing course, you can now submit an application to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission. 

This process can be completed online at the commission’s website

In the application form, you’ll have to submit proof of course completion, along with personal details such as your social security number and proof of legal residency.

At this stage, you’ll also have to apply for a background check. This has to be submitted with the online application. 

Note: while felons are eligible for a real estate license, the final decision shall rest with the board and will depend on the type of crime committed. 

Usually, your application is cleared within 10 days, that is, if it is filled out correctly and no character issues exist. So make sure you read everything carefully. 

After completing your application, you’ll be emailed a notice of exam eligibility, which will have your exam date.

The application process costs $100. Payment takes place when you arrive at the examination center. 

Step 3: Pass the North Carolina real estate exam

The exam is conducted by the PSI. Don’t forget to contact them to confirm your exam date. Also, don’t forget to choose an examination center near you for easy access. 

The exam fee is $56, which is paid along with the application fee when you arrive at your examination center. 

What should you expect from the exam?

It consists of a state and national portion, 80 and 40 questions respectively. 

To pass, you’ll have to answer 57 questions correctly for the state, and 38 for the national. You’ll be given 4 hours to complete everything. 

As the exam is conducted on a computer, you’ll receive your results immediately after.

Note: the notice of exam eligibility only lasts for a period of 180 days. Don’t delay taking the exam after you’ve completed the application process.

For further details regarding examination procedures, consult this PSI handbook.

Step 4: Get sponsored by a broker-in-charge

Once you pass the exam, you’ll finally receive your real estate license, mailed to the address listed on the application process. 

However, your license will still be ‘inactive’. You won’t be able to use it yet. 

To activate it, you’ll have to get a sponsoring broker-in-charge. 

At this point, you’re probably itching to get started with your new career. But don’t make the mistake of rushing through this process, as so many have. 

You should take this step slow and steady and evaluate all the brokers-in-charge in your area based on their reputation, corporate culture, commission structure, etc... 

Remember that brokerage firms operate in different ways. Some expect their sponsored agents/brokers to work 9 to 5 and dress formally at work. On the other hand, other firms are more flexible, allowing agents/brokers to control their work schedule and are more informal when it comes to corporate culture and requirements.

The choice you make depends on whether you’re planning to do real estate full time or as a side gig. For full-time, a structured work schedule and greater work experience will be beneficial to give you the best chance of success in your real estate career.

Step 5: Complete a real estate post-licensing course

In North Carolina, you’ll have to complete another real estate course, this time, a post-licensing one. 

This course amounts to 90 hours of educational modules taken within 18 months (1.5 years) of receiving your license. Failure to complete this course can result in license suspension.

If you’re dreading the thought of even more education, don’t fret.

The post-licensing course can also be completed online. Hooray!

Speaking of which, The CE Shop offers a completely online course that fulfills the 90-hour requirements. So go check them out when it’s time to study your real estate post-licensing course!  

Real Estate Licensing in North Carolina FAQs

How long is the real estate pre-licensing course in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the pre-licensing course is 75 hours long. This actually isn’t a lot when compared to states such as California, where the pre-licensing course is 130 hours! 

Sadly though, North Carolina mandates the use of timers in online courses. This means you won’t be able to complete this course in less than 75 hours.

When should I take continuing education courses in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, you’ll have to complete a 4 hour CE course every year. That means you’ll have to complete two 4 hour CE courses in every 2-year license renewal period.

Another great real estate school recommendation is McKissock.

How to Get a Real Estate License Online in North Carolina (A Complete Guide) McKissock

They offer online CE courses that keep you informed about the changes in real estate law and regulations, trends, as well as reinforce fundamental topics. Unfortunately, they only offer individual courses at the moment. 

Should I choose online or in-person real estate courses?

While in-person courses are preferred by some due to the networking opportunities and direct interaction with your instructors, they can be difficult to attend. You’ll have to follow appear for class on their schedule.  

Online real estate courses solve this by providing you a convenient way to learn at home. 

Schools, such as Kaplan, even provide live video-based classroom lectures, allowing you to engage with instructors without having to be in the actual classroom. 

Additionally, online courses often include a wealth of different resources and features such as minigames, helpful learning tools, and pre-recorded video lectures that can optimize your learning experience.

How much do real estate courses cost in North Carolina?

The cost of real estate courses in North Carolina will depend on the school. So we can’t give a specific number. 

However, in-person schooling is often more expensive starting from around $600. Online schools, on the other hand, are often much cheaper with a collection of different package options to suit every budget, with starting prices as low as $300.


If you’re like many, getting a real estate license can be confusing at first. 

How do I get started?

What are the requirements?

Am I qualified to become a real estate broker in North Carolina?

Well, the steps listed above give you everything you need to know about the process in North Carolina. 

Additionally, the online courses mentioned make getting done with the educational requirements so much easier, especially if you’re a busy person. 

So what are you waiting for?

Get started with a pre-licensing course today!

Good luck!

Compare Real Estate Schools:

Additional real estate license guides you might like

January 16, 2024

Instead of just giving you the best California online real estate school, I’m going to

Best California Online Real Estate School – Top 8 Reviews

September 28, 2023

At first, becoming a mortgage loan officer might seem overwhelming.  How do you even begin?

How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) in Hawaii

September 28, 2023

So you want to become a mortgage loan officer in Vermont… But don’t know how

How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) in Vermont