So you’ve decided to explore a career in real estate! Congratulations! Real estate professionals enjoy a flexible career where schedule and income are totally up to you. The sky is the limit!

If you want to sell real estate in a part time capacity, you can. Many people consider real estate to be a side gig in order for them to earn additional income.

But if you want to work full time, it really offers unlimited earnings potential.

Let’s start by talking about the very basic requirements for becoming a real estate agent. We’ve made it easy for and listed out all the steps below. Keep reading on to get a more in-depth understanding of each of the steps, how long it will take, and how much money can be earned.

To begin you real estate career in Iowa, you will need to take several steps as outlined below:

How To Get A Real Estate License In Iowa

Step 1

The very first step towards getting your Iowa real estate license is making sure you meet the requirements outlined by the Iowa Real Estate Commission.

Step 2

Complete the education requirements, which include 60-hour pre-license coursework from a school approved by the Iowa Real Estate Commission.

Step 3

Request a criminal background check.

Step 4

Take and pass the Iowa salesperson licensing exam. The licensing exam is administered by PSI Examination Services.

Step 5

Complete the addition required coursework, (3) 12-hour courses from a school approved by the Iowa Real Estate Commission. Each one will be taken separately, and have a separate fee.

Step 6

Find a licensed real estate broker to sponsor you as a real estate salesperson. You will need to work under a licensed real estate broker and cannot work independently for 24 months.

Step 7

Obtain Errors and Omissions insurance. This may be something included in your brokerage company, but if not, you will need to make sure to get E&O insurance on your own.

Step 8

Submit the Iowa real estate salesperson’s application to the Iowa Real Estate Commission.

Iowa Real Estate License Requirements

In order to get a real estate license in Iowa, you will need to meet a few requirements set forth by the Iowa Real Estate Commission. These requirements include:

  • You need to be at least 18 years old. While you can take the exam before you are 18, you will need to be 18 before you apply for your real estate license. And, you have to apply within six months of passing the exam. So, it’s really best to wait until you are at least 18. While age is a requirement, it’s important to note that eligibility is not based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, residency or citizenship.
  • You can’t have previously had an application form rejected in Iowa or any other state within the last twelve months before you apply for your license. You also can’t have had a real estate license in Iowa or any other state and had it revoked within the last two years before you apply for your Iowa real estate license.
  • As a salesperson, you must work with a licensed broker or firm. A salesperson cannot conduct real estate business on their own.

How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Iowa?

How long it takes to get your real estate license in Iowa will depend on a few things. Overall, the entire process could take between three and 12 months from start to finish.

One of the biggest considerations for how long it will take is completing your pre-licensing courses. If you attend an in-person school, then that schedule is set and it could take a few months just to get through the classes. However, if you decide to take online classes, you can go at your own pace, potentially speeding up that process.

Another step in the process that takes time is the criminal background check, which is required by law in the state of Iowa for all potential real estate professionals. The background check could take 8-10 weeks to complete. The good news is that you can go ahead and apply for your license even if your background check hasn’t come back yet.

How much does it cost to become a real estate agent in Iowa?

Depending on where you take your classes, the amount of money it will cost to get your Iowa real estate license will vary. On average, it could cost you between $1,575 and $2,500. Here’s where that money will go:

60 Hour Pre-License Course: $300-$500

You will need to take a pre-licensing course that is 60 hours and has been approved by the Iowa Real Estate Commission. You can take the course anywhere, as long as it is an approved course and it is a good fit for your schedule and budget. Of course, difference school will offer the course for varying fees. Generally speaking, online courses are less expensive than in-person courses and they are much more flexible for your schedule.

Licensing Exam: $95

Once you complete all of the required courses, you will need to take and pass the Iowa salesperson licensing exam. You will need to get the minimum required score on the licensing exam in order to pass. The licensing exam costs $95.

Additional Required Courses: $400-$500

In the state of Iowa, after you successfully complete your 60 hour pre-license course, you will need to take additional courses. These courses include:

  • 12 hours of Buying Practices
  • 12 hours of Listing Practices
  • 12 hours of Developing Professionalism and Ethical Practices

The above listed courses are required to be completed the 12 months prior to you applying for your real estate license. We should point out that you can take those three courses in any order you like, so there is a bit of flexibility there. Just make sure you are able to complete them in a timely manner.

Background Check: $51

Part of your real estate license application will include a background check. It is required by Iowa law. To submit a background check, you will need to create a login for DataPro on the Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau website. This allows you to request a fingerprint packet, which there is no fee for. However, real estate licensee applicants will need to pay $51 to the Iowa Real Estate Commission, along with the completed fingerprint card and waiver form.

Application to Iowa Real Estate Commission: $125

To submit a real estate license application to the Iowa Real Estate Commission, you will need to submit a number of documents, including:

  • An Iowa Real Estate Commission license application form that has been completed and notarized
  • Background check submitted to the Iowa Real Estate Commission
  • Certificate showing you passed the Iowa real estate exam
  • Proof of completion for the 60 hour pre-license course, with certificate
  • Completion certificates for the additional 36 hour courses
  • Proof of Errors and Omissions insurance
  • Signature of employing broker
  • $125

Join MLS and Realtor Association: $200+ annually

While it’s not a requirement to join the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and/or the Iowa Association of REALTORS®, it’s a good idea if you want to have access to see and show houses, as well as use the official REALTOR® designation. If you join the Iowa Association of REALTORS®, that also means you will be part of the National Association of REALTORS®.

The good news is that the membership dues can be a tax write-off, which is something to consider when you are looking at your budget for starting your real estate career.

How much does a realtor make in Iowa?

On average, real estate professionals in Iowa is $66,455 per year according to Indeed. As with many other sales careers, real estate agents have the opportunity for their income to be very high! Income output will be based on how much you put into it. In other words, if you work full time and are motivated to make a lot of money, then it can certainly be done.

It will just take time to network, build up clients, and of course you will need to put together some great marketing and then sell some homes!

How do I become a real estate broker in Iowa?

To apply for a real estate broker’s license in Iowa, you need to be a licensed and active real estate salesperson for 24 months. If you don’t meet that requirement, you will need to wait until you’ve hit the 24 month mark.

If you do meet that basic requirement, here’s the additional requirements you need to meet to become a real estate broker in Iowa:

  • Complete 60 hours of broker classes, taken in any order, from an accredited school. All of the courses must be completed and the exam passed before the first course certificate expires.
  • Once you pass the real estate license exam, you must apply for your broker’s license within 6 months.
  • Complete a state and federal criminal background check.
  • Apply for your real estate broker license, which includes: notarized license application form, certificate showing you passed the exam, completion certificate of 60 hours of coursework, Iowa salesperson license, proof of E&O insurance, $170 license fee.

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