Who Grants a License: Licenses are granted by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission (“NCREC”).
Qualifications to receive a License: A candidate must complete 75clock hours of broker pre-licensing study at an NCREC-approved real estate school (search schools here), pass a school-administered final exam, and pass a state exam. All candidates must prove legal presence, pass a criminal background check, be at least 18 years of age, and have a valid social security number. For more information about qualifications, see the booklet titled Real Estate Licensing in North Carolina.
NOTE: All real estate licensees in North Carolina are considered brokers. Each licensee is responsible for his/her own actions, and North Carolina real estate licensing law does not apply the legal concept of respondeat superior ("let the master answer").
Applying for the Exams: Upon completion of the pre-licensing curriculum, a candidate should apply for licensure on the NCREC website to determine their eligibility to take the state exam. NCREC reviews the application, and upon approval, sends the candidate notice of examination eligibility. The candidate should then register for the exam through the PSI website scheduling page. For more information, see the State of North Carolina Real Estate Candidate Handbook.
Test Content: The North Carolina state real estate licensing exam is comprised of two separate portions, the national portion and the state-specific portion. Five to ten questions disbursed throughout both portions of the exam are considered "experimental" questions and are not scored. Both tests are comprised of multiple choice questions with four answer choices provided for each question. Test takers are allotted 4 hours to complete both portions of the test. A score of at least 75% is required to pass. (This means that a passing score requires the test taker to correctly answer 75 out of 100 questions on the national portion, and 30 out of 40 questions on the state-specific portion.) The exam is presented in a computer-based format, but accommodations for paper-based tests and/or oral testing can be provided with special arrangements.
The national portion of the test consists of 100 questions, and tests the candidate's knowledge of general real estate concepts, including the following subject areas:
Agency Relationships and Contracts
Real Property Ownership/Interest
The state-specific test consists of 40questions, and tests the candidate's knowledge of the state-specific concepts, including the following subject areas:
N.C. Real Estate License Law and Commission Rules
Other North Carolina Laws and Practices
General Real Estate Topics
How to Apply for the License: Most of the application process is completed before the candidate takes the state exam. Prior to online application, the pre-licensing school must electronically transmit the candidate's course report and character report to the NCREC. Candidates must provide NCREC with the following documents: (1) completed application and application fee; (2) original North Carolina state real estate licensing exam score report(s); (3) proof of legal presence in the U.S.; (4) a certificate issued by an NCREC-approved school for completion of the 75-hour salesperson pre-licensure curriculum; and (5) a criminal background report.
NOTE: All candidates (except those who qualified for licensure based on broker licensure in another jurisdiction) are issued provisional licenses, and must file a "Notification of Provisional Broker Supervision before the license can be activated.
Fees: NCREC charges a fee for licensure. For further information, contact the North Carolina Real Estate Commission.
Who administers the test: NCREC and AMP.
Post-licensing Education Requirements – A North Carolina provisional broker must take 90 clock hours of post-licensing education within three years of the date of initial licensure.
License Renewal Requirements – A North Carolina real estate licensee must take 8 credit hours of continuing education (either online or in the classroom) from an NCREC-approved provider every year. Search providers here and here. Further information is provided on the NCREC website, here.
Applicable Regulations: Real estate licensees in North Carolina are regulated under Chapter 93A of the General Statutes of North Carolina, and the North Carolina Administrative Code, Chapter 58.
To prepare for your Real Estate Agent exam, use our 300 question practice test, with answers fully explained, by expert Karen Bohler.
For more information on real estate agent licensing and exam preparation, go to Tests.com’s
Real Estate Agent Exam Guide and Real Estate Broker Exam Guide.