How to Become a Real Estate Agent in North Carolina

Planning to start a career as a real estate agent? To get your real estate license, you will need to take classes at a real estate school, and satisfy all the requirements set forth by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission.

Here's what you need to know to become a real estate agent in North Carolina:

1) Licensing Requirements

2) Duties of a Real Estate Agent

3) What is a REALTOR®?

4) Income Potential

5) Real Estate Schools


How to Become a Real Estate Agent in North Carolina

1) Real Estate Agent Licensing Requirements

In North Carolina,  real estate agents MUST be licensed by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission.  To obtain your real estate license, you must:

  1. Satisfy the minimum requirements to apply for the real estate exam:
  1. Apply to take the State exam. 
  2. Pass the exam. 
  3. Submit criminal records report.
  4. Pay the appropriate fees.
  5. Apply for Real Estate License. 

Newly licensed agents must work under the supervision of an employing (sponsoring) real estate broker. 

Most new agents start out by working for one of the large brokerages like Coldwell-Banker, Century-21, Remax, etc.

If you would like to have your own business and work for yourself, you must upgrade to a broker's license.


2) Duties of Real Estate Agents

A real estate agent's main job is to assist their clients in the process of buying and selling real estate.

Their list of duties include:


3) What is a REALTOR®?

A real estate agent becomes a REALTOR® when he or she pays an annual fee to be a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its Code of Ethics.

The agent generally joins through the local board or association.

For example, in Durham, once you have obtained your real estate license, you may pay a fee to join the Durham Association of REALTORS®. 

This also makes you a member of the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®  and the National Association of REALTORS®.

All REALTORS® are real estate agents but not all real estate agents are REALTORS®.


4) Income Potential

Real estate agents are generally paid based on a percentage of the sales price. The seller will generally pay 4-6% of the sales price as the fee and that will be split 50/50 between the seller and buyer's broker.

For example, if the fee for a $100,000 house is 6%, the buyer's broker will be paid 3% or $3000 and the seller's broker will be paid 3% or $3000 as well.  

The agent is paid by his or her broker, according to their previously agreed-upon commission split

This is often 50/50 for beginning agents, so in that case the agent in our example would receive $1500. 

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the Median Sales price for an existing single-family home in the Raleigh-Durham area was $182,900 for the fourth quarter of 2004.


5) Real Estate Schools

Here are some real estate schools offering the pre-licensing courses for the state of North Carolina:

Cape Fear Community College (Wilmington)  910.362.7467

Durham Technical Community College (Durham) 919.686.3774

Fayetteville Technical Community College  (Fayetteville) 910.678.8230

Wake Technical Community College (Raleigh) 919.662.3500

St. Augustine's College (Raleigh) 919.516.4182

North Carolina A&T State University  (Greensboro) 336.334.7656

Bill Gallagher School of Real Estate (multiple locations) 888.778.1245


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