North Carolina FAQ

North Carolina Real Estate Licensing- Frequently Asked Questions

What is the examination like?

The exam is 4 hours and includes 150 questions, of which 100 are National and 40 are State-based questions. The remaining 10 questions are unscored, pretest questions. 71 of the National Section scored questions and 29 of the 40 State Section scored questions must be answered correctly to pass.


Where and how often is the state sales examination given?

The examination is offered weekly at various locations by the PSI/AMP.


How does one apply for the exam?

Assuming the Commission determines you meet the qualification requirements and have submitted a complete application, you will be sent a “Notice of Exam Eligibility” that will enable you to register for your licensing exam. If you filed an online application, the notice will be sent to you via email within 3-4 business days of receipt of your application. If you filed a paper application, it will be sent via US mail within 7-10 days of receipt. You may schedule your exam with PSI/AMP online or by phone within 1 business day following receipt of Exam Eligibility notice.


Would my North Carolina courses or license be honored in other states?

Each state sets its own criteria for licensing and required education. One must contact the Real Estate Commission in a particular state to determine current standing. A call to your Howard Hanna office will assist you in obtaining specific answers.


How long does it take to become licensed?

Individual circumstances and processing procedures make a definite answer impossible. The 75 hour pre-licensing course generally spans 6 weeks. If a qualified applicant files a complete online application, schedules and takes the examination promptly after receiving Notice of Exam Eligibility, passes the examination on the first attempt, and has no character issues, the entire application-examination-licensing process may be completed in as little as ten (10) days. The process may be slowed by many factors, such as an applicant filing a paper application, filing an incomplete application (paper or online), or not passing the examination on the first attempt. However, the main factor that slows the process is the character review process.


Would I be an employee of Howard Hanna?

No, you would be considered an independent contractor. Your income will be commission only and there would be no company-paid benefits. There are, however, group benefit programs available for your participation, if needed.


What is an independent contractor?

In real estate, independent contractor status means that for tax purposes, you would be considered an entrepreneur in business for yourself. There will be no taxes taken from your commission income and you will be responsible for filing your own quarterly taxes. Actually, you will be operating as a “business within a business.” As an associate of a broker, the responsibility for your conduct lies with that broker. Therefore, in your interaction with customers and clients, you will not be acting independently of the broker.

What do I have to do to keep my license current once I have it?

Initial licensees are inactive provisional brokers. A provisional broker must be supervised by a broker-in charge at all times when engaging in real estate brokerage activities. A provisional broker must satisfy the Postlicensing education requirement described below in order to terminate the provisional status of the broker license.

All provisional brokers must satisfy the Postlicensing education requirement of 90 classroom hours of Postlicensing education within three (3) years of the date of initial licensure to be eligible for active license status. The Postlicensing education program is divided into three 30-hour Postlicensing courses titled as follows: Broker Relationships and Responsibilities, Contracts and Closing, and Selected Topics. Provisional brokers must complete at least one of the three (3) courses during each of the first three (3) years following the date of initial licensure in order to be eligible to actively engage in brokerage. A provisional broker may elect to complete all three (3) courses during the first or second year after initial licensure. Upon completion of all three (3) Postlicensing courses within three (3) years, the provisional status of the broker license will be automatically terminated by the Commission. If a provisional broker fails to complete a Postlicensing course by the end of a required period, the license will be placed on inactive status until the licensee remedies the education deficiency and requests reactivation of the license.

Postlicensing education should not be confused with Continuing Education. Postlicensing education is a onetime requirement for provisional brokers wishing active license status eligibility that must be completed within the prescribed period of time after initial licensure. Continuing Education is a recurring annual requirement for ALL licensees wishing to maintain active license status eligibility that must be completed each license period by June 10th beginning with the first full annual license period after initial licensure.

Continuing Education (CE) requirement is eight (8) hours per annual license period, including the General Update Course (4 hours) plus one 4-hour Commission-approved elective course. Licensees must satisfy the Continuing Education requirement by June 10 of each annual license period (July 1 – June 30) in order to renew their licenses on active status. There is a limited exception for new licensees. A broker newly licensed by examination or reinstatement does not have any CE requirement during the initial license year; such a newly licensed broker must satisfy the 8-hour annual CE requirement prior to the second license renewal in order to renew the license on active status.


How long is my license valid?

All real estate licenses expire on June 30 following the date of issuance unless they are renewed by June 30. This is true even if the license was recently issued in May or June. License renewal notices (post cards) are sent as a courtesy reminder to licensees each year in May and included with new licenses issued in late May or June.


What happens to my license if I do not renew it?

If a licensee fails to submit their continuing education by the required due date, their license is automatically placed in inactive status.


What is broker sponsorship?

You cannot apply for the state exam without a broker sponsorship. This means that a real estate company must sign your application to the Ohio Division of Real Estate indicating that you will be affiliated with that company upon passing your exam and receiving your license. The process of sponsorship will vary from company to company.