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Become a REALTOR®


Congratulations on your decision to pursue a career in Real Estate. Summarized below is a checklist of things you will need to do in order to get your Iowa Real Estate License.

  • Verify that you meet the License Requirements
  • Submit Fingerprint Packet (Background check)
  • Complete all Pre-License Classes
  • Pass the Iowa Licensing Exam
  • Purchase Errors and Omissions Insurance
  • Align with a local Real Estate Broker
  • Apply for a Real Estate License
  • Become a REALTOR®


  • Salesperson must be assigned to (work for) a licensed broker or firm and cannot conduct business independently.
  • Must be a person 18 years of age or over. (You may actually sit for the exam before you are 18, but you MUST be 18 before you make the application for license, which must be within six months after you pass the exam.)
  • Must be a person whose application has not been rejected for licensure in this or any other state within twelve months prior to the date of application, and whose real estate license has not been revoked in this or any other state within two years prior to the date of application.

Step 1: Submit fingerprint packet

A fingerprint packet must be submitted to the Iowa Real Estate Commission 45 days for review prior to applying for your real estate license. Cost for background check is $55.25. Packets are available from Century 21 or you can pick one up at the Iowa Real Estate Commission (1920 SE Hulsizer Road, Ankeny). Allow 8-10 weeks for the fingerprints to be processed. Once you receive the report, it is only valid for 210 days. Visit your local Police Department to have your prints taken for a small fee of $5-10.

Step 2: Pre-License Classes

Applicants for the salesperson examination must successfully complete the Commission-approved 60 hour pre-license course in real estate education during the 12 months prior to take the salesperson examination. Prices for the class range from $425 to $485, depending on type of class chosen.

Visit the IOWA REALTORS® WEBSITE for more information

A. There are three types of pre-licensing classes to choose from:

  • 60 Hour Weekday Course: Meets for two weeks; Monday-Thursday from 8:00 am-5:00 pm
  • 60 Hour Weekend Course: Meets three weekends; Fri. 6 & Sat./Sun. 8:00 am-5:00 pm
  • 60 Hour Online Course: 6 months to complete on your own time

B. In addition to the Pre-license course (above), new applicants are also required to complete the additional 3 courses

  1. Developing Professionalism & Ethical Practices (12 hours)
  2. Buying Practices (12 hours)
  3. Listing Practices (12 hours), or equivalent Commission approved courses.

Step 3: Register for an Exam

Go to www.psiexams.com to schedule an exam. The exam costs $90. The time allotted is 180 minutes, which includes both state (60 minutes) and national (120 minutes) sections. If you pass, you will be given a real estate application form with your score report. You are responsible for submitting this application no later than the last working day of the sixth month after the qualifying examination date.

Step 4: Purchase Errors & Omissions Insurance

Once you receive confirmation that you've successfully completed and passed the exam, you will want to purchase Errors & Omissions ( E & O) Insurance. You may do that by visiting www.risceo.com. Cost is prorated and ranges from $12-$145 depending on the time of year you enroll or visit your preferred Insurance agent.

Step 5: Align with a local Real Estate Broker

In order to sell real estate in the state of Iowa, a real estate salesperson must “hang their license” with a Real Estate Broker. When interviewing with local brokerages be sure to consider the companies commission splits, office facilities, training, office culture, whether the firm is growing or losing market share, the firms marketing platform, and support services provided to agents.

Step 6: Apply for a Real Estate License

You will be provided with a license application upon successfully passing the licensing exam. When applying for a license you need to submit the following:

  • Complete and notarized Iowa Real Estate Commission-provided application. You must have your signature notarized on the license application form.
  • Completed background check submitted to the Iowa Real Estate Commission.
  • A license fee of $125.
  • A pass notice from the PSI Examination Services.
  • Proof of completion of the 60 hour pre-license course work in the form of a completion certificate.
  • Proof of completion of the approved 36 hour pre-license course work in the form of a completion certificate.
  • Proof of Errors and Omissions Insurance.
  • You must provide the signature of your employing broker on your license application form.

Step 7: Become a REALTOR®

Once you have received your Iowa Salesperson License, you will need to make application to become a member of the local MLS, the Iowa Association of REALTORS®, and the National Association of REALTORS®.