How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Virginia

Virginia Real Estate License Basic Requirements

To become a real estate agent in Virginia, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be 18 years or older.
  • You should have a high school degree or equivalent.
  • You should be a U.S. citizen or a legal alien.
  • You must complete the fingerprinting and background check.

Virginia Real Estate License Costs

  • Real Estate Agent Education in Virginia: $199 to $550 (approx.)
  • Exam Fee: $60
  • License Fee: $170
  • Fingerprint/ Background Check Fee: $52

Helpful Tips


STEP 1: Pre-licensing Education

You need to complete 60 hours of pre-licensing education approved by the DPOR Board and pass the national and state portions of the pre-licensing examination.

There are multiple different routes you can go to get your needed pre-licensing education. You can find a local real estate school, order an at home certified course, or you can do what we recommend and use an online Real estate school like The CE Shop.


STEP 2: Submit a Completed Application

You need to complete 60 hours of pre-licensing education approved by the DPOR Board and pass the national and state portions of the pre-licensing examination.

Step 2: Submit a Completed Application

If you are not licensed in any other state, then you need to apply and pass the national, as well as state portions of the pre-licensing exam in Virginia.

Where to Apply

The Virginia real estate exam is administered by PSI. You can take the examination online or you can take the pencil-paper test. For more information, you can refer to the PSI candidate information bulletin. The exam is held in the following locations in Virginia — Richmond, Charlottesville, Vienna, Roanoke, Virginia Beach, Salisbury, MD and Johnson City, TN.

To sit for the examination, you must provide PSI with a digital photograph, your driver’s license number and confirmation that you have completed your pre-licensing course.

Exam Fees

You need to pay a fee of $60 along with your application to register for the Virginia real estate salesperson exam. The fee payment can be made via credit card (MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express), cashier’s check, company check or money order payable to PSI. Personal checks and cash are not accepted. The registration fee is non-transferable and non-refundable and is valid for a period of 1 year.


STEP 3: Pass the State License Test

The Virginia real estate salesperson exam comprises 2 parts – state and national. There are a total of 120 questions in both portions and the total time is 150 minutes. There are 80 questions in the national portion, which must be completed in 105 minutes and 40 questions in the state-specific portion, which must be completed in 45 minutes. To pass the exam, you must get at least 56 questions correct in the national section of the exam and 30 questions in the state-specific portion.

Topics Covered in the Test

The topics for the national portion of the real estate salesperson exam and the breakup of questions are as below:

  • Property Ownership: 8%
  • Land Use Controls and Regulations: 5%
  • Valuation and Market Analysis: 7%
  • Financing: 10%
  • General Principles of Agency: 13%
  • Property Disclosures: 6%
  • Contracts: 17%
  • Leasing and Property Management: 3%
  • Transfer of Title: 8%
  • Practice of Real Estate: 13%
  • Real Estate Calculations: 10%

The topics for the state-specific portion of the exam and number of items include:

  • Licensing: 8
  • Escrow Accounts: 2
  • Disclosure Requirements: 10
  • Agency Definitions and Relationships: 12
  • Virginia Fair Housing Law and Regulations: 4
  • Specific Acts Pertaining to Real Estate Practice: 4

What to Bring to the Exam Venue?

For identification and security purposes, you will have to get your fingerprints taken when you check-in for the exam. This is not part of the fingerprinting requirement in order to get a real estate salesperson license. You must also provide two forms of valid identification.

  • The first ID must be a valid government-issued ID such as passport, state ID, driver’s license and military ID that has your photo and signature.
  • The second ID should have your pre-printed legal name and signature. The name used must match the name used on the registration form.

If you’re taking the examination online, then you will get your score as soon as you complete your exam. However, if you’re taking a paper-and-pencil exam, then PSI will mail your result to you. The exam results will be reported only to you and the DPOR of Virginia.

If you do not pass any portion of the exam, you must retake that portion and pass. You must submit your application one year from the initial date that you took the exam originally. If the completed forms and fees are not received within a year of the original exam date, then you will have to retake the expired portion(s) of the examination.


STEP 4: Apply and Obtain Your License

The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation or (DPOR) is the licensing authority for the state of Virginia. There are three ways to apply for your real estate license:

  • Online: Online Renewal & Services lets you enter your information into the DPOR system along with the application fee and the application process is started automatically.
  • Interactive: This lets you enter your information into the fillable forms directly, submit the forms electronically via email or fax and save them for your records.
  • Static: This allows you to print the PDF and fill in the form by hand and is the slowest process.

You can complete the license form available and submit it along with the application fee of $170 and background check which is not later than 45 days. You can find all the information required for the real license application process here. It can take up to 3 weeks for the department to process your application and grant your license.

Fingerprinting

To get a real estate license in Virginia, fingerprinting is compulsory and before you submit your application for a real estate salesperson license, you need to submit your fingerprints to the Virginia Central Criminal Records Exchange. The fingerprints will be used to conduct a criminal history record check nationally and by the state.

If you live in Virginia, you can have your fingerprints taken at any of the PSI testing locations in Virginia, except Salisbury, MD and Johnson City, TN. If you live outside Virginia, it is recommended that you get your fingerprints taken at a Virginia PSI testing location.

DPOR also offers fingerprinting services with Fieldprint, where you can go and have your fingerprints taken via Live Scan. You can schedule your appointment via the Fieldprint website and to know more about the scheduling process through Fieldprint, click here.

Once you have completed the fingerprinting, you must send your license application to the board within 45 days of receiving your fingerprint results or else, you will have to pay to be fingerprinted again before you get your license.

Reciprocity

If you have a real estate license from any other U.S. state, and your license is valid (not expired), then you need to pass only the state-specific portion of the Virginia real estate examination.


STEP 5: Finding a Brokerage

An extremely important decision that you must make as a new real estate licensee is choosing the right type of brokerage to work with in Virginia. Your broker information will be listed in your real estate salesperson license application and so, it is a good idea to decide on the broker you will be working with before completing your application.

In Virginia, a real estate salesperson is required to have a licensed real estate broker to supervise his/her work. Your real estate broker will also be your mentor, who will help you learn the ropes of the new business.

It is a good idea to take your time and interview several real estate brokers in your area. Checks out various aspects such as the broker’s reputation, expectations, office culture, training that will be provided, commission split structure, etc.

As a new agent, do not choose a broker on the basis of the commission split they offer. It may be worth your while to accept a lower commission and work with a broker who is willing to invest in your mentoring, training and development.


STEP 6: Post-learning Requirements

Within the 1st year of getting your real estate salesperson license, you must complete a 30-hour course that has been approved by the board. You must complete the following courses:

  • Real Estate Law and Regulation: 8 hours
  • Fair Housing, ADA and Civil Rights: 2 hours
  • Ethics and Standards of Conduct: 3 hours
  • Current Industry Issues and Trends: 2 hours
  • Contract Writing: 6 hours
  • Agency Law: 3 hours
  • Risk Management: 3 hours
  • Escrow Requirements: 3 hours

Once you are working as a real estate agent, you need to renew your license every two years, for which you must complete 16 hours of continuing education. Of the 16 hours, 8 hours comprise elective credit hours and the other 8 should be the following:

  • Legal Updates and Emerging Trends: 1 hour
  • Ethics and Standards of Conduct: 3 hours
  • Fair Housing: 2 hours
  • Real Estate Contracts: 1 hour
  • Real Estate Agency: 1 hour

The CE Shop offers post-licensing education packages for $149 and individual courses ranging between $19 to $59. CE Shop offers continuing education packages for $59 to $119 and individual courses ranging between $9 to $29.

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RE Agents Team