How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Real Estate License Basic Requirements
To get a real estate agent license in Wisconsin, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be 18 years or older.
- You should have a high school diploma or GED.
- You must be a U.S. citizen or a legal alien.
Wisconsin Real Estate License Costs
- Real Estate Agent Education in Wisconsin: $200 to $350 (approx.)
- Exam Fee: $65
- License Fee: $75
- Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS)
- The Wisconsin salesperson licensing exam is administered by PersonVUE. You can get more information from the Pearson VUE Wisconsin Real Estate Candidate Handbook
- You can join the licensing education programs offered by Kaplan Education or CE Shop.
STEP 1: Pre-licensing Education
You can complete the Wisconsin real estate education requirement in the following ways:
You can complete the 72-hour state-approved pre-licensing education from an education provider approved by Wisconsin.
Complete 10 hours of academic semester credits or real estate law from a higher learning institution.
If you have a real estate salesperson license from another state within the last 2 years, then you must complete 13 hours of the salesperson pre-licensing education program that is approved by the Board.
STEP 2: Submit a Completed Application
Once you complete the real estate salesperson pre-licensing education, you must then pass the real estate salesperson licensing exam.
The real estate licensing exam is held at the following locations in Wisconsin—Elkhorn, Madison, Ashwaubenon, Stevens Point, Marinette, Pewaukee, Spencer, Antigo, Adams, West Bend, Rice Lake, New Richmond, Appleton, Fennimore, Phillips, Superior, Fond Du Lac, Marshfield, Portage, Tomah, Fort Atkinson, Medford, Racine, Watertown, Ashland, Hayward, Mequon, Reedsburg, Wausau, Beaver Dam, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Rhinelander, Brookfield, Keshena, Wisconsin Rapids, Eau Claire, La Crosse and Oshkosh.
Where to Apply
The Wisconsin salesperson licensing exam is administered by Pearson VUE. You can make a reservation for the exam by either visiting the Pearson VUE website or by calling at least 24 hours before the exam date. Walk-in exams are not available. You can get more information from the PearsonVUE Wisconsin Real Estate Candidate Handbook.
You must pay an exam fee of $65 at the time of registration for the real estate licensing exam. You can pay the fee by credit or debit card, electronic check or voucher. The fee cannot be paid at the exam venue on the date of the exam.
STEP 3: Pass the State License Test
The real estate salesperson licensing exam is a computer-based test which consists of 140 questions that must be completed in 4 hours. In addition to the 140 questions, there will be around 5 to 10 pre-test questions that will not be scored. You will receive the exam result immediately after completing it and you need a score of 75% to pass.
Topics Covered in the Test
The topics and the breakup of the number of items in the state portion of the exam include:
- Ownership and Transfer of Property: 14
- Land Use Controls and Regulations: 5
- Valuing and Financing Property; Calculations: 20
- Agency: 32
- Disclosures: 13
- Contract Law and Approved Forms: 22
- Business Ethics: 14
- Fair Housing: 6
- Federal Antitrust Law: 2
- Miscellaneous: 12
What to Bring to the Exam Venue?
You must carry two forms of identification with your current signature to the venue. The name on the ID must exactly match your name on the registration.
- Primary ID: This should be a government-issued ID with your photo and signature such as driver’s license, U.S. learner’s permit, passport, country/national/state ID card, passport card, alien registration card (PR or Green Card), military ID or military ID for spouses and dependents.
- Secondary ID: Should be in English and have a valid signature such as debit or credit card, U.S. Social Security card, any ID from the primary list.
STEP 4: Apply and Obtain Your License
Once you pass the real estate salesperson licensing exam, you can apply for your real estate license online via the DSPS OLAS or Online Licensure Application System by submitting the required documentation or you can also apply via paper application, which may take longer to process. You must apply for your license before your scores are 1 year old along with a license fee of $75.
- You should have completed your pre-licensing education within 5 years of application for the license.
- The application also has questions regarding your criminal convictions (if any) including probation, parole and driving while intoxicated and actions against any other license you hold. You could be denied a license or the license may be limited in case of a conviction.
- The application should include a proof of completion of your pre-licensing education requirements.
If you are a non-resident application and have an active real estate license from another state for the last two years, then you can take approved programs of reduced length. You must submit a copy of your out-of-state license along with the application for the Wisconsin real estate salesperson license.
Criminal Convictions History
The application also has questions regarding your criminal convictions (if any) including probation, parole and driving while intoxicated and actions against any other license you hold. You could be denied a license or the license may be limited in case of a conviction.
If you have a past criminal conviction, you must submit the completed pre-determination application to determine if you can get a license or not. The department will review your history and decide whether to give you a license or not.
Wisconsin has a reciprocity agreement with Illinois and Indiana. So, if you have an active salesperson license from one of these states, then you are exempt from the pre-licensing education requirements and can take the Wisconsin real estate exam directly.
STEP 5: Finding a Brokerage
Most often, when choosing a real estate brokerage to work with, many people focus only on the commission split.
However, there are several other important aspects to consider, especially in the beginning phase of your real estate career before you decide on joining any brokerage, such as:
- What kind of training will the brokerage provide?
- Will the brokerage equip you with the skills required in finding prospects and closing a sale?
- Do they have a shared office that you can use?
- Will the brokerage provide marketing and admin support?
- Will the brokerage provide leads for you to work on?
- Does the brokerage use up-to-date technology in order to streamline the workflow?
- What type of education/training do they provide?
- Does the firm have a mentoring program?
- Is the brokerage a member of the National Association of Realtors?
- Does the brokerage hold regular staff/sales meetings?
- What services does the brokerage offer—health insurance, E&O insurance, etc.?
- Will you incur any cost to have an office in the brokerage? What are the other costs?
STEP 6: Post-learning Requirements
To renew your license, as a real estate salesperson, you need to complete 18 hours of continuing education in the two-year licensing period. However, if you receive your real estate license after 1st October of an even year, then you are not required to complete the CE for that biennium.
The DSPS does not require you to submit the CE course completion certificate after the exam; however, it performs random checks to verify the completion of CE courses. If you do not meet the 18 hours of CE successfully, then you cannot renew your license or practice as a real estate agent.
The CE Shop, a very well-respected platform to learn the ropes and understand the intricacies of real estate across various states in the country, offers continuing education packages for $149 and individual courses from $29. There you have it, we’d like to wish the best in your journey ahead!