Pop quiz! What are all of the education requirements for obtaining your Iowa real estate license? Answer: the 60-hour pre-licensing course and the additional pre-licensing real estate courses. If you’ve already taken your 60-hour course and passed your licensing exam, all that is left are the three 12-hour practical education courses.
The good news is you should be a pro at taking real estate courses by the time you take the additional 36 hours of courses. This guide will cover everything you need to know from course content to where to take them and what you can expect during class.
What are the additional pre-licensing real estate courses?
The state of Iowa requires all applicants for a real estate license to complete three 12-hour courses, in addition to the 60-hour pre-licensing course. These additional courses cover practical knowledge topics you will need to know as an agent: buying practices, listing practices and developing professionalism and ethical practices.
This is a comprehensive look at what your classes will cover:
In your buying practices course, you will learn:
- The buying process
- How to qualify buyers
- Financing options
- How to write an offer
- Agent responsibilities
- Closing services
In your listing practices course, you will learn:
- How to run a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA)
- How to estimate new proceeds
- How to create a listing presentation
- How to write listing contracts
- How to market and service sellers
- How to present an offer
- Agent responsibilities
- Closing services
This course aims to address the question of ethics in real estate. This discussion-based course dives into the ethical problems REALTORS® face and whether or not ethics can be taught.
How do I take the additional pre-licensing real estate courses?
All three courses must be taken in-person in a classroom setting through a provider approved by the Iowa Real Estate Commission (IREC). Per Iowa law, the three 12-hour courses must be taken in-person in a classroom, even if you take the 60-hour pre-licensing course online. However, since 2020 there has been more flexibility allowed and many course providers are now offering virtual or hybrid options. Classes often take place over the course of two days and are offered at various locations across the state of Iowa. You can take the courses in any order.
You should only take courses that are taught by accredited instructors and approved by the Iowa Real Estate Commission (IREC). Courses taught by unapproved or non-accredited instructors are not considered valid by the IREC. Your certificates of completion will not be considered valid during the license application process if they are not from a valid course provider. You’ll notice that many of the approved course providers who teach the 60-hour course will also teach the three additional 12-hour courses.
When should I take the additional pre-licensing real estate courses?
The IREC requires everyone to complete these courses before submitting a license application. However, they do not have to be completed before you take the licensing exam. In fact, most people wait until after the 60-hour course and exam to take the additional 36 hours of courses. This is highly recommended so you can focus on learning everything taught in the 60-hour course and can focus on passing the licensing exam.
The only stipulation is that you have to take the additional pre-licensing real estate courses within a year of your license application.
How much do the additional courses cost?
The average cost of the courses ranges from $80-$140 each depending on where you take it. Some course providers will include study materials in the cost of the class and some may charge you an additional fee.
The 10 Approved Additional Pre-Licensing
Real Estate Course Providers
Below is a comprehensive list of all approved course providers currently active in Iowa. Many will offer all three additional courses, but not always at all times. It is always worth double-checking the course provider’s course schedule for the year before signing up for classes.
Additional Pre-Licensing Real Estate Courses Chart Comparison
What do I do after I complete the additional courses?
You will receive a certificate of completion for each 12-hour course, just like the 60-hour pre-licensing course. You will need all three of these certificates for your license application so hold onto them! Your next steps in the licensing process depend on whether or not you took the additional 12-hour courses before or after the 60-hour course and licensing exam.
If you took the three courses before your exam: If you completed the three 12-hour courses before your 60-hour pre-licensing course and exam, it’s time to jump on those. Sign up for your pre-licensing course through either an in-person provider (everyone on the list above offers it) or you can take it online. To find an IREC-approved pre-licensing course, check here. You will receive a certificate of completion when the course is complete. Then you can schedule the licensing exam.
If you took the three courses after your exam: If you completed the three 12-hour courses after the pre-licensing course and exam, then it’s time to commit to a brokerage. At this point in the licensing process, you should already have an idea of which brokerage is right for you after interviewing and meeting with brokers. Now that you’ve completed your education requirements, it’s time to choose a brokerage to commit to in order to complete the licensing process.
You will receive certificates of completion for each course you complete, as well as a passing certificate after taking and passing the licensing exam. In total, you should have five certificates to include in your licensing application: one each for the 60-hour pre-licensing course and three 12-hour additional courses and one for passing the licensing exam. You will need all of these for your license application, in addition to the other required paperwork.
Ideally, the three additional pre-licensing courses should be the last educational requirement you fulfill. Now is the time for a sigh of relief that your courses are finished! Take the time to review your checklist of required tasks for becoming a licensed real estate agent in Iowa.
Once you’ve chosen a brokerage to commit to, your next steps will be guided through them. They will assist you in getting signed up for errors and omissions insurance and will sign off on your real estate license application. You’re on your way to becoming a licensed Iowa real estate agent!
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A criminal background check is required by Iowa law for all real estate salesperson and broker applicants. The Iowa Real Estate Commission searches an applicant’s history through three divisions: The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Iowa Courts Online. The search will include the Iowa Sex Offender Registry.
The Iowa Real Estate licensing process can seem overwhelming – lots of requirements, all sorts of courses, and of course lots of questions. Ultimately the process is relatively easy to navigate as long as you do your research and follow the steps.
Thinking about becoming an Iowa real estate agent? We answer your top 10 frequently asked questions about licensing, lead generation, training and more!