The Iowa Real Estate Licensing Process

by | Oct 18, 2019 | Getting Licensed | 0 comments


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The Iowa Real Estate licensing process can seem overwhelming – lots of requirements, all sorts of courses, and of course lots of questions. The sequence is pretty simple, and most of the questions we typically hear are based on the timeline and the various steps within. 

Ultimately the process is relatively easy to navigate as long as you do your research and follow the steps. Here is the Iowa real estate licensing process in a nutshell:

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SUBMIT A BACKGROUND CHECK

Only valid for 210 days.

This process can take 8-10 weeks – so it’s best to get started right away. Send fingerprint card, signed, waiver, and money order to the Iowa Real Estate Commission. Learn about how to submit your background check.

THE DETAILS:

A criminal background check is required by Iowa law for all real estate licensee applicants. This process can take 8-10 weeks, so it’s best to get started on it right away.

Request a fingerprinting page from the Iowa Real Estate Commission by first creating an account on the Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau’s website. Visit this Website and follow steps to create a new user. Once you get your “My Iowa PLB” registered, start by clicking on “Submit Application/Renew” under My Iowa PLB – Home in the left-hand corner of your screen; you will start the application wizard. Follow the steps to submit a General Background Page Request. You must use the Iowa Real Estate Commission’s fingerprint card. No other fingerprint card will be accepted.

Send the completed fingerprint card, signed waiver, and check or money order for $52 to:

Iowa Real Estate Commission 200 E Grand St, STE 350
Des Moines, IA 50309

Once the background check has been reviewed by the commission the report is only valid for 210 days.

START INTERVIEWING BROKERAGES

Interview multiple brokerages.

This process can take 8-10 weeks – so it’s best to get started right away. Send fingerprint card, signed, waiver, and money order to the Iowa Real Estate Commission.

The DETAILS:

There is so much more to consider when choosing a brokerage.  The 4 main key components you should think through are the brokerages training, culture, brand, and costs/commissions. In order to become a REALTOR® one of the very first things you learn is that you must hang your license with an existing brokerage. You will want to consider several topics when deciding on a brokerage.

TAKE 60-HOUR LICENSING COURSE

There are weekday, weekend, and virtual options.

An Iowa Real Estate Commission approved course is required before you take your licensing exam. There various options to choose from to fit your schedule.

THE DETAILS:

An Iowa Real Estate Commission approved course is required before you may take the exam. You have 3 different options for taking the course: Weekday Classroom, Weekend Classroom, and Online Self Study. Class schedule can be found at http://iowarealtors.com/education/class-schedule

Weekday Classroom: held only in Clive, Iowa for 8 business days in a row; 8am-5pm each day.
Weekend Classroom: held in various locations throughout the State of Iowa on Friday from 6pm-10pm, Saturday 8am-5pm, and Sunday 8am-5pm for three weekends in a row.
Online Self Study: You have six (6) months from the date and time of purchase to complete the Iowa Sales.

Pre-license course. Per Iowa law, extensions beyond six months cannot be granted. There are no exceptions.

PASS THE IOWA LICENSING EXAM

After passing you have 6 months to finish process.

The licensing exam covers national and state topics discussed in your pre-licensing course. In order to pass you must answer 84 out of 120 questions correctly in 180 minutes. Preparing for the exam can be daunting – there are a few ways you can prepare for your exam. 

THE DETAILS:

The licensing exam is comprised of the following sections with a required minimum score for each. Do not register for the exam until you have a completion certificate for the 60 Hour Pre-Test Course.

Section  # of Questions Passing Score Time Allowed
National 80 56 120 Min
State 40 28 60 Min
Combined 120 84 180 Min

The exam is administered by PSI Examination Services at locations around the state. Register by visiting www.psiexams.com or calling 800-733-9267. Once you have passed your exam, you have 6 months to finish all the required courses and then apply for your license.

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COMPLETE ADDITIONAL COURSES

Complete a total of 36 hours of additional courses.

You must take three 12-hour courses prior to the license application. The courses are Developing Professionalism, Buying Practices, and Listing Practices. These can be taken at any point. Read more about each course in this article. 

THE DETAILS:

The final step is completing the following courses:

Developing Professionalism 12 Hours
Buying Practices 12 Hours
Listing Practices 12 Hours

This course work must be completed during the 12 months prior to license application. These courses can be taken any time in the pre-licensing stage, but must be completed before you can apply for your Real Estate License. Class schedule can be found at http://iowarealtors.com/education/class-schedule

COMMIT TO A BROKERAGE

A brokerage is need to submit application.

After meeting with different brokers select the one that most aligns with your goals. Once you’ve selected the right fit most brokerages will guide you through the final application process.

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SIGN UP FOR E/O INSURANCE

Errors & Omissions insurance is required.

Work with your brokerage or local E/0 insurance provider to select coverage right for you. Every licensed agent is required to carry at a minimum an individual E/0 policy.

THE DETAILS:

Once you have decided on a brokerage to partner with, you will need to submit an Application for Individual License (you will do this via your Iowa PLB Account as well). Additionally, you are responsible for carrying individual Errors and Omissions Insurance. Most

As an agent at Century 21 Signature Real Estate, your individual E & O insurance is maintained by our brokerage. You are automatically enrolled in the brokerage’s group policy, which covers both the firm and individual coverage. Our policy covers you for up to $1,000,000 of liability.

SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION

Submit all of your certificates and paperwork.

Once you complete all of the requirements submit your real estate license application. This process is completed online – typically alongside your brokerage. It can take up to 5 business days.

JOIN YOUR LOCAL MLS.

Apply to join the local Multiple Listing Service.

After meeting with different brokers select the one that most aligns with your goals. Once you’ve selected the right fit most brokerages will guide you through the final application process.

THE DETAILS:

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

BECOME A REALTOR!

You did it! But… now what? 

Learn about what it takes to run a successful real estate business during your 1st year in the industry. Learn what pitfalls to avoid and how to much to budget for. Explore different techniques for generating leads and how to conduct your business to build a thriving empire.

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