How Do You Become a Real Estate Broker in Virginia?

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Before responding to the question “how to become a real estate broker in Virginia,” let’s be clear about what a real estate broker is and how they differ from other license holders in Virginia.

What Is a Real Estate Broker

A broker is a person or business entity who is licensed to represent parties in real estate transactions in exchange for a commission or other valuable consideration. Their broker license allows them to engage in the practice of real estate independently, which is to say without being sponsored or supervised by others.

Brokers, on the other hand, can sponsor and supervise other license holders — salespersons or associate brokers — who engage in the practice of real estate on that broker’s behalf.

Associate brokers have the same license and qualifications as brokers do. The difference between the two is that an associate broker opts to work under the sponsorship of another broker and does not supervise agents. So they have the license of a broker, but operate much like a salesperson.

A salesperson is a real estate license holder who performs real estate brokerage acts on their broker’s behalf. They can only engage in the practice of real estate with their salesperson license when sponsored by a broker.

Getting Licensed as a Broker in Virginia

There are education and experience requirements that must be met before you can pursue a broker license in Virginia.

Depending on where you are in your career, you may have already fulfilled some of these requirements. But for clarity’s sake, let’s walk you through the process as though you had no real estate experience whatsoever.

Step 1: Get Educated and Experienced as a Licensed Salesperson

To become a licensed real estate salesperson in Virginia requires 60 hours of state-approved pre-licensing education and passing the state licensing exam.

Once licensed as a salesperson, you need 36 months of full-time experience (out of the last 48 months) and an additional 30 hours of post-licensing education before you can consider applying for a broker license.

Step 2: Get More Educated and Prepare for the State Broker Exam

With your salesperson education, license, and experience requirements fulfilled, you are qualified to pursue a Virginia real estate broker license.

This entails taking four separate 45-hour, state-approved real estate courses. The Real Estate Brokerage course is mandatory, but there is some flexibility/choice in the remaining three 45-hour courses you take.

Upon successful completion of those courses — each of which includes a course-specific test that must be passed — you are allowed to take the state broker’s license exam.

Step 3: Pass the State Broker Exam and Tie Up the Loose Ends

Prior to taking the state broker exam, you will need to submit a digital photo of yourself. Once you have taken the test, you will need to be electronically fingerprinted for a background check.

Upon passing the state exam, you will be provided with information as to how to submit your application for your broker license, which should be done within 45 calendar days of having had your fingerprints recorded.

After that, you camp out beneath your mailbox until your broker license arrives. Congratulations, you!

Reciprocity for Broker License

For out of state applicants, the good news is that Virginia is very welcoming and does have real estate reciprocity for broker licenses.

To take advantage of that, you must pass the state portion of the broker license exam and submit proof of license, education, and experience equivalents to Virginia’s brokerage requirements. This includes providing verification of an active broker license in another state.

Getting Your Real Estate Broker License: Overview

Here’s a snapshot of the Virginia real estate broker license process we just covered, broken down into even smaller, bite-sized steps!

The Journey to a Broker License Begins with the First Step

If you are at the very beginning of your journey to becoming a licensed broker in Virginia, you’ll start off by getting your salesperson licence. Let us help you with your pre-licensing education requirement today!