Washington state is a little different in terms of real estate licensing. Instead of having agents and brokers there are brokers and managing brokers. So if you want to sell real estate in Washington you’ll need to get a brokers license. Here’s how you can do that in seven easy steps.
1 - Meet the Basic Requirements
All broker applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply. You’ll also have to be a high school graduate or earn a GED before applying.
2 - Sign Up for a Washington Broker Licensing Course The Washington State Department of Licensing requires that applicants take approved real estate courses (60-hours on Real Estate Fundamentals and 30-hours on Real Estate Practices) that have to be completed within two years of applying for a broker license.
Currently licensed in another state? Then there’s a good chance you can apply without taking the required courses. However, before taking the exam you’ll need to submit a certified license history from your current licensing agency. You may also be exempt from taking the national portion of the exam.
3 - Register as a Student With PSI
Before you complete the required education you’ll have to register as a student with PSI, the licensing exam proctor. Registering before you finish the course allows your education provider to submit your completion documents so you can schedule the exam.
4 - Pass the Washington Real Estate Broker Licensing Exam
After PSI receives your course completion documents you’ll be allowed to schedule a time to take the brokers exam. You can schedule the exam online at PSI's Candidate Services page or by phone at 855.746.8168. In order to reserve a test time you have to pay the $138.25 exam fee.
On exam day you must bring two current forms of I.D., and at least one must have a photograph. You’ll have 3.5 hours to complete the national portion and a state-specific portion. If you pass one portion but not the other you’ll only have to retake the portion that you failed. Just remember, you only have six months to retake the exam and you’ll have to pay the exam fee again.
5- Complete the Background Check
Before applying for a brokers license, the Washington State Department of Licensing wants to have a thorough account of any previous or possible criminal activity. You’ll have to answer criminal history questions and provide an explanation for any “yes” answers. Related documents may be required.
Applicants also have to get fingerprinted for a state and national background check. If you’re within Washington you’ll submit your fingerprints using the electronic IdentoGO system.
Be prepared to pay $42.80 for the background check and fingerprinting. Once everything is processed and the DOL verifies your passing exam score you can move on to the next step.
6 - Apply for Your Washington Brokers License
You passed the exam, but you don’t have a license yet. Now you’ll need to apply for a Washington brokers license within a year, but first you must receive a notice from the DOL stating that you can do so.
In addition to submitting the application and paying the licensing fee ($146.25), this is when you’ll upload documents related to any criminal history questions that you answered “yes” on.
To apply for a Washington real estate broker license you will need:
- Notification from the DOL to apply.
- All documents needed for criminal background questions (if necessary).
- Washington broker application and fees (handled online).
7 - Join a Real Estate Firm to Activate Your License
As soon as your license application is approved you’ll receive an email notification. At that point you’ll be a licensed broker, but your license is inactive. In order to activate the license you have to join a real estate firm and accept the firm’s online request. This verifies that you will have a licensed managing broker guiding you as you start your new career as a Washington real estate broker.