If you’d like to become a real estate agent in South Carolina, it helps to understand everything involved before you start the process. Here, we’ll cover the benefits of the profession as well as everything that is required to receive your license.
There are a number of steps in the South Carolina real estate licensing process, so we’ve broken it down to keep things simple. To get your license, you will need to:
Step 1: Complete Pre-License Education
Step 2: Apply for the South Carolina Real Estate Salesperson Exam
Step 3: Complete a Background Check
Step 4: Pass the South Carolina Real Estate Salesperson Exam
Step 5: Secure Sponsoring Broker
Step 6: Submit a Real Estate License Application
Before we move on to the steps to get your license, consider if becoming a South Carolina real estate agent is right for you.
The Benefits of Working as a South Carolina Real Estate Agent
At salary.com, the average salary for a real estate agent in South Carolina is listed as $41,386 to $53,887 per year. This varies depending on your commission percentage, the number of homes you sell, if you have any caps, what your split is with your broker, and the value of the homes sold.
In South Carolina, the average price of a home is $299,965. Real estate agents often make 5.6% commission on sales, which would be $16,798.
Salary aside, becoming a real estate agent includes these other benefits:
- Flexibility in your schedule
- Unlimited income potential
- Career mobility
- Helping people
- Familiarity with your community and neighborhoods
- Varying environments and tasks
If this sounds like a good fit for you, these are the things you should consider next.
Do You Prequalify?
To prequalify as a South Carolina real estate agent you need to:
- Be at least 18-years old.
- Have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
- Be lawfully present and eligible to work in the United States.
As long as you meet these prerequisites, you can take the next steps towards obtaining your license.
1. Complete Pre-License Education
To qualify as a real estate agent in South Carolina, you need to complete 90 hours of pre-license education with South Carolina Real Estate Commission-approved courses. You need to complete two courses: a 60-Hour Unit I Salesperson Pre-licensing Course, (which you need to complete before taking the South Carolina salesperson licensing exam), and a 30-Hour Unit II Advanced Real Estate Principles Course (which can be taken after passing the licensing exam, but must be taken prior to applying for licensure). These can be taken in a live classroom or online, and there are a number of real estate institutes available across South Carolina.
The pre-licensing education covers these (and other) topics:
- Licensing laws
- Real estate practice
- Forms of ownership, transfer, and recording of title
- Financing and settlement
Note: The SCREC recognizes the qualifications of licensees of other jurisdictions, but you must still apply for and take the SC portion of the real estate examination. With your exam application, you will need to submit certification(s) of licensure from any jurisdiction in which you have held licensure in the last 5 years. You must also have been licensed within 6 months prior to SC Application.
Resident applicants with licenses in other jurisdictions who have been residents for more than 6 months will also need to take the following pre-licensing education:
- Unit II: Advanced Real Estate Principles class (30 hours)
For more information on this, or if you hold a law degree or have received a degree from a university with a major course of study in real estate, please see the South Carolina real estate commission’s website for the requirements for your specific situation.
2. Apply for the South Carolina Real Estate Salesperson Exam
The South Carolina Real Estate Salesperson Exam is administered by PSI, an outside agency. Before registering for the exam with PSI, you need to be approved by the SC Real Estate Commission. To do so, use the commission’s online application portal. On this portal you will be able to complete your application and pay the initial application fee of $25.
After submitting your application to take the exam, you can expect to receive your letter of exam eligibility via email in about five to seven business days. This eligibility is valid for one year.
At this point you can register for the exam with PSI. For the fastest and most convenient test scheduling process, PSI recommends that candidates register for their exams using their site.
Once you’ve created an account on their portal, you can pay for and schedule the exam. Check the box indicating you wish the PSI system to attempt to locate existing records for you. Enter your zip code and a list of the testing sites closest to you will appear. Select your desired test site, and available dates will appear.
If you’d prefer, you can also register for the exam by phone. Call 855-340-3701 and speak to a PSI registrar Monday through Friday between 7:30 am and 10:00 pm, and Saturday- Sunday between 9:00 am and 5:30 pm, Eastern Time.
3. Complete a Background Check
A real estate agent applicant in South Carolina must submit to a state fingerprint-based criminal records check, a national fingerprint-based criminal records check, and a social security number-based criminal records check.
Once they have received your application, the South Carolina Real Estate Commission Board (SCREC) will send you specific instructions via email on how to have a fingerprint-based check processed. Do not have fingerprints processed until these instructions are sent directly from the SCREC.
To have the social security number based check processed, visit https://srandi.com/authorize.aspx?P=R52SG9 and follow the instructions on the website. The criminal history results will be sent directly to the SCREC.
4. Pass the South Carolina Real Estate Salesperson Exam
You will have 200 minutes to complete the 120-question test. It’s split into 2 portions, covering state and national requirements. 120 minutes are allowed for the 80-question national portion, and 80 minutes for 40 state questions. For more information, see the PSI candidate information bulletin.
Some of the topics covered in the exam are:
- Real estate practice
- Property ownership
- Leasing and property management
- Transfer of title
- Valuation and market analysis
- Real estate calculations
On the day of the exam, you must provide 2 forms of valid identification. See here for details about accepted types of ID).
Once you’re in the exam site, you will need to place all electronic devices, bulky clothing, and other personal items in a secure location. You will then sit at a computer to take the test.
If you take the exam by computer, your score will be given to you immediately upon completing the exam. If you take the paper exam, your score will be printed out at the testing center.
5. Secure a Sponsoring Broker
To become a licensed and practicing real estate agent in South Carolina, you need to be associated with a registered brokerage firm or broker. Before submitting your application, you’ll need to have secured this sponsorship. It’s important to choose the right broker, as they’ll play a key role in growing your real estate career.
Consider the following when choosing a broker to work with:
- Their reputation as a broker or brokerage firm
- The types of agents they look for
- If they provide education and training for agents
- If they provide marketing materials and potential leads
- Which systems they use
- The benefits they offer
- What is their commission structure?
- What is the growth potential?
6. Submit a Real Estate License Application
At this point you will be able to complete and submit your SC Real Estate Salesperson Application. You can access it here.
Once you’ve completed all of these steps successfully, you will receive your South Carolina Real Estate Agent License. At this point, you might want to consider if you’re interested in becoming a Realtor. Here is what this means:
Real Estate Agent vs Realtor: What’s the difference?
For a real estate agent to become a Realtor, they need to become a member of the National Association of Realtors®. The NAR is an organization for real estate agents and other industry professionals. Members are required to subscribe to standards and a code of ethics set by the association. Membership offers access to market data and transaction management services, and other benefits.
To become a part of this community, these are the steps you need to take:
- Get your state real estate license
- Join your local REALTORS® Association – find one close to you with their “find an association” tool
- Pay the application fee – this varies by association
- Maintain membership dues – to keep your title of REALTOR®, you need to pay an annual fee of $150
Become a top Real Estate Agent!
Now that you’re a Real Estate Agent. You’ll need a website to show off your listings, attract buyers and sellers and if your ambitious get real estate coaching or digital marketing from some of the best in the field. Reach out to us at RE Digital to learn how we can help you become a top performer.
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