Article Summary: This article will help anyone looking for information pertaining to a real estate license in the state of Iowa or anyone looking to become a real estate agent or realtor in Iowa. Contents of this article may include information on real estate education, schools, training courses, continuing education, tests and exams, laws, license requirements, renewal information, forms and more..

The State of Iowa's Professional Licensing Division (IPLD) was created in 1986 to oversee the approximately 32,000 licensees of various occupations within the state. Under the jurisdiction of the IPLD, the Iowa Real Estate Commission regulates and administers the real estate laws in Iowa and has the authority to promulgate rules and regulations for the industry. Their main aim is to protect the public. Their office is in Ankeny, Iowa.

The requirements for a real estate salesperson license in Iowa include being at least 18 years of age when applying for the license. The applicant may take the examination before then, but may not apply until age 18. However, the application for the license needs to be made within six months of passing the exam. Applicants are not eligible for a license if they have been rejected for licensure in any state within twelve months prior to applying.

Salesperson applicants must successfully complete an approved 36-hour prelicense course during the 12 months prior to taking the exam. The 36 hours is to consist of 12 hours of Buying Practices, 12 hours of Listing Practices, 12 hours Developing Professionalism and Ethical Practices

All salesperson applicants need to have a sponsoring broker; they may not file as inactive. A thorough background check must be submitted before applying for the license. 

New salesperson applicants need to provide fingerprint cards from a local sheriff's office or police department and pay their fee, and also sign a waiver for a background check. The Commission's fee for processing these is $46. It takes approximately eight to ten weeks to process the fingerprints. The report, once obtained, is only valid for 90 days.

The examination fee for a salesperson is $92. After passing the examination, the applicant needs to apply for the license and pay the license fee of $125. They also must provide proof of having Errors & Omissions Insurance.

The requirements for a real estate broker license in Iowa include being at least 18 years of age when applying for the license. Applicants are not eligible for a license if they have been rejected for licensure in any state within twelve months prior to applying.

The broker applicant needs to have been actively engaged in real estate for at least 24 months preceding the date of the application, or have an approved equivalent experience.

Applicants need to successfully complete at least 60 hours of approved classroom hours of real estate education during the 24 months prior to taking the exam. These hours are in addition to the hours taken for the salesperson license.

The broker applicant also needs to provide a completed background check before applying for the license, and proof of having Errors & Omissions Insurance is required. The application must be applied for within six months of having successfully completed the real estate exams. Nonresident brokers from another state which has an examination equivalent to Iowa's may be able to waive the examination.

The approved Real Estate Schools for prelicensure, continuing education, and post-licensing are located throughout the state. They provide classroom courses in addition to computer and internet courses. Some of the prelicensure courses may be taken online. For continuing education, a maximum of 18 of the required 36 hours may be taken by correspondence/home study.

There are two pages where you can find Iowa real estate forms.  Click here for the License Application Index, and here for the general forms index.

Iowa has reciprocity agreements with eleven other states, and they are: AL, AR, GA, LA, MA, MN, MS, NC, ND, TN, and WV.

The fee for a real estate salesperson license is $125.00 and for a broker the fee is $170.00. Licenses are valid for a three year period and continuing education courses are required for renewal.

Real estate careers are strengthened by membership in the many organizations that provide services for the professional agent. Those holding a real estate license usually join organizations like the Iowa Association of Realtors, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), and the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO). The National Association of Realtors (NAR), the world's largest professional association, assists many in locating real estate jobs within the industry. These organizations are also excellent resources of real estate education.

Iowa Real Estate Forms

Iowa Reciprocity States

  • Most real estate forms can be obtained online. Ones listed below pertain to new salespersons and brokers.
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

(as of 2/23/2010)


Iowa Approved Real Estate Schools Prelicensing and Postlicensing Education

Community Colleges

Des Moines area Community College
Grandview College
Indian Hills Community College
Iowa Valley Community College
Kirkwood Community College
Northeast Community College
Northeast Iowa Community College
Private Schools

Ames Board of Realtors (Ames)
Burlington Board of Realtors (Burlington)
Dubuque Board of Realtors (Dubuque)
Iowa Real Estate School of Iowa City (Iowa City)
Iowa Real Estate Seminars (Waterloo)
Key Real Estate School (Council Bluffs)
Quad City area Realtor Association (Bettendorf)

Last Update:  3/1/2010
This list may not include all approved schools. Please visit  the Iowa Real Estate Commission website for the latest list of approved real estate schools.