Article Summary: This article will help anyone looking for information pertaining to a real estate license in the state of North Carolina or anyone looking to become a real estate agent or realtor in North Carolina. 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 North Carolina Real Estate Commission is an independent state governmental agency whose primary function is to oversee the licensing and regulating of the over 80,000 real estate agents in the state. The North Carolina Licensing Law can be viewed online.

There is only one “type” of real estate license, a broker license in North Carolina.  There are however, there are several license status categories.

Provisional Broker: This is the “entry level” license status category. A person who has met all the license qualification requirements (including a 75-hour prelicensing course and passing the Commission’s license examination) is initially issued a broker license on “provisional” status and is referred to as a “provisional broker.”

Broker: – A broker is a “provisional broker” who satisfies all postlicensing education requirements to terminate the “provisional” status of such license becomes simply a “broker” and is NOT required to be supervised by a broker-in-charge in order to hold an “active” license.



Brokers may also elect to operate independently as a sole proprietor; however, with limited exceptions, such broker will have to qualify for and designate himself or herself as a broker-in-charge in order to operate independently and perform most brokerage activities.

Broker in Charge: Broker-In-Charge: A real estate broker who has been designated as the broker having responsibility for the supervision of real estate provisional brokers engaged in real estate brokerage at a particular real estate office and for other administrative and supervisory duties.

The requirements for a real estate broker license in North Carolina include being at least 18 years of age and having successfully completed at least 90 hours of approved classroom real estate courses within the three year period preceding the date of application.  An equivalent amount of experience and/or education may be accepted by the Commission in place of some of the 90 hours. All applicants must pass the broker real estate exams.

All applicants for a real estate broker license need to provide proof that they possess competency, honesty, truthfulness, integrity and general moral character. Therefore, all applicants need to provide a Criminal Record Report and fingerprints to aid investigation.

The list of approved real estate schools for prelicensure is available online. The educational courses are available during the daytime, evenings or weekends.

The approved continuing education real estate schools may be located online. Many of the courses are available by distance education. Although licenses expire on June 30th of each year, the deadline for the continuing education courses is June 10th. All applicants must complete eight classroom hours per year of continuing education in order to renew their license on active status.

The North Carolina real estate broker licenses are issued at no charge, but the application fee is $30 and the exam fee is $66.  Licenses are issued for a one year period ending on June 30th and renewal of the licenses begins 45 days before that date.

If the license is not renewed within six months after it expires, the agent will need to re-do the entire application process, including education and examination requirements.

North Carolina has reciprocity agreements with ten states. Licensed agents in good standing in these states may obtain a nonresident real estate license without taking the North Carolina examination if they are currently active and were originally issued their license based on passing that state's license examination. A salesperson licensed by reciprocity must be actively and personally supervised by a licensed North Carolina real estate broker. There is a $30.00 fee for the nonresident license. Additional requirements may apply, depending on which state the applicant is from.

North Carolina application forms are available via U.S. mail and may be requested by writing publications@ncrec.state.nc.us. However, many other real estate forms may be obtained online. Forms include:

Real estate careers are strengthened by membership in the many organizations that provide services for the professional agent. Organizations like the North Carolina Association of Realtors (with over 31,500 members) and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) assist many in locating real estate jobs within the industry. The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) and The National Association of Realtors (NAR), the world's largest professional association, are excellent resources for real estate education and professional enrichment.

North Carolina Real Estate Forms

North Carolina Reciprocity States

  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

(as of 2/23/2010)

North Carolina Approved Real Estate Schools Prelicensing and Postlicensing Education

Community Colleges

Alamance Community College
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
Beaufort County Community College
Bladen Community College
Blue Ridge Community College
Brunswick Community College
Caldwell Community College
Cape Fear Community College
Carteret Community College
Catawba Valley Community College
Central Carolina Community College
Central Piedmont Community College
Cleveland Community College
College of The Albemarle
Craven Community College
Davidson County Community College
Durham Technical Community College
Edgecombe Community College
Forsyth Technical Community College
Gaston College
Guilford Technical Community College
Halifax Community College
Isothermal Community College
James Sprunt Community College
Johnston Community College
Lenoir Community College
Martin Community College
Mayland Community College
Mitchell Community College
Montgomery Community College
Nash Community College
Piedmont Community College
Pitt Community College
Randolph Community College
Robeson Community College
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
Southeastern Community College
Southwestern Community College
South Piedmont Community College
Stanly Community College
Tri-County Community College
Vance-Granville Community College
Private Schools

Albemarle Area School of Real Estate (Elizabeth City)
Allen Tate School of Real Estate (Charlotte)
American Properties Real Estate School (Jacksonville)
Calvin White Real Estate School (Greensboro)
Coastal Carolina Real Estate Academy (Wilmington)
Cumbie Institute of Real Estate (Asheville)
Cumbie and Trull School of Real Estate, Inc. (Asheville)
Elliott Real Estate Academy (Greensboro)
Fonville Morisey Ctr for Real Estate (Durham, Raleigh, Youngsville)
Free School of Real Estate (Cornelius)
Galloway School of Real Estate (Hayesville, Murphy)
Houser Associates Real Estate Institute (Goldsboro)
HPW Real Estate School (Durham, Raleigh)
J.Y. Monk Real Estate Training Center (Boone, Charlotte, Concord, Fayetteville, Greenville, Greensboro, Hickcory, Raleigh, Wilmington)
Jacksonville Real Estate Academy (Jacksonville)
Jan Secor School of Real Estate (Greensboro, Winstom Salem)
Laney School of Real Estate (Wilmington)
Legacy Real Estate School (Raleigh)
McPherson School of Real Estate (Pineville)
Mingle School of Real Estate (Charlotte, Cornelius)
N.C. Academy of Real Estate, LLC (Nags Head)
Last Update:  3/1/2010
This list may not include all approved schools. Please visit  the North Carolina Real Estate Commission website for the latest list of approved real estate schools.