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North Carolina’s Real Estate License Requirements

For nearly four decades, we have navigated the ever-changing licensing requirements to successfully instruct residential real estate professionals to achieve whatever level of real estate education they want or need!

In North Carolina, any person or business entity who transacts real estate brokerage business (including time share transactions)for compensation as an agent for another must first obtain a real estate license issued by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission (NCREC).

License applicants must complete a 75 classroom hour Broker Pre license Course at a North Carolina school approved by the Commission (like our Fonville Morisey Real Estate School) or possess education and/or real estate experience the Commission finds equivalent to such course.

License Categories/Status Levels

North Carolina is a “broker license only” state, meaning that there is only one basic “type” of residential real estate license – a broker license.

However, there are several “categories” or “status levels” of broker license:

  • A “Provisional Broker” (the entry-level license) – may generally perform the same acts as a broker so long as he or she is supervised by a broker who is a designated broker-in-charge (or “BIC”).

    Provisional brokers cannot operate independently. Once licensed, a provisional broker must complete (within prescribed time periods), a postlicensing education program that the Fonville Morisey Real Estate School also offers.

    Please Note: The NC Real Estate Commission does recognize broker licenses from other specific states (“Reciprocal agreements”). If you already hold a broker license in another jurisdiction, you may be eligible to directly obtain a broker license that is NOT on “provisional” status – either contact us or visit the Commission’s website at www.ncrec.gov to learn more.

  • A “Broker” (the primary individual license) – is earned after first becoming a “Provisional Broker” and satisfying the postlicensing education requirements to terminate the “provisional” status of his or her license.

    A “broker” is authorized to engage in brokerage in one of the two following capacities:

    1. Work for a licensed real estate brokerage “firm” or another sole proprietor broker/broker-in-charge
    2. Operate independently as a “sole proprietor;” however, if the broker-sole proprietor will engage in activities requiring him or her to also be designated as a broker-in-charge (described next under “Broker-in-Charge”), then he or she must also qualify as a broker-in-charge.

      IMPORTANT NOTE: This means that an independent broker-sole proprietor must also be a broker-in-charge to lawfully engage in most brokerage activities.

  • The “Broker-in-Charge (or “B.I.C.”) designation. Every real estate office must have a broker-in-charge designated with the Real Estate Commission for the office and each broker-sole proprietor who will handle trust funds requiring deposit in a trust account, have other licensees affiliated with him or her, or advertise or promote his or her services in any manner (including distribution of business cards or listing property for sale or lease) must also first designate himself or herself as a broker-in-charge.

For more information concerning North Carolina real estate licenses and the laws and rules governing real estate brokerage practice in North Carolina, contact us or visit the Commission’s website at www.ncrec.gov to learn more.