How Much Does It Cost To Become A Real Estate Agent in North Carolina?

If you’re ready to become a real estate agent, budgeting out your journey beforehand will save you time (and stress). We recommend having at least 6 to 12 months of expenses saved up, as transactions can take a few months from start to finish.

Many of us know that becoming an agent requires a real estate exam and license. But, there are a few more steps (and expenses) you’ll need to look out for.

To help you prepare financially for your career in real estate, here’s a breakdown of the investment you’ll need in today’s market. 


Since most states differ in their set of requirements for becoming an agent, it’s best to check your local laws. The North Carolina Broker Prelicensing Course is your first step to a career in real estate! This course includes the required 75 hours of instruction you’ll need to be eligible for the exam.

Average Cost: $200 to $1,000

NC State Licensing Exam 

Even though you’ll pay for your prep courses to study for your exam, the cost of your courses will never include the exam itself. State licensing exams will vary in price, but the test itself is not very expensive. 

Average Cost: $56

Application Fee: $100

*These fees will have to be repaid each time you retake the exam.

Background Check 

After you successfully pass your exam and obtain your real estate license, you’ll also need to pass an FBI background check. This is due to the nature of real estate— which allows you to access confidential client information.

Average Cost: $20 to $200+ (Price depends on where you have lived)

Teaming Up with A Broker 

Since you’re a new real estate agent, you’ll need to connect with a brokerage to hang your license (for a minimum of two years). In return, brokers will mentor you on the ins and outs of the industry. 

Average Cost: Varies by the brokerage. 


You’ll need to obtain errors and omissions insurance, which protects companies and their workers (or individuals) against claims associated with negligence or inadequate work. 

Average Cost: $350 to $400/year

National Association of REALTORS® Membership 

Lastly, many brokers will require you to become a member of their REALTOR® board. In doing so, you’ll become a part of the National Association of REALTORS®. This membership is beneficial because it gives you access to many tools and information, including the multiple listings service (MLS). MLS is one of the best platforms for agents nationwide.  

Average Cost: Sign up fee plus yearly fee (dependant on location)

Yearly Fee: $400+

Maintenance costs

Once you complete your onboarding steps to become an active agent, you will also need to account for the annual costs of maintaining your business. These costs include business, marketing, and continuing education expenses. 

Average Cost: $2,000+

Ready to start a thriving career in real estate?

Sea Coast, Real Estate Academy, offers dedicated courses designed to prepare you for your new real estate career in North Carolina. Contact us today to get started!