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Iowa Real Estate License Requirements

How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Iowa

Quick Overview:

You’ll need to be at least 18 years of age and not have been rejected for real estate licensure in any state within the past 12 months.

  1. Complete the Required Education
  2. Pass the Course Final Exam
  3. Pass the Iowa Real Estate Examination
  4. Purchase Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance
  5. Find a Sponsoring Broker
  6. Complete a Background Check with Fingerprinting
  7. Complete the Application


How to Get a Real Estate License in Iowa

The Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau requires all potential agents to complete the following steps in order to become a licensed real estate agent in The Hawkeye State. Follow the steps below to get started with your real estate career.

1. Complete the Required Education

Before you apply for your license you must complete a total of
96 hours of Pre-Licensing education. Sixty of these 96 hours can be completed online, the other 36 hours must be taken in-person.

This education includes:

  1. 60 hours of Real Estate Principles and Practices
  2. 12 Hours of Developing Professionalism and Ethical Practices (In-person course only; not offered online)
  3. 12 Hours of Buying Practices (In-person only)
  4. 12 Hour of Listing Practices (In-person only)

2. Pass the Course Final Exam

After you’ve completed the course materials, you’ll need to score at least 75% on the unit exams. Then you’ll need to score 70% on the final exam issued by your Pre-Licensing real estate school. Find out more about our online proctoring process here.

3. Pass the Iowa Real Estate Examination

A national agency called PSI administers the Iowa real estate exam questions, this test is taken under the supervision of a proctor. The exam has 120 questions and consists of two portions: One for state requirements and the other has national requirements. You’re given 180 minutes to complete the exam, 120 minutes for 80 general questions and 60 minutes for 40 state-specific questions. For more information, see the PSI candidate exam information here.

If you need help passing the Iowa real estate licensing exam, there are helpful study tools. Many
comprehensive Exam Prep tools are tailored specifically to Iowa and can give you a much greater chance to pass the exam.

4. Purchase Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance

To obtain your active agent license, you will need to get Errors and Omissions insurance. Errors and Omissions insurance is the insurance policy that agents are required to carry to protect their business in the event of legal action.

5. Find a Sponsoring Broker

Once you pass your licensing exam, you must become associated with a current and active Iowa sponsoring Broker. This Broker will be a career and education mentor providing you with an inside view into the day-to-day operations of a real estate agent.

6. Complete a Background Check with Fingerprinting

You’ll be required to submit a detailed criminal background check. The state of Iowa requires you to also submit your fingerprints along with this background check. This is a common expectation and requirement for several other states as well.

7. Complete the Application

After completing your Iowa Sales Associate Exam, you will need to
apply for your Iowa real estate license with the Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau. There will also be a $125 license application fee.

Quick Facts:

Common Questions About Getting Your Iowa Real Estate License

1. How much does it cost to get your real estate license in Iowa?

The cost of an agent license in IA can vary considerably depending on the price of your Iowa real estate classes and different types of fees for your licensing, etc. An individual can typically expect to pay $930-$1,130 to get an active Iowa real estate license.

Average Course Tuition $359-$559
Background Check and Fingerprinting $51
Errors & Omissions Insurance (varies) $100-$300
Exam Fee $95
Application Fee $125
Total $930-$1,130

2. How long does it take to get a real estate license in Iowa?

The specific amount of time to complete your 96 hours of licensing can vary depending on how long each task takes you, and how long you take to complete Pre-Licensing courses. Different credit hours and requirements of each brokerage will affect each Salespersons differently.

Student Learning Pace Time Period
Full-Time Student (40 hours a week) 3 weeks
20 Hours a Week 6 weeks
10 Hours a Week 10 weeks
5 Hours a Week 20 weeks

3. If I get a real estate license in Iowa, where else can I work?

If you get a real estate license in Alabama, you are automatically eligible to work in states that offer full reciprocity. States that offer full reciprocity will recognize your Alabama license, meaning you can work in their state after fulfilling significantly less requirements. Typically, this means passing the state-specific real estate exam or taking a state-specific course. States with full reciprocity include:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Virginia
  • Washington 

The above list is not comprehensive. Please refer to
this guide for more information on reciprocity.

4. How much money can I make as an Iowa real estate agent?

According to, the average salary for an Iowa real estate agent is $100,073. This number is the same as the national average.

Iowa Real Estate Continuing Education Requirements

All licensed agents are required to maintain their knowledge in their particular field. For real estate agents, this requirement is
36 hours total, with up to 24 hours taken online. These must be completed by 12/31 every three years and requires:

  • 8 hours Law Update
  • 4 hours Ethics
  • 24 hours Commission approved Electives

You will need to make sure that you are getting these courses through a Iowa PLB-approved education provider.