How to Get a Real Estate License in Wisconsin
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Who is Eligible for a Real Estate License in Wisconsin?
The most basic requirements to become a real estate agent in Wisconsin are age and education. All new agents in Wisconsin must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.
An agent cannot have felonies or misdemeanors on their record. If they do, they must apply for predetermination before starting their education. The applicant will complete paperwork that outlines their criminal history, and then the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services will review everything and decide if the applicant can go forward with their career in real estate.
If an applicant meets these three criteria, they may start a board-approved 13-hour Wisconsin pre-licensing course. However, if the applicant held a real estate license in another state within the past two years, they may be able to skip this step.
Take a Pre-Licensing Course
Unlike in other states, Wisconsin real estate students have two main options for completing their real estate education. The first option is to complete an approved 72-hour real estate course, which can be done either in-person or online. The second option is to complete 10 semester hours of real estate or real estate law courses from an accredited college or university.
The 72-hour course is the more common option, but the college courses can be a good choice for someone already working toward a degree. Neither option is inherently better than the other, so students can choose the one that best fits their learning style or schedule. When looking for a real estate course to take, students must ensure it has been approved by the state of Wisconsin. If it isn't approved, they won't be able to get their real state license and will have to start over with another course.
The price of the 72-hour course is approximately $280, but this can vary depending on the provider. Some education providers may also have packages that include extra materials such as practice tests, which many students find helpful while preparing for the exam.
During this time, students will also have to take the 13-hour Wisconsin pre-licensing course. This course is required for everyone who has not held a real estate license within the past two years and covers various topics vital to buying and selling in Wisconsin.
Get a Real Estate Scholarship
Scholarship opportunities are available to those beginning their real estate career who have not yet enrolled in a required training program. Agencies providing scholarships can also reimburse students' real estate course fees if they have already started training. Most real estate scholarships provide funding to cover course fees and materials, with a smaller number available to current real estate professionals needing financial assistance with licensing fees.
Kris Lindahl Real Estate is pleased to offer real estate scholarships to qualified applicants that cover the cost of all courses, materials, and fees required to become a real estate agent. This scholarship is open to all prospective students and students who are currently enrolled in courses but have not yet finished. Scholarship spots are limited, so act fast to secure one. Fill out this form, and a representative will reach out to you with the full details of the scholarship.
Complete the Wisconsin Real Estate Exam
Pearson VUE administers the real estate exam for Wisconsin and several other states. The test consists of 140 questions and up to 10 pre-test items. Here are the categories of questions students can expect to see on the exam:
- Agency: 17 questions on agency laws and 15 questions on agency contracts
- Business Ethics: 14 questions on ethical conduct for real estate professionals and real estate practices
- Contract Law and Approved Forms: Six questions on contracts and 16 questions on offers to purchase
- Disclosures: 13 questions on various types of disclosure regulations
- Fair Housing: Six questions on the Fair Housing Law, local equal opportunities, and the Americans With Disabilities Act
- Federal Anti-Trust Law: One question each on price gouging and group boycotts
- Land Use and Regulations: Five questions on private use and permitted public use
- Miscellaneous: 12 questions divided between trust accounts, fee-splitting, responsibilities of licenses and firms, the legal impact of leases regarding approved forms, and residential rental practices
- Ownership and Transfer of Property: Six questions on property ownership and eight questions on transfer of property
- Valuing and Financing Property Calculations: Three questions on valuation and market analysis and eight questions on financing
Pearson VUE has approximately 40 test centers in Wisconsin. Students must make a reservation to take the real estate pre-licensing exam and pay the applicable fee simultaneously. Real estate students also can take one or more practice exams to become familiar with the format and questioning style.
Apply for a Real Estate License
Students who passed the exam must complete Form 3166 from the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services to apply for a license. First-time license applicants will need to pay a $60 fee. They also need to show proof of completing the required education and that they passed the exam.
Wisconsin currently has a reciprocity agreement with Illinois and Indiana. Agents who hold a license in either of those states must present proof they passed the Wisconsin pre-licensing exam and have an active sales agent license in good standing in Illinois or Indiana. The reciprocity fee is also $60.
People who held a license in a different state within the past two years pay the same fee and must present proof of passing the exam. They have the additional requirement of showing proof of the required 13-hour education program or 10 semester hours of real estate courses.
Applicants for a real estate license must answer every question on the application completely and truthfully. They should then sign and date the application and submit it via one of the methods indicated on the form.
Can Real Estate Applications Be Denied?
Yes, the state can deny a license if applicants have a felony conviction within three years of the date of the application. Wisconsin can also deny applications of people who failed to disclose pending criminal charges, disciplinary actions, or past criminal convictions.
Join a Brokerage
New real estate agents still have a lot to learn about the profession even after completing mandatory training and passing an exam. Because this is a lot of information to take in, many new real estate professionals join a brokerage where they can find a real estate mentor and work directly with experienced agents.
New real estate agents have a variety of ways to find a sponsoring broker. The most common way people connect with an experienced professional to guide them is by attending local or virtual networking events and letting other attendees know they are looking for a mentor.
A mentor, in particular, is a vital resource for new agents. Real estate mentors can teach new agents tips and tricks to make the job easier and give advice. When looking for a real estate mentor, try to find someone who has similar core values or similar working styles. This can help ensure the two people will work together well.
New real estate professionals should keep in mind they do not need to work with the first person who comes their way. They should be certain to ask several questions to determine if the broker would be a good fit from knowledge, experience, and personal compatibility standpoints.
How to Renew a Wisconsin Real Estate License
Wisconsin requires real estate sales agents to renew their licenses every two years. They also need to complete 18 hours of continuing education each year, divided into three six-hour courses. Real estate agents can renew their license by logging into the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services website and following the onscreen prompts. They can also request a paper application by calling 608-266-2112 and then return it by mail.
Real estate can be a rewarding career that requires little training time compared to many other occupations. Interested parties can take steps to attain their Wisconsin real estate license at their own pace, and with a little motivation and some hard work, students can become agents in as little as a few weeks.