From its charming coastal towns to its picturesque countryside landscapes, Delaware is an attractive place to live—and an even better place to begin your journey as a real estate professional. But in order to connect residents of the First State with the properties of their dreams, you’ll need to first learn how to get your real estate license here.
And that’s where we come in. Follow these five easy steps, and you’ll be launching your career in Delaware real estate in no time.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Delaware
Let’s dive into these steps in a little more detail. Before long, you’ll be helping clients buy and sell Colonial-style houses in Wilmington, craftsman-style homes in Dover, and cottage-style homes in Bethany Beach.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Delaware?
It costs approximately $1,000 to get your real estate license in Delaware, including your prelicensing education. Some of the costs are fixed, such as the state’s licensing and exam fees, and others vary.
While you don’t need a college degree to become a real estate agent in Delaware, you must complete the state-specific licensing process. The price of the required 99-hour prelicensing course (and optional exam prep materials) will vary depending on the provider you choose.
(Delaware real estate license costs as of July 2023)
How to Get a Delaware Real Estate Agent License in 5 Easy Steps
Before you begin, let’s make sure you’re eligible. Delaware requires those seeking a real estate sales associate designation to be:
- At least 18 years old
- A United States citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Able to pass a background check
What If You’re Already Licensed in Another State?
If you are a licensed attorney or have a degree in real estate, you may be able to waive some of your licensing requirements.
Delaware offers partial reciprocity to all licensed real estate agents, no matter what state they’re coming from. This means real estate agents already licensed in other U.S. states are exempt from taking Delaware’s 99-hour prelicensing course and can complete a 33-hour law course instead. You must also submit a Certificate of Licensure History showing that you have been licensed continuously for the past three years and a signed Sales or Lease Transaction Listing form showing 20 sales or lease transactions that you have completed in the past three years.
Reciprocity candidates are still required to pass the Delaware portion of the exam with a minimum score of 70%. In order to skip the national portion of the exam, you’ll also need to complete the Client Waiver Request process.
If all you need to do is pass the Delaware portion of the real estate exam, The CE Shop has an exam prep class specifically tailored to your situation for $79. Readers of The Close can get 35% off with coupon code “TheClose35”.
Visit the Delaware Real Estate Commission (DREC) website for education and examination requirements tailored to your specific situation.
Real Estate License Reciprocity & Portability: A State-by-State Guide
Ready to learn more about how to become a real estate agent in Delaware? Here are the steps you’ll need to follow.
1. Complete a 99-hour Prelicensing Course
- Cost: $500-$1,000
- Time commitment: 3-6 weeks
Prelicensing courses kick off your real estate career, and you’ll have your choice of completing them online or in person. Your choice of course format will depend on your learning style and what suits your schedule best.
The amount of time you’ll need comes down to how much class time you allot per week. You can complete all 99 hours online; those who study at a faster pace will finish in a shorter amount of time. If you approach it like a 40-hour workweek, you’ll finish in less than three weeks.
Prelicensing courses will often include extra features like exam prep, instructor support, or career resources, so it’s important to weigh these add-ons as you shop for providers. You can find a list of state-approved schools here.
Regardless of the school you choose, the state of Delaware requires 99 hours of coursework before sitting for the licensing exam. You’ll learn:
- Real property characteristics, legal descriptions, and property use
- Forms of ownership, transfer, and recording of title
- Property value and appraisal
- Real estate contracts and agency
- Real estate practice
- Property disclosures and environmental issues
- Financing and settlement
- Real estate math calculations
- Duties and powers of the Delaware Real Estate Commission
- Licensing requirements
- Statutory requirements governing the activities of licensees
- Additional state topics
You’ll need the help of a highly rated Delaware real estate school to get through this weighty material. Most people choose a real estate school based on the cost and the educational format of the course. Here are the most popular options in terms of course design.
Wherever you live in Delaware, you should be able to find a real estate school that meets in person during regularly scheduled sessions.
Classes that meet online at scheduled times are usually broadcast over Zoom (or another videoconferencing tool).
Self-paced Online Classes
On-demand real estate classes are extremely popular for those wanting to become real estate agents in Delaware quickly. The course material may be presented in a series of slides, videos, and interactive content.
If you’re looking to complete your course online, check out The CE Shop. The company’s Delaware prelicensing classes start at $839 and you can take advantage of its money-back guarantee if you don’t love the format.
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After you have completed your coursework, you must pass the course’s final exam. The course exam will test your newfound knowledge of real estate law and real estate principles. A passing score of 80% or greater is required to move on to the next step.
I recommend you take your time to make sure you understand the content, but also keep an eye on your deadlines. You only have one year to pass the real estate license exam and complete your real estate application after completing the prelicensing education requirements.
2. Complete a Background Check
- Cost: $65
- Time commitment: 1-4 weeks
The Delaware Real Estate Commission requires that all applicants initiate a background check before becoming a licensed real estate agent in Delaware.
You must pass both state and federal criminal background checks to receive your real estate license. Applicants in Delaware should complete an Authorization for Release of Information form and bring it to one of three offices located in Kent, New Castle, or Sussex counties. Some have walk-in hours, while others require an appointment; there’s contact information for each one on the form. Applicants living outside of Delaware may obtain fingerprints from an alternate location and submit them to the FBI. The fee is $65. Applicants should allow four weeks to receive a receipt of their results.
3. Schedule & Pass the Delaware Real Estate Salesperson Exam
Time to Complete:
Computer-based, 120 questions
Bring to the Testing Center:
Two forms of identification, including one current government-issued photo ID with signature
After completing your prelicensing education, you can schedule your real estate salesperson exam. In order to begin scheduling, you’ll need to create an account with Pearson VUE, the company that administers the exam. The cost of the exam is $85.
How to Study for the Real Estate Exam: Tips & Strategies
The Delaware Real Estate Salesperson Exam is an in-person, proctored test administered via computer. The exam consists of two parts that review state and national real estate laws. There are 120 multiple-choice questions altogether: 80 questions in the national portion and 40 additional questions in the state portion. You will have 240 minutes, or four hours, to complete the entire exam.
Bring two forms of identification with you to the testing center, including one current government-issued photo ID that includes your signature. You should also bring your prelicensing course completion certificate (or proof of education equivalency if you’re applying through reciprocity) with you to the exam.
A passing score for the Delaware Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 70%, which translates to 56 questions correct out of 80 for the national section and 28 correct answers out of 40 for the state portion. The rate at which testers pass the Delaware Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 62%. You can take the exam up to three times before having to retake the 99-hour prelicensing course.
You should arrive 30 minutes early at the testing site. The Delaware Real Estate Commission’s candidate handbook outlines the types of government-issued identification they’ll accept. There’s also a lengthy list of items you’re prohibited from bringing to the exam room (including common items like calculators, pens, and cell phones).
Testing sites for the Delaware real estate exam are located in the following cities:
- Salisbury, MD
- Philadelphia, PA
- Atlantic City, NJ
- Somerset, NJ
- Princeton, NJ
- Toms River, NJ
As soon as you’re done with the multiple-choice exam, you’ll learn whether you passed or failed. If you don’t pass, you’ll get a detailed score report that will help you prepare for the retake. Again, you can take the exam up to three times before having to retake the 99-hour prelicensing course, but you will have to pay $85 each time.
4. Find a Sponsoring Broker to Hire You
- Cost: Free
- Time commitment: 1-2 weeks
To hold an active real estate license in Delaware, you must find a sponsoring brokerage with which to affiliate your license. A broker has received additional training, worked in the industry for at least two years, and passed the broker’s license exam.
Real Estate Broker vs. Agent: A Head-to-Head Analysis
Finding a broker to work under will feel like applying for a job. Once you’ve landed some broker interviews, you’ll want to ask each broker about the split (or how you and the brokerage will divide sales commissions). You’ll find that some brokerages will ask for a 50-50 split on commissions. Usually, brokerages that offer an even split will not charge monthly desk fees.
As you evaluate your options, remember that, as a commissioned salesperson, your income entirely depends on your abilities and effort. Some brokerages may offer you 70% of your commissions, a ratio that may rise to 100% after you’ve met a specific sales goal (or cap) for the year.
It’s important to be realistic about your earning potential in the first few months. It takes time to launch your new business. Some new agents choose to work part time so they can still bring in additional revenue as they’re learning the ropes. And if your brokerage does charge fees, you’ll have to pay them regardless of whether you’re closing deals or not.
Here are some questions to consider during your broker search:
- What is their reputation, both locally and nationally?
- What kind of real estate agents are they looking for?
- Are they technologically advanced and up to date with the latest systems?
- How do they support their agents with education and training?
- What kind of commission structure do they offer?
- Do they offer benefits?
- Do they provide agents with leads and marketing material?
- Is there room to grow with the brokerage?
Your sponsoring brokerage will be required to complete and sign the Statement of Current Broker of Record Form to confirm your employment. You will then submit this document when applying for your license.
5. Complete the Licensing Process
- Cost: $156
- Time commitment: 1 week
Once you’ve completed your prelicensing education and background check, passed your exam and found a sponsoring broker, you can apply for your Delaware real estate license. This allows you to handle real estate transactions, including buying and selling properties, as well as managing the rental process.
All licensees must create an account on the Delaware Professional Regulation Online Services (DELPROS) website to apply for a license. You can submit some of the required documents, like your prelicensing education certificate and the results from your real estate exam, online; however, forms requiring a signature, seal, or notary must be mailed to the DREC office directly unless the document explicitly indicates otherwise. All documents received by mail are scanned and attached to the appropriate license records. The license application fee is $131, along with a $25 Guaranty Fund fee.
You only have six months to submit your application once you begin the process through DELPROS. Otherwise, you’ll be required to restart the entire online application again. The application takes between three to five business days to process. You can check your status in DELPROS by viewing the e-License dashboard. Once it’s complete, you’ll have access to your license in the online system.
Upon successful application review by DREC, you will be recognized as a Delaware salesperson in real estate.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Delaware: FAQs
Still not sure about the path forward? Get answers to common questions about how to become a real estate agent in Delaware below.
Is the Delaware real estate exam hard?
The passing rate for the Delaware Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 62%, meaning more than a third of the people who take it do not pass. Be sure to pay attention during your prelicensing course and take studying seriously. If you put in the proper effort, you should pass on your first attempt. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay another $85 to take the test again.
How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Delaware?
It usually takes prospective agents three to five months to get their real estate license in Delaware. Most of the time spent getting your license will be in your 99-hour prelicensing course. If you enroll in a scheduled full-time course, you can usually complete your classes pretty quickly.
You might take longer if you decide to work online at your own pace. Self-paced courses, on the other hand, provide you the freedom to fit learning into your busy schedule at work and home. You’ll have to decide how to choose the course that works best for you.
Can I get my Delaware real estate license online?
Unfortunately, you’ll need to go to one of the exam testing sites to take your Delaware real estate salesperson exam. But the good news is that you can complete the required 99 hours of classwork from the comfort of your home.
Do real estate agents make good money in Delaware?
According to ZipRecruiter, real estate agents make an average of $79,167 in Delaware. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on the area and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you’ve spent in your profession.
Other significant details you should consider are brokerage fees and commissions. Usually, commission is shared between you and your broker based on a negotiated ratio that will be fully outlined in your contract. While this may differ based on several factors, a common commission split is 70% to the agent and 30% to the broker.
What are the pros & cons of becoming a real estate agent in Delaware?
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