From stunning natural scenery to its prodigious potato production, Idaho is an enchanting 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 Gem 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 seven easy steps, and you’ll be launching your career in Idaho real estate in no time.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Idaho
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 Boise, sprawling mountain ranches in Stanley, and Sun Valley-style homes in—you guessed it—Sun Valley.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Idaho?
It costs approximately $1,100 to get your real estate license in Idaho, 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 Idaho, you must complete the state-specific licensing process. The price of the required 90-hour prelicensing courses (and optional exam prep materials) will vary depending on the provider you choose.
Idaho Real Estate License Costs
Errors & Omissions Insurance Premium:
(Idaho real estate license costs as of May 2023)
How to Get an Idaho Real Estate Agent License in 7 Easy Steps
Before you begin, let’s make sure you’re eligible. Idaho requires those seeking a real estate sales associate designation to:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent
What If I’m Already Licensed in Another State?
If you are already an agent in another area, are a licensed attorney, or have a degree in real estate, you may be able to waive some of your licensing requirements.
Idaho does not have reciprocal agreements with any other states; however, existing real estate agents from other states can use their previous education and experience to speed up the licensing process. For example, out-of-state applicants can qualify for a waiver of the national portion of the Idaho licensing exam and/or prelicensing education. Qualified applicants should request a certified license history from the state in which they’re licensed and send it to the Idaho Real Estate Commission (IREC) along with an exam waiver request form.
If all you need to do is pass the Idaho 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 IREC 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 Idaho? Here are the steps you’ll need to follow.
1. Complete a 90-hour Prelicensing Course
- Cost: $719-$949
- 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 90 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. Visit The Close’s article on real estate schools in Idaho to find the prelicensing course that’s right for you.
The state of Idaho requires 90 hours of coursework before sitting for the licensing exam. The coursework consists of two sections, each containing 45 hours of material:
- Module 1: Fundamental real estate concepts
- Module 2: Knowledge and applied skills involved in listing, selling, buying, and closing property
The modules cover the following topics:
- Real property characteristics and legal descriptions
- Types of ownership and transfer in Idaho
- Property value and appraisals
- Idaho real estate contracts
- Property disclosures and environmental issues
- Real estate math calculations
- Roles of the Idaho Real Estate Commission
- Real estate licensing requirements in Idaho
- License law
- Agency laws
- Calculations and closing costs
- Local principles and practices
You’ll need the help of a highly rated Idaho 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 Idaho, 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 Idaho quickly. The course material may be presented in a series of slides, videos, and interactive content.
If you’re looking for a self-paced experience, we like Colibri Real Estate’s online platform best. They also happen to be featured in our national roundup of the best online real estate schools.
Readers of The Close can get 25% off tuition on any Colibri Real Estate prelicensing course in Idaho using coupon code “Theclose25.”
For more options, visit The Close’s article on real estate schools in Idaho to find the prelicensing course that’s right for you.
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. You must obtain a passing score of 70% or greater to move on to the next step.
2. Create an Online Account With the Idaho Real Estate Commission
- Cost: Free
- Time commitment: 1 day
At this stage of the process, it’s best to create an account with IREC online services. All of the information related to your license can be found here, including your background check status, license history, and education records.
Registering early is particularly helpful because you can’t submit your license application until your fingerprints have been cleared, and the only way to know when this happens is by getting a “RES-OK” status in your online account. You won’t receive a notification when this happens, so it’s up to you to keep checking after you’ve passed both sections of the exam.
3. Schedule & Pass the Idaho Real Estate Salesperson Exam
Time to Complete:
Computer-based, 120 questions
Bring to Testing Center:
Two forms of identification and proof of education completion or equivalency
After receiving your course completion certificate, 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 $80.
How to Study for the Real Estate Exam: Tips & Strategies
The Idaho 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 Idaho Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 70%, which translates to 56 questions right 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 Idaho Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 70%. There is no limit to the number of times you can retake the exam.
You should arrive 30 minutes early at the testing site. The Idaho 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 Idaho real estate exam are located in the following cities:
- Coeur d’Alene
- Twin Falls
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 be given a detailed score report that will help you prepare for the retake. You can take the exam as many times as you’d like, but you will have to pay $80 each time.
Your exam results are only valid for one year, so it’s important to send your application within this time frame.
4. Complete a Background Check
- Cost: $61.25
- Time commitment: 1-3 weeks
The Idaho Real Estate Commission requires that all applicants initiate a background check before becoming a licensed real estate agent in Idaho.
Conveniently, all four of the Idaho testing centers have LiveScan equipment on site for digital fingerprinting. After you receive your test appointment confirmation, you can schedule a fingerprinting appointment online for the same day. This is the fastest and most efficient method for performing your background check. The fee for fingerprinting services is $61.25.
The results of your background check are usually returned to the IREC within one to three weeks. To view the status of your fingerprints, monitor the account you created through IREC’s online services. As mentioned above, it is your responsibility to verify your fingerprint results online. Once your fingerprints are approved, it will show as “RES-OK” status.
Your fingerprints are only valid for six months, so it’s important to send your application within this time frame. For more information on fingerprinting, check out this PDF from IREC.
5. Obtain Errors & Omissions Insurance
- Cost: $13-$155
- Time commitment: 1 day
All active licensees in Idaho are mandated to carry errors and omissions insurance. This insurance typically protects brokerages and individual agents from getting sued by a client if they make a mistake related to a real estate transaction. It’ll cover the legal, defense, and court costs related to a claim.
You can use any insurance agency to find the E&O policy that works for you, so it’s best to take some time and research your options. You may also check with your sponsoring broker if you are covered under a firm policy at the brokerage.
IREC works closely with Rice Insurance Services Company to provide affordable options, but make sure to check with your principal broker to verify their firm’s requirements for coverage. In the case of Rice, the initial cost of the policy is $155, but there are surcharges and taxes that can impact the price.
The price will vary by month the first time you purchase the insurance. For example, you will pay $155 if you get your policy in October of your first year, but the price decreases by $13 each month until the following October.
You can learn more about E&O requirements in this PDF from IREC’s website.
6. Complete the Licensing Process
- Cost: $160
- Time commitment: 2 weeks
Once you’ve passed your exam and your fingerprints show up as approved through IREC’s online services, you can apply for your Idaho Real Estate License. This license allows you to handle real estate transactions, including buying and selling properties as well as managing the rental process.
Submit the completed and notarized salesperson application form with the following documents:
- $160 license fee paid via check or using a credit card authorization form
- Copy of your high school diploma, equivalency certificate, or college or university diploma
- Explanation of license disciplinary actions (if applicable)
- Copy of document showing legal presence in the United States, such as a driver’s license or state-issued identification card, Native American tribal document, or valid U.S. passport or visa
The application takes about 10 days to process and will appear in the “License Lookup” section on the IREC website once it has been approved.
Upon successful application review by IREC, you will be recognized as an Idaho salesperson in real estate. However, your license will be inactive until you find a broker to sponsor you.
7. Find a Sponsoring Broker to Hire You
- Cost: Free
- Time commitment: 1-2 weeks
To hold an active real estate license in Idaho, 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?
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Idaho: FAQs
Still not sure about the path forward? Get answers to common questions about how to become a real estate agent in Idaho below.
Is the Idaho real estate exam hard?
The passing rate for the Idaho Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 70%, meaning more than a quarter 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 $80 to take the test again.
What if I have a real estate license from another state?
Idaho does not have reciprocal agreements with any other states; however, existing real estate agents from other states can use their previous education and experience to speed up the licensing process. Out-of-state applicants can qualify for a waiver of the national portion of the Idaho licensing exam and prelicensing education. Those who qualify should request a certified license history from the state they are licensed in and send it to IREC along with an exam waiver request form.
Visit the IREC website for education and examination requirements tailored to your specific situation. For a complete list of steps to get your Idaho real estate license through reciprocity, check out our helpful guide, Real Estate License Reciprocity & Portability: A State-by-State Guide.
How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Idaho?
It usually takes prospective agents two to four months to get their real estate license in Idaho. Most of the time spent getting your license will be in your 90-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 Idaho real estate license online?
Unfortunately, you’ll need to go to one of the exam testing sites to take your Idaho real estate salesperson exam. But the good news is that you can complete the required 90 hours of classwork from the comfort of your home.
Do real estate agents make good money in Idaho?
According to ZipRecruiter, real estate agents make an average of $71,647 in Idaho. 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 Idaho?
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