Selling and managing property in Washington State is a vibrant and well-paying gig. However, you need a practicing license from the state to work as a realtor in Washington. The good thing is that you can study online, allowing you to switch careers without hassle.

Getting a license can be challenging, but with the right attitude and resources, you can do it within a year. But where do you start? This guide will navigate you through the process, outlining the steps involved and providing a detailed cost breakdown.

Let’s Find a School

Your first order of business is finding a school offering real estate courses or programs. Ensure that you enroll in a school complementing your needs and daily routine. For instance, if you have a day job, attending physical classes can be tricky.

Online schools like RealEstateU can be a suitable option if you want to strike a balance between your studies and daily routine. However, if you are not on a 9-5 and live near campus, enrolling in a physical school may be the best choice.


Cost of Pre-Licensing Programs

The price will vary depending on the school you enroll in. Remember, the fee charged doesn’t guarantee the best education. From our research, expect to spend between $300-1000 on the pre-licensing course.

The coursework is around 90 hours, covering all significant topics related to ethics, real estate law, finance, property appraisal, and math. The curriculum is the same across all state-approved schools. However, the mode of delivery may differ.

Most online schools offer diverse study packages. The basic package is the cheapest, offering study materials and instructor-led sessions. The only downside is that it doesn’t include exam prep sessions. Ultimate and Pro packages are more interactive, with the addition of invites to live webinars and one-on-one sessions with the tutors.

Exam Time: What to Expect

The Washington real estate pre-licensing exam is your bridge to becoming a fully-fledged licensed realtor. Exam registration is around $138.25, and you can schedule and sit for your exam PSI, the official testing provider.


Exam jitters are normal, but adequate preparation will help you ace it. Brush up your knowledge with exam prep materials, which come at an additional cost depending on your school selection. Passing the exam requires a score of at least 70%.

It’s Time for Background Checks and License Application

This is a requirement in almost all states in the U.S. As part of the prerequisites, all applicants must have a clean record with zero felony charges. You must submit a copy of your fingerprints to the relevant state department for background checks.

Fingerprint collection and background checks will cost you around $42.80. The last step is submitting your license application to the Washington Department of Licensing. This process will set you back another $146.25.

License approval can take a few days to a week before it’s delivered to your mailbox.

Get a Sponsoring Broker

You must work under a sponsoring broker for a while after getting your license. Getting a sponsoring broker doesn’t require any fees. However, search for a mentor early before you apply for the license.

Some schools offer placements, connecting their students with industry experts for mentorship or internship positions. This will help you put your knowledge into practice in a fast-paced environment. It will also prepare you for a career in real estate, whether you want to work as an agent or in a firm.

What About Continuing Education?

A Washington State realtor’s license is valid for two years, after which you must apply for a renewal. You must finish a certain number of continuing education hours during the two years before your license expires.

Post-licensing programs will help you stay up-to-date with new changes in the real estate industry. Besides that, the course will also improve your standing as a real estate professional. While you’re at it, ensure that you attend seminars and webinars to learn more about industry best practices.

Additional Considerations

Check for discounts offered by pre-licensing course providers, especially for community college courses or bundled packages. Also, explore free or low-cost study materials on YouTube or government websites.

WA allows out-of-state agents to skip the pre-licensing education program. This potentially reduces costs and expedites the process.

Bottom Line

Becoming a relator in WA can be costly but is worth every penny you spend. Quality education is key if you want to pass your exams and boost your chances of getting employed in a reputable firm. Whether you choose to study online or attend physical classes, dedication and discipline are crucial to your success.

Do your research and read reviews when searching for the best school. You can also ask for recommendations from friends or family members working in the realty sector. Also, attend webinars and seminars to interact with professionals and find mentors who will take you in for an internship.