iowa real estate license

IA Iowa Real Estate License: A 2024 In-depth Guide

To embark on a profession in real estate in the Hawkeye State of Iowa, an imperative preliminary involves the acquisition of an Iowa Real Estate License. This mandatory credential, deemed indispensable for practicing real estate, constitutes a requisite stride towards commencing an exciting and dynamic vocation. In this blog post, we shall peruse the criteria […]

February 17, 2023

To embark on a profession in real estate in the Hawkeye State of Iowa, an imperative preliminary involves the acquisition of an Iowa Real Estate License. This mandatory credential, deemed indispensable for practicing real estate, constitutes a requisite stride towards commencing an exciting and dynamic vocation. In this blog post, we shall peruse the criteria required for procuring an Iowa Real Estate License, the multistep process involved in its acquisition, and the emoluments that ensue from its attainment.

iowa real estate license

Don’t forget to take our free IA Iowa Real Estate practice exam to get familiarized with the format as well as the questions of the actual exam to strengthen your knowledge and skills, as a result, enhancing your chance to pass the Real Estate exam with a high score on your first attempt. Good luck to you!

Requirements For Obtaining An Iowa Real Estate License

If you seek to embark on a professional expedition in the domain of real estate in Iowa, you must first and foremost secure an Iowa Real Estate License. In this regard, certain eligibility, education, experience, and some other Iowa real estate license requirements must be satisfied. 

Eligibility Requirements

To unravel the eligibility requirements, an aspiring applicant must be at least 18 years of age and hold a high school diploma or equivalent, while simultaneously refraining from any convictions for felonies or misdemeanors that are pertinent to fraud or dishonesty. However, one must realize that even though the aforementioned requirements are fulfilled, one must still satisfy the educational and experience requirements to obtain an Iowa Real Estate License.

Educational Requirements

Conversely, the educational requirements entail the completion of a specified number of pre-license education hours, requiring an applicant to complete 60 hours of pre-license education from an approved educational provider. The aforementioned education encompasses a diverse array of topics associated with real estate, comprising but not limited to contracts, property ownership, and real estate finance. The underlying objective of this education is to guarantee that applicants possess a concrete base of real estate knowledge before obtaining their license.

Experience Requirements

Furthermore, the experience requirements alongside the educational prerequisites are indispensable elements that must be satisfied to procure an Iowa Real Estate License. 

A salesperson license demands an applicant to finish at least 2,000 hours of experience in real estate sales during the last 48 months. Alternatively, the applicant can complete 12 real estate transactions during the last 24 months that must fulfill certain specified requirements and be accomplished while working for a licensed real estate broker. 

Comparatively, a broker license necessitates that the applicant must finish at least 24 months of experience as a licensed real estate salesperson within the past 48 months. The applicant must also have completed at least 3,000 hours of experience in real estate sales or management within the past 48 months, thereby ensuring that the applicant has a strong foundation of experience in real estate before obtaining their license.

iowa real estate license

How To Get A Real Estate License In Iowa?

In the event that one is inclined to seek a real estate license in Iowa, it is of the utmost importance to undertake a series of measures to initiate the process. In this particular segment, we shall delve into the various stages that one must proceed through, namely: application for the examination, readiness for the examination, and what to expect during the examination.

Step 1: Meet the Eligibility Requirements

In the initial stage, one must first fulfill a number of eligibility requirements prior to applying for an Iowa Real Estate License. The aforementioned requirements include being a minimum of 18 years of age, possession of a high school diploma or a certified equivalent, and successful completion of a criminal background check. As an additional condition, one must also undertake a state-endorsed pre-licensing course.

Step 2: Apply for the Iowa Real Estate License Exam

Upon satisfying the criteria that have been established, the subsequent stage is to petition for the Iowa Real Estate License examination. The request may be submitted by navigating to the Iowa Real Estate Commission website and completing the necessary application. Essential personal information, past educational history, and any past employment history will need to be provided.

Step 3: Prepare for the Exam

Once the application has been validated, the following step is to ensure readiness for the Iowa Real Estate License examination. Various tools are obtainable to assist in the preparation, such as learning resources, practice examinations, and examination preparation courses. Adequate dedication of time to studying and practicing is imperative to guarantee proper preparedness for the assessment.

Step 4: Take the Exam

The Iowa realtor license examination is a computer-based assessment that is split into two components: the nationwide segment and the state segment. The nationwide segment covers generalized real estate concepts, while the state segment examines Iowa-specific laws and regulations. The exam is timed and candidates will have an allotted duration to complete each part. The evaluation consists of numerous multiple-choice inquiries, and a specific number of correct responses are required to pass.

Step 5: After Passing the Exam

Upon successful completion of the examination, one must complete additional paperwork and remit the necessary fees to acquire the Iowa Real Estate License. After completing all the requisite measures, the license will be bestowed, and the individual will be authorized to commence real estate operations within Iowa.

Maintaining Your Real Estate License In Iowa

iowa real estate license

Upon obtaining an Iowa Real Estate License, maintaining it is an absolute necessity. The state of Iowa imposes specific criteria that must be satisfied to maintain a valid license. To this end, we shall delve into the complexities of continuing education requirements, the renewal process, and the repercussions of failing to renew your license.

Continuing Education Requirements for Maintaining an Iowa Real Estate License

To begin with, as a licensed real estate professional in Iowa, you must fulfill a certain number of continuing education credits to sustain your license. It is mandated by Iowa law that every three years, 36 hours of continuing education must be completed. This education must be obtained through a school or provider approved by the state and must entail a minimum of 12 hours of mandatory education in specific topics, including Ethics and Law Updates, for instance.

The Iowa Real Estate Commission presents a catalog of approved providers and courses for the licensee to choose from, and it is the licensee’s duty to ensure the provider and the courses comply with the set mandatory requirements.

Renewal Process for an Iowa Real Estate License

The renewal process of an Iowa Real Estate License is relatively simple. License renewal takes place every three years, and a notice is dispatched approximately 60 days prior to the expiry of the license. To renew the license, the licensee must first meet the above-mentioned continuing education requirements and then complete the renewal application form while paying the renewal fee.

It is essential to bear in mind that the renewal fee is non-refundable, even if the renewal application is rejected. The fee is set at $125 for brokers and $60 for salespersons. Failing to renew before the license expiration date leads to a reinstatement process that necessitates retaking the licensing exam.

Consequences of Failing to Renew an Iowa Real Estate License

Failure to renew an Iowa Real Estate License before the license expiration date leads to its deactivation. Consequently, practicing real estate becomes illegal in the state of Iowa until the reinstatement process is completed, requiring the licensee to retake the licensing exam. The licensee has a year from the expiration date of the license to complete the reinstatement process, failing which their license is permanently revoked.

Moreover, practicing real estate with an expired license can result in disciplinary action by the Iowa Real Estate Commission, including fines, suspension, or revocation of your license, illustrating the grave consequences of non-renewal.

Benefits Of Obtaining An Iowa Real Estate License

iowa real estate license

The pivotal and obligatory step towards pursuing a career in the Iowa real estate domain is obtaining an Iowa Real Estate License, which grants the license holder the legal and formal authority to practice real estate in Iowa. The license’s benefits are not limited to mere legal practices but also encompass a myriad of advantageous elements that can facilitate and strengthen the license holder’s career trajectory in the industry. 

This section is intended to scrutinize these benefits, including the enhanced and amplified earning potential and career prospects, the ability to establish a professional reputation, lure and captivate more clients, and the capacity to fortify and defend clients’ interests against potential legal issues and matters.

Increased Earning Potential And Career Opportunities

One of the most significant merits and gains of becoming a realtor in Iowa is the augmented earning potential and expanded career opportunities it confers upon the license holder. This legal and official permit enables the holder to represent and act as an intermediary between real estate buyers and sellers, negotiate on their behalf, and secure lucrative and sizable commissions for their services. 

In Iowa, the median salary of a licensed real estate agent is approximately $52,000 annually, which can exponentially and markedly rise with practice, experience, and the establishment of a robust client base. Additionally, a license can unlock a plethora of lucrative career paths and opportunities, including the ability to work as a real estate broker, a property manager, or even as a real estate appraiser, among other possibilities.

Building Your Reputation And Attract More Clients

Another advantage and edge of obtaining an Iowa Real Estate License is the capacity to forge and build a formidable professional reputation, attracting and enticing more clients toward the license holder’s business. 

The possession of a license is a testament and manifestation of the license holder’s unflagging commitment to their profession and their mastery and command of the fundamental and technical knowledge and expertise required to navigate and maneuver through the complexities and intricacies of the real estate sector.

The license also acts as a validation of credibility and professionalism, which differentiates and distinguishes the license holder from novice or unlicensed real estate agents. With a robust and sound reputation and a string of triumphs and achievements, the license holder will magnetize and allure more clients, establishing and cultivating a broad and comprehensive network of referrals.

Better Serving Your Clients And Protect Them From Legal Issues

iowa real estate license

Apart from the potential for soaring earnings and augmenting career opportunities, obtaining an Iowa Real Estate License also allows the license holder to provide an enhanced and elevated service level to their clients, safeguarding and defending their interests and concerns with acuity and dexterity. 

As a licensed real estate agent, the holder will possess and hold a profound understanding and comprehension of the relevant laws, regulations, and protocols of the real estate landscape, which can assist and guide clients through the real estate process with confidence, skill, and professionalism. 

Moreover, the license provides a vital layer of protection and security for clients, ensuring and affirming that the license holder operates within the regulatory guidelines and framework of the industry. The license, therefore, safeguards clients from likely and potential legal problems, such as errors and omissions, assuring and conferring a sense of security and trust, which is crucial and pivotal for clients to make informed and intelligent decisions regarding their real estate transactions.


In conclusion, the procurement of an Iowa Real Estate License is a crucial and significant endeavor to pave the path for a career in real estate in Iowa. Its pertinence lies not only in the prerequisite to exercise in the state, but also in the opportunities it affords, including the potential for elevated remuneration, career advancements, and the amplification of one’s capacity to render efficacious service and safeguard clients. By apprehending the requirements and abiding by the necessary procedures to secure an Iowa Real Estate License, you shall set yourself on the trajectory of a gratifying and enriching occupation in real estate. Hence, delay not and embark on your odyssey today!