Iowa Salesperson Pre-Licensing IA Real Estate License FAQs

Every Question You Need Answered to Get Your Real Estate License in Iowa

We're here to help answer any questions you have about getting started in the real estate industry. Getting your real estate license in Iowa is a big step, so to help we've collected and answered some frequently asked questions below.

Buy your Iowa Pre-Licensing »

How much does it cost to take the Iowa real estate exam?

The Iowa real estate exam will cost students $95. There are other fees associated with licensing, but you can expect the test alone to cost this much.

How do I get an Iowa real estate license?

Meet the Prerequisites:

  • Be at least 18 years of age 
  • Be a legal U.S. resident (Note: An applicant is not ineligible because of citizenship, sex, race, religion, marital status, or national origin, although the application form may require citizenship information.)
  • In the past 12 months, you must not have had an application rejected for licensure in Iowa or any other state, or have had your real estate license revoked in Iowa or any other state within two years prior to applying
  • You must not have been convicted of a felony concerning a breach of fiduciary duty in the past five years
  • You must not have been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude in the past year, e.g. assault, robbery, fraud, etc

Complete the Steps: 

  • Complete and pass 96 hours of state-required Pre-Licensing education (Note: Only 60 hours of Real Estate Principles and Practices is offered by The CE Shop. The remaining 36 hours are offered in-person only.)
  • Pass the state-issued exam with a score of 70% or better
  • Submit fingerprints for the purpose of a background check 
  • Provide proof of errors and omissions (E&O) insurance
  • Find a sponsoring broker
  • Submit application to the state

What score do I need to pass the Iowa real estate exam?

In order to pass the Iowa real estate exam, you'll need to answer at least 84 out of 120 questions correctly (70%). Passing the exam is much less stressful for anyone who has completed an Exam Prep course.

How long does it take to get an Iowa real estate license online?

While the Iowa real estate can’t be completed entirely online, The CE Shop offers packages for 60 hours of Real Estate Principles and Practices, which can be completed online. Students are allowed to complete up to 8 hours of coursework per day, meaning it could be completed in as few as 8 days.

Is the Iowa real estate exam hard?

While the majority of students pass their real estate exam, a passing score isn't guaranteed. In some states, up to 25% of students have to retake the test in order to pass. Upon follow up after the test, most do not consider the exam "easy." The best way to alleviate your nerves and pass the test is to work hard and prepare as much as possible

How much does it cost to get an Iowa real estate license online?

In addition to the cost of education and your E&O insurance premium, those looking to acquire a real estate license will have to pay: 

  • $125 license origination fee
  • $51 fingerprint/background check fee
  • $95 exam fee (for state exam)

Iowa Professional Bureau fees list

What is the difference between an Iowa Salesperson License & a Broker?

A Salesperson is licensed to conduct business on behalf of a Broker and cannot operate independently of a brokerage. A licensed Salesperson can become a Broker if they complete the required education and examination requirements.

Can I become an Iowa real estate agent if I have felonies or misdemeanors?

In most cases those convicted of a felony must wait at least five years before applying whereas those convicted of misdemeanors must have to wait one year.

Where do I take the Iowa real estate exam?

The Iowa real estate exam must be taken at an approved testing facility. Approved testing facilities are located in the following cities: Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, and Des Moines.

What topics are covered on the Iowa real estate exam?

Some of the topics you can expect to see on the Iowa real estate exam include:

  • Property Ownership
  • Land Use Controls and Regulations
  • Valuation and Market Analysis
  • Financing
  • General Principles of Agency
  • Property Condition and Disclosures
  • Contracts
  • Transfer of Titles

How old do you have to be to get a real estate license in Iowa?

Applicants must be 18 years of age.

Is residency in Iowa required to receive a license in the state?

No, applicants do not have to be a resident of Iowa to receive an Iowa license. 

Can you take the Iowa real estate exam online?

You cannot take the Iowa real estate exam online. All students must travel to a testing location where they will be monitored for the duration of the test.

What are the Continuing Education requirements for a real estate agent in Iowa?

Both Iowa Salespersons and Brokers are required to complete 36 hours of Continuing Education each three-year licensing cycle. (The CE Shop offers 28 hours, however only 24 hours can be completed online.)

How many questions are on the Iowa real estate exam?

There are 80 National questions and 40 state-specific questions on the Iowa real estate examination.

When will I receive my Iowa real estate exam results?

Most students receive their results shortly after taking the exam, ranging from the same day to within a week.

How long does the Iowa real estate exam take?

Students will have a total of 180 minutes (3 hours) to complete all 120 questions.

What states does Iowa have license reciprocity agreements with?

The state of Iowa possesses reciprocity licensing agreements with Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, and North Dakota.

Can I get my Iowa real estate license online?

60 hours of coursework can be completed online, however of the 96 hours of state-required Pre-Licensing education, 36 must be completed at a classroom in-person.

What is the average salary of an Iowa real estate agent?

According to, the average annual salary of a real estate agent in Iowa is $88,624.

Intuitive Design Customized for You

When it comes to learning, we have you covered. Our streamlined design makes it easy to navigate and complete your courses on time. You shouldn’t have to struggle when it comes to getting your real estate education.

Take Our Course Tour »
Screenshot of a The CE Shop course in LEAP

Read More About Getting Started

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Agent

Download the Free Ebook Now »