What are the Costs of being a real estate agent in Virginia?

A pre-license course approved by the Virginia Real Estate Board is required for all new agents.  After passing the course, one must take the license exam which is run by the company hired by the VA Real Estate Board, which is PSI (psiexams.com).

The costs for being real estate agent in Virginia are relatively low when considering the potential for a substantial income. Persons who get their Virginia real estate license are called salespersons, although we tend to say the word agents to refer to salespersons. Salespersons must work under the authority of a broker or brokerage company. Salespersons are usually paid by a split of the commissions received by the broker.

Getting your Virginia real estate license:

  • Real estate course and course exam:  $189-$500 + “upgrades”
      Some schools charge for additional so-called upgrades.  These are usually not necessary to help you complete the course.   $189 with VaRealtySchool.com.  Our course is approved by DPOR, online and includes personal help to pass the course exam and state PSI exam.  The instructor is a licensed Virginia broker, lawyer and owner of the school.
  • Official Virginia real estate license exam (PSI exam): $60 plus $50 fingerprinting &  background check.
  • License application to Virginia Real Estate Board: $170 Apply with a broker or brokerage company. You may interview brokers in your area to determine the best choice for your particular situation.  One must initially work under a broker as a salesperson.  A broker license requires at least 3 years actively licensed as a salesperson.  

After you are licensed with a broker:

In order to use a lockbox for listings and get a key card to enter homes for sale or rent, you must become a REALTOR ®. Membership requires joining a local association, state association and the National Association of Realtors.  The MLS for entering and searching listings has separate fees. Anyone who is not a member can only handle referrals with a referral company. With the application fees, the ballpark figure would be 1,000-$2,500 for the first year and less after that.

  • REALTOR ® association fees:  (National, state and local)
    Fees vary based on local association joined.  National and state do not vary.
    1st year one-time application fees:   $180-350+
    Annual fees:  $500-850   (local, state and national)
  •  MLS Fees:
    1st year one-time application fees:  $36-60/mo.  
    Lockbox and key card fees: About $100, some have small monthly fee
  • License renewal fee: $65 every two years for salesperson
  • Company / Brokerage fees: These can vary widely since all brokers or brokerages have their own policies. You need to check with each company since this can add a substantial annual cost based on the company or brokerage.  Broker company fees may include:
    • Franchise fees 3-8% off the top before your agent split.  This is typical in all major franchise companies.
    • Professional Liability Insurance – annual, fees vary based on policy
    • Mentor fee – This is where beginners may be teamed up with another agent on a transaction.  The other agent gets a portion of the new agent commission.
    • Training fees – monthly
    • Technology fees – monthly
    • Desk fees – monthly
    • Office support fees for facilities, computers, coffee fund, etc.
    • Printing and copying fees – Fees vary

If you have any questions on Virginia real estate agent costs, you may contact our instructor Paul Hartke.  He is also the co-owner of National Realty, a broker in Northern Virginia.  National Realty charges only liability insurance for new agents.  They have no franchise fees or other monthly fees of any kind.  You may also reach Paul at his real estate office in Reston, VA at 703-860-4600 ext 411.

Get your Virginia License:  varealtyschool.com/license