The designation of realtor is one that is only conferred on real estate agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Realtors must comply with the terms of the Realtor Code of Ethics. The NAR, which is one of the largest professional organizations in the world, gives realtors an opportunity to network with fellow real estate professionals, while developing their skill set. However, first you must earn your real estate agent license by meeting a number of education and experience requirements. Only then will you be eligible to join the NAR.
Complete your bachelor's degree in real estate or pursue a pre-law program. Check the South Carolina Real Estate Commission website for a list of accredited schools and training programs (see Resources).
Gain at least three years of practical experience within the past five years of applying for your broker license. Complete 150 hours of accredited real estate courses. Research the college or training program you will attend to determine whether it is recognized by the REC and thus offers accredited classes.
Pass the state real estate exam in one of five locations: Beaufort, Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, and Myrtle Beach. Pay the exam fee of $63 (as of 2010) to PSI, the company that administers the exam (see Resources). The exam application form, as well as the license application, can be downloaded from the "Forms/Applications" section of the REC website. When applying for your license, you will be required to pay a $25 processing fee, and an additional $125 or $250 fee depending on the type of license you are seeking. All of these payments may be made from the REC website.
Enroll in continuing education classes at an approved real estate school or training program. You must complete at least eight hours of CE courses before your license is activated. A list of available CE courses is available on the REC website, which are offered through various providers. You will have to contact the providers directly for information on how to sign up for a course.
Join a professional organization such as the South Carolina Association of Realtors, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), and the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO). Doing so will allow you to network with other industry professionals, while opening up future job opportunities.
Become a member of the NAR by joining the South Carolina Realtors. Your membership will automatically extend to the national organization, and you will earn the designation of realtor.
South Carolina has reciprocity with four states (North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and West Virginia), meaning that licensed agents seeking in-state licensure may forgo the general section of the licensure exam, although they must still meet other requirements.
You will have to complete eight continuing education hours every two years in order to renew your license each year. At least two hours must revolve around present-day federal and state laws for brokers and salespeople.
You must apply for your license within one year of taking the exam.
2016 Salary Information for Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents
Real estate brokers and sales agents earned a median annual salary of $46,810 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, real estate brokers and sales agents earned a 25th percentile salary of $30,850, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $76,200, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 444,100 people were employed in the U.S. as real estate brokers and sales agents.