Saturday, January 2, 2010

Licensing Process

In Wisconsin, a real estate salesperson or real estate broker license is required to practice real estate. This includes selling houses to buyers, listing properties for sale, regularly selling your own real estate and selling commercial real estate, land and businesses. Another activity that requires a real estate license is taking care of a property owner’s rental units. This is property management and can include not only residential real estate but also offices and shopping centers.
The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services issues Wisconsin Real Estate Salesperson and Broker licenses. Education is required prior to taking a Wisconsin state administered exam that must be passed before an application for a real estate license is submitted to the Department. The real estate salesperson licensing class is taken before the real estate brokers licensing class. It is not necessary to become a real estate broker to work in the real estate industry but a real estate salesperson cannot work independently and must be employed by a licensed real estate broker. Many students choose to obtain a real estate brokers license right away. When doing this, the best way is to take both classes, then both tests and in that way you will not have to obtain a real estate saleperson license but rather just your real estate brokers license.
All real estate licenses are issued or renewed for the remainder of a two-year licensing period that ends on December 14th of even-numbered years. Approval of an application will include a review of criminal convictions or actions against any other license held by the applicant and confirmation of the completion of the appropriate education and exam requirements. If you have questions as to how prior criminal convictions or actions are factored into the licensing process, contact the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services at (608) 266-2112.
If you are an out-of-state resident who has had an active real estate salesperson's license in the last 2 years, you most likely will need to attend only 13 hours of the pre-license real estate salesperson licensing class. If you are a resident of Illinois or Indiana who has had an active real estate salesperson license in the last 2 years, you are not required to obtain any pre-license real estate education. However, please be aware that you still need to take and pass the entire state exam of 140 questions. Many students have attended the entire prelicense real estate class, even though they didn't need the hours, to prepare themselves for the exam and learn the forms that are required in Wisconsin. You do not need to provide proof of your state's license to take the class, however, you will need to provide a copy with your application for a license.

If you wish to obtain a Wisconsin real estate broker's license and you have an active real estate broker's license in another state within the last 2 years, you will be required to attend only 3 hours of the Broker pre-license real estate class. If you do not hold a Wisconsin Salesperson license, you will need to attend 13 hours of the Salesperson real estate class. If you live in Illinois or Indiana, you will not have to attend class but you need to have been licensed in real estate for 2 years prior to taking the exam. Please be aware that in both situations, you will need to take and pass the entire 140 question WI real estate salesperson licensing exam and the 100 question WI real estate broker exam.
If you have questions, please email me at or call and leave a message at 920-428-0146.