To become a real estate broker in North Carolina, you must complete 75 hours of prelicensing courses before passing the state exam. Then, you’ll have to complete 90 hours of post-licensing in the first year and four hours of continuing education after that. Online NC real estate schools offer a flexible way to meet these educational demands. To help you pick the school that best suits your learning needs, we’ve identified the top six options in the Tar Heel State.
The North Carolina Real Estate School
Real Estate Express
The CE Shop
Sea Coast Real Estate Academy
Current and aspiring real estate agents seeking affordable and comprehensive live courses
Future real estate brokers wanting exam prep tools with a pass guarantee
Current and future real estate brokers who want live online classes with extensive resources
Real estate brokers looking for interactive, self-paced education
Aspiring real estate brokers wanting a variety of scheduling options for live classes
Future real estate brokers who want a combined prelicensing and exam prep course
Things you need to know before enrolling for your North Carolina real estate license education: Along with education requirements, there are additional steps to completing your real estate licensure. Check out our step-by-step guide to Becoming a Real Estate Agent in North Carolina to help you get started.
How We Evaluated the Top Real Estate Schools in North Carolina
Becoming a real estate agent in North Carolina is a relatively standard process, but it requires extensive education into the real estate process and legalities. In order to earn and maintain a real estate license, you’ll want to stay up to date with your education by attending an accredited real estate school that fits your schedule, budget, and learning style.
After examining many real estate schools in North Carolina (NC), The North Carolina Real Estate School showed itself to be the best overall. It is one of the few NC real estate course providers that offers a comprehensive education for current and aspiring real estate brokers at an affordable price. Plus, you can choose between live instruction from an expert or a self-paced course.
Here are the additional criteria we used to evaluate each online school:
30% of Overall Score
Pricing is based on the cost and availability of pre- and post-licensing, continuing education courses, and exam prep for each online institution.
25% of Overall Score
Consist of various formatting and learning styles for each course to meet the specific needs of the agent as well as ease of course accessibility.
20% of Overall Score
Based on customer feedback for each program, with particular attention given to reviews of the product and popularity of the provider, to certify the course meets user satisfaction.
15% of Overall Score
Expertise in the field and firsthand experience with the providers allow us to evaluate the standout features, value for the money, and ease of use for each school.
10% of Overall Score
We looked into the convenience and attainability of customer service support for technical support and instructor assistance.
The North Carolina Real Estate School: Most Affordable Live Courses
As a North Carolina-specific provider, The North Carolina Real Estate School is a great choice for aspiring and current real estate agents who want to learn from an experienced local real estate instructor. There are two real estate instructors who offer courses on nights and weekends to help you best fit the course into your schedule.
As the most affordable real estate course on our list, this school is an ideal choice for those who want to pay an extremely fair price and still receive a comprehensive education.
There are a limited number of reviews for The North Carolina Real Estate School. However, many previous students love the school and instructors and stated that they easily passed the exam on the first try. Other reviews noted that the classes could have been more dynamic or engaging. If you’re looking for engaging classes, try Kaplan for its live online course.
- Many schedule options for live online classes
- Three prelicensing course packages with additional resources, like intensive training, a question bank, and coaching
- Range of professional development topics
- Free professional development courses
- Customer review rating of 3.5 out of 5
- Accredited by NCREC (North Carolina Real Estate Commission)
Real Estate Express: Best Exam Prep Course
Real Estate Express is a widely known real estate school that offers Exam Prep Master, a comprehensive exam prep course. It is a great tool for those who want to schedule their real estate exam with complete confidence. For only $99, Exam Prep Master includes multiple customizable tools to familiarize you with the exam format as well as North Carolina-specific exam questions.
There are hundreds of online reviews from students who say that the courses from Real Estate Express are easy to use and enabled them to pass the license exam. Still, some reviews state that customer service and instructors are difficult to contact, unlike reviews from the North Carolina Real Estate School. With the Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee, you can be sure that this is a worthy investment to start your real estate career.
- Digital flashcards
- Ten progress exams
- Customer review rating of 4.3 out of 5
- Accredited by NCREC, ARELLO (Association of Real Estate License Law Officials), and IDECC (International Distance Education Certification Center)
Kaplan: Best Live Online Courses
Kaplan is one of the most well-known online course providers in the industry, offering a large variety of tools and resources in addition to high-quality education. With any of the four prelicensing packages, you’ll receive a video course, real estate textbook, exam prep course and review, and an interactive study group. In addition, a standout feature that Kaplan offers are two prelicensing packages that contain live online education specifically tailored for those who seek a live learning environment from the comfort of their home.
The Career Launcher packages include boot camp training, marketing plan development, income plan development, a six-month subscription to a customer relationship manager (CRM), and eight weeks of personal coaching.
Although Kaplan is one of the most expensive course providers, the live and self-paced courses come with so many additional tools and resources that students rave about. A few unhappy reviewers noted that the application has many technical problems that interrupted their learning. The CE Shop also offers online courses with minimal complaints regarding functionality.
- Prelicensing packages are offered live online or self-paced online
- All prelicensing packages include exam prep
- Upper-level prelicensing packages include interactive study groups, boot camp trainings, marketing plan development, and personal coaching
- Exam prep offered live online, on-demand, or self-paced online
- Great customer review rating of 4.3 out of 5
- Accredited by NCREC, ARELLO, and IDECC
The CE Shop: Best Self-paced Online Course
The CE Shop is a real estate course provider that specializes in online, self-paced education. Although there is no livestream video option, users can rely on OnDemand video and engaging, interactive activities to retain information while moving through the courses at their own speed. There are four North Carolina prelicensing packages and three exam prep packages, plus a standard continuing education package to renew your real estate license.
The Value and Premium packages include business building courses on top of a pass guarantee, so you can set yourself up for success even beyond the real estate exam. The features and course content from the CE Shop make it a great choice for any aspiring North Carolina real estate broker.
In addition, the exam prep courses from the CE Shop include unlimited practice exams and study lessons divided by topic. You can purchase a national exam prep course or get North Carolina-specific exam prep content as well. The CE Shop has thousands of five-star reviews online from previous students, although some note that it is difficult to get an extension on the course after 12 months.
If you’re looking for a more guided approach to finish your classes on time, check out Sea Coast Real Estate Academy.
- All prelicensing courses include business e-books, digital flashcards, real estate glossary, and instructor-led webinars
- Free initial exam prep assessment
- Exam prep courses include state-specific content
- National pass rate of 91%
- Excellent customer review rating of 4.1 out of 5
- Accredited by NCREC and ARELLO
Sea Coast Real Estate Academy: Highest Customer Reviews
Sea Coast Real Estate Academy is the only school to receive a 5 out of 5 customer review rating. With five physical locations around North Carolina, 12 different real estate instructors, and a wide range of available course schedules, this is a great choice for those who want to take pre- or post-licensing courses from an instructor. There is also a self-paced online option that includes interactive exercises, videos, quizzes, and a practice exam.
Students of Sea Coast Real Estate Academy love the instruction and felt well-prepared for the exam and the start of their career. For those seeking solely online classes for post-licensing, the North Carolina Real Estate School could be a better option.
- 12 real estate instructors
- Video library for common real estate questions
- Locations in Fayetteville, Jacksonville, Hampstead, Wilmington, and Southport
- Perfect customer review rating of 5 out of 5
- Accredited by NCREC
Mbition: Best Prelicensing & Exam Prep Package Options
If passing the real estate exam is a concern, Mbition is an ideal choice because all prelicensing courses include exam prep tools. There are three package options with increasing levels of support, like flashcards, study tips, and a textbook. Moreover, the Gold and Platinum packages offer a Pass the First Time Guarantee.
Although Mbition does not offer live courses or webinars for you to hear lessons from an instructor, you can contact a real estate expert via email with any questions.
Customer reviewers love the ability to work on their course on any device, although others wished the pass guarantee applied to all course packages. Mbition is an ideal choice for an all-in-one, self-paced course to prepare you for the North Carolina real estate exam. But, if you’re looking for live courses, Kaplan or North Carolina Real Estate School could be a better choice to fit your needs.
- Includes MathMaster course for real estate math
- Additional real estate textbooks available for purchase
- Customer review rating of 4.2 out of 5
- Accredited by NCREC, ARELLO, and IDECC