The process of how to become a real estate agent in Hawaii is straightforward. First, complete the 60 hours of required prelicensing education from a Hawaii Real Estate Branch (HREB) accredited school. Then pass the Hawaii real estate licensing exam, find a sponsoring brokerage, and submit your application. Follow the steps below to get your Hawaii real estate license so you can say “Aloha!” to a successful career in real estate.
1. Meet the Legal Requirements for Your Hawaii Real Estate License
Hawaii has a few prerequisites to get your real estate license and become an agent in the Aloha State. You must be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED, and be a lawfully admitted resident of the U.S. In addition, you must have a reputation for or a record of competency, honesty, truthfulness, financial integrity, and fair dealing.
This means that if you have a criminal background, you may have difficulty getting a real estate license in Hawaii. If this is the case, before enrolling in prelicensing courses, complete the Request for Preliminary Decision Application and submit supplemental documentation outlining the offense(s). The HREB will review your information to determine whether you qualify for licensing.
Did you know?
Hawaii doesn’t have reciprocity agreements with any other state, but you may qualify for an Equivalency to the Prelicense Education Requirement and/or the Equivalency to the Uniform Examination if you’ve had a real estate license in another state for a year or more. If you qualify, you won’t need to complete prelicensing education, but will still be required to submit an application and pass the state portion of the real estate exam in order to obtain your real estate license in Hawaii.
Also, Hawaii is a physical state in terms of portability. Agents and brokers from other states can do business in Hawaii, but aren’t allowed to enter Hawaii for the purpose of conducting real estate business. They must do so remotely and may not enter the state for showings, closings, or any other reason. To learn more about real estate license portability in Hawaii, check out our guide on real estate license reciprocity and portability.
2. Complete Required Prelicensing Courses
Once you’ve determined you meet the legal requirements to become a real estate agent in Hawaii, it’s time to enroll in real estate prelicensing courses. This is an important investment, as classes prepare you not only to take the state licensing exam but also for success in your chosen career. The HREB requires you to complete 60 hours of education in person or at an accredited online real estate school.
The cost of prelicensing courses for aspiring Hawaii real estate agents ranges from $345 to $849, and they encompass the following topics:
- Property ownership
- Land use controls and regulations
- Valuation and market analysis
- General principles of agency
- Property disclosures
- Leasing and property management
- Transfer of title
- Practice of real estate
- Real estate calculations
- Ascertaining and disclosing material facts
- Types of ownership
- Property management
- Land utilization
- Title and conveyances
- Escrow process and closing statements
- Professional practices and conduct
Did you know?
If you have a law degree or a bachelor’s degree in real estate or business from an accredited U.S. school, you can bypass the prelicensing education requirements and skip right to the application and exam portion of the Hawaii real estate licensing process.
If you’re looking to get your licensing education started, we recommend Colibri Real Estate’s online prelicensing courses. Choose from four package options and tailor your education to your needs. All tiers include 60 hours of education, instructor support, and two real estate e-books. Higher-tier packages also have more interactive online elements, such as live instructor question-and-answer sessions and exam preparation.
3. Take the Hawaii Real Estate Exam
The Hawaii real estate exam is split into two sections, the general/uniform and state sections, and you must pass both to obtain your real estate license in Hawaii. The average pass rates for the general/uniform portion is 56% and the state portion is 46%, so while the exam is difficult, it is not impossible.
Your test will be administered on the computer and your score will be displayed on the screen at the end of the examination period. If you fail, a diagnostic report identifying your strengths and weaknesses will be emailed to you so you can use it as a study tool. If you pass one section of the exam but fail the other, you’ll only be required to retake the failed section.
You must pass both sections within two years of your first examination date. To retake one or both sections of the exam, you can reschedule 24 hours after your first attempt.
Hawaii Real Estate Exam Details
80 general/uniform-focused questions
50 state-specific questions
Items to Bring to the Exam
2 valid forms of identification (ID) with signatures:
70% to pass the Hawaii Real Estate Salesperson Exam, with at least 56/80 on the general/uniform portion and 35/50 on the state portion
56% on the general/uniform portion
46% on the state portion
Schedule Your Exam
The Hawaii real estate exam is provided by PSI, a national provider for state licensing exams. In order to schedule your exam, you’ll first create an account on the PSI website to gain access to the scheduling portal. Once you do, you will receive a copy of the Hawaii Candidate Information Bulletin, which has additional testing information.
The fee to take the exam is $61 and can be paid directly on the website using a credit or debit card. Test results are only valid for two years from the passing examination date, so it’s important to apply for your Hawaii real estate license as soon as possible after passing.
The Hawaii real estate exam can be challenging, so the right preparation can make all the difference. Whether you need one week of study time or one year, PrepAgent is your go-to resource to guarantee you pass successfully. Choose from study tools like videos, live webinars, flashcards, and more to enhance your study experience and get your successful real estate career off to a fast start.
For extra guidance on passing your real estate exam, download our Exam Prep e-book. We include a pre-assessment to test your knowledge as well as helpful information about what’s included in the exam, the length and structure of the exam, study tips, and sample questions from PrepAgent.
4. Pick a Sponsoring Brokerage to Work For
To hold an active real estate license in Hawaii, you must find a sponsoring brokerage with which to affiliate your license. As with your education, this is a vital factor in getting your career in real estate off to the best possible start. Our guide on how to choose a real estate company to work for covers topics like different types of brokerages you can target and how to compare commission structures and fees.
Although there are many successful brokerages, below you’ll find some of the top brokerages in the Aloha State:
tongg + partners
Keller Williams Honolulu
Taniguchi & Associates
Keller Williams Honolulu
Evans & Associates
CENTURY 21 Island Homes
Stott Real Estate, Inc.
Stott Real Estate, Inc.
Data from Real Trends
5. Apply for Your Hawaii Real Estate License
After you pass your exam, you will receive the Hawaii real estate license application and instructions for submission. You are required to submit your official school transcripts online, which you can do by creating an eHawaii account. The rest of your application and any associated fees can be submitted in person or via mail to the HREB. The application fee is $382 for odd-numbered years and $282 for even-numbered years.
Your application will be processed within three to five business days and once approved, you’ll receive your Hawaii real estate license. For more information, visit the HREB Real Estate Salesperson Flowchart or General Information for Real Estate License Fact Sheet.
6. Start Your Real Estate Career
Now that you’ve learned how to become a real estate agent in Hawaii, you’re ready to start your professional real estate journey. For more information, here are some of our articles with content that is perfect for new real estate agents:
- Jump-start your career with the top 25 New Real Estate Agent Tips From the Pros.
- Our article with 14 Real Estate Agent Tips covers the basics that every agent should know when they are starting out, including how to write a real estate business plan.
- Get the tools you need to build a strong real estate business out of the gate using the best real estate software and tools.
- Learn how to generate real estate buyer leads.
- Get nine strategies to help with real estate seller lead generation.