This article is part of a larger series on How to Become a Real Estate Agent.
Earning an Idaho real estate license is fairly simple when you know the process. The Gem State requires 90 hours of Idaho Real Estate Commission (IREC)-approved prelicensing education, a background check, errors and omission (E&O) insurance, a passing exam, and an application to acquire your real estate license. Grab your side of tots with fry sauce and read along while we guide you through the process of how to become a real estate agent in Idaho.
1. Meet the Legal Requirements for Your Idaho Real Estate License
Idaho’s state requirements are similar to other states and you must meet them to qualify for licensure as a real estate agent or broker. You must be at least 18 years old, possess a high school diploma or GED, and be a United States citizen or lawful resident.
If you have certain felonies and/or misdemeanors listed on your criminal record or have had a professional license revoked, you cannot qualify for an Idaho real estate license. However, after a five-year period, you can apply to the commission for an exemption review using the Special Consideration Policy. Check the frequently asked questions (FAQs) section on the IREC website to see if you can move forward with licensure.
Did you know? If you plan on working in states besides Idaho, you need to know the real estate license reciprocity and portability laws. Idaho has no reciprocity agreements with any other states. However, Idaho waives the national portion of the licensing exam―with completion of the Request for Waiver Form―and prelicensing education if you have become licensed in another state. You are still required to complete a fingerprint background check.
Also, Idaho is a physical state in terms of portability. A physical location state allows agents and brokers to conduct business in that state but doesn’t allow them to enter the state for the purpose of conducting real estate business. This means that an agent or broker from another state must conduct all out-of-state business remotely and may not enter the state for showings, closings, or any other business reason. To learn more about real estate license portability in Idaho, check out our real estate license reciprocity and portability guide.
2. Complete Required Prelicensing Courses
If you are qualified legally to get your Idaho real estate license, you can move forward and complete your 90 hours of IREC-approved prelicensing courses. Idaho offers classes in-person and online through online real estate schools in Idaho with prices ranging from $600 to $649.
Idaho breaks its prelicensing courses up into two modules. Module one is the study of fundamental real estate concepts and module two is the study of the knowledge and applied skills involved in listing, selling, buying, and closing property. The modules cover the following topics:
- Real property characteristics, legal descriptions, and property use
- Forms of ownership, transfer, and recording title
- Property value and appraisal
- Real estate contracts and agency
- Real estate practice
- Property disclosures and environment issues
- Financing and settlement
- Real estate math calculations
- Duties and powers of the IREC
- Licensing requirements
- License law and rules of the IREC
- Brokerage representation (agency law)
- Calculations and closing costs
- Idaho principles and practices
Did you know? If you are an actively licensed appraiser, accountant, or attorney looking to get your real estate license in Idaho, you may be able to waive certain prelicensing course requirements. You must submit a written request for waiver with documentation of your license to the Education & Licensing Director before submitting your application.
Although there are many accredited online real estate schools to choose from, Idaho Real Estate School is a great choice for high-quality education. It offers live Zoom classes so you can have an interactive learning experience from the comfort of your home.
3. Take the Idaho Real Estate Exam
Once you’ve completed your prelicensing education, it’s time to tackle the Idaho real estate license exam. The exam is divided into national and state sections, and you are required to pass both within one year of finishing your prelicensing requirements. If you fail one portion of the exam, you’ll only be required to retake that portion. Fortunately, there is no limit on how many times you can retake the exam, but you have to wait 24 hours before rescheduling.
Idaho Real Estate Exam Details
120 questions 80 nationally-focused questions 50 state-specific questions
Items to Bring to Exam
2 valid forms of identification with signatures.
70% to pass the Idaho Real Estate Salesperson Exam (at least 56/80 on the national portion, and 28/40 on the State portion)
Unfortunately, unlike other states, Idaho does not post its average passing rate.
Schedule your Exam
Exams are scheduled directly through Pearson VUE, a global testing company that handles the real estate testing for the state of Idaho. Upon registration, you will be provided a copy of the Idaho Candidate Handbook to help you prepare for the exam day. You can pay the $80 exam fee directly through the Pearson VUE website via credit card, debit card, or voucher.
Although Idaho does not post their exam’s passing rates, you still want to be prepared to ace your exam on the first try. For the low price of $39 for six months of access, Real Estate Exam Scholar can be your go-to resource for preparation. Also, it offers a money-back guarantee and more than 1,200 exam questions to test your knowledge and help you practice your skills.
4. Get Fingerprints & Background Check
All candidates are required to submit fingerprints to the IREC for a background check. You have to have fingerprint clearance before submitting your application, so it’s important to schedule your fingerprinting as soon as possible after completing your prelicensing education.
IREC recommends that applicants have their fingerprints taken directly at the Pearson VUE testing center using the appointment link they provide. The results are provided to the IREC within seven to 21 days and will be valid for six months, so you must submit your application within that time frame. You can check the status of your fingerprints by registering with the IREC website.
For additional information, refer to the Fingerprints Instructions provided by the Idaho Real Estate Commission.
5. Pick a Company to Work for
To hold an active Idaho real estate license, you must find a sponsoring brokerage with which to affiliate your license. To make your choice a little bit easier, check out our in-depth guide on choosing the right real estate company to work for. Although there are many successful brokerages in the Gem State, below you’ll find the top five brokerages reported for 2021:
Lysi Bishop Real Estate LLC
Keller Williams Realty
Murdock Manwaring Co, A Real Estate Group
Keller Williams Realty
Keller Williams Realty
Embrace Realty Group
Keller Williams Realty
TJB: Real Estate Counselors
Keller Williams Realty
*Data from Real Trends 2021
Idaho Cities with Highest Median Sales Price 2021
The price a home sells for correlates directly to the amount of commission you will receive. To get a sense of which cities are bringing in the bucks for Idaho real estate agents, check out this sales data from Towncharts.com below:
6. Purchase E&O Insurance
To have an active license, all real estate agents in Idaho are required to have E&O insurance. This is used to protect real estate businesses from mistakes made during professional service. Some brokerages provide their agents with E&O insurance. Otherwise, you’ll have to purchase it for yourself. IREC works closely with Rice Insurance Services, LLC to provide affordable options, or you can choose your own provider and submit the Independent Coverage Certification Form.
7. Apply for your Idaho License
Now that you’ve completed all the requirements, it’s time to apply for your Idaho real estate license. You must fill in and submit the Salesperson Application form with the following documents:
- $160 license fee (paid via check or using a credit card authorization form)
- Copy of high school diploma or equivalency certificate, college or university diploma, or official high school or college transcript
- Explanation of license disciplinary actions (if applicable)
- Copy of document showing legal presence in the US (one of the following):
- Driver’s license or state-issued identification card
- Native American tribal document
- Valid US passport or visa
The application takes about 10 days to process and will appear in the License Lookup on the IREC website once it has been approved. Your license will be inactive when first issued but, after your designated broker adds you to their brokerage, your license will become active.
8. Start Your Real Estate Career in Idaho
Now that you’ve learned how to become a real estate agent in Idaho, you’re ready to start your real estate journey. For more information, here are some of our articles with content that is perfect for new real estate agents:
- 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
- Learn how to generate real estate buyer leads
- Get nine strategies to help with real estate seller lead generation
- Jumpstart your career with the top 25 New Real Estate Agent Tips From the Pros
- Get the tools you need to build a strong real estate business out of the gate using the best real estate software and tools