How to Get Your Real Estate License in Honolulu, Hawaii

The median single-family home price on Oahu hovers around $850,000, which means when a real estate agent makes a sale, they have a hefty commission – often 3% or $25,000.

By REAL. Updated Jul 29, 2022. | Real Estate | 6 min. read

In addition to a viable income, being a real estate agent has many other perks:

But how to get a real estate license in Hawaii to enjoy all these great perks? These six simple steps will lead you along the path of obtaining an Oahu real estate license.

(1) Prequalify

The general requirements of getting an Oahu real estate license include the following:

(2) Complete 60 hours of approved pre-licensing education

Select a Hawaii registered real estate pre-license school, which includes both in person and online options. There are many real estate schools to choose on Oahu and other Hawaii islands. Many topics about Hawaii real estate are covered:

(3) Pass the course’s final exam.

Once you have completed all the online lessons or attended all the in-person classes, a final exam will be offered. This exam typically consists of 130 questions and the minimum passing score is 70 percent. School Completion Certificates are valid for two years from the date of issuance, meaning you must move onto step four within two years.

(4) Pass the Hawaii licensing exam.

The step is another exam. The Hawaii licensing exam is administered by an outside agency, PSI, and you can register for the exam online, or by phone, mail or fax. The Hawaii real estate salesperson and broker examination costs $61. The exam can be canceled and rescheduled without losing your fee two days before the examination date. On Oahu, the examination site is at the Ala Moana Pacific Center; other Hawaii real estate license exam sites are on neighboring islands as well.

On the day of your Hawaii real estate exam, bring the following:

Once you have placed all electronic devices, bulky clothing, and other personal items in secure storage, you will be asked to sit in front of a computer to take the test.

There are 80 questions about general real estate information across the United States, which you have 150 minutes to answer, and 50 Hawaii-specific questions with 90 minutes to answer. The questions cover the following topics:

You must receive a 70% to become a Hawaii real estate salesperson, and the score will be given to you immediately following the completion of the exam. If you do not pass, you will have an opportunity to see areas that need more studying before taking the exam again.

(5) Submit a completed licensing application.

Congratulations! You studied hard to pass your real estate course and exams, and now you are ready to apply for a Hawaii real estate license. At the test center, you will receive an application form and the instructions for applying, along with the score report and any other documentation needed. You must file the application and pay the fees within two years of passing the Hawaii licensing examination.

(6) Choose a sponsoring broker.

To be licensed and active to practice real estate in Hawaii paradise, you must be employed or associated with an active Hawaii real estate brokerage firm or broker. Choosing the right broker to work with is an important decision in your new Hawaii real estate career. Here are some questions to consider when selecting a sponsoring broker:

Hawaii is a great place to be a real estate agent. While the process of getting a Hawaii real estate license does take effort and commitment, it is obtainable with disciplined studying and support – and can lead to a rewarding career.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do realtors in Hawaii make?

When a home closes in Hawaii, both the sellers and buyers’ real estate agent makes a commission. Commission rates for real estate agents in Hawaii typically range from 4.5 to 6%, with the commission often split between the buyers and sellers’ agents and the real estate agents’ brokerage firms. And the sellers are usually responsible for paying the commission to the realtors.

Let’s say a licensed agent sells a home for $700,000 in Hawaii.

If a real estate agent sold one $700,000 home per month with the above commissions and payouts to the broker, that agent would be making $100,800 annually – a fair salary, even in Hawaii.

According to salary.com, a real estate sales agent in Hawaii averages $43,000 to $68,000 per year. Realize that some realtors make far more than average while others decide to get their license and then hardly practice as a real estate agent, making far less than the average agent salary.

What does a real estate agent typically do?

A real estate agent acts as an advocate for their clients – whether they are selling their home, buying a dream home, renting, or doing other property transactions.

For real estate agents helping home sellers, their job includes pricing the home, preparing it to sell, marketing the home, hosting prospective buyers, collecting and presenting offers, reviewing the Purchase Contract, assisting with the appraisal and inspection, ensuring home cleaning, and assisting with all phases of closing with escrow.

For real estate agents who help buyers find a home, they will go on the home search with them, finding properties that match their budgets and needs, and helping to secure acceptance of an offer by preparing and presenting the Purchase Contract. A buyer’s agent must be good at negotiating. A buyer’s agent will also assist the buyer in the closing and escrow process, including the inspection and any seller’s concessions.

Is being a real estate agent a safe profession? Is the real estate business growing?

In Hawaii, with its limited supply of housing on the Hawaiian Islands, real estate is always in demand. Unsurprisingly, licensed and professional real estate agents are also in demand in Hawaii. Realize that it is fairly easy to become a realtor in Hawaii, so there are many people who have passed the real estate exam and become an agent. Some are very active agents, while others are not. Overall, being a real estate agent in Hawaii is a competitive career, with possibilities of a somewhat stable income with the right networking and marketing efforts.

To penetrate the Hawaii real estate market and become successful, an agent must be hard-working, self-motivated, honest and enjoy helping people. If this sounds like you, real estate could be a great career choice and you might want to begin the steps above to get your license soon.

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