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

  • Flexibility of work time
  • Variety of clients and tasks
  • Helping people
  • Being your own boss
  • Solving problems
  • Learning about markets, people, neighborhoods, construction, and more

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:

  • Be 18 years old.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, or an alien authorized to work in the United States.
  • Have a social security number.
  • Have a reputation of “competency, honesty, truthfulness, financial integrity and fair dealing,” which will be assessed during the license application. Before beginning the next five steps, you can get a non-binding decision from the Hawaii Real Estate Commission if you think you might have questionable background issues that could prevent you from licensure.

(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:

  • Licensing laws
  • Ethics
  • Laws
  • Encumbrances, liens, and easements
  • Tenancy and ownership
  • Condominiums, cooperatives, planned unit developments, and timeshares
  • Property development and Hawaii land use controls
  • Hawaii standard forms
  • Financing
  • Appraisal
  • Closing
  • Commercial real estate management
  • Landlord-Tenant Code and residential property management
  • Environmental issues
  • Mathematics

(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:

  • Two forms of identification (driver’s license, passport, etc.)
  • Printed or original, unexpired Hawaii School Completion Certificate
  • If applicable, an original, unexpired Equivalency to Uniform Portion of Examination Certificate

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:

  • Property ownership
  • Land use control and regulations
  • Valuation and market analysis
  • Financing
  • Agency principles
  • Property disclosures
  • Contracts
  • Leasing and property management
  • Title and conveyances
  • Contracts
  • Escrow and closing statements
  • Transfer of title
  • Real estate practice
  • Real estate calculations

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:

  • What is their reputation, both on Oahu and nationally?
  • What technology do they use?
  • What types of agents are they looking for?
  • How do they support agents with education and training?
  • Do they provide marketing materials and potential leads?
  • Do they offer benefits?
  • What is their commission structure?
  • Is there room to grow?

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.

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