How to Become a Real Estate Broker in Virginia?

(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our company, JCHQ Publishing will get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, but at no additional cost to you.

Having a real estate broker license is a great way for sales agents to grow their business. This allows you to build a team of real estate sales associates, where your brokerage will be providing training, marketing, administrative support, office space, and a subscription to industry software. In return, you’ll get a share of the commission from the transactions that your team members handle.

To become a real estate broker in Virginia, applicant must:

  1. Have at least 36 months of active real estate work experience;
  2. Complete 180 hours of pre-license courses from an approved education provider;
  3. Pass the Virginia Real Estate Broker Exam;
  4. Submit a Broker Application and a $210 fee;
  5. Complete CE and license renewal requirement

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to become a real estate broker in Virginia, income updates, and FAQs on this profession.

(By the way, if you are just starting the real estate career, but haven’t obtained the salesperson license yet, you should read over this career starter guide first. I also want to give a brief disclaimer. This post is not intended as legal advice or state/federal real estate training. It is for general information only. Please always follow your State laws and best practices.)

7 Steps to Become a Real Estate Broker in Virginia

Real estate broker meeting salesperson

Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement

Once again, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security Number, Citizen of the United States or lawfully admitted alien.

Step 2: Fulfill the work experience requirement

You must be “actively engaged” as a real estate agent for at least 36 of the months prior to applying. It has to be full-time basis (average 40 hours/ week)

Step 3: Complete the pre-license education

You are required to complete the 180 hours of pre-licensing classes from an approved provider. Alternatively, you may take Board-approved equivalent courses offered by an accredited university, college, community college, or other school or education institution. But each course needs to be at least 45 class/clock hours or 3 semester hours.

In addition to the above, you also have to complete the following:

Option #1) Three Broker-Specific Courses (Real Estate Appraisal; Real Estate Finance; Real Estate Law)

Option #2) Two Broker Specific Courses and one of the following Broker-Related Courses:

  • Real Estate Abstracting
  • Real Estate Contract Law
  • Real Estate Economics
  • Real Estate Feasibility Analysis
  • Real Estate Investments
  • Real Estate Math
  • Real Estate Property Management
  • Real Estate Property Law
  • CCIM (all parts)
  • CRB (all parts)
  • GRI (all parts)
  • SIR/SIOR (all parts)
  • Business Law
  • Commercial Mortgage Lending
  • Land Planning and Use
  • Urban Development

Step 4: Pass the Virginia Real Estate Broker Examination

Preparing for Virginia Real Estate Broker Exam

This examination is to test your knowledge and understanding of real estate law, principle and practices, and mathematics. It is administered by PSI. The exam fee is $60.

The Virginia Real Estate Broker Exam has 125 questions and consist of the national and state portion. The required passing score is at least 98/130 and you’ll be given 160 minutes to write it.

PrepAgent is an exam prep that I highly recommend. Many students were able to pass the real estate exam after doing their practice questions. Over 97% of users provided a 5 out of 5 stars rating to them on Facebook. Click here to check out their package options. (**)

Step 5: Go through a background check

The Virginia Real Estate Board has the responsibility to protect the public interest, so they will conduct a background check on all real estate license applicants. Your next step is to to get your electronically fingerprinted at one of PSI Virginia sites. It can be done during regular testing hours.

There will be a $52.00 fee and can be made payable by money order, cashier’s check, VISA or MasterCard. The processing time typically is 4 to 6 weeks.

Step 6: Submit application to the Virginia Real Estate Board

Similar to the registration process of being a real estate agent, you’ll need to apply to the regulatory board. Just that this time you’ll complete the Broker License Application. You may find the forms here.

You also need to provide other necessary documents, such as the courses completion documents, experience reference form and the application fee of $210.

Keep in mind if you are a Sole Proprietor, be sure to mark it correctly on the application. If you are applying to be a Principal Broker, you also need to attach a completed Firm Application.

Not sure what type of real estate broker you want to become? No problem, here’s an article that covers the different types of real estate broker.

Step 7: Maintain the real estate broker license

You need to renew your real estate license once every two years. You may submit the renewal application, fee and required documents through the Board Online Services.

The Board will accept your application within 60 days prior to your license expiry date.

Furthermore, you are required to complete 24 hours of CE courses to renew your real estate broker license. Of which, the curriculum must include:

  • Broker Management (6 hours);
  • Broker Supervision (2 hours);
  • Ethics & Standards of Conduct (3 hours);
  • Fair Housing (2 hours);
  • Legal Updates and Emerging Trends (1 hour);
  • Real Estate Agency (1 hour);
  • Real Estate Contracts (1 hour).

Let’s take a closer look at the Virginia Real Estate Broker Exam!

Real estate career studying

Virginia Real Estate Broker Exam Summary

Examination Portion# of QuestionsTime AllowedRequired Passing Score
Broker- National75 (80 points)105 minutes60
Broker- State50 (50 points)55 minutes38

National Portion Exam Content Outline

Exam ContentWeighting (Broker)
Property ownership10%
Land use controls and regulations5%
Valuation and market analysis7%
General principles of agency11%
Property disclosures7%
Leasing and Property Management5%
Transfer of Title7%
Practice of real estate14%
Real estate calculations8%

State Portion Exam Content Outline

Exam Content# of Items (Broker)
Escrow Accounts7
Disclosure Requirements7
Agency Definitions and Relationships12
Virginia Fair Housing Law and Regulations6
Specific Acts Pertaining to Real Estate Practice5

Broker Exam Sample Questions

To give you a better idea about the real estate exam, below are some sample questions for your reference.

The following questions are offered as examples of the types of questions you will be asked during the course of the National real estate salesperson and broker examinations. They are intended primarily to familiarize you with the style and format of questions you can expect to find in the examinations. The examples do NOT represent the full range of content or difficulty levels found in the actual examinations.


A. Which of the following interests in property is held by a person who is granted a lifetime use of a property that will be transferred to a third party upon the death of the lifetime user?

1. A life estate.

2. A remainder estate.

3. An estate for years.

4. A reversionary estate

B. Which of the following statements BEST identifies the meaning of the term, “rescission of a contract”?

1. A ratification of a contract by all parties.

2. A return of all parties to their condition before the contract was executed.

3. A transfer or assignment of a particular responsibility from one of the parties to another.

4. A review of the contract by the legal counsel of either party that may result in a cancellation without penalty or further obligation.

C. Which of the following clauses in a mortgage allows the lender to demand loan repayment if a borrower sells the property?

1. Defeasance

2. Prepayment

3. Acceleration

4. Alienation

Quote from Virginia Real Estate Candidate Information Bulletin

I have a real estate license in another state. Can I become licensed in Virginia by applying through reciprocity?

Yes, you can apply for a real estate broker license through reciprocity. The following is needed:

  • Pass the State portion of the examination,
  • Provide proof that you are actively engaged as a salesperson or broker for 36 out of 48 months prior to submission of the broker license application
  • Submit original transcripts that you have taken the 180 classroom hours of broker pre-licensing courses. (They need to be significant equivalent to Virginia’s real estate education requirements)
  • submit letters of certification from other jurisdictions where licensed

How long does it take to become a real estate broker in Virginia?

It takes at least 36 months to get a real estate broker license in Virginia. That is the required amount of real estate sales experience. But it also depends on the time it takes you to complete the pre-license courses, exam, background check, application.

You may speed up in getting the VA broker license by taking online courses. This way, you’ll have the flexibility to finish the pre-licensing education at a quicker pace.

How much do real estate brokers make in Virginia?

Real estate broker in Virginia earn an average annual income of $81,610 typically range between $39,260 to $98,030. Some top earning brokers are making over $151,260/year.(*)

Your earning depends on many factors. For example, the amount of time per week you are dedicated to run the business and the number of agents in your sales team. Having the skills and vision to delegate tasks to others rather than DIY is another major determining factor.

Here’s another post you could be interested. “Do Brokers Make More than Real Estate Agents? (Facts Revealed)”

(*) Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 20, 2020)

Whom should I contact for more questions about the VA Broker License?

You may contact the Virginia Board Office:

  • Phone at 804-367-8526 (Licensing Section) or 804-367-2406 (Education Section),
  • Fax at 1-866-826-8863,
  • E-mail at

Alternatively, if there are additional information that you would like to mail to the Board, you may send them to:

  • Real Estate Board, Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
  • 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 400, Richmond, VA 23233

If you are reading up to this point, I bet you must be interested in becoming a real estate broker. Go through practice questions indeed can help you better prepare for the exam. PrepAgent is the exam prep that I highly recommend. You may click here to check out their package options. (**)

(**) Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. Our company, JCHQ Publishing will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking on the link. Please understand that we include them based on our experience or the research on these companies or products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through the links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information only, and not intend to provide any advice. They are subjected to change any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. For full and exact details, please contact the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.


  • Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation- Real Estate Board (source)
    • Pre-license Education (source)
    • Continuing Education (source)
    • Post-License Education (source)
    • What if you have a criminal conviction (source)
  • PSI- Virginia Real Estate Candidate Information Bulletin (source)
  • World Population Review- Population of Cities in Virginia (source)
  • Real Trends: 2018 Real Trends 500 by Volume (source)
  • Virginia REALTORS ®
    • Housing Market Data (source)
    • April 2021 Home Sales Report (source)
  • (source)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
    • Occupational Employment and Wages- Real Estate Brokers (source)
    • Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Virginia (source)

Jacob Coleman

Jacob is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors.) In order to build a career you love, Jacob believes not only you need a thorough understanding about the profession, but you also have to find out what type of jobs could match your personality, lifestyle and expectation.

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