How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Kentucky
Kentucky Real Estate License Basic Requirements
There are a few basic prerequisites that you will need to have in order to be eligible for a Kentucky Real Estate license. The following are some of the factors you should keep in mind.
- You need to be at least 18 years of age (if you are about to turn 18, you can sit for the examination)
- You need to have a high school diploma or an equivalent degree
- There is a pre-licensing curriculum you will need to complete
- Submit your proofs for a complete FBI criminal background check
- Clear the Kentucky Real Estate Sales Associate test
- Get Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance
Kentucky Real Estate License Costs
- Cost of Acquiring Kentucky Real Estate license: $192 approximately is the fixed cost, while variable cost may differ depending on the state’s requirements.
Online Resources or Exam Preparation:
- Real Estate Prep Guide and The CE Shop.
- You can use online resources like the Kentucky Realtor Institute to prepare for your pre-licensing program and general real estate education.
STEP 1: Prep Education
Before you apply to become a real estate agent in Kentucky, you need to complete the pre-licensing education. You need to complete six academic credit hours of licensing education from an accredited college or institution, which the Kentucky Real Estate Commission has approved of.
There are various platforms and institutions you can enroll in to do this. You can opt for an online program that allows you to choose your hours based on your schedule. The CE Shop is a good option for this.
Alternatively, you can complete 96 hours of licensing education from an education provider that has the state of Kentucky’s approval. The course will include some of the crucial basics one will need to be familiar with to become a licensed real estate agent in Kentucky, such as “Interests and Estates”, “Forms of Ownership”, “Title and Title Transfer”, etc.
Once you have gone through the course material and have completed the stipulated amount of hours in pre-licensing education, you need to take a final exam. The minimum percentage required to pass the test and complete your pre-licensing education is 75%.
The final will be conducted by a proctor. If you are taking the test online, the online proctoring process may be different for different institutes. Once you have completed your pre-licensing requirements, you will need to collect your transcripts from the institute or university. Most online programs will provide you with an electronic certificate.
STEP 2: Background Check and Application
The next step is to get cleared in your FBI criminal background check. This sounds rather complex, but the state has made the process quite simple and it can be completed online in no time. To complete the KREC background check, you need to furnish a copy of your FBI background report.
However, to begin with, you will need to go to the law enforcement agency in your area and have your fingerprints taken. The next step is to generate your fingerprint card from the FBI website. Keep in mind that all FBI reports will expire within 90 days from issuance so you will want to complete all formalities within the 90 days period so you do not need to start the process again. You can find more details regarding the FBI report and how to acquire it here.
No rule says you cannot apply to be a real estate agent if you have a criminal history. However, it is important to be transparent about your record when you are applying. Attach all documents related to your conviction along with other relevant documents the application process asks for.
When you have acquired your background clearance, you can proceed to your application. Your completed application form needs to be attached along with your completed fingerprint card. The FBI criminal background check costs $32, and the cost of the state exam is $100.
STEP 3: Pass the State License Exam
The state test conducted by the Kentucky Real Estate Commission will have 130 questions and is divided into two parts. The two parts will comprise state as well as national requirements.
The time limit of the test is 240 minutes, of which 150 minutes have been allotted to answer 80 general questions while 90 minutes have been allotted to answer 50 Kentucky-specific questions. You will need at least 75% to pass the exam. You will be notified of your result immediately after the test. If you do not pass, the screen will reflect a diagnostic result that will indicate your strengths and weaknesses. If you pass one section but fail the other, you will only need to retake the section you have not cleared. However, you only have four months to clear both portions or you will have to take the complete test again.
At the site of the examination, you will be given an unofficial score report on paper. You can request for a duplicate score report later by sending an email to email@example.com or calling 800-733-9267.
- Property ownership
- Land use controls and regulations
- General principles of agency
- Valuation and market analysis
- Property disclosures
- Transfer of Title
- Leasing and property management
- Practice of real estate
- Real estate calculations
- Real estate commission
- Requirement for a license
- License law requirements for contracts
- Brokerage activities and requirements
- Disclosures and agency issues
- Property management
What to Bring to the Venue
The following are things you are required to bring to the venue when you report for the examination.
- One ID must be a valid government-issued identity, which has your photograph and signature (passport, driver’s license, etc.).
- A second ID that has your signature and preprinted legal name.
- The Certificate of Examination Eligibility from Kentucky Real Estate Commission.
- Silent, non-programmable calculators permitted.
Note: Some forms of photo identification that are not acceptable include student ID cards, employment ID cards or other types of temporary identifications.
After clearing the exam, the candidate has 60 days to apply for the license. If the application is not registered within that period, the entire examination is considered void.
STEP 4: Finding a Sponsor
Before you can officially be a licensed real estate agent in Kentucky, you need to find a managing broker who will sponsor your license. It is a requirement of the state that you have some experience under your belt before you can officially hold a real estate agent license in Kentucky. However, choosing is a brokerage is not that straightforward. The type of sponsor you find will dictate how soon you can get your license, so you should certainly measure your options and factors well.
This is the first consideration when you are looking at a brokerage, however, it is by no means the only consideration. The commission split can depend on a variety of factors, such as market, broker’s resources, the kind of business coming your way, etc. Be sure that you opt for a brokerage where you get the percentage split that is justified for the work that you put in.
It is important to consider the reputation of the company and the specific market it is operating in. You should consider the type of company you want to work with and the kind of work culture that would be a good fit for you. Based on the type of company you are looking for, and the reputation that precedes it, you can select a franchise or an independent brokerage.
Different companies also offer different types of support. Some companies may offer mentoring, free training and a customized, hands-on experience for new recruits. This is the ideal experience for most people but it is not the only kind of support one may require. However, you may also thrive with less supervision and in an environment where you are entrusted with responsibilities to make your own independent decisions. Choose a company based on the kind of support you require to thrive.
STEP 5: Register With The Kentucky RE Commission
Finally, once you have secured a spot with a brokerage of your choice and have found a managing broker who will sponsor your license, you can register with the Kentucky Real Estate Commission. The online portal for registration is here.
The Kentucky real estate license fee is $60. You can also obtain the E&O insurance coverage at this stage. An additional processing fee of $10 will be levied for your E&O insurance, which is mandatory in the state of Kentucky.
STEP 6: Post-learning Requirements
Once you have acquired your license, there is a one-time requirement of obtaining 48 credit hours. You must complete these 48 credit hours within two years from the first license date. The credit courses will cover 32 compulsory hours and 16 elective hours.
The course topics covered in the curriculum will include:
- Commission Compliance course
- Risk Management
- Fair Housing
- Technology and Data Security
In addition to this, you will also be required to complete 6 credit hours as part of your continuing education mandates. For each calendar year, you will need to cover 6 credit hours, of which at least 3 are required to be in law. Finally, you are also required to complete 6 hours of core courses every four years to keep your license valid and for your education to be relevant.
A post-license course at a reputable institute like The CE Shop will cost you, at the time of writing this, $345 for the entire course. Individual sections of the course start from as little as $15. So, what’re you waiting for. You’re all set to get started!