How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Arizona
Arizona Real Estate License Requirements
- Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
- You have to complete 90 hours of real estate agent pre-licensing education at an approved Arizona real estate school.
- You have to attend a six-hour contract writing class and obtain the certificate.
- You must get a Fingerprint Clearance Card issued by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS). This may take as long as eight to ten weeks.
- You must provide proof of legal residency in the United States to the Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE).
- If required, they must complete a Disclosure Document Checklist (LI-400). These are documents disclosing a criminal conviction, adverse civil judgment or denial of or discipline against a professional or occupational license.
AZ Real Estate License Costs
- Real Estate Agent Education in Arizona: $200
to $800 (approx.)
- Exam Fee: $75
- License Fee: $60
- Online Real Estate Schools: Save time and money by using a certified online real estate school like The CE Shop or Real Estate Express.
STEP 1: AZ Pre-licensing Education
There are a few steps you need to take before you sign up for the exam. First, of course, is getting the documents in order. Critically, get started on the fingerprint clearance card well before time because that might take weeks. The second step is to enroll in the 90-hour real estate education.
Now, this can be done in class or online. Please note that you cannot do it in bulk. You can do only 10 hours in a 24-hour period. There are a total of 18 classes in the course and you are limited to two classes per day. You must finish all the coursework within six months of your date of enrollment. For this part of the course, you will probably spend about $400-600 for these classes, depending on the package you choose and whether you do it in person or online.
You also need to enroll and pass a six-hour contract writing course. This will cost you about $40-$50. You are required to do this in classroom and you get a certificate at the end of it which you will need to furnish later. Some schools which offer pre-licensing education do not include this course. Be sure to verify that before signing up.
You will have to pass a test given by the school to get the pre-licensing education certificate. There will be a fee for that exam too. But, before you do that, the school is also likely to give you some practice tests for the state exam which are free.
STEP 2: Submit a Completed Application
Once you finish the pre-licensing education, you take a test at the school and get a certificate that states that you have met the requirements to take the state’s test. With that certificate in hand, make an appointment for the Arizona state real estate agent exam.
To register for the exam, call 888-405-5776 or log on to www.pearsonvue.com. The application and exam fee together will cost you $75, according to the ADRE. You can pay this fee via Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover card, checks or money order.
You will need a certificate stating that you finished the 90 hours of pre-licensing education and the 6-hour contract writing course.
STEP 3: Pass the AZ License Exam
Usually, your school does a mock test with you to make sure you are ready. The state exam has two sections – national and Arizona-specific sections.
This is a multiple-choice exam and has 80 national questions and 100 state-specific questions, starting with the national section. You will also need to answer an additional 15 questions but those will not be scored. You will have to answer these questions in two hours.
The national section of the test has questions on the following topics:
- Property Ownership
- Land Use Controls and Regulations
- Valuation and Market Analysis
- General Principles of Agency
- Property Condition and Disclosures
- Transfer of Title
- The practice of Real Estate
- Real Estate Calculations
- Commercial, Industrial, and Income Properties
Part two has questions specific to the state of Arizona and it covers the following topics:
- Duties and Powers of Real Estate Commission
- Licensing Requirements
- Advertising and Marketing
- Broker/Affiliate Relationships
- Handling of Documents and Record-Keeping
- Handling of Trust/Escrow Funds
- Other Improper Activities and Consumer Protection
- Agency and Disclosure Issues
- Special Areas of Practice (Timeshare, Property Management, Commercial/Industrial Real Estate)
To pass, you will have to score 75% or more to pass the exam. Earlier, both sections used to be scored separately. But as on February 15, 2019, the state is longer scoring both sections separately. If you fail one section of the exam, you will have to take the test again. Don’t worry. This is no suspense thriller so you will get the score as soon as you finish the exam.
What to Bring to the Venue
This is a very important step in the exam. Before you get to the examination venue, make sure you have all the original documents that you must present before you are allowed to go in and take the test. You will need to have:
- An original certificate from your school verifying that you took the 90 hours of pre-licensing education and passed their test.
- The original certificate from the six-hour contract writing course.
- Two forms of the current personal signature identification. One of them must be a government-issued document with a photo.
- An original salesperson application along with the fee.
If you don’t have these documents you might be prohibited from taking the exam. So double check everything before leaving for the venue.
Proctoring the Final Exam
The state of Arizona requires your final exam to be proctored, which means it needs to be taken in the presence of a neutral invigilator. This must be taken at an ADRE-approved school, college or university. You can choose a center close to you from the list on the ADRE website. This exam is three hours long, multiple choice and is to be taken on a computer. But it is a closed-book exam and has a few requirements of its own.
- To access the final exam, the proctor must enter a code into an online form.
- You need to print out a proctor form and take it with you to the exam venue.
- You must take this on a computer provided by the proctor.
- You need to show a photo ID to the proctor.
- Your mobile phone must be turned off and inaccessible.
- You can take a scratch paper with you.
- A simple calculator is allowed. You cannot use the one on your smartphone. You cannot take a calculator with the alphabet on it.
This will be done in person at an approved facility. Don’t worry. Most coaching centers you through this process at the end of the course. If you fail this test three times, you will have to take the course all over again.
STEP 4: Apply and Obtain Your License
Once you pass the multiple-choice proctored written exam, you will be eligible to apply for a real estate agent license. You must apply for it within one year of the date of passing the state exam. Otherwise, you will have to take the exam again and present the score report. Please note that even if you submit your application by 5 pm on the last business day of that one-year time period, you will have to take the test again. If you wait till the last day, you are already in trouble.
Now, you will need to keep all the documents handy when you are applying. Here’s a checklist.
- The original salesperson application and fee.
- The original Arizona exam score report.
- The pre-licensing education certificate with the authorized signature.
- The original six-hour contract writing course certificate
- The proof of your legal residence in the state of Arizona.
- The disciplinary actions disclosure form (LI-214/244), which is a background check document.
- The Arizona fingerprint clearance card issued by the Department of Public Safety or DPS.
- The disclosure document checklist form (LI-400), if it is applicable to you.
- The original Salesperson/Associate Broker Change Form LI-202 which states the name of the broker with whom you have hired on.
The last one is a document which you will get after signing on with a broker. You are required to do that and get your designated broker to access the ADRE’s online system and approve the hire before you apply for the license.
If you are seeking out-of-state license recognition, you must also have:
- An original certificate of your license history in states where you held the license for at least a year.
- Proof of your Arizona residency and Arizona residency attestation.
If all goes well, you will need to pay a total of $60 to get the license. The fee is $50 out of which $10 goes to the real estate recovery fund. The license is issued for two years.
STEP 5: Finding a Brokerage
Now, till the time you find a firm and get your broker to verify the hire, your status on the ADRE website will show as ‘inactive’. In Arizona, you are required by law to practice under a broker. Once you are hired, make sure the broker visits the website and verifies you as a real estate agent.
Once you are in a position to pick a broker to work for, there are a few things to keep in mind. You need to start looking for an agency a little before you get to this point.
Do Your Research
So do your research ahead of time. Part of the process is to talk to as many brokers as you can. Understand the structure of their agency, how they operate and what is the commission they offer to agents.
Ask about the Agent Fee
Some brokerages require their agents to pay money to the firms. This is usually a flat fee but it varies depending on the brokerage. So make sure every broker you talk to quotes this amount. That will help you understand how you can set yourself up without spending too much before you start making some.
Find a Mentor
In the first year of employment, you will have a lot of questions and perhaps insecurities too. You need a mentor who can walk you through this period. Some brokerages actually have programs with mentorship. Be sure to look into that. These programs are designed to help new agents understand the nitty gritties of negotiating deals.
Manage Your Paperwork
Every real estate agent needs to monitor their paperwork themselves. You will need to keep track of mileage, utility bills of the house, etc. This requires you to be an employee who makes sure that the commissions do not get taxed. You will need to be on top of software that help you monitor payments, debts and profits.
What Kind of Brokerage to Work For?
First, you want to figure out whether you want to work for a big company or an independent one.
- National franchises present a lot of opportunities and present a network right away. This is very important in this business. You get to meet a lot of people, find mentors and understand the business on a large scale. They also make you credible and present you with better tools to establish yourself.
- Independent/boutique firms, despite the lack of resources and brand name, give you more freedom to operate the way you want to. These boutique brokerages that have a small operational space but rake up a lot of sales when successful.
- The third type is online brokerages. AS the name suggests, they do not have a physical space. And in post COVID-19 times, that might be a bonus. These firms are on top of their technology game and give you the opportunity to do deals online, which is the way to go in the 21st century. When everything is being done online, why not property sales?
You are lucky if you found a firm that can fulfill most if not all of the above requirements. The choice of a real estate broker should not just be about getting your license activated but about finding a place you will ultimately like.
There are a few questions you want to ask yourself before you narrow down your options.
- What kind of reputation do they have nationally or locally?
- Are they well established in the area?
- Do they specialize in a specific area of real estate? Does this match your interest?
- Do they promote their offices and agents?
- How many agents work out of their office?
- Will you be working as an independent contractor or an employee?
- What is the commission split and do you get any benefits?
These are just questions to get you started.
STEP 6: AZ Post-learning Requirements
While there are no post-licensing requirements in Arizona, the license needs to be renewed every two years. For that, you will have to complete 24 hours of continuing education of which 18 hours are mandatory. TheCEShop offers several packages and individual courses. It will cost you anywhere from $30 to $110 depending on the electives you choose. You can do this nine hours at a time. In fact, you cannot do more than that in a day.