How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Arkansas
Arkansas Real Estate License Basic Requirements
To get a real estate salesperson license in Arkansas, you need to meet certain requirements including:
- You should be 18 years or older.
- You must have a high school diploma or a GED to apply for a real estate license in Arkansas.
- You must have completed 60 classroom hours of real estate education successfully.
- You must pass the real estate licensure exam.
- Submit your application form and fees to the Arkansas Real Estate Commission.
- Pass a criminal background and fingerprints check.
Arkansas Real Estate License Costs
- Real Estate Agent Education in Arkansas: $350 to $500(approx.)
- Application Fee: $75
- Fingerprint Fee: $50
- Background Check Fee: $14.25
- You can join an online real estate school such as Real Estate Express to prepare for real estate agent education.
- Online resources or exam preparation: The CE Shop, and Kaplan Real Estate Education.
- State Resources:
STEP 1: Arkansas Pre-licensing Education
You must complete pre-licensing education before you get a real estate agent license in Arkansas. This consists of 60 hours of licensing education that has been approved by the Arkansas Real Estate Commission. The cost of 60 hours of licensing education on The CE Shop can cost between $350 to $500.
Depending on your schedule, you can opt to join a physical real estate college or you can join an online school for real estate education. An important thing to remember is to collect your certificate and transcripts after the successful completion of the pre-licensing education.
But, before you sit for the Arkansas pre-licensing exam, you must meet any one of the following pre-licensing education requirements.
You must have successfully completed 60 classroom hours of real estate education. Of the 60 hours, 45 hours must comprise the Broker Pre-License Education course developed by the commission from an accredited school, post-secondary school or organization that has been licensed by the Arkansas Real Estate Commission.
Should have been an active real estate broker or salesperson for not less than 24 months within the previous 48 months preceding the application date.
STEP 2: Submit a Completed Application
Where to Apply
Once you complete the 60 hours of real estate pre-licensing education, you should send your completed application form to take the real estate examination and your completed fingerprint card along with the application fee of $50, $14.25 as the fee for FBI criminal background check and $22 for Arkansas criminal background check. The total amount of $86.25 must be paid to the Arkansas Real Estate Commission (AREC) via cashier’s check or money order.
After completing your pre-licensing education, you must schedule your Arkansas salesperson licensing exam via PearsonVUE and pass the exam. At the time of reservation, you must pay a non-transferable and non-refundable examination fee of $75. The fee can be paid by debit or credit card, electronic check or voucher. You must make a reservation to take the exam at least 24 hours in advance and walk-in exams are not available. You will not be able to pay the exam fee at the test center.
The exam is divided into 2 parts – general and state law. If you pass one part of the exam and fail the other, you must retake only the failed portion within 6 months. After 6 months, if you have not passed in both parts, you need to retake the entire exam.
The AREC requires a complete federal and state criminal background check. The criminal background check by the FBI requires you to provide your fingerprints on a fingerprint card that is provided by the AREC. This requirement is applicable to both residents, as well as non-resident applicants. The Arkansas State Police also conducts a criminal background check and both the reports are submitted to the AREC.
If you have an existing criminal record, you can still apply for a real estate license. However, it is a good idea to include your criminal history along with the various documents linked with your conviction. After you submit your fingerprints, your application will be sent to the FBI and the Division of Criminal Justice Information Systems. After the investigations by both departments, you will be considered on the basis of your individual merits.
Arkansas has reciprocity with 16 states including Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Iowa, Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Georgia, Washington, South Dakota, Ohio, New York, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
STEP 3: Pass the State License Test
The Real Estate Salesperson Exam in Arkansas consists of 2 parts. The 1st part is the national part and the 2nd is the state-specific part. The national part comprises 80 questions, of which if you get at least 56 correct, you will be allowed to take the 2nd part of the exam. The state-specific part consists of 30 questions of which you must at least get 21 right. The duration of the entire exam is 4 hours.
The Real Estate Salesperson Exam is administered by PearsonVUE and is computer based. If you pass the 1st part of the exam successfully, you can pass the 2nd part within the next 6 months.
Topics Covered in the Test
The general exams comprise topics including:
- Definition, characteristics, ownership, transfer and restrictions of real property
- Property valuation
- Property conditions and disclosures
- Contracts and relationships with buyers and sellers
- Federal laws governing real estate activities
- Risk management
- Financing transactions and settlement
- Leases, rents and property management
- Brokerage operations
- Ethical and legal business practices
The state-related part of the exam includes the following topics:
- Powers and duties of the real estate commission
- Statutory requirements governing the activities of licensees
- Licensing requirements
- Agency relationships and disclosures
- Other statutory requirements
What to Bring to the Exam Venue?
You must carry the following to the exam:
- 2 IDs to identify your signature, of which one ID should be issued by the government and have a photo.
- The Certificate of Examination Eligibility from Arkansas Real Estate Commission.
- A simple calculator.
Use the practice tests and guides that your school gives you to prepare for the test. For example, once you attend the 60-hour program offered by any real estate school that is approved by the state and pass the final exams of the particular school and receive your certificates, then you can appear for the real estate licensing exam with PearsonVUE. You will be able to see the results as soon as you complete the exam.
STEP 4: Apply and Obtain Your License
After passing your real estate exam, you must apply for your license within 90 days of passing the exam by submitting the following to the AREC:
- All the pages from your successful score report
- A license fee of $50
- A recovery fund fee of $25
- A post-license requirement notice that has been signed
If you do not submit all the pages of your score report along with the prescribed fee within 90 days, then your exam will be null and void and you’ll have to fill out a new application and retake the real estate examination as a new applicant.
You can submit your application for the real estate license exam to the AREC before the completion of your 60 hours pre-licensing course. However, you must submit the proof that you have completed the education before you are eligible to take the exam. Only after the AREC receives your application form, as well as the education certificate, it will issue the Certificate of Eligibility for Examination. The AREC must also receive the criminal background reports before it issues the real estate salesperson license.
STEP 5: Finding a Brokerage
The first step for you as a new real estate agent is to choose a good real estate broker to work with. The process of finding the right broker to work with can be a challenge and rather intimidating. Finding the right brokerage to work with involves a lot of homework and research. You must not be afraid to speak with several real estate brokers in your area and see who fits your business goals and learning style the best. Here are some important factors to consider before joining a real estate company.
Most of the real estate agents are paid based on commission, which means that if you don’t sell, you will not get paid. However, when you sell, the broker will split the proceeds of the sale with you. While other factors such as company reputation, culture, market share, resources and support are important, you should pick a brokerage that offers a good commission split. While the commission split depends on several factors such as the market, business, broker’s resources, support, etc., just make sure that you understand the split and how you can get a larger percentage. So, shop around and check out the compensation plans being offered by various brokers in Arkansas before you join one.
Reputation of the Company
Before choosing a real estate broker, determine what type of company you want to work for, what support you want from your boss and co-workers and the culture of the company. Do you want to work for a large franchise brokerage, a family-run brokerage or mom-and-pop brokerage? To understand the culture of the company, it’s a good idea to speak with the other agents and employees.
Independent Brokerage or Franchise?
An important decision to make is whether you want to work for an independent broker or a franchise. Large brokerage houses have offices in several places, while independent brokerages usually have a small establishment serving a small community for several generations. Franchises control their agents more than independent firms, but also offer more training and support, while independent firms usually have smaller teams and offer greater flexibility.
Company Reputation and Niche
It is important to understand what niche the brokerage is in and also its reputation in the market.
Some brokerage companies offer free training, mentoring, marketing collateral and are very hands on, while other brokerages may have monthly meetings, few training sessions and where you’re largely on your own. So, it is important to find a company with a culture that you prefer.
How to Find a Real Estate Brokerage in Arkansas?
Real Estate Ads
You can check the classifieds and ads in the local newspaper and make a list of real estate brokerage firms in your area that you would like to work with.
The internet is a great place to look for real estate brokerages and you can do an online search for brokerage firms in your area. Read employee and customer reviews on platforms such as Glassdoor and Yelp before you finally choose an agency to work for.
Local Realtors Association
You can visit your board of realtors or your local chamber of commerce to find out which are the best brokerage firms in Arkansas and the ones that are represented the best. Check out the radio, television and billboard advertising and also the “For Sale” boards in yards of homes.
Networking is a great way to find the right real estate brokerage firm to work with. You could check various social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and attend webinars. Or, you could attend events organized by the Arkansas Real Estate Association in your area and use the opportunity to network.
Types of Brokerages in Arkansas
National franchise brokerages are large companies that allow brokers to use their name, branding and business model and charge the broker a percentage on every deal the broker closes. While the franchise may work independently, they may follow the rules and regulations set by the parent company. Examples of national franchises are Keller Williams, Re/Max, Century 21, etc.
Boutique Brokerage Firms
Boutique brokerage firms are small firms usually owned and managed by a single broker. If you’re looking for personal customer service, a deeper understanding of the local real estate market, contact with multiple brokers and greater flexibility, then working with a boutique brokerage firm is the best option. Some boutique brokerage firms in Arkansas are Woodyard Realty, Danali Real Estate Inc., Standard Listing Realtors, etc.
Online or Virtual Brokerage
Today, real estate agents are also going digital and brick and mortar brokerage firms are moving to a virtual, cloud-based or online model. Online brokerage models offer scalability, flexibility and significant cost savings. Virtual brokerages are influencing the real estate landscape and allow real estate agents to work without a physical office while offering all that their agents require, in terms of training, marketing and admin support and passing on the savings in the form of higher commission splits and even revenue sharing. Examples of virtual brokerages in Arkansas are Virtual Realty Group, Exp Realty, Fathom Realty, etc.
STEP 6: Post-learning Requirements
Step 6: Post-learning Requirements
In Wyoming, as a real estate salesperson, you need to renew your license by the 31st December, every 3 years. You must complete 45 hours of continuing education, which includes:
- Mandatory Courses: 24 hours
- Contracting, Trust Accounts and
Closing: 8 hours
- Marketplace Issues: 8 hours
- Practical Applications: 8 hours
- Contracting, Trust Accounts and
- Electives: 21 hours
You must complete the course within one year from your date of enrolment. You must take all the mandatory courses in a classroom setting, while the elective courses can be taken online.
The CE Shop, an incredible platform for all the training material you will ever need with regards to your real estate licensing, offers continuing education courses packages for $159 to $379 and individual courses ranging between $29 to $79. That’s all you need, now go out there and reach for the stars!