How to Get Your Real Estate License in Alaska
Do you dream of selling the most stunning cabins available in Anchorage? How about gorgeous homes with forest views in Fairbanks? If you’ve found your way here, you must be considering getting your real estate license in Alaska. In that case, I have some great news for you. There’s never been a better time to get into the real estate industry than right now. And if you’re in Alaska, you’ll have plenty of opportunities thanks to the increasing number of new residents looking to make a living in its growing cities.
Maybe you’ve been thinking about getting into real estate for a while, or maybe you’re just now considering it as a new career with a higher earning potential. I’ve certainly been there before. I wasn’t always the No. 1 real estate agent in New York City closing over $1 billion in real estate per year and starring on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York”.
You’re here because you want to know how to get your real estate license in Alaska. The general licensing process and most education requirements are fairly similar across the United States. But you will see some of the finer details change, depending on where you are. Let’s get started with the list of basic requirements you’ll need to meet to get your real estate salesperson license in AK.
- Meet the pre-qualifications.
- Complete your state-approved pre-license course.
- Pass your education course final exam.
- Pass the Alaska salesperson exam.
- Obtain errors and omissions insurance.
- Complete your Alaska license application.
- Find a sponsoring broker to activate your new license.
Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these requirements together, so you can start building your own career.
1. Make sure you meet the pre-qualifications.
Before you can start your license education, the Alaska Real Estate Commission requires you to meet three qualifications as your first step. The first is that you must be a citizen of the U.S. or a legally admitted immigrant. The state of Alaska also requires that you be at least 19 years of age. The final pre-qualification is that you hold your high school diploma or GED.
You’ll also need to submit to a background check when you complete your license application. If you have misdemeanor convictions or felony convictions on your record, you’ll need to get your fingerprints taken. They’ll then be forwarded to the Division of Criminal Justice Information Services for review. Having a conviction on your record doesn’t necessarily bar you from getting a new license number. Each applicant will be judged on their own merits. The Real Estate Commission will decide whether they believe the individual can operate safely as a salesperson or not.
2. Complete your required coursework.
Becoming a licensee is fairly easy in Alaska compared to most states. You’ll just need to complete 40 hours of coursework from an approved education provider, like a real estate school or community college. Even better, you can generally complete your licensing requirements, including all of your education, online. Your education course will cover a wide variety of topics that new agents must understand, including general real estate practices, license law and commission rules, federal and state real estate laws, real estate contracts, mortgages, appraisals, and more.
3. Pass your coursework final exam.
Once you’ve finished your 40 hours of license coursework, you’ll need to pass your course’s final exam before you can move on to the next step. In order to pass, you must earn a grade of 75% or higher on the coursework exam. Similar to the state license exam, this test must be completed without books or notes, but you will have access to scratch paper and a basic calculator. Most students take the exam online. And unlike in many states, you won’t have to take this exam in the presence of a proctor.
Once you’ve finished, you’ll receive your exam results immediately. If you pass, you’ll receive your certificate of completion through email right away. If you didn’t pass your first time, you’ll be able to retake the exam.
4. Pass the Alaska real estate exam.
Unlike your course exam, you’ll have to take the state’s licensing exam in person at a Pearson Vue testing center. In order to register for an exam, you’ll need to create a Pearson Vue account. Ensure that all of your personal information is correct and corresponds with your government-issued ID before proceeding. You can use their website to schedule your real estate exam at the professional center closest to you. Appointments must be made at least 24 hours in advance. You’ll need to bring two forms of identification, including one photo ID. You also must be able to cover the $100 exam fee.
The Alaska real estate salesperson exam is made up of 130 multiple-choice questions, which are divided into a national portion and a state portion. The national portion of the exam consists of 80 questions covering general real estate practices. The state portion of the exam consists of 50 questions that cover Alaska-specific real estate laws and commission policies. You’ll need a passing grade of 75% to pass the Alaska state exam.
You’ll receive your test results immediately after finishing the state exam. Your test will be marked as a “pass” or “fail”. This will also include a breakdown of your performance in each testing category, so you can better prepare for your next attempt if you didn’t pass the first time.
Roughly 25% of aspiring real estate professionals in Alaska have to retake the exam. Retaking the exam also requires that you cover the $100 exam fee for each try. It’s a good idea to make sure you have a thorough understanding of the math portions of your study materials, as these questions tend to be the ones that aspiring salespeople struggle with the most. For additional information on the state exam, please see the Pearson Vue candidate handbook.
5. Obtain errors and omissions insurance.
Before you start practicing as a real estate agent, it’s a good idea to go ahead and obtain errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. This is also known as professional liability insurance. This insurance is meant to protect you from lawsuits against yourself or your business while practicing real estate. Lawsuits may occur due to perceived negligence, violations of fair dealing, or for any number of other reasons, which can be extremely costly to battle on your own. It is important to note that this insurance will not protect you in cases of bodily harm or intentional wrongdoing. Visit the Rice Insurance Services Center website to find plans designed for Alaskan licensees.
6. Complete your real estate license application.
You’re almost there! You just have one step left before you can receive your license document, and that’s to submit your official real estate salesperson application. Make sure to do this within six months of passing the state’s real estate exam. If you don’t, your score will expire and you’ll have to take the exam again.
You’ll need to submit a paper application to the office location of the Alaska Real Estate Commission at 550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1500, Anchorage, AK 99501. Additionally, you’ll need to submit proof that you’ve completed your real estate education with an approved licensing school, passed the state exam, and obtained E&O insurance. You’ll also need to be able to cover the non-refundable $200 application fee, $140 real estate license fee, and the $50 recovery fund fee. The entire application process may take a few weeks. Once approved, the commission will mail you your license document. Congratulations on your new license!
It is important to point out that obtaining your salesperson license doesn’t make you an Alaska Realtor. This is because “Realtor” is a copyrighted term owned by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and they have their own requirements for entry. Each member of NAR is also bound by specific ethical standards.
7. Select your sponsoring broker.
There’s one final step to activate your initial license so that you can officially practice real estate: You need to find a broker to work under. This is because new real estate licensees don’t have the legal authority to complete real estate transactions on their own. A real estate broker, however, has the authority to oversee salespeople in real estate activities.
Even if the state of Alaska didn’t require you to work for a brokerage to activate your license, I would still strongly encourage it. One of the worst mistakes I made early in my career was not joining a team. And if there’s one piece of advice I can give you when you’re choosing a sponsoring broker, it’s to make sure that the brokerage meets your needs and not the other way around. You’ll need to do thorough research into each real estate brokerage you’re considering before you make a commitment.
Start by looking into each different broker’s credibility. Do they have a good reputation in their home state and beyond (if applicable)? What kind of continuing education or training programs do they offer? Will you have plenty of room to grow at this brokerage? Make sure you’re comfortable with their commission package and see if they provide any additional benefits or technology, such as access to a multiple listing service (MLS).
If you wish to become an associate broker yourself in the future, then you’ll have additional education and licensing requirements to obtain your broker license. For now, enjoy being able to officially practice in real estate transactions and congratulations on earning your active license!
Does Alaska have license reciprocity with other states?
Alaska does not have traditional reciprocity agreements with any other state, but they do have full license portability. This means that a real estate agent with an active license in another state can engage in Alaska real estate transactions as long as everything is done remotely.
Any licensed attorney in good standing with the Alaska Bar can obtain an exemption from the pre-licensing course requirements. However, they will still be required to take the state real estate license exam and complete all other requirements.
How long does it take to become a new licensee?
That’s really a question that you can answer better than anyone else. With just 40 hours of required coursework, driven students who treat their real estate education like a job can complete the full course in a week. For these students, the longest part of the process will probably be waiting on the initial license application, but it’s not uncommon for some students to take months. The only things I can tell you for sure are the best time to get started on your license requirements is right now, and you can control your own pace once you get started.
Is there anything a prospective agent can do to gain an advantage?
There certainly is! I’ve actually created the training program that I wish I had when I first started working on my license. With my Sell It Like Serhant: Pre-Licensing Sales Accelerator, you’re receiving a state-qualifying real estate education combined with the same sales system that my team and I use at my brokerage in New York City. This package includes everything you’ll need to get your Alaska real estate license and learn how to sell in the most competitive U.S. markets.
You get the 40-hour pre-licensing course you’ll need to qualify for the state exam and the best support available to help you pass on your first attempt. This includes support from state-approved expert instructors, ebook versions of some of the most important textbooks to help you succeed, and my own “Quick Start Guide” filled with the latest tips and information you’ll need to pass your exam.
Speaking of the state exam, this package includes 10 progress exams and five practice exams (three for the state portion and two for the national), as well as a flashcard set. Best of all, Alaska students even get our Pass or Don’t Pay guarantee. If you don’t pass your real estate license exam on your first try, we’ll give you your money back!
I’ll even keep helping you after you get your initial license. This course package comes with a membership that gives you access to additional resources from me and my team members. Perhaps the biggest is my full 42-chapter Sell It Like Serhant: Real Estate Core video course. This course details the methods that my team and I use at the most-followed real estate brand in the world to generate leads, create new markets, close deals, and much more.
You already have what you need to get your Alaska real estate license and become an excellent salesperson inside of you. Let us help you unlock it with our training program, and get started on your road toward success today!