How to Get Your Real Estate License in Arkansas
Do you want to sell luxury homes in Little Rock? Have you dreamed of showing the nicest condos for sale in Bentonville? Since you’ve found your way here, you must be considering getting your real estate license in Arkansas. And I have some great news for you. There has never been a better time to get into the real estate industry than right now, and the growing demand for housing means that Arkansas is a red-hot market.
Maybe it’s been your dream to become a real estate agent for a while now, or maybe you’re thinking about getting your real estate license to start a new career with more freedom and a higher earning potential. I’ve certainly been there before. I wasn’t always the No. 1 real estate agent in New York City, staring on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York,” and selling over $1 billion in properties per year. But one thing’s for sure: I couldn’t have possibly chosen a better career.
You’re here because you want to know how to get your real estate license in Arkansas. The overall licensing process and education requirements tend to be fairly similar across the United States. But you will notice that some of the finer details change, depending on your home state. Let’s start with a list of the basic requirements you’ll need to meet to get and activate your new license.
- Fulfill the pre-qualifications.
- Complete your pre-licensing education course.
- Pass your license course final exam.
- Send your forms and applicable fees to AREC to register for the state exam.
- Pass the AR real estate exam.
- Submit your license application.
- Find a sponsoring broker to activate your license.
- Complete post-licensing education requirements.
Let’s take a deeper look into each of the following steps.
1. Ensure you meet the pre-qualifications.
Before you’ll be eligible to start on your licensing requirements, the Arkansas Real Estate Commission (AREC) requires you to meet a few qualifications. Firstly, you’ll need to be at least 18 years of age. You also need to be a U.S. citizen or a legally admitted immigrant. Lastly, you’ll need to hold your high school diploma or GED.
It’s also worth noting that you’ll need to submit to a criminal background check before registering for the state exam. Misdemeanor convictions or felony convictions found during your background check won’t necessarily bar you from pursuing your license, but AREC reserves the right to determine which sort of crimes will affect your ability to practice real estate.
2. Complete your required coursework.
Once you’re done with the prerequisites, the real first step is to begin your license education. You’ll need to complete a 60-hour real estate salesperson course with an education provider approved by the Arkansas State Board of Private Career Education, such as a real estate school or local community college. Your coursework may be taken in-person or through online courses. At least 30 hours of the course must be spent on basic principles of real estate. The remaining hours will be spent on AR-specific real estate laws. Please note that completing your coursework does not guarantee that you’ll pass the license exam. It’s highly recommended that you study all mathematical concepts as much as possible, as this is the area most students struggle with most.
3. Pass the final exam for your education course.
After you’ve completed your hours of coursework, the next step is to pass your course final exam. Then, you’ll be eligible to register for the state’s licensing exam. The state of Arkansas does not require you to have a proctor for this exam, but similar to the state exam, you will only be permitted to use a basic calculator and scratch paper.
The course final is comprised of 110 multiple-choice questions. The time to complete the exam may vary based on your approved licensing school. You’ll need to achieve a passing grade of at least 70%, and you have unlimited attempts at the exam if you don’t pass the first time.
4. Register for the salesperson real estate exam.
Before you can take the real estate salesperson exam, you’ll need to get your forms and applicable fees in order. The first thing to do is complete your criminal background check, including fingerprints. AREC provides fingerprint cards to applicants when they submit proof of completing their pre-licensing education. The Arkansas State Police conduct the background check, including an FBI check, before sending the results to AREC. There is a $22 fee for the police check and a $14.25 fee for the FBI fingerprints check.
You’ll also need to submit your application to take the state exam to complete the package. Assuming everything is in order, you’ll receive your Certificate of Eligibility to take your real estate license exam. At this point, you can schedule to take the exam with Pearson Vue. You’ll need to provide your certificate of completion for your required education, as well as the $75 exam fee when you schedule. You can schedule to take your exam at the nearest testing center using the Pearson Vue locator tool, or you may be able to schedule an exam online with a credible online proctor using OnVue. Appointments must be made at least 24 hours in advance.
5. Pass your real estate license exam.
On the exam date, you’ll need to bring two forms of signature ID, one of which must be a photo ID. You’ll be provided with scratch paper and a basic calculator to help you with the test.
Your state’s real estate exam consists of 110 multiple-choice questions that are divided into two portions. There is a national portion that covers basic principles of real estate and a state portion that covers Arkansas law. You’ll have 150 minutes to complete the national portion of the exam and 90 minutes to complete the state portion of the exam. The passing grade for the salesperson exam is a 56/80 on the national portion and a 21/40 on the state portion.
You’ll receive your exam results immediately in the form of a “pass” or “fail.” If you passed the exam, you’ll receive written instructions on how to submit your license application. If you didn’t pass, you’ll receive a diagnostic report on each section, so you can better prepare for your next attempt. For additional information on the real estate salesperson license exam, please see the Pearson Vue Arkansas Real Estate Candidate Handbook.
6. Complete your real estate license application.
You’re getting close! Your next step is to make sure you complete your application process within 90 days of passing the exam, or your score will expire. Fortunately, you should have already completed your background check requirement by this point, so you’ll just need to send your score report to AREC, along with the $50 license processing fee, $25 recovery fund fee, and your signed post-licensing requirement notice. Once your score report is verified and your background check passes, AREC will mail you your initial license document. Congratulations on becoming a licensee!
I should point out that getting a new salesperson license does not automatically make you an Arkansas Realtor. This is because the term Realtor is owned and copyrighted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and they have their own rules and requirements for membership. Each member of NAR is also bound by specific ethical standards.
7. Select your sponsoring broker.
You’ve received your license document, but that doesn’t mean you can actually practice yet. Your initial license will have an inactive status, and you’ll need to find a sponsoring broker to work under in order to activate it. This is because real estate salespeople do not have the legal authority to complete real estate transactions by themselves. A real estate broker, on the other hand, is able to supervise salespeople in real estate activities.
Finding a broker may seem like just another hoop to jump through at first glance, but I would actually recommend it even if the state didn’t require it. I didn’t join a team when I first started my real estate career, and it was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made.
The most important piece of advice I can give you for choosing a broker to work with is to just make sure that the brokerage suits your needs and not the other way around. Brokers are constantly on the lookout for new agents to recruit, and you may even see some trying to recruit you right out of your testing center.
Start by researching their credibility. Does the broker you’re considering have a good reputation and appear on solid ground in your state? Consider how much room you’ll have to grow at the brokerage and what education and training programs they offer. Ask them about any technology or advantages they can offer over other brokers. Of course, you’ll want to thoroughly check their commission package and ask about desk fees as well. Some brokerages will charge this fee in exchange for the advantages of working with them.
8. Complete your post-licensing course hours.
You’re nearly done now! The last thing left for you to maintain your active license is to complete 18 hours of AREC post-license coursework. Once this is done, the entire process is finished, and you’re free to practice real estate in the state of Arkansas.
If you decide that you want to become an associate broker or property manager in the future, there will be additional requirements for your broker license or any other license type. You’ll also need to report back to AREC for license renewal when the time comes. Congratulations on becoming a real estate salesperson!
Does Arkansas have license reciprocity with any other states?
Yes, the state of Arkansas has reciprocity agreements with the following states.
- New York
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
If you already have a current license in any of these states, then you can get an education waiver for the general requirements in AR. You’ll just need to complete a six-hour course on Arkansas real estate laws to become eligible for the salesperson exam.
How much time does it take to get your real estate license?
That’s a question that no one can answer better than you. Students who treat their education requirements like a job can have real estate school completed in a couple of weeks. The longest part of the process will likely be waiting for their application to be approved. However, it’s not uncommon for students to take several months to complete the licensing process. It’s a big decision to go after your license, and I can only tell you two things for sure. The best time to start on your licensing education is right now, and you are able to control your own pace once you start.
Is there anything that aspiring real estate professionals can do to gain an advantage?
Definitely! In fact, I’ve created the training program that I wish I had when I first started getting my license. With the Sell It Like Serhant: Pre-Licensing Accelerator, you’re getting a full state-approved licensing course combined with training on the same sales system that my team and I use at my brokerage in New York City. You’ll get all 60 hours of required education to become eligible for the state exam, plus all the exam prep materials you’ll need to succeed.
This course package gives you access to 24-hour support from state-approved expert instructors, three important real estate ebooks, and everything you’ll need to succeed in your course. Speaking of your exam, you’ll also receive all the exam prep you’ll need to pass on your first attempt. This includes 10 progress exams and five practice exams, including three for the state portion and two for the national portion. We’re so confident that you’ll be able to pass your exam on the first attempt that Arkansas students even get our Pass or Don’t Pay guarantee. If you don’t pass your salesperson exam on your first try, we’ll give you your money back!
Best of all, I’ll continue to help you, even after you get your license. This course package also includes a membership to additional resources from me and my team members and access to my online course Sell It Like Serhant: Real Estate Core. This course teaches you the same techniques that my team and I use at the most followed real estate brand in the world to generate leads, close deals, create new housing markets, and much more.
You already have what you need to get your license and succeed as a salesperson inside you. Let us help you unlock that potential, so you can start working toward your new career today!