From its 52 state parks to being the “Pickle Capital of the World,” Arkansas is a fun place to live—and an even better place to begin your journey as a real estate professional. But in order to connect residents of The Natural State with the properties of their dreams, you’ll need to first get your real estate license.
And that’s where we come in. Follow these seven easy steps, and you’ll be launching your career in Arkansas real estate in no time.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Arkansas
Let’s dive into these steps in a little more detail. Before long, you’ll be helping clients buy and sell Greek revival houses in Little Rock, ranches in Fayetteville, and central hall cottages in the Ozarks.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Arkansas?
It costs approximately $1,000 to get your real estate license in Arkansas, including your prelicensing education. Some of the costs are fixed, such as the state’s licensing and exam fees, and others vary.
While you don’t need a college degree to become a real estate agent in Arkansas, you must complete the state-specific licensing process. The price of the required 60-hour prelicensing courses (and optional exam prep materials) will vary depending on the provider you choose.
(Arkansas real estate license costs as of April 2023)
How to Get an Arkansas Real Estate Agent License in 7 Easy Steps
Before you begin, let’s make sure you’re eligible. Arkansas requires those seeking a real estate sales associate designation to:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent
If you are a licensed attorney, have a degree in real estate, or have a license in another state, you may be able to waive some of your licensing requirements.
Arkansas has reciprocal agreements with 16 states: Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, and West Virginia.
Visit the Arkansas Real Estate Commission (AREC) website for education and examination requirements tailored to your specific situation.
Ready to learn more about how to become a real estate agent in Arkansas? Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:
1. Complete a 60-hour Prelicensing Course
Prelicensing courses kick off your real estate career, and you’ll have your choice of completing them online or in person. Your choice of course format will depend on your learning style and what suits your schedule best.
The amount of time you’ll need comes down to how much class time you allot per week. You can complete all 60 hours online; those who study at a faster pace will finish in a shorter amount of time. If you approach it like a 40-hour workweek, you’ll finish in under two weeks.
Prelicensing courses will often include extra features like exam prep, instructor support, or career resources. Visit The Close’s article on real estate schools in Arkansas to find the prelicensing course that’s right for you.
The state of Arkansas requires 60 hours of coursework before sitting for the licensing exam. You’ll learn:
- Real property characteristics, legal descriptions, and property use
- How titles are owned, transferred, and recorded
- Property value and appraisal
- Real estate contracts and agency
- Real estate practice
- Property disclosures and environmental issues
- Financing and settlement
- Real estate math calculations
- Duties and powers of the real estate commission
- Licensing requirements
- Statutory requirements governing the activities of licensees
- Agency relationships and disclosures
You’ll need the help of a highly rated Arkansas real estate school to get through this weighty material. Most people choose a real estate school based on the cost and the educational format of the course. Here are the most popular options in terms of course design.
Wherever you live in Arkansas, you should be able to find a real estate school that meets in person during regularly scheduled sessions.
Classes that meet online at scheduled times are usually broadcast over Zoom (or another videoconferencing tool).
Self-paced Online Classes
On-demand real estate classes are extremely popular for those wanting to become real estate agents in Arkansas quickly. The course material may be presented in a series of slides, videos, and interactive content.
If you’re looking for a self-paced experience, we like Colibri Real Estate’s online platform best. They also happen to be featured on our national round-up of the best online real estate schools.
Readers of The Close can get 25% off tuition on any Colibri Real Estate prelicensing course in Arkansas. using coupon code “Theclose25“.
2. Apply to Take the Arkansas Real Estate Exam
All first-time exam applicants must submit the Application for Real Estate License Examination to the Arkansas Real Estate Commission. Once you’ve completed your education requirements and the application, the commission will mail you a Certificate of Examination Eligibility.
In addition to the $50 exam application fee, you must submit $22 for an Arkansas criminal background check and $14.25 for an FBI criminal background check. You must also complete the Criminal Background Check Identity Verification Form and send it to the AREC at least 30 days before you want to take your exam.
Timing is important during this stage of the process. You’ll need your certificate of eligibility before you can contact Pearson VUE to make an examination reservation.
3. Complete a Background Check
As mentioned above, the Arkansas Real Estate Commission requires all real estate agent applicants to complete a state and federal criminal background check. While the exam application fee is just $50, you should include the $22 Arkansas criminal background check fee and $14.25 FBI criminal background check fee for a total sum of $86.25 when submitting your application. Because you’re paying all three fees at once, you should make a cashier’s check or money order payable to “AREC” for the total amount of $86.25 (no personal, business checks or credit cards will be accepted).
After your application and CBC form have been processed, you’ll receive a Background Payment Confirmation Form with a Transaction Control Number from the AREC.
Next, take a copy of the Background Payment Confirmation Form to a fingerprint harvester or live scan operator to have your fingerprints taken. Both of these servicers can capture and submit fingerprints to the state police, but only a harvester can handle federal background checks, so we recommend going with the former to save some time. Either way, location options for both harvesters and operators can be found on the AREC website. The fingerprint fee is $20.
After you’ve been fingerprinted, the harvester or operator will complete the “Fingerprint Harvester/Live Scan Operator Information” portion of the Background Payment Confirmation Form and return it to you. Then you’ll return the Background Payment Confirmation Form to the AREC via email, fax, or mail. The background check should be completed within six months of the AREC’s review of your overall application.
We recommend getting this process done as soon as possible, as it can take up to three weeks for the AREC to process your background check after your fingerprints have been submitted.
4. Schedule & Pass the Arkansas Real Estate Exam
Time to Complete:
Computer-based, 110 questions
Bring to Testing Center:
Two forms of identification, including one current government-issued photo ID that includes your signature
Once you complete the prelicensing course and receive a certificate of eligibility from the AREC, you have three years to pass the state exam. If you miss the deadline, you must retake the course.
Pearson VUE is the official administrator of the Arkansas real estate exam. To begin scheduling, you’ll be required to create an account on the Pearson VUE website, which will then allow access to the scheduling portal.
You can find additional information on preparing for and taking the exam in Pearson’s Arkansas Real Estate Candidate Handbook. You can pay the $75 exam fee directly through the Pearson website.
The salesperson exam consists of 110 questions covering laws, regulations, and the practice of real estate in Arkansas. There’s no limit on how many times you can take this in-person, computer-based exam, though you are required to pay the exam fee each time.
You will have four hours to complete the entire exam. A passing score for the Arkansas Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 70%. The rate at which test-takers pass the exam is also 70%.
You should arrive at the testing site 30 minutes early. The Arkansas Real Estate Candidate Handbook outlines the types of government-issued identification they’ll accept. There’s also a lengthy list of items you’re prohibited from bringing to the exam room (including common items like calculators, pens, and cell phones).
Testing sites for the Arkansas real estate exam are located in the following cities:
- Little Rock
- Shreveport, LA
- Memphis, TN
As soon as you’re done with the multiple-choice exam, you’ll learn whether you passed or failed. If you don’t pass, you’ll be given a detailed score report that will help you prepare for the retake. Again, you can take the exam as many times as you’d like within three years following the date on which you received your certificate of eligibility, but you will have to pay $75 each time.
5. Complete the Licensing Process
This step is a simple one. With all the above tasks completed, apply for that hard-earned salesperson license. This license allows you to handle real estate transactions, including buying and selling properties, as well as managing the rental process. You can find the application for this license on the AREC website. After paying a license fee of $50 and a recovery fund fee of $25, you can send your application in for review. You must send the proper forms and fees to the AREC within 90 days of passing the exam.
6. Find a Sponsoring Broker to Hire You
When you receive your initial real estate license in Arkansas, your license will have an “inactive” status. This means that you cannot sell real estate yet.
In order to activate your license, you will need to be sponsored by a licensed real estate broker in Arkansas. The activation fee is $75, and the state requires you to activate your license within three months of passing your exam.
Real Estate Broker vs. Agent: A Head-to-Head Analysis
Finding a broker to work under will feel like applying for a job. Once you’ve landed some broker interviews, you’ll want to ask each broker about the split (or how you and the brokerage will divide sales commissions). You’ll find that some brokerages will ask for a 50-50 split on commissions. Usually, brokerages that offer an even split will not charge monthly desk fees.
As you evaluate your options, remember that, as a commissioned salesperson, your income entirely depends on your abilities and effort. Some brokerages may offer you 70% of your commissions, a ratio that may rise to 100% after you’ve met a specific sales goal (or cap) for the year.
It’s important to be realistic about your earning potential in the first few months. It takes time to launch your new business. Some new agents choose to work part time so they can still bring in additional revenue as they’re learning the ropes. And if your brokerage does charge fees, you’ll have to pay them regardless of whether you’re closing deals or not.
Here are some questions to consider during your broker search:
- What is their reputation, both locally and nationally?
- What kind of real estate agents are they looking for?
- Are they technologically advanced and up to date with the latest systems?
- How do they support their agents with education and training?
- What kind of commission structure do they offer?
- Do they offer benefits?
- Do they provide agents with leads and marketing material?
- Is there room to grow with the brokerage?
7. Complete 18 Hours of Post-licensing Education
When you receive your real estate license in Arkansas, you’ll be required to complete 18 hours of post-licensing education within your first six months of being licensed. You’ll be able to choose the topics that interest you most from various real estate schools that offer continuing education (CE) courses.
You can sign up for your post-licensing courses after you’ve received your license, or you can choose a school that includes them as part of your prelicensing package. Be sure you check with your prelicensing class provider before you buy another course. The CE Shop, for example, conveniently offers 18 hours of post-licensing courses bundled in their prelicensing package.
Get 35% off your course bundle at The CE shop by using coupon code “Theclose35“.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Arkansas: FAQs
Still not sure about the path forward? Get answers to common questions about how to become a real estate agent in Arkansas below.
Is the Arkansas real estate exam hard?
The passing rate for the Arkansas Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 70%, meaning more than a quarter of the people who take it do not pass. Be sure to pay attention during your prelicensing course and take studying seriously. If you put in the proper effort, you should pass on your first attempt. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay another $75 to take the test again.
What if I have a real estate license from another state?
Arkansas has reciprocity agreements with Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, and West Virginia.
For a complete list of steps to get your Arkansas real estate license through reciprocity, check out our helpful guide, Real Estate License Reciprocity & Portability: A State-by-State Guide.
How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Arkansas?
You can get your Arkansas real estate license in as little as a month-and-a-half, as long as you’re really on top of all the administrative tasks. How long you take to complete your 60-hour prelicensing course will affect how long it takes to get your sales license. Scheduled classes can be completed in as little as two weeks if you work at it full time.
Most students prefer to take their prelicensing course in a self-paced online format to accommodate their work and life schedules. We don’t recommend rushing through your course but instead focusing on ensuring you get what you need from your education so you can confidently pass your license exam.
Can I get my Arkansas real estate license online?
Do real estate agents make good money in Arkansas?
According to ZipRecruiter, real estate agents make an average of $68,077 in Arkansas. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on the area and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you’ve spent in your profession.
Other significant details you should consider are brokerage fees and commissions. Usually, this is a fixed percentage between you and your brokerage. Commission is shared between you and your broker based on a negotiated ratio that will be fully outlined in your contract. While this may differ based on several factors, a common commission split is 70% to the agent and 30% to the broker.
What are the pros & cons of becoming a real estate agent in Arkansas?
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