From its rugged mountains to its glimmering glaciers, Alaska is a magical 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 Last Frontier 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 six easy steps, and you’ll be launching your career in Alaska real estate in no time.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Alaska
Let’s dive into these steps in a little more detail. Before long, you’ll be helping clients buy and sell ranch homes in Anchorage, Alaskan chalet-style houses in Juneau, and contemporary log cabins in Fairbanks.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Alaska?
It costs approximately $1,800 to get your real estate license in Alaska, 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 Alaska, you must complete the state-specific licensing process. The price of the required 40-hour prelicensing course (and optional exam prep materials) will vary depending on the provider you choose.
Errors & Omissions Insurance:
Affidavit of Post-licensing Education:
(Alaska real estate license costs as of October 2023)
How to Get an Alaska Real Estate Agent License in 6 Easy Steps
Meeting Licensing Requirements
Before you begin, let’s make sure you’re eligible. Alaska requires those seeking a real estate sales associate designation to be:
- At least 19 years old
- A United States citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Not convicted of or under indictment for forgery, theft, extortion, conspiracy to defraud creditors, or fraud
Regarding the third bullet point, applicants must disclose convictions and disciplinary actions from their past. Disqualifying infractions may include:
- Having had a real estate license denied, revoked, or otherwise subject to disciplinary action
- Being subject to an unresolved complaint or disciplinary action by a professional regulatory entity or association
- Having a lawsuit filed against you alleging fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or conversion of funds
- Having a fidelity bond denied or revoked
The Alaska Real Estate Commission (AREC) expects applicants to disclose all convictions and disciplinary actions no matter how long ago they occurred or whether or not they seem relevant. Providing untrue or incomplete disclosure can disqualify you from getting your license. Visit AREC’s licensing requirements page for more information.
What If You’re Already Licensed in Another State?
If you are a licensed attorney or have a degree in real estate, you may be able to waive some of your licensing requirements.
Alaska offers full reciprocity with all 50 states. Called application “by endorsement,” real estate agents licensed in the U.S. must complete a six-hour course on Alaskan real estate law, pass the Alaska state portion of the real estate exam, provide a license history, and demonstrate possession of errors and omissions insurance coverage.
Review the Real Estate Salesperson Application by Endorsement Instructions for education and examination requirements tailored to your specific situation.
Real Estate License Reciprocity & Portability: A State-by-State Guide
Ready to learn more about how to become a real estate agent in Alaska? Here are the steps you’ll need to follow.
1. Complete a 40-hour Prelicensing Course
- Cost: $375-$500
- Time commitment: 1-3 weeks
Prelicensing courses kick off your real estate career, and you’ll have your choice of completing them online or in person. We recommend choosing a course format that best suits your learning style and schedule.
The amount of time you’ll need comes down to how much class time you allot per week. You can complete all 40 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 could even finish in one week.
Prelicensing courses will often include extra features like exam prep, instructor support, or career resources, so it’s important to weigh these add-ons as you shop for providers. You can find a list of state-approved schools here.
Regardless of the school you choose, the state of Alaska requires 40 hours of coursework before sitting for the licensing exam. You’ll learn:
- Real property, characteristics, legal descriptions, and property use
- Forms of ownership, transfer and recording of title
- Property value and appraisal
- Real estate contracts and agency
- Real estate practice
- Property disclosures and environmental issues
- Financing and settlement
- Real estate math calculations
- Powers of AREC
- Requirements governing the activities of licensees
You’ll need the help of a highly rated Alaska 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 Alaska, 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 Alaska quickly. The course material may be presented in a series of slides, videos, and interactive content.
If you’re looking for a self-paced option for completing your prelicensing education, check out Colibri Real Estate. Its packages start at $370 in Alaska, and they’re one of our favorite national education providers.
After you have completed your coursework, you must pass the course’s final exam. This non-proctored exam will test your newfound knowledge of real estate law and principles.
Once you’ve passed, you will receive a certificate of completion via email. Keep in mind that completed prelicensing courses are only valid for 18 months, so don’t delay completing the remaining steps.
2. Schedule & Pass the Alaska Real Estate Salesperson Exam
Time to Complete:
Computer-based, 120 questions
Bring to Testing Center:
Two forms of identification, including one current government-issued photo ID with signature
After completing your prelicensing education and test, you can schedule your real estate salesperson exam. In order to begin scheduling, you’ll need to register with Pearson VUE, the company that administers the exam. The cost of the exam is $100.
How to Study for the Real Estate Exam: Tips & Strategies
The Alaska Real Estate Salesperson Exam is an in-person, proctored test administered via computer. The exam consists of two parts that review state and national real estate laws. There are 120 multiple-choice questions altogether: 80 questions in the national portion and 40 additional questions in the state portion. You will have 240 minutes, or four hours, to complete the entire exam.
A passing score is 75%, which translates to 60 questions right out of 80 for the national section and 30 correct answers out of 40 for the state portion. Exam results are only valid for six months after you pass the test.
You should arrive 30 minutes early at the testing site and bring two forms of identification with you, including one current government-issued photo ID that includes your signature. Pearson VUE’s 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 hats, pens, and cell phones).
Testing sites for the Alaska real estate exam are located in the following cities:
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 receive a detailed score report that will help you prepare for the retake. You can take the exam as many times as needed, but you will have to pay $100 each time.
Keep in mind that you must apply for your Alaska real estate license within 18 months of completing your prelicensing education and within six months from the date of passing your licensing exam. After this six-month period, you’ll need to retake the test before applying for licensure.
3. Obtain Errors & Omissions Insurance
- Cost: $450-642
- Time commitment: 1 day
All active licensees in Alaska are mandated to carry errors and omissions insurance. This is also known as professional liability insurance. It typically protects brokerages and individual agents from getting sued by a client if they made a mistake related to a real estate transaction. It’ll cover the legal, defense and court costs related to a claim.
You can use any insurance agency to find the E&O policy that works for you, so it’s best to take some time and research your options. You may also want to check with your sponsoring broker to see if you are covered under a firm policy at the brokerage.
The AREC works closely with Rice Insurance Services Company to provide affordable options, but make sure to check with your principal broker to verify their firm requirements for coverage. In the case of Rice, the current annual premium is $450 to $642.
4. Find a Sponsoring Broker to Hire You
- Cost: Free
- Time commitment: 1-2 weeks
To hold an active real estate license in Alaska, you must find a sponsoring brokerage with which to affiliate your license. A broker has received additional training, worked in the industry for at least two years, and passed the broker’s license 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?
As mentioned above, you must be employed or under contract with a sponsoring broker to activate your license. Your supervising brokerage will be required to complete the Employing Broker Information form on your real estate salesperson application to confirm you will be affiliated with their company.
5. Complete the Licensing Process
- Cost: $390
- Time commitment: 1-2 weeks
This next step is a simple one. With all the above tasks completed, prepare your materials to apply for that hard-earned salesperson license. This license allows you to handle real estate transactions, including buying and selling properties, and manage the rental process.
- $390 license application fee ($200 application fee, $140 license fee and $50 recovery fund fee)
- Certificate of completion of the required 40 hours of prelicensing education
- Original exam score sheet showing proof of passing the Alaska Real Estate Salesperson Exam
- Proof of E&O insurance coverage
- Additional documentation for your Professional License History or Professional Fitness Questions
- Sponsoring broker’s information
If you have a criminal history, make sure you disclose it on your application and include any necessary documentation regarding your charges. When in doubt about your response, disclose and provide the required explanation and documents. AREC will not process applications submitted without the required attachments.
As noted above, you must apply for your Alaska real estate license within 18 months of completing of your prelicensing education and six months from the date of passing your licensing exam. In most cases, your application review should take between five and 10 business days. Upon successful application review by AREC, you will be recognized as an Alaska real estate salesperson.
6. Complete 30 Hours of Post-licensing Education
- Cost: $50-$650
- Time commitment: 1-4 weeks
When you receive your real estate license in Alaska, you’ll be required to complete 30 hours of post-licensing education within your first year of being licensed. This education is in addition to the 20 hours of continuing education that must be completed prior to license renewal. Licensees must submit the Affidavit of Post-Licensing Education and a $50 fee no later than 30 days after the 12-month period.
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.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Alaska: FAQs
Still not sure about the path forward? Get answers to common questions about how to get your real estate license in Alaska below.
Is the Alaska real estate exam hard?
The passing rate for the Alaska Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 75%, meaning 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 $100 to take the test again.
How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Alaska?
It usually takes prospective agents three to five months to get their real estate license in Alaska. Most of the time spent getting your license will be in your 40-hour prelicensing course. If you enroll in a scheduled full-time course, you can usually complete your classes pretty quickly.
You might take longer if you decide to work online at your own pace. Self-paced courses, on the other hand, provide you the freedom to fit learning into your busy schedule at work and home. You’ll have to decide how to choose the course that works best for you.
Can I get my Alaska real estate license online?
Unfortunately, you’ll need to go to one of the exam testing sites to take your Alaska real estate salesperson exam. But the good news is that you can complete the required 40 hours of classwork from the comfort of your home.
Do real estate agents make good money in Alaska?
It all depends on the number of deals and commission splits, but according to The Close’s salary information database, the average real estate agent in Alaska makes $68,135.
Whether you decide to commit yourself full time or part time to your new career, here are some important things to know about compensation as you begin your search for a brokerage partner.
- Split: This is how the company you work under will divide commissions between you and your broker. For example, a 50-50 split means that the brokerage and salesperson share the commission evenly. Some may offer you a larger share.
- Desk fee: Some brokerages may charge a monthly fee for access to equipment and support. If you are required to pay a desk fee, you might keep a larger share of your commissions via a better split. But the desk fee is collected whether you’ve closed a sale or not.
- Cap: Some brokerages might offer a cap, meaning once you bring in a certain amount, you’ll get to keep all of your commission.
What are the pros & cons of becoming a real estate agent in Alaska?
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