If you’re considering starting your real estate career in Auburn, Birmingham, Mobile, or any other city in Alabama, you’ll need to get licensed with the state. Becoming a Realtor is an incredible opportunity for entrepreneurs, offering almost unlimited growth potential. So whether you are planning to do real estate part-time or are making it your new full-time career, we are going to share everything you need to know to become a real estate agent in Alabama.
The Alabama Real Estate Commission (AREC) has a few basic requirements to get licensed. Applicants have to be at least 19 years old, have a US Social Security number, and are a US citizen, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien under federal law. You do not have to be a resident of the state to become a real estate agent in Alabama. You’ll also need to complete the following steps:
Once you decide to become a real estate agent in Alabama you’re probably excited and want to get started immediately. Before you leave your current position, it’s important to understand how long the licensing process can take in Alabama. Often it’s 3 to 6 months. Here is what an average timeline looks like:
While this timeline may seem a little daunting, there are a few ways to expedite things. First, taking an online course is the way to go. Instead of attending scheduled in-person classes, two to four times weekly, you can learn at your own pace online. We would also recommend interviewing brokerages while you are waiting for AREC to process your application, so you are ready to hang your license with a broker as soon as the application is approved. All in all, it’s definitely possible to become a real estate agent in Alabama in less than eight weeks.
There are several fees involved when working to become a real estate agent in Alabama…
What many aspiring Realtors don’t realize is that there are several other costs to consider when becoming a real estate agent – after you have your license. Whether you’re building a new business and opening a dance studio, coffee shop, or starting your real estate empire, keep in mind there are always start-up costs involved.
Here are some of the most common expenses:
Learn more about costs to become a real estate agent in Alabama:
To get your real estate license, you’ll have to attend a school that’s approved by the Alabama Real Estate Commission. There are at least a dozen approved real estate schools throughout the state. Some are online, others in person, and a few do a combination of the two.
Here are a few of the most popular:
When shopping for the best online real estate schools, you’ll want to compare pricing, but there are a few other things you will need to consider:
In Alabama, you must affiliate with a real estate brokerage in order actively help home buyers and sellers. This is often referred to as the “sponsoring broker” or “managing broker.” Picking the right brokerage to work with can be key to your success as a newly licensed agent.
We would recommend shopping for the best broker once you’ve completed the pre-licensing course and are waiting to take your state exam or while Alabama is processing your application. There are a few ways to do this:
While many aspiring Realtors aim for the best commission splits when looking for a broker, we strongly advise you to put #2 or #3 on your list. The most crucial factor to consider when choosing a firm is how well they help novice real estate agents. Is there a structured training program in place? Will you be able to contact at least three people if you have questions? Is it possible to reach them outside of regular business hours? Do they have mentors, and if so, what will they do to help you?
You made it through hours and hours of coursework, passed the Alabama state exam, and selected a great broker — congrats! The next step is getting you mentally prepared to build a successful, thriving new business!
Your pre-licensing course focuses on studying the most commonly used phrases, ethics, and laws in the state of Alabama when practicing real estate. Preparing house valuation reports (CMAs), creating contracts, and all the methods available to sell and promote your new business are usually not covered in great detail (if at all).
As a new real estate agent, you need to have a fire in your belly! Your motivation and desire to learn everything you can be critical to your success – especially in your first year in real estate. Many of you may be used to working for someone and being told what to do at work each day, but that isn’t the case in real estate. See what you should focus on in your first few months in the real estate business….
Kerry Lucasse and the Building Better Agents team talk with hundreds of newly licensed real estate agents each year. Most have no idea how challenging the first year or two can be and how much you need to learn to be successful. This business is not as easy as it looks on TV! Real estate can be a rewarding and profitable business if you are a self-starter who is 110% committed to being successful and you have the support of a great mentor and brokerage.
Most agents will describe the real estate licensing exam as “not easy.” We highly recommend taking lots of practice tests to prepare. Your school should give you some practice tests, but you can purchase more online. If you still aren’t feeling confident, you can also sign up for an online exam prep course.
The state exam has 40 questions, and the national exam has 100 questions. All exams require a “scaled” score of 70% to pass.
There is no set limit on the number of times that you can take the exam. However, if you do not pass
both parts of the exam within 1 year from the first attempt, you must resubmit a new license application
In order to become a real estate broker in Alabama, you need to be a least 19 years old and have an active real estate license in any state for at least 24 months of the 36-month period immediately before the date of the broker application. Also, you won’t be able to get your broker license if you had a real estate application or license rejected or revoked in any state within the past 2 years.
If you are a licensed agent in Georgia or Texas, for example, and would like to get your license in another state, many US states have a “reciprocity agreement” with one another. This means that you don’t have to attend any additional classes, you may just have to pass the state portion of the exam to hold an active real estate license in that state.
The good news is that Alabama has reciprocal agreements with ALL states! If you meet the criteria above, you can submit the application.
Alabama Real Estate Commission requires that licensed agents take 15 hours of Continuing Education (CE) classes every two years.
Honestly, it depends on what you’d like to accomplish with your license. If you only plan to sell a few homes to friends and family each year, you’ll need to do some math to see if the cost of obtaining and keeping a real estate license is worthwhile.
If you want to get into real estate and make a profession out of it, then yes! The housing market is exploding. It’s crucial to have at least 4 to 6 months of funds in the bank when transitioning from a salaried career to a commission-based business. If you don’t have that yet, you might want to stick with your current employment for a while until you’ve established a solid basis for your real estate business.