If you want to become a real estate agent in Alabama, there are several steps involved in the process. Knowing more about the requirements before you start ensures that you do not miss anything important. Here you will learn about everything that you need to know regarding how to become a real estate agent in Alabama.
When you are looking to become a real estate agent in Alabama, there are a few basic criteria that you need to meet, including:
- You must be a permanent alien resident, US citizen or otherwise legally present in the US
- There must be solid proof of residency in any US state
- You cannot have a felony conviction associated with moral turpitude
- To get your license, you have to be at least 19 years old
- You must show proof of your GED or high school diploma
- Within two years, you cannot have any real estate licensure or applications revoked or rejected
Step One: Your Prelicensing Education
To become a real estate agent in Alabama, you will need 60 hours of education. Make sure that you choose a program that is approved by the state. There are both physical locations and online courses that you can choose, such as Real Estate Express.
As you progress throughout your education hours, you will focus on a variety of subjects under the following categories:
- Real estate principles
- Real estate industry practices
- Ethical issues in real estate
- Legal elements of real estate
These are broken down into smaller topics. Most schools will utilize a program that allows you to learn the basics and then build on them as you continue throughout the program.
Once you complete a real estate pre-licensing program, you are provided with a certificate of completion. This will show that you finished all of the necessary elements of your education and you have the knowledge and skills necessary to take your licensure examination. It is important that you also get a copy of your transcripts from the program. This along with your certificate of completion will prove that you completed all of the necessary education requirements to sit for your licensing examination.
Step Two: Pass the Final Examination for the Course
Before you take the final examination for your course, you will need to complete your Alabama Real Estate Commission registration. This ensures that there is enough time to schedule your licensure examination. It will essentially expedite the sharing of information among your examination provider, instructor and the state of Alabama.
You will go to the website and get your temporary ID. From there, you will input the number associated with the course that you are taking.
After you finish all of the time requirements, course materials and practice examination, you will sit for the final examination for your course. In this state, you have to get at least 75 percent on this examination to pass it.
Once you successfully pass your final course examination, you will be given six months to sit for your licensure examination. It is important that you schedule this test as soon as possible after you pass your final course examination. This will ensure that you take it within the allotted time frame and do not miss your chance to take the test.
There are also short courses that you can take to prepare you for the licensure examination while you are waiting to take it. In most cases, these courses are one to two weeks long and they focus on helping you to prepare for the examination.
Step Three: Alabama Real Estate Salesperson Examination
You will be eligible to sit for this examination after you pass the final examination for your pre-licensing course. When you take this test, you will get 60 minutes to take the state portion. Here you will have 40 questions to answer.
The next step is the national portion. You will get 150 minutes for this portion of the test. It consists of 100 questions.
Prior to taking this test, it is a good idea to take at least a few practice tests that are either offered by your pre-licensing course or online. This will help you to determine how the questions are asked and you can work on your time management as you are answering them.
On average, if you spend about one minute on each question, this will give you plenty of time to pass the test. If a few questions take a little bit longer, you will have some time flexibility if you stick to taking one minute to answer each question.
Step Four: Picking a Sponsoring Broker
Once you are licensed and active, you will need to find a sponsoring broker in Alabama that is active and current. They will act as your education and career mentor, giving you the tools that you need to function as a successful real estate agent. It is imperative that you choose a broker that aligns with your goals so that you get the most out of the experience.
When you have interviews with brokers, it is important to remember that not only are they interviewing you, but you also need to take this time to learn about them. The following questions are good to ask:
- What is the broker’s local and national reputation?
- Do they use the latest systems and technologies associated with the real estate market?
- What is their commission structure and how does it work?
- Do they give you marketing materials and leads, or will you need to get these on your own?
- What are they looking for in the real estate agents that they employ?
- Will they offer support to their agents regarding training and education?
- Will they provide benefits to real estate agents?
- Do they offer opportunities for advancement for their real estate agents?
Step Five: Complete the Application Process
You will have to send in your official application within 90 days of the day that you pass your licensing examination successfully. At this time, any necessary fees should also be paid.
In the state of Alabama, you will also submit a state and federal criminal background check that will include taking your fingerprints. A temporary license is provided to real estate agents once their application is accepted by the state.
If you have something in your background that could interfere with this part of the process, it is important to talk to the state before you even start the process to become a real estate agent. This will allow you to determine if anything could prohibit you from getting a license.
When you are working on your application, it is best to start as soon as you learn that you passed the examination. This will ensure that you have plenty of time to get it done before the 90 days passes. Waiting until the last minute could pose issues, especially if you accidentally fill something out wrong and need to amend or resend in your application.
Step Six: Tackle Your Post-Licensing Obligations
At this point, you are working as a real estate agent and have all of the qualifications that you need to get started. However, if you want to maintain your license, there is a little more work to do, as required by the state of Alabama. It is important to plan for these tasks in advance since it can sometimes take a little time to get it all done.
Once you start working for a broker and have your application processed, you should work on this part of the process. This is imperative to get your permanent license.
You can operate as a real estate agent on a temporary license for a short period of time. During this time, you must complete a post-licensing course of 30 hours. Once you complete this successfully, you are eligible to get your permanent real estate license.
Within six months of getting your license, you have to complete this course and make sure that you receive your permanent real estate license. This will ensure that you can continue to actively work as a real estate agent with an active license.
Before you are allowed to work on your post-licensing course, you will have to complete the Alabama Real Estate Commission registration. Make sure that you have your temporary ID number handy during this process. You can also go to the commission’s website and look up your number if you are unable to find it.
Before the state will allow you to start your post-licensing course, they need this number because it essentially proves that you took care of the other parts of the process and now have your temporary real estate agent license. Make sure that you fill out all of the required paperwork and necessary information during this process so that there are no delays.
With this information, you know what it takes to become a real estate agent in Alabama. All you have to do is create a plan for how to become a real estate agent in Alabama to start your journey.