This article is part of a larger series on How to Become a Real Estate Agent.
The process of how to become a real estate agent in Arkansas includes completing 60 hours of Arkansas Real Estate Commission (AREC)-approved education, a background check, passing the Arkansas real estate exam, affiliating with a sponsoring brokerage, and applying. While it might seem like a large undertaking, it’s simple when you know the steps to take. Follow our step-by-step guide outlining the requirements to get your real estate license in Arkansas and start your professional career in the Land of Opportunity.
1. Meet the Legal Requirements for Your Arkansas Real Estate License
The state of Arkansas has simple requirements to qualify for licensure. First, you must be at least 18 years of age and be a lawfully admitted resident of the U.S. As part of the Arkansas state requirements for becoming an agent, you are also required to get a background check and complete an application to determine if previous legal problems or offenses would preclude licensing.
The AREC decides whether the offense committed would be detrimental to the public if the candidate has a real estate license in Arkansas. Each circumstance differs, so each application is reviewed by the AREC and considered on a case-by-case basis.
Did you know? Arkansas has license reciprocity with 16 states: AL, CO, FL, GA, IA, KS, LA, MS, NE, NY, OH, OK, PA, SD, WA, and WV. To become licensed, you’ll have to get your fingerprint clearance, pass the state portion of the exam, and submit the license application, fee, and Client Waiver Form. For all requirements, check out the Reciprocal States information from the AREC website.
Also, Arkansas is a physical state in terms of portability. Agents and brokers from other states can do business in Arkansas, but aren’t allowed to enter Arkansas for the purpose of conducting real estate business. They must do so remotely and may not enter the state for showings, closings, or any other reason. To learn more about real estate license portability in Arkansas, check out our guide on real estate license reciprocity and portability.
2. Complete Required Prelicensing Courses
Once you’ve determined you meet the state’s licensing requirements, your next step is completing the 60 hours of required education to become a real estate agent in Arkansas. The AREC requires that you take classes in-person or at an online accredited real estate school, which generally costs from $325 to $450. The topics covered include:
- 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
- Duties and powers of the real estate commission
- Licensing requirements
- Statutory requirements governing the activities of licensees
- Other statutory requirements
- Agency relationships and disclosures
Complete your required prelicensing courses through the National School of Real Estate in as little as two months. Choose between in-person or livestream courses on their platform or self-paced courses through their affiliate partner, The CE Shop. Livestream courses run on weekdays and weekends to ensure they are fitting into your busy schedule. Plus, they will file your fingerprints and paperwork as part of their course packages.
3. Apply for Your Arkansas Real Estate License
Unlike other states that require you to pass the state real estate exam before applying for a license, in Arkansas, you must first submit and process your license application. To do this, complete and submit the Application for Real Estate License Examination and Criminal Background Check (CBC) Identity Verification Form directly to the AREC with a cashier’s check or money order for $86.25, which includes the $50 application fee, $22 state criminal background check fee, and $14.25 FBI criminal background check fee.
The usual turnaround time for application processing is five to 10 business workdays, after which applicants receive a Certificate of Examination Eligibility. In addition, the application form must be received by the AREC at least 30 days before the examination and is only valid for one year after the date of application.
4. Get Fingerprinted & Complete the Background Check
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 via email or mail. It’s important to get this process underway as soon as possible because it can take up to three weeks for the AREC to receive your background check after your fingerprints have been submitted.
Take a copy of the Background Payment Confirmation Form to a fingerprint harvester or Live Scan operator to have your fingerprints taken. To find a harvester or operator, see the location options here and pick the one most convenient for you. They will use the transaction number to guarantee that your fingerprints are returned to the AREC.
Once you’ve been fingerprinted, the harvester or operator should complete the “Fingerprint Harvester/Live Scan Operator Information” portion of the Background Payment Confirmation Form and return it to you. You are then responsible for returning the Background Payment Confirmation Form to the AREC via email, fax, or mail. The background check should be completed within six months of the Application for Real Estate License Examination being received by the AREC.
5. Take the Arkansas Real Estate Exam
You are required to pass both the national and state portion of the exam, which is administered electronically on the computer. Results are provided directly after testing in pass or fail format. If you pass, you’ll receive directions for submitting your application to become a real estate agent in Arkansas. If you fail, you get a diagnostic report documenting your strengths and weaknesses so you can study for the next attempt.
You can reschedule the licensing exam 24 hours after your first attempt. Luckily, if you fail one portion of the Arkansas real estate exam, either national or state, you’ll have unlimited attempts to retake that part of the exam only within a six-month period.
Arkansas Real Estate Exam Details
70 national-focused questions
70 state-specific questions
Items to Bring to Exam
2 valid forms of identification (ID) with signatures:
70% to pass the Arkansas Real Estate Salesperson Exam (at least 49/70 on the national and state portions)
How to Schedule Your Exam
Once you’ve submitted all required information for the application, fingerprints, and background check, you’ll receive your Certificate of Examination Eligibility so you can schedule your test. The global testing company, Pearson VUE, is the official administrator of the Arkansas real estate exam.
You schedule the exam directly on the Pearson VUE website, and will then receive a copy of the Candidate Fact Sheet with additional information. Pay the $75 exam fee directly through the Pearson website using a credit card, debit card, electronic check, or voucher.
Almost 50% of applicants fail the Arkansas real estate exam, so being well-prepared with high-quality prelicensing education and exam prep is your best bet to pass. To make sure you’re ready to take the exam, use PrepAgent for exam preparation.
The tools offered by PrepAgent, like flashcards, vocabulary sheets, live online webinars, and more, reinforce your prelicensing knowledge. Choose from tiered packages that fit your learning style to launch your career and become successful in real estate.
6. Pick a Brokerage to Work For
In order to become a real estate agent in Arkansas with an active license, you must find a sponsoring brokerage with which to affiliate. You and your brokerage must complete the Real Estate License Activation Form with a $30 fee to activate your license.
To make your choice easier, check out our in-depth guide on how to choose a real estate company to work for. Although there are many successful brokerages in the Land of Opportunity, below you’ll find the top five brokerages reported for 2022:
The Home Team
Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney & Faucette
The Valentine Hansen Team
NWA Pro Team
NextHome NWA Pro Realty
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Journey
Koenigseder Realty Group
RE/MAX Real Estate Results
Data from Real Trends 2022
Arkansas Cities With Highest Median Real Estate Sales Price 2021
It’s important to have current market knowledge of Arkansas neighborhoods in order to determine where you’d like to do business. To get a sense of which cities in Arkansas represent the best opportunities for real estate agents, check out this sales data from Towncharts.com below:
Median Home Value
7. Start Your Career
Now that you’ve learned how to become a real estate agent in Arkansas, you’re ready to start your real estate journey. For more information, here are some of our articles with content that is perfect for new real estate agents:
- Our article with 14 Real Estate Agent Tips covers the basics that every agent should know when they are starting out, including how to write a real estate business plan
- Learn how to generate real estate buyer leads
- Get nine strategies to help with real estate seller lead generation
- Jumpstart your career with the top 25 New Real Estate Agent Tips From the Pros
- Get the tools you need to build a strong real estate business out of the gate using the best real estate software and tools