To become a real estate agent in Kentucky, you will need to complete 96 hours of Kentucky Real Estate Commission (KREC)-approved prelicensing education, submit fingerprints for a background check, pass the exam, and select a sponsoring brokerage before you can start your real estate career. But the process is simpler than it sounds. Grab your bucket of Dirty Bird and a side of Betty and join us in reviewing the steps to becoming a real estate agent in the Bluegrass State.
1. Meet the State’s Legal Requirements
The state of Kentucky requires all candidates wishing to become a real estate agent be at least 18 years of age, possess a high school diploma or GED, and be a lawfully admitted alien or U.S. citizen.
Did you know?
If you plan on working in states besides Kentucky, you need to know the real estate license reciprocity and portability laws specific to Kentucky. Kentucky only has reciprocity agreements with Ohio, but if you hold an Ohio license for at least a year, you can complete 40 hours of reciprocal license law education, submit fingerprints, and take the reciprocal license exam to obtain your Kentucky license.
Also, Kentucky is a turf state in terms of portability. A turf state does not allow out-of-state agents or brokers to conduct any business in their state, either in-person or remotely. The only option to work with clients in a turf state is to refer them to a licensee of the turf state. To learn more about real estate license portability in Kentucky, check out our real estate license reciprocity and portability guide.
2. Complete Required Prelicensing Courses
If you meet the state’s legal requirements, you can start your prelicensing education. Courses can be taken in person or online through an accredited real estate school in Kentucky, which costs between $349 and $679. The KREC-approved classes will include the following topics:
- Property ownership
- Land use controls and regulations
- Valuation and market analysis
- General principles of agency
- Property disclosures
- Leasing and property management
- Transfer of title
- Practice of real estate
- Real estate calculations
- Real estate commission
- Requirements for a license
- Brokerage activities and requirements
- License law requirements for contracts
- Property management
Did you know?
If you have six academic credit hours in real estate courses from an accredited college or university, they can be used to fulfill your 96 hours of prelicensing education.
There are many accredited real estate schools to choose from to complete your 96 hours of education. With livestream or self-paced online real estate courses available, Kaplan can be a great choice to embark on your real estate career from the comfort of your own home.
3. Complete Fingerprints & Background Check
After finishing your real estate education, it’s essential to get your fingerprints completed before registering for your real estate exam and submitting your application paperwork. There are two options for getting your fingerprints to obtain your criminal background check:
- Option 1 – FBI: You can complete the application information form and submit your fingerprints. Fingerprints can be taken at a local U.S. Post Office using the Standard Fingerprint Form and mailed in with your email confirmation form. The $18 payment can be made via credit card, PayPal, or Amazon directly on the website. Processing times are about one week.
- Option 2 – Kentucky State Police: You can schedule your fingerprint appointment through IndentoGo to be fingerprinted with the Kentucky State Police. Make an appointment by clicking on “Schedule or Manage Appointment” using the KREC Service Code 27GJR5. Payment of $51.25 can be made directly on the website via credit or debit card.
4. Take the Exam
After completing your prelicensing education and fingerprinting, it’s time to pass your exam. The pass rate for the Kentucky real estate exam is about 50%, which is lower than most states. There is no time limit to taking the exam after finishing your courses, so if you need extra study time, you are encouraged to take it.
The Kentucky real estate exam is administered on the computer, so you will get your results immediately after you’re finished. If you pass, you will get a successful notification, and if you fail, you will be provided a diagnostic report containing your strengths and weaknesses. The good news is that if you fail either portion of the exam, you can reschedule after 24 hours and retake that portion as many times as needed within four months. If you exceed four months without passing both portions, you will be required to retake the entire exam.
80 national-focused questions
50 state-specific questions
Items to Bring to Exam
Two (2) valid forms of identification with signatures are required:
75% to pass the Kentucky Real Estate Salesperson Exam
Schedule Your Exam
The Kentucky real estate exam is provided by PSI, a national provider for state licensing exams. In order to begin scheduling, you’ll be required to create an account on the PSI website, which will then allow access to the scheduling portal. You will receive a copy of the Kentucky Candidate Information Bulletin for additional testing information. The fee to take the exam is $100 and can be paid directly on the website using a credit or debit card.
To make sure you pass on the first attempt, check out the extra study materials from Real Estate Exam Scholars. It offers top-notch exam prep for an affordable price as well as a money-back guarantee if you don’t pass on the first try.
5. Pick a Company to Work For
In order to hold an active license in Kentucky, you must find a sponsoring brokerage to affiliate your license. To make your choice a little bit easier, check out our in-depth guide on choosing the right real estate company to work for. Although there are many successful brokerages in the Bluegrass State, below you’ll find the top five brokerages reported for 2021.
The Sokoler Team
RE/MAX Properties East
The Win Crew
Keller Williams Realty
The Prather Team
Keller Williams Realty
The Jimmy Welch Team
Keller Williams Realty
Kassie & Associates
Keller Williams Bluegrass Realty
(Source: Real Trends 2021)
Kentucky Cities With Highest Median Sales Price 2021
The higher that homes are selling for means the higher commission opportunities as well. To get a sense of which cities are bringing in the bucks in Kentucky, check out this sales data from Towncharts.com below:
6. Acquire Errors & Omissions Insurance
All active Kentucky agents must have errors and omissions insurance (E&O), which is used to protect real estate businesses from mistakes made during professional service. E&O can be purchased through the KREC or a private company.
KREC works closely with Rice Insurance Services Company, LLC to provide affordable options, but make sure to check with your principal broker to verify their firm requirements for coverage. You can visit the KREC website for more information.
7. Apply for Your License
Once you’ve chosen the brokerage to affiliate your license, your last step is to submit your real estate application. You must apply for your license within 60 days of passing the exam. After passing the exam, you will receive a paper application from the testing site, which you can complete and send to the KREC. You can also apply online; you will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org within two days of passing the exam, and it will include the link to apply online.
The forms you will need to include with your application are as follows:
- Certificate of completion of the sales associate prelicense course
- Copy of high school diploma, GED, or college transcript
- Proof of errors and omissions insurance coverage
- If you have been or are currently licensed as a real estate agent in other jurisdictions, you must submit a license history certification for every state in which you have been or are currently licensed
- Payment for licensing fees: $130 for an active license or $120 for an inactive license
- For the paper application, payment can be made via check or money order
- For the online application, payment can be made via credit or debit card or electronic check (ACH)
Having a criminal record does not automatically disqualify individuals from getting their Kentucky real estate. The KREC reviews applications on a case-by-case basis to determine whether to grant a license, specifically focusing on if the applicant’s crime directly relates to the occupation of a real estate agent. After investigating the crime, the KREC will either order the candidate to appear for a hearing or approve the application. For further information, visit the FAQs section of the KREC website.
8. Start Your Real Estate Career
Now that you’ve learned how to become a real estate agent in Kentucky, you’re ready to start your real estate journey.