How to Get an Alabama Real Estate Broker License

Written by: Mary Gerardine

Cartoon woman holding a Alabama Real Estate Broker License sign

    Becoming an Alabama real estate broker is a strong step forward in your career. Not only does this advanced license look great on a resume, it also allows you to work independently, open real estate brokerage firms, and manage other agents within these firms.

    Getting the Alabama Real Estate Broker License is a fairly simple process, but it does require you to complete five steps, and have a few prerequisites before applying or taking the broker’s exam.

    This guide covers all of these requirements in a simple, easy to understand way that will make it easier for you throughout this process.

     

    Alabama Real Estate Agent vs. Real Estate Broker

    Alabama offers two different types of real estate license: Sales and Broker.

    sales agent’s license is the initial license that real estate agents get in order to sell real estate.

    A broker’s license is an advanced license that allows the license holder to operate at a higher level within real estate businesses in Alabama.

    People often confuse sales agents and brokers. A simple way to look at the difference is that holders of the sales agent’s license are called real estate agents, while holders of the broker’s license are called real estate brokers.

    If you are working towards getting your first license, check out our Alabama Real Estate License guide. If you’re working on the Alabama real estate broker license, keep reading this page!

     

    Alabama Real Estate Broker License Requirements

    First, to be eligible for a real estate broker’s license, you must meet the prerequisites to become a real estate broker in Alabama.

    These prerequisites are:

    • Not have had a real estate license or application revoked or rejected in Alabama or any other state within the last 24 months
    • Have at least two years of active experience as a licensed salesperson during the 36-month period before the application date
    • Your work experience can be accumulated from any state

     

    How to Become a Real Estate Broker in Alabama

    Once you meet all the requirements listed above, you can follow these five steps to easily help you get your real estate broker license in Alabama.

    Step 1: Complete an Alabama Broker Pre-Licensing Course

    The first step to getting your real estate broker license in Alabama is to take 60 hours of broker pre-licensing courses. This is not the same coursework you took to obtain your salesperson license. Courses must be taken from an approved educator.

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    The 60-hour coursework you take as a prerequisite for your real estate sales license lays the foundation for your brokerage education. Your coursework covers the fundamentals of working in the real estate industry and includes topics like listing agreements, closings, state-specific laws, and much more.

    The required 60 hours of broker pre-licensing courses include the following mandatory courses:

    • Alabama License Law (6 hours)
    • Fair Housing (3 hours)
    • Agency Relationships (3 hours)
    • Broker Administration and Management
    • Business Planning
    • Human Resources
    • Licensee Training & Supervision
    • Listing and Buyer Agency Agreements
    • Document Preparation Sales Contract for Buyers and Sellers
    • Presenting or Negotiating Offers and Counteroffers
    • Finance
    • Trust Accounts, Earnest Money, and Security Deposits
    • Risk Management, Property Representation, and Environmental Issues (3 hours)
    • Advertising Laws (2 hours)
    • Valuation of Real Property (4 hours)
    • Property Management (3 hours)
    • Commercial Real Estate (3 hours)
    • New Construction (3 hours)
    • Examination Preparation (3 hours)

    Unlike some states, Alabama does offer reciprocity. If you currently hold a license in another state, you can obtain a reciprocal license in Alabama by completing six hours of coursework in Alabama real estate law, passing the Alabama portion of the licensing exam, and submitting an Alabama Reciprocal Broker License Application.

    After completing the courses, you must also pass the final broker course exam. The minimum passing grade is 70%This is not the same as the broker exam; this test is to ensure you’re ready to take the state exam.

    After passing your broker course exam, your education provider will submit your course completion paperwork to the Alabama Real Estate Commission (AREC). You will not be permitted to schedule your Alabama Real Estate Broker examination until AREC receives all eligibility paperwork. You must take the Broker’s exam and receive a passing grade within six months of completing your coursework.

     

    Step 2: Pass the Alabama Real Estate Broker Exam

    After completing the steps above, you must take the real estate broker licensing exam via PSI. PSI has multiple testing locations in Alabama. Testing sites in other states may be available upon request.

    The fee for the broker exam is $79.

    In Alabama, brokers take a national section consisting of 10 different simulation problems. (Only nine of the simulation problems will be scored.). The state-specific section of the broker’s exam consists of 40 scored questions. You must complete the Alabama real estate broker exam within 210 minutes (3.5 hours total). You must complete the state-specific portion of the test within 60 minutes.

    The passing rate is 70% for the Alabama Real Estate Broker Exam.

    If you happen to fail the exam, you will receive a score report that includes diagnostic details and information regarding how to retake the exam. You must wait 24 hours before reapplying to take the exam.

    For more information on the exam, PSI provides a Candidate Handbook containing the Alabama Real Estate Broker Exam Content Outline.

    Taking an exam prep course provides you helpful tools and materials, such as quizzes and specific state-only practice exams, to increase your chances of passing your broker license exam the first time.

     

    Step 3: Submit an Alabama Broker License Application

    Once you meet the broker pre-licensing education requirements and pass the course exam, you can now apply for your license.

    All Alabama broker license applications must be submitted to AREC within 90 days of your exam date. Your proctor will provide you with an application before you leave the exam site. The application fee is $210.

    Send your Application for Real Estate Broker’s License and any supporting documentation to:

    Alabama Real Estate Commission – Licensing Division
    1201 Carmichael Way
    Montgomery, AL 36106

    This can be done by mail or in person.

     

    Step 4: Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check

    When submitting your license application, you must have a fingerprint-based background check. You must submit your fingerprints via the Alabama-approved vendor, Gemalto.

    To begin the fingerprinting process, you will first need to register online. Once the registration process is complete, you will receive a registration ID. Retain this for your records. Once you have your registration ID, follow the instructions to schedule your fingerprinting appointment. The fingerprinting fee is $48.25 and may be paid online by credit or debit card. You can also pay at the fingerprinting location with a cashier’s check or money order made out to “Gemalto Cogent.”

    The fingerprints must be in the FBI’s required format and must be taken at an authorized Alabama Applicant Processing Service site. A license will not be issued if you do not submit to a background check.

    Your license will not be processed and issued until AREC receives your criminal history record information. Gemalto will forward this information to AREC, but the records are only valid for 30 days. Therefore, AREC recommends that you submit your application paperwork on the same day your fingerprints are scanned at the fingerprinting site.

    Note:

    If you aren’t sure whether you qualify for a real estate broker license based on your history, check out our article on Real Estate License Eligibility.

     

    Step 5: Application Review

    After passing your broker exam, you will only need to wait for AREC to review and approve your application. AREC must review your background check report before approving your application.

    This process typically takes between 5-10 business days. After this, you should receive a notification from AREC that your application is approved. A copy of your license will be mailed to your sponsor broker’s office.

    If you have any questions, you can contact AREC at arec@arec.alabama.gov or by calling (334) 242-5544.

     

    Congratulations!

    Now that you’ve successfully passed the broker licensing exam and obtained your license, there are a few things you need to do to keep your broker license active and updated.

     

    Alabama Real Estate Broker License Renewal and CE

    In Alabama, you must renew your real estate broker license every two years. Renewals are the same for all brokers, regardless of when your license was issued. To renew your license without any late penalties, your paperwork must be submitted by August 31 of every even year. AREC sends out reminder notices approximately 45 days before your renewal date.

    To renew your license, you must use AREC’s Interactive License System or submit your renewal form by mail or in person. The renewal fee is $205. AREC allows you to renew your broker license starting in mid-June.

    As part of your broker license renewal, you must also complete the continuing education (CE) courses required by AREC. This includes 12 hours of AREC-approved courses and a three-hour Risk Management Course. AREC requires a total of 15 hours of continuing education every two years.

    AREC recommends giving yourself ample time to complete the CE and renewal process to ensure enough time for processing.




    Alabama Real Estate Broker License FAQ

    How much does it cost to get a real estate broker license in Alabama?

    The costs of getting a real estate broker license in Alabama can range between $546.25 and $736.25.

    The cost breakdown is as follows:

    Pre-license education courses: $209-$399

    Broker exam fee: $79

    Application fee: $210

    Fingerprint-based background check: $48.25

     

    How long does it take to get a real estate broker license?

    The steps that typically take the most time when getting a broker license include taking pre-license education courses and exams. The average amount of time to get a broker license is generally three to six months.

     

    What is the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker?

    Real estate agents focus on working with clients on individual real estate transactions, while real estate brokers have more experience with the added responsibility of managing a team of real estate agents or brokerage business.

    See our Real Estate Agent vs Broker vs Realtor page for more information.

     

    How much does a real estate broker make?

    Real estate brokers get paid just like real estate agents by earning commissions on their agents’ sales. Brokers can also charge the real estate agents they manage with a fixed monthly fee or have the option to earn money on commission sales by helping their own clients buy and sell property. According to Payscale data, brokers earn $61,314 per year in base salary, with anywhere between $10,000 and $147,000 in commissions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the median broker salary is $62,010.

     

    How do I get a job as a real estate broker in Alabama?

    Browse through available real estate broker jobs in your area using our StateRequirement Job Board!




    ALREC – Alabama Real Estate Commission

    Mailing Address:

    Alabama Real Estate Commission
    1201 Carmichael Way
    Montgomery, AL 36106

    Hours: Monday to Friday, 7:30am – 4:30pm

    Phone: (334) 242-5544

    Fax: (334) 270-9118

    Emailarec@arec.alabama.gov 

    Websitehttps://arec.alabama.gov/arec/ 




    Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated in October 2022.

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