Becoming a Kentucky 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 Kentucky Real Estate Broker License is a fairly simple process, but it does require you to complete six 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.
Kentucky Real Estate Agent vs Real Estate Broker
Kentucky offers two different types of real estate license: Sales and Broker.
A 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 Kentucky.
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 Kentucky Real Estate License guide. If you’re working on the Kentucky real estate broker license, keep reading this page!
Kentucky 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 Kentucky.
These prerequisites are:
- Must have worked an average of twenty (20) hours per week for twenty-four (24) months as a sales associate before applying for a broker license
- Must have 21 credit hours with 12 in real estate from an accredited college with 3 credit hours in Brokerage Management or 336 classroom hours in real estate from an approved proprietary school with 48 in Brokerage Management
How to Become a Real Estate Broker in Kentucky
Once you meet all the requirements listed above, you can follow these six steps to easily help you get your real estate broker license in Kentucky.
Step 1: Complete a Kentucky Broker Pre-Licensing Course
The first step to getting your real estate broker license in Kentucky is to take 336 classroom hours of qualifying real estate courses or 21 academic hours.
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These real estate courses mostly cover the fundamentals of working in real estate and must be completed within two years of your broker’s license application. This requirement is divided into two sections:
The required 336 classroom hours of qualifying real estate courses, including the following mandatory courses are:
- Broker: Mastering Real Estate Principles
- Broker Appraisal and Finance
- Broker Kentucky Law and Investment
- Broker Law
- Commercial Real Estate
- Essentials of Finance
- Essentials of Real Estate Investment
- Property Management
- Real Estate Law
Your broker pre-license courses don’t end here. To fully satisfy your course requirements, you must take additional six credit hours in related qualifying education courses acceptable to the Kentucky Real Estate Commission (KREC) or approved continuing education (CE) courses every calendar year.
Approved courses that can go toward law credit include:
- Kentucky license laws, agency, contracts
- Fair housing
- Environmental law
- 1031 tax laws
- ANSI standards
- Landlord-tenant law
- Planning and zoning issues
- Misrepresentation classes
Of the six approved hours of CE courses, three hours must be in courses approved for law credit. In addition, a Kentucky Core Course must be completed every four years. No other course will replace this Kentucky Core Course requirement.
Kentucky offers reciprocity. These approved CE courses that you take as an agent during your agent license renewal build towards that six-hour requirement. Read Kentucky’s reciprocity rules for more information on how to apply for a license.
After completing the courses, you must also pass the final broker course exam. The minimum passing grade is 75%. The final pre-license exam is to be supervised by a proctor, whether on-site or online. This is not the same as the state broker exam.
After passing your broker course exam, your pre-license education provider will provide you with your course completion documents. KREC recommends submitting your completion documents, along with a Broker Education Review Form, via KREC’s eServices or to documents@KREC.Kentucky.gov.
Step 2: Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check
Once you meet the broker pre-licensing education requirements and pass the course exam, you must have a fingerprint-based background check. You must submit your fingerprints via IdentoGO by IDEMIA.
If you’re planning to obtain a Kentucky real estate license or activate an existing real estate license, you must request a copy of your national criminal history check before registering for the real estate exam or submitting your activation paperwork.
There are two options for obtaining a national criminal history check:
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) — The cost is $18 via the FBI’s Electronic Departmental Order System. The report is mailed to you and the average processing time is one week
- Kentucky State Police — The cost is $51.25. You must schedule an appointment to be fingerprinted through the Kentucky State Police using IdentoGO. Use the KREC Service Code: 27GJR5. The report is sent directly to KREC
All national criminal history checks expire 90 days after the report date of issuance. Remember that KREC cannot issue a license without a valid report.
If you aren’t sure whether you are eligible for a real estate license based on your history, check out our article on Real Estate License Eligibility.
Step 3: Pass the Kentucky Real Estate Broker Exam
After completing the steps above, you must take the real estate broker licensing exam via PSI.
The fee for the broker exam is $100.
In Kentucky, brokers take the national section which consists of 75 scored questions. The state-specific section of the broker’s exam consists of 50 scored questions. You must complete the Kentucky real estate broker exam within 240 minutes (four hours total).
The passing rate is 75% for the Kentucky Real Estate Broker Exam: 56/75 on the national section and 37/50 on the state-specific section.
If you pass one portion of the Kentucky Salesperson or Kentucky Broker exam (national or state law) and fail the other portion, then you may retake the failed portion within four months of passing the first portion. After four months of the initial testing date, you must retake both portions of the exam.
For more information on the exam, PSI provides a Candidate Handbook containing the Kentucky 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 4: Submit a Kentucky Broker License Application
Once you pass the state broker exam, you can now apply for your license.
The initial broker application fee is $60.
To mail your submission, you will receive a paper application at the testing site upon passing both portions of the exam. Complete the application and send it to KREC’s office with a check or money order for the appropriate payment.
Kentucky Real Estate Commission
500 Mero St.
Frankfort, KY 40601
To do an online submission, you will receive an email from email@example.com within 36-48 hours of passing both portions of the exam. At the end of the application, you will be asked to pay the appropriate fees with a credit/debit card or electronic check (ACH.)
Along with your application and payment for the licensing fee, you must include the following:
- Certificate of Completion of the reciprocal license law course
- Proof of E&O insurance coverage
- License history certification from every state in which you are licensed as a real estate agent
Step 5. Obtain Errors & Omissions Insurance
Before KREC issues your license, you must obtain Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance to make sure your license is active.
The KREC partners with the Rice Insurance Services Company (RISC) to offer E&O insurance policy for real estate licensees. The insurance carrier is Continental Casualty Company, a CNA insurance company.
If you happen to have a private carrier policy, you must provide KREC with the Certification of Insurance Coverage (Form 203) as proof of your E&O coverage. This form outlines the minimum requirements and must be signed by an authorized insurance representative.
There is a $10 E&O processing fee per licensee collected by KREC when confirming your coverage in KREC’s Group Program.
Step 6: Application Review
After passing your broker exam, you will only need to wait for KREC to review and approve your application.
The process should take between 7-10 business days. If you still have questions regarding licensing or to check on the status of your application, you can contact KREC at (502) 564-7760 or PPC.KREC@ky.gov.
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.
Kentucky Real Estate Broker License Renewal and CE
In Kentucky, you must renew your real estate broker license every two years. The renewal process is not the same for the broker license and sales agent license.
To renew your license, you must submit the Renewal Form for Real Estate Sales Agents and Brokers. The renewal fee is $130.
As part of renewing your broker license, you must also complete the CE requirements that include six hours of KREC-approved courses and three hours of Broker Management Course as part of the CE requirement.
KYREC – Kentucky Real Estate Commission
Kentucky Real Estate Commission
500 Mero St.,
Frankfort, KY 40601
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:00 am-4:30 pm
Phone: (502) 564-7760
Kentucky Real Estate Broker License FAQ
How much does it cost to get a real estate broker license in Kentucky?
The costs of getting a real estate broker license in Kentucky can range between $430.25 and $620.25.
The cost breakdown is as follows:
Pre-license education courses: $209-$399
Fingerprint-based background check: $18 (FBI) or $51.25 (Kentucky State Police)
Broker exam fee: $100
Application fee: $60
E&O processing fee: $10
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 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 (BLS) indicates that the median broker salary is $62,010.
How do I get a job as a real estate broker in Kentucky?
Browse through available real estate broker jobs in your area using our StateRequirement Job Board!