The Lowdown on Alabama Real Estate Licensing
When most people think of booming and profitable real estate markets, we probably think of California, New York, Texas, or Illinois. The median price for homes listed for sale in Alabama is currently just over $200,000, and this number has been following a steady upward trend during the past years. While this median home price is still lower than the national average, there are certain areas of the state, such as Shelby County where a higher-than-state average household income has pushed up the average home price.
Furthermore, the mild winters, beautiful coasts and relatively low cost of living has made Alabama one of the most attractive states for retirees. In fact, Alabama received a net migration of over 3,200 people in 2017 of retirees. This special population represents a huge opportunity for real estate agents and salespeople to market their services.
If you are looking for a great career with unbounded possibilities that doesn’t require a costly and timely college education, this article offers all you need to know about how to get a real estate license in Alabama.
Unlike other states who have minimum age of 18, Alabama requires real estate agents to be at least 19 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. One of the main benefits is that you don’t necessarily have to be a resident of Alabama, as the state only requires you to show documentation that you are a resident of the U.S., a U.S. citizen, or a permanent resident alien.
Additionally, to be eligible for an Alabama real estate liscence, you must have not been convicted of a felony or a crime in the past, nor have had a real estate application or license revoked or rejected in other states across the country during the past two years.
Another major benefit of Alabama real estate licensing is that their pre-license course requirements are significantly less than other states. Whereas California requires 135 hours of classroom instruction and Texas 180 hours, Alabama only requires that you successfully complete an approved 60-hour pre-license course.
The shorter courses usually mean that it is less expensive, as you can find several online real estate schools in Alabama that offer the course for under $200. Furthermore, once you complete the course you have a 12 month window to pass the state exam.
The 60-hour real estate classes in Alabama will focus on the following course material:
- The Real Estate Business
- License Law and Qualifications for Licensure
- License Law and Commission Rules
- Authorized Relationships, Duties, and Disclosure
- Real Estate Brokerage Activities and Procedures
- Violations of License Law, Penalties, and Procedures
- Federal and State Laws Pertaining to Real Estate
- Property Rights: Estates and Tenancies, Condominiums, Cooperatives, and Time Sharing
- Title, Deeds, and Ownership Restrictions
- Legal Descriptions
- Real Estate Contracts
- Residential Mortgages
- Types of Mortgages and Sources of Financing
- Computations and Closing of Transactions
- The Real Estate Market and Analysis
- Real Estate Appraisal
- Real Estate Investments and Business Opportunity Brokerage
- Taxes Affecting Real Estate
- Planning, Zoning, and Environmental Hazard
Fortunately, there are both online real estate schools in Alabama and real estate schools in Alabama that offer in person classes. You can find a complete list of approved schools here.
Taking the Test
Once you have finished the 60 hours of courses, you can register to take the Alabama real estate license exam offered by the Alabama real estate commission. The test consists of 140 multiple choice questions and you must score at least 70 percent to pass. The exam fee costs $71 dollars and you can find a complete list of locations that offer the exam at the Alabama Real Estate Commission website here.
Once you have finished the course and passed the exam (which we will explain below), there are also post-license education requirements. Licensed real estate salespersons in Alabama will be required to complete a 30 hour post-license course within the first six months of having received your license.
Apply for Your Alabama State License
Once you have successfully completed the Alabama real estate course and passed the Alabama licensing exam, you can then apply for your Alabama state license which will allow you to begin working in the real estate sector.
You have to apply for your license within 90 days of your exam date. If that time frame passes, you will have to take the test again. Fortunately, applications for your state license can be completed online at the Alabama Real Estate Commission´s website that you can find here. Like almost all other states, you must also complete a criminal history release form and fingerprinting requirement. This form and the subsequent information can also be found on the Commission´s website.
Unlike other states, a criminal history does not necessarily exclude you from becoming licensed. Rather, you must previously disclose any criminal history before going through the background check.
Applying for a real estate license in Alabama is significantly easier than other states. At the same time, positive market trends show that a profession as an Alabama real estate salesperson has the potential for growth and profitability.