How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Arizona? (Complete Career Guide)


real estate agent giving key to home buyers

(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our company, JCHQ Publishing will get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, but at no additional cost to you.

To become a real estate agent in Arizona, an applicant must complete 90 hours of pre-license courses, pass the real estate salesperson exam, go through a background check, submit an application and fee to the Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE). This is the governing body that issue licenses to real estate salesperson, brokers, and regulate the industry.

If you’re thinking about becoming a real estate agent in Arizona, it’s important to know what the role of a salesperson is. To put it simply, an agent acts as an intermediary between buyer and seller in order to facilitate the sale or purchase of property. They help clients find homes that meet their needs and negotiate contracts with sellers for those homes.

Some agents may also help clients in searching for a rental property or lease out their units.

If you are interested in knowing about a real estate career in Arizona, then this is the guide for you. Not only you’ll learn about the step-by-step process to become a real estate salesperson, but you will also find helpful information such as the salary, career outlook and FAQ on this profession.

But before we start, I want to give a brief disclaimer. This post is not intended as legal advice or state/federal real estate training. It is for general information only. Please always follow your State laws and best practices.

When choosing a real estate school, I prefer one where you could take the courses online. This way, you could study at your own pace whenever and wherever. RealEstateExpress is a trustworthy real estate education provider. You may click here to see whether they offer pre-licensing course in your state. (**)

A Quick Table Summary of Becoming a Real Estate Salesperson in Arizona

EligibilityEducationExamFees
At least 18 years of age

Have a valid Social Security Number

Hold a high school diploma or equivalent
90 hours of pre-license courses


24 hours of continuing education every 2 year
300 minutes

180 questions

Required passing score is 75%
Pre-license courses – $550 (approximately)

Exam fee – $75

License fee – $60

Fingerprint Clearance Card fee – $67

7 Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent in Arizona

Steps to become a real estate agent in Arizona

Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement

  • Citizen of the United States or lawfully admitted alien
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Have a valid Social Security Number

Step 2: Complete the pre-license education

Taking AZ real estate courses

You are required to take 90 hours of course which covers different real estate concept. It can be taken in a classroom setting or online from an approved education provider.

In addition, you must complete 6 hours of Contract Writing Class.

Step 3: Pass the Arizona Real Estate Salesperson Examination

The Arizona real estate salesperson exam consists of 180 questions, and 15 additional pretest questions. The required passing score is 75% and you’ll be given 300 minutes to work on it.

It is to test your knowledge on the real estate topics that are covered in the pre-license courses. The test is administered by the Pearson Vue. To register, you need to complete their online exam registration and provide them with the required documents. Also, there is a $75 examination fee which could be paid by credit card.

Content Outline of the AZ Real Estate Salesperson Exam

Exam Topics# of Questions
REAL ESTATE STATUTES18
COMMISSIONER’S RULES 14
AGENCY RELATIONSHIPS &
MANAGERIAL DUTIES
13
CONTRACTS AND
CONTRACT LAW
10
PROPERTY INTERESTS, ESTATES
& TENANCIES
11
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS IN
REAL PROPERTY
5
INCOME TAX ASPECTS
OF REAL ESTATE
2
ARIZONA WATER LAW 6
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW 6
LAND DESCRIPTIONS5
LAND DEVELOPMENT3
ENCUMBRANCES4
ACQUISITIONS/
TRANSFER OF TITLE
7
ESCROW AND SETTLEMENT4
FAIR HOUSING & ADA 4
LEASES & LEASEHOLD ESTATES 8
ARIZONA RESIDENTIAL
LANDLORD TENANT ACT
6
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT7
PROPERTY INSURANCE
& WARRANTIES
2
APPRAISAL4
PRIMARY & SECONDARY MARKETS/
FINANCING CONCEPTS
5
RESIDENTIAL &
COMMERCIAL FINANCING
5
FINANCING DOCUMENTS4
DEED OF TRUST FORECLOSURE6
DISCLOSURE &
CONSUMER PROTECTION
7
MATH CALCULATIONS12
COOPERATIVE NATURE OF
REAL ESTATE
2

RealEstateExpress is an online school that I like. They offer pre-licensing courses and also have excellent exam prep materials. Their programs have a “Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee” in most of the states. That’s how confident they are. You may click here to view their courses. (**)

Step 4: Join a Arizona real estate broker

Working with an Arizona real estate broker

You are one step closer in becoming a real estate agent. After you pass the exam, you must work with a real estate broker who would sponsor your license.

But don’t rush into working for just any firm. Finding a good mentor is critical at the initial stage of your real estate career. When choosing a real estate brokerage, many people only focus on the commission split, but there are many other factors you also need to consider.

For example, what type of training will they provide? Will they equip you with the skills in finding qualify prospects and closing a sale? Is there a shared office space you could use? Can the brokerage provide you with adequate administrative and marketing support? Will they provide you with leads to work on? Do they utilize up-to-date technology (i.e.: CRM, software subscription) to streamline the daily workflow.

Here’s another post which covers why do agents leave their brokerage firm.

Below are the top real estate brokerage in Arizona based on their sales volume in 2018. The figures are obtained from RealTrends.com.

Real Estate BrokeragesCities2018 Sales Volume
RE/MAX Fine PropertiesScottsdale$1,004,628,442
Keller Williams - Agnew Real Estate LLCTempe$1,235,090,266
Revelation Real EstateChandler$1,369,230,137

Realty Executives Phoenix and Yuma
Phoenix$2,577,885,118
Russ Lyon | Sotheby's International RealtyScottsdale$3,300,440,700

West USA Realty, Inc.
Phoenix$3,338,554,334
HomeSmartScottsdale$10,369,070,559
Keller Williams Integrity First RealtyMesa$587,128,453
CENTURY 21 Arizona FoothillsPhoenix$600,316,213
RE/MAX Platinum LivingScottsdale$655,663,744
RE/MAX ProfessionalsGlendale$745,392,225
Keller Williams Realty Tempe-ScottsdaleTempe$755,270,141
Keller Williams Arizona RealtyScottsdale$800,126,665
RE/MAX ExcaliburScottsdale$808,782,538
Keller Williams Southern ArizonaTucson$852,572,215
Realty Executives Tucson EliteTucson$893,275,546

Step 5: Register with the Arizona Department of Real Estate

You will submit your application through their online system, where you’ll provide:

Step 6: Go through background check

Screenshot from fieldprint.com

The AZ Department has the responsibility to protect the public interest, so they will conduct a background check on all real estate license applicants. You must submit a DPS issued AZ Fingerprint Clearance Card through an approved vendor.

You can obtain a Fingerprint Clearance Card application from the real estate school or the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS). To do so, call them at (602) 223-2279 or fax your request to (602) 223-2947. Their office Hours are: Monday to Friday 8am—5pm.

The Fingerprint Clearance Card fee is $67.

Once you complete the application, you may mail it to:
Arizona Department of Public Safety
PO BOX 18390
Phoenix, AZ 85005-8390

But keep it mind that the fingerprint card must NOT be folded, bended or damaged. And the processing time is usually between 5 to 8 weeks.

Step 7: Maintain the Arizona real estate license

Renewing Arizona real estate license

You are required to renew the AZ real estate license every two years and the license renewal fee for salesperson is $60. There will be extra charges if you do so in-office by mail. If you renew after the expiry date, late fee could apply.

You also have to complete 24 hours of CE courses every two years. The curriculum needs to include:

  • Agency Law – 3 hours
  • Contract Law – 3 hours
  • Commissioner’s Standards – 3 hours
  • Disclosure – 3 hours
  • Fair Housing** – 3 hours
  • Real Estate Legal Issues – 3 hours
  • Elective courses – 6 hours

Here’s a Snippet of What Lori James Think about Being a Real Estate Agent!

Lori James, Real Estate Agent

I think being a real estate agent is a good career for self motivated people. You can make your own hours, but you have to plan out your week in advance, so you have a work life balance.

– Lori James, Real Estate Agent at Real Living Real Estate.

Here’s the article where you can read more on Lori’s thoughts about the real estate sales profession. In there, you can also find valuable feedback from multiple professional real estate agents. Don’t miss out!

FAQ about the Arizona Real Estate License

Questions about the Arizona real estate license

1) How much does it cost to get a real estate license in Arizona?

It costs around $752 to get a real estate salesperson license in Arizona. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Pre-licensing courses fees – $550 (approximately)
  • Exam fee- $75
  • License fee – $60
  • Fingerprint Clearance Card fee – $67

2) Can you take real estate courses online in Arizona?

Yes, you can take the 90 hours of real estate salesperson pre-license courses either online or in a classroom. They must be taken from an ADRE approved education provider.

However, you’ll still need to write the salesperson exam in person.

3) How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Arizona?

It takes approximately four months to become a licensed real estate agent in Arizona. But it also depends on the time it takes you to complete the 90 hours pre-licensing course, exam, application, and get sponsorship by a Arizona real estate brokerage.

You may speed up in getting the real estate license by taking online courses. This way, you’ll have the flexibility to finish the pre-license education at a quicker pace.

4) Does Arizona have reciprocity for real estate license?

Arizona does not have reciprocity with any other State for the real estate license. Applicants must complete the 90 hours of salesperson pre-license education.

5) Can a felon be a real estate agent in Arizona?

The Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE) would put into consideration of the applicant’s honesty, trustworthiness, character and integrity. You would need to fill out the “Disciplinary Action Disclosure” form (LI-214/244).

Whether a felon can be a real estate agent is subjected to how the licensing department evaluates the case. But don’t get discouraged as everyone has a past. The most important is that you can demonstrate that you will serve the public in a fair, honest, and open manner.

Here’s another post that covers how to apply for a real estate license with a felony record. In there, you’ll find practical ideas which could help your application.

Also, if the license decline is due to incorrect details on the Fingerprint Clearance Card, you may be appealed through the Fingerprint Clearance Appeal Board.

6) I have more questions about the AZ real estate license, whom should I contact?

The Arizona Department of Real Estate has an online message center. Once you fill out their contact form, usually it would take two business days to hear from them.

Their office is at 100 North 15th Avenue, Suite 201, Phoenix, AZ 85007.

Real Estate Career Outlook in Arizona

real estate career studying

How much do real estate agents make in Arizona?

Real estate agents in Arizona earn an average yearly income of $55,580, typically range between $28,900 and $73,000. High-earning real estate sales agents are making over $101,040 per year(*)

At the beginning phase in your real estate career, you probably would not make a lot, because you built up the client base and established trust with the prospects. But as you continue to gain experience and sharpen your business skills, you should be able to notice a significant improvement to your earning.

Your earning potential as a real estate agent would depend on the price range of the properties that you work with, the number of transactions you could complete, the commission splitting schedule with the real estate brokerage and other factors.

Here’s an article that goes through important variables that could significantly affect your annual salary.

(*) Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2020)

Is real estate a good career in Arizona?

Arizona real estate agent sold a house

Real estate can be a good career in Arizona if you enjoy running a self-employed business, interacting with different people and have flexible work hours.

According to the RedFin, as of May 2021, there were 11,181 homes sold, and the median sales prices was $385,000. All these figures went up when comparing to the year-over-year period. As I’m reviewing the data now, it seems that the demand far exceeded the housing supply. In fact, 57.5% of homes were sold above the list price.

Most of these transactions show a significant demand for real estate agents. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2020), there were 5,390 real estate sales agents in Arizona. However, there are always people succeeding and failing in each industry. The utmost importance is how you can remain competitive in the real estate market. I will go over some career tips later in the next section.

Want to know whether being a real estate agent is a good career path? I connected with several real estate professionals, and they shared their thought and experience of this industry with me. You may read their valuable insight here.

5 Strategies to Build your Real Estate Career in Arizona

AZ real estate agents

1) Network with other real estate professionals

You may consider joining the Arizona Association of REALTORS. This allows you to connect with other real estate salespeople and brokers, thus learn from their valuable experience and share ideas with one another. They also have great resources such as the classes, events, housing reports and industry updates.

Also, you should build a referral network with other real estate professionals. such as mortgage agents, lenders, notary loan signing agents, and appraisers. 

2) Generate online leads

The importance of generating online leads can’t be overstated for real estate agents. With the rise in popularity and accessibility of homebuyers through the internet, it is imperative that you are promoting your listing to potential buyers on sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more.

According to the 2020 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, 93% of all buyers used online websites as information sources in their home search.

Here’s a guide that explains how having a professional website can benefit your real estate business, the features you should include, and affordable ways to build it.

3) Differentiate your practice with expert knowledge

Real estate agents are constantly tasked with new responsibilities and challenges. With the rise of technology, real estate laws and compliance requirements, it’s important for sales agents to be up-to-date on the best practices.

Rather than being just another sales agent, you may consider getting a Professional Designation or Certification. National Association of REALTORS® is one of the largest trade associations in the real estate industry. They offers designations such as Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and many more.

I personally like the Green Designation. It can equip you with the knowledge to help clients make informed choices about the resource efficiency and performance of the homes.

Even though the Designation Courses are not part of the pre-license education requirement, your enhanced knowledge will help set you apart from others in such a competitive market.

You may click here to check out the NAR Designation and Certification courses. (**)

4) Select areas with strong housing demand

When you are deciding the regions to conduct your real estate business, you should target areas that have a high housing demand. After all, transactions can only occur when there are people.

Here are the top ten competitive cities in AZ ranked by RedFin. These are the homes that receive multiple offers, and sometimes with even waived contingencies!

  1. Flagstaff
  2. Munds Park
  3. Kachina Village
  4. Avondale
  5. El Mirage
  6. Gilbert
  7. San Tan Valley
  8. Anthem
  9. Tolleson
  10. Glendale

5) Become an AZ commercial real estate agent

Commercial real estate agent inspecting site

As most licensed salespeople focus on the residential market, the commercial niche (i.e. Office, retail, industrial) could be a blue ocean for your real estate business.

To become a commercial real estate agent in Arizona, an applicant must be at least 18 years old, complete 90-hour of pre-license education, pass the real estate salesperson exam, join a managing broker. You also need to submit an application and a fee to the Arizona Department of Real Estate and go through a background check.

The Department does not issue separate licenses for residential and commercial agents. So, the requirement is basically the same one we just went through. But if you are going to pursue a career as a CRE agent, you should look for a brokerage that could give you the right support and resources. After all, not every brokerage specializes in commercial properties.

Here’s a Snippet of what Amie Lenhart thinks about being a Commercial Real Estate Agent!

Amie Lenhart, Commercial Real Estate Agent

“… I work as my clients biggest advocate and work on behalf of their best interest. My job is an agent is to research, match needs, know the market, tour, draft LOI’s and Lease Proposals and successfully negotiate for my client meeting their goals and objectives...

… I think being a real estate agent is a great career. I love the hustle and relationship building aspect of this job and working for myself...”

– Amie Lenhart ,Commercial Real Estate Agent with Donald R. Kenney and Company Realty (DRK)

Here’s the article where you can read more on Amie’s thoughts about the real estate sales profession. In there, you can also find valuable feedback from multiple professional real estate agents. Don’t miss out!

So do you find this guide helpful? If so, please share it!

If you are reading up to this point, I bet you must be interested in getting a real estate license. Your first step is to complete the pre-licensing courses. You should select one that has an excellent reputation and long-term track record of satisfying students. RealEstateExpress is exactly that! You may click here to check it out yourself. (**)

(**) Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. Our company, JCHQ Publishing will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking on the link. Please understand that we include them based on our experience or the research on these companies or products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through the links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information only, and not intend to provide any advice. They are subjected to change without any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. For full and exact details, please contact the Arizona Department of Real Estate.

Reference:

  • Arizona Department of Real Estate (source)
  • Pearson Vue Arizona Real Estate Sales and Brokers (source)
    • Arizona Real Estate Candidate Handbook (source)
    • Fingerprint Clearance Card Process (source)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
    • Real Estate Agents (May 2020) (Source)
    • Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Arizona (source)
  • Fieldprint (source)
  • Real Trends: 2018 Real Trends 500 by Volume (Source)
  • RedFin – Arizona Housing Market (source)
  • Arizona REALTORS (source)
  • ArizonaRealEstate.com (source)
  • ARMLS – Statistics (source)
  • Zillow.com – Arizona Home Prices & Values (Source)

Jacob Coleman

Jacob is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors.) In order to build a career you love, Jacob believes not only you need a thorough understanding about the profession, but you also have to find out what type of jobs could match your personality, lifestyle and expectation.

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