How to Get a Real Estate License in California

Becoming a realtor is one of the most lucrative jobs in the US. From our research, experienced real estate agents in California make over six figures annually. The real estate market in California offers a diverse housing market, stunning landscapes, and economic opportunities.

However, you must get a CA real estate license to become a realtor in California. With the presence of online real estate schools, the process of getting licensed has never been easier. In this guide, we highlight all of the necessary steps needed to obtain your license.

Eligibility Requirements for a Real Estate License in California

You must meet the eligibility requirements before enrolling in a school for your pre-license education. These prerequisites are set by the California Department of Real Estate. First, you must be at least 18 years old and a legal US citizen.

All applicants are required to have a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. Any prior convictions will make you ineligible. Remember, the state will ask for your fingerprints to run a background check.

Complete the Pre-License Education

Completing 135 hours of pre-licensing coursework is the first step towards becoming a realtor in CA. Ensure that the school you enroll in offers is approved by the Department of Real Estate. The online program offered at RealEstateU is a suitable option if you have other commitments and cannot make time to attend physical classes.

The pre-licensing program has three major courses: real estate practice, real estate principles, and an elective. For the elective, the options are real estate appraisal, legal aspects of real estate, and real estate finance, among others.

Pass the Real Estate Salesperson Exam

After finishing your coursework, the next step is taking the California Real Estate Salesperson Exam. This California realtor exam is timed and consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. You must score 70% or higher to pass.

Preparing well before taking the exam is crucial. You can take practice exams to test your knowledge and use other study materials for extra knowledge. Once you feel ready, schedule your exam with the California Department of Real Estate.

Submit Your License Application and Find a Broker

At this stage, you are now close to becoming a licensed real estate agent in California. You can submit your application via the eLicensing system or mail a hard copy to the California Department of Real Estate offices.

Provide all of the necessary documents as stated on the website. There is also an application fee, which varies from time to time. You must also submit your fingerprints for a criminal history review. You can do so by visiting a Live Scan location, and the fingerprints will be sent directly to the relevant department.

As is the case in other states like New York, new realtors in CA are required to work under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker. The broker will guide you as you take your first steps as you begin your career as a CA real estate license holder.

Summing Up

Becoming a licensed realtor in California can be daunting, but is worth the effort. Visit the California Department of Real Estate’s website to learn more about the latest requirements and regulations. 

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