How To Become A Real Estate Agent In California

The real estate business is a thriving industry. People are always looking for property, either commercial or residential. California, one of the biggest economic hubs in the country, is especially a state where real estate is a booming business.

But to become a real estate agent in California, you’ll need to complete courses related to the real estate industry. You’ll need a California Salesperson License, given to you by the DRE upon the completion of your examinations. You don’t require any degrees or courses related to the real estate industry before you enroll in your courses. However, you should ideally have at least your high school diploma or GED scores ready.

Here are the five steps it takes for you to become a real estate agent in California:

1. Applying to Become a Real Estate Agent

To enroll for the courses you need to become a real estate agent in California, you’ll need to be at least 18 years of age. You should also be a resident of California. In case you aren’t, you’ll need to apply for your Out-Of-State application before you register for your course.

2. Pre-Licensing Education

Everyone interested in becoming a real estate agent in California must complete 135 hours of courses. You’ll have to complete three courses pertaining to the real estate business. Each course module is of 45 hours. The courses you need to complete are:

  • Real Estate Principles
  • Real Estate Finances
  • Real Estate Practices

You’ll need to attend your classes and secure passing marks at your final examination before you can apply for your salesperson license.

3. Final Examination

Each candidate gets two chances to clear each exam. That means that for every course you take, even if you fail to secure the accepted passing sores the first time, you get one more chance. The accepted passing secure for potential real estate agents in California is 70%.

You’ll have around one minute to answer each question. You should also note that your examination will take place in the presence of a proctor who will be monitoring the examination.

After passing your course examination, you’ll have one more exam ahead of you. This is the California Salesperson Licensing Examination. In this exam, you’ll need to answer 150 multiple choice questions. You have a time limit of three hours and fifteen minutes to answer all these questions. Like your last exam, the accepted passing score for the California Salesperson Licensing Examination is also 70%.

4. Select Your Broker

All potential real estate agents in California need to choose a sponsoring broker to work under for the initial years. The sponsoring broker must be active and working in the industry.

You should consider being especially careful regarding the broker you’ve chosen. That’s because during your initial years as a real estate agent, you’ll be learning about your trade from your sponsoring broker. They will look after your career growth, help you expand your network, and show you the ins and outs of the industry.

To ensure that you get best out your relationship with your sponsoring broker, finding the right sponsor is crucial. You can consider asking yourself questions like:

  • What kind of a real estate agent do I want to become?
  • Which potential sponsors are successful in the niche I want to succeed in?
  • What kind of networks does my sponsor of choice have?
  • Are they up-to-date with the latest innovations and technology in the industry?
  • Have they sponsored other real estate agents before? If so, how well are those real estate agents placed now?

It’s important to not choose your sponsoring broker randomly, but only after careful research. If your goals and milestones align with theirs, or if you feel as if they have something to help you grow your career, then consider them. The right sponsoring broker could enable your career to grow faster and in a better way.

5. Apply For Your License

After completing the previous steps, you’re now ready to apply for your California Salesperson License. You can consider filing for your License Combo Application by this stage. If not, then you’ll be provided with a Salesperson License Application.

You’ll need to return this application, together with your application fee within one year since the date you completed your licensing examination. Before the DRE sends you your application, they will also require your fingerprint.

Only after the DRE has received your fingerprint as well as transcripts from your courses and examinations will they send you your California Salesperson License.


Becoming a real estate agent in California requires you to take courses, sit for examinations and choose a sponsoring broker. After you’ve completed these initial steps, you can apply for your license to the DRE. After reviewing your application and ensuring that all the details are in place will the DRE award you with your California Salesperson License.

Although there are quite a few steps to becoming a real estate agent in California, the end results more than make up for the process. You’ll be a part of a thriving industry with real potential to make profit. Your first few years may be a little slow, as it usually is for many newcomers to the industry. With time, you can grow to make high profits from your career.

One way to protect your real estate business is by choosing the right business insurance policies. If you want to learn more about business insurance for real estate agents, then click here.

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