How To Become A Real Estate Agent In California (Experts Guide)
Current Date:July 28, 2021
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How To Become A Real Estate Agent In California

California has the most wonderful diverse area in the United States. The coastline, abundant valleys, and stunning mountain vistas make it here attractive real estate opportunities. If anyone has tired of working a tedious, nine-to-five job, or any reason to passion about a real estate agent, you may follow this instruction. Here I try to make an easy guide for you, how to become a real estate agent in California.

Basically here is a need to follow a couple of basic tasks. In this post, I will discuss section-wise in all tasks. If anyone read and follow it carefully, they could easily start the all process how to become a real estate agent in California. So let’s see;

Step 01: Take the Prelicensing Courses

It’s is the very first and initial step; you need a high school diploma or its equivalent courses. The California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) require it to obtain a real estate license in California. Remember, there is a need for at least 18 years of age. On these courses, you must complete three college courses for a total of 135 credit hours at a school approved by CalBRE to become a real estate agent. Therefore, these courses must about Real Estate Principles, Real Estate Practice, and an approved elective. To choose the perfect colleges, you may consider the following point.

  • While researching the colleges, try to find that respected in the real estate industry.
  • Try to pick the experienced instructors in the real estate field.

What you learn on the Pre-Licensing courses:

On the courses, you learn lots of theoretical and practical things that help you to become a real estate agent.

  • Real Estate Appraisal
  • Property Management
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Real Estate Economics
  • Legal Aspects of Real Estate
  • Real Estate Office Administration
  • General Accounting
  • Business Law
  • Escrow
  • Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending
  • Computer Applications in Real Estate
  • Common Interest Developments

Step 02: Apply for the Real Estate Licensing Exam

After taking the pre-Licensing course, you need to apply for a real estate LicenseYou get an application form online, just submit it with your valid information, fingerprints, and license fees that is $305 for a salesperson and $395 for a broker. In this case, the examine can pay for the fees via cashier’s check, money order, or credit card. Remember, you must need to select a testing location, date, and time on the license application form.

After completing the following application process, the examine can schedule their examination date. However, once you register, you need to pass the exam within two years. Otherwise, your application will expire, and fees will be forfeited. The exam will be conducted in Fresno, San Diego, Los Angeles vicinity, Oakland, or Sacramento.

Step 03: Familiarize yourself for the exam:

The California real estate salesperson license exam happens a total of 150 multiple-choice questions that are approximately seven topics. The student will get three hours and 15 minutes to solve those items. On the other hand, the broker will have 200 multiple choice questions that are needed to complete within five hours. Not only that, the candidate needs enough language skills and also general business knowledge. It’s mainly based-on English reading and writing, general business and legal contracts, and the foundation of a principal-agent relationship. However, some of the Considerable knowledge is given below.

  • English language: The examine needs to enough appropriate English knowledge. And also, arithmetical computations common to real estate and business.
  • General real estate: The candidate must need to know general real estate and business principles, and the purpose of contracts, deeds, mortgages, and appraisals.
  • Obligations between client and agent: The applicant must need to understand the obligations between the principal or client and agent. And also need to know the code of business ethics, and general law about the Real Estate Commissioner.

Therefore, to pass the California licensing exam, you must answer a 70% question correctly from the 150 multiple-choice questions. On the other hand, the broker agent needs to put a 75% correct answer from the 200 multiple items to pass the exam.

Step 04: Prepare for the Licensing Exam

The question will be about the laws of agency and fiduciary duties, Financing, and transfer of property-related. To get the pass mark, you must need to enough store enough knowledge about those topics. In this step, you need to work more and more hard. The candidate needs to cover the California license exam syllabus adequately.

Approximately 15% question is about property ownership and land use controls and regulation. In this case, they recommended to learn;

  • Classes of Property
  • Property Characteristics
  • Encumbrances
  • Types of Ownership
  • Descriptions of Property
  • Government Rights in Land
  • Public Controls
  • Environmental Hazards and Regulations
  • Private Controls
  • Water Rights
  • Special Categories of Land

Around 17% of questions about laws of agency and fiduciary duties. So, this section you need to learn

  • Law, Definition, Nature of Agency Relationships and Types of the agent.
  • Creation of Agency and Agency Agreements related tasks.
  • Responsibilities of Agent for Seller and Buyer.
  • Disclosure of Agency business and it’s related items.
  • Disclosure of Acting as the Principal or Other Interest related task.
  • Termination of Agency.
  • Commission and Fees.
  • Responsibilities of Agent to Non-Client Third Parties.

14% question about Property valuation and financial analysis. Try to learn those topics below;

  • Value
  • Methods of Estimating Value
  • Financial Analysis

Around 9% question comes from Financing.

  • General Concepts
  • Types of Loans
  • Sources of Financing
  • Government Programs
  • Mortgages/Deeds of Trust/Notes
  • Financing/Credit Laws
  • Loan Brokerage
  • Types of Loan Originators

Approximately 8% of question is about Transfer of property

  • Title Insurance
  • Deeds
  • Escrow
  • Tax Aspects
  • Special Processes
  • Transfer through Court Supervision
  • Types of Vesting

The most important topic, around 25% of the question, is about the Practice of real estate and disclosures. So, to get enough marks, learn these topics hugely;

  • Trust Account Management
  • Fair Housing Laws
  • Truth in Advertising
  • Record-Keeping Requirements
  • Agency Supervision
  • Permitted Activities of Unlicensed Sales Assistants
  • DRE Jurisdiction and Disciplinary Actions
  • Licensing and Continuing Education Requirements and Procedures
  • California Real Estate Recovery Fund
  • General Ethics
  • Technology
  • Property Management
  • Commercial/Industrial/Income Properties
  • Specialty Areas
  • Transfer Disclosure Statement
  • Natural Hazard Disclosure Statements
  • Disclosure of Material Facts Affecting Property Value
  • Need for Inspection and Obtaining/Verifying Information
  • Reports
  • Servicing Diverse Populations

12% of questions about contracts.

  • General
  • Listing Agreements
  • Buyer Broker Agreements
  • Offers/Purchase Contracts
  • Agreements
  • Promissory Notes/Securities
  • Purchase/Lease Options
  • Advanced Fee

Note: all of the learning topics are recommended by the official website ( So, learn more about those items.

Step 05: Attend and pass the Licensing Exam

On the exam date, the candidate must need to go to the center at least 30 minutes before the exam time. However, the applicant can’t need to carry any extra calculator because they will provide it. In this case, they need to bring two essential documents.

  1. Identification: Examine needs to carry two identification forms with signature and also one government-issued photo ID.
  2. Registration confirmation: Confirmation number needs to bring.

In these mentionable items, applicants can’t bring with them. So, remember it carefully before away to the exam center.

Personal items: Cellphones, purses, wallets, backpacks, briefcases, suitcases, and its similar items that you can’t carry with you on the exam spot.

Food & drink: You can’t bring with you any food items.

Study materials: The candidate is not allowed to bring with study guides, books, paper, flashcards, or other study materials.

Electronics: Tablets, portable computers, Mobile phones, personal digital assistants, calculators, cameras, video or digital recording equipment, watches, lapel pins, tie tacks, or any other electronic items are not allowed in the exam center.

Whatever, if you passed the exam, you would be notified immediately following the exam. For the passed candidate, they could not know their actual score. On the other hand, whose people failed in the exam, they can get their actual score on the exam. In this case, they shouldn’t be worried. They will able to set in the exam again and again within two years from the exam application date. After expired the application, they can apply again and could continue the exam.

Step 06: Complete Your License Application

Agents who did not fill up the License Combo Application before the exam, they need to submit the Salesperson License Application or Broker License Application. So, to complete this process, submit and provide the form within one year after passing the exam. You must be submitted this form to the Department of Real Estate examination via mail or fax.

Remember, it will not complete until the Department of Real Estate gets fingerprint response information electronically through the DOJ’s Live Scan Program.

Step 07: Choose an Agency or Brokerage

It’s the most crucial section after completing all those steps successfully. Here you need to learn the practical knowledge about earning potential at various things. So, an experienced brokerage made it easy. If you already have a relationship with an experienced brokerage, you will one step towards success. On the other hand, if you don’t have a relationship with any experienced broker, you need to find him and get guidelines before taking any business attempts.

Step 08: Keep Up with Continuing Education Requirements

After expired the license, to renew it for the first time, a California real estate salesperson and also Brokers need to take 45 hours of California Department of Real Estate-approved continuing education (CE) courses every four years. After the second time, Forty-five hours of CE credits need to keep every four years both agent and broker to renewing process. So, let’s see 45 hours of CE chart for the Salespersons;

  • Ethics: Three hours
  • Agency: Three hours
  • Trust fund handling: Three hours
  • Fair Housing:  Three hours
  • Risk management: Three hours
  • Consumer protection course: At least 18 clock hours.
  • Consumer service or consumer protection courses:  Remaining of 45 hours.

All the following terms same for the broker, but the broker needs three hours Management and supervision from the 45 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much time to take Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in California?

Around it takes four to six months to become a California real estate agent. But this time varies from considering a couple of things, how much time it takes for officials to process your applications, complete previews background checks, and grade your exams.

On the other hand, time varies people to other people. Some people complete their mandatory pre-licensing coursework within six weeks; some of taken it’s longer.

How much money Cost to Get a California Real Estate License?

It will around $1,335 costs for getting this license. From the amount, some of the cost is variable from one another, Some of fixed for all.

Should I Take My Pre-Licensing Class at my home in online?

Yes, anyone could attend Pre-Licensing via online. But I suggest you, try to complete this course from a real-life instructor that will in front of you. It will be costly, but you will more be benefited from it. On the other side, if anyone hasn’t enough time, they could join online classes. So, think about yourself before taking any decision.

What is the Format used California Real Estate Exam?

The California salesperson exam will happen totally of 150 multiple questions. You need to solve 70% of items within three hours, 15 minutes. The question will this type; “Who signs the promissory note and mortgage?” and “Which of the following is an example of a freehold estate?”

What Should I Bring on the Exam?

You need to bring two valid ID forms and a government-issued photo ID. And you also need to bring the registration confirmation that you received before the exam.

When Will I Receive the Exam result?

If you take your exam via a pencil and paper format, they will be taken around one week. On the other hand, if anyone attends the exam from a computer, they will get the result immediately after finishing the result. Remember one thing, after passing the California salesperson exam; you need to apply for a California salesperson or original broker license.

Can I Take the Exam More Time?

Yes, you can take your exam many times within the expired date (two years) that you would like. After expired application, you may able to apply again for the California salesperson exam. So, don’t worry.

How Do I Find the Right Broker?

To find the right broker, you should handle them more tactically. In this case, you may consider the following question both you and the brokerage.

  • What are the average commissions, and how it split?
  • What resources are available in him?
  • Is it available a mentorship program in place?
  • Will the brokerage agree to pay for marketing resources and advertisements?

How much time Does the Application Approval Take?

It’s not has a specific time. Most of the time, wheels of government turn efficiently and quickly. On the other hand, sometimes, it could not happen within a short time.

Note: in this case, you may learn real estate software and marketing tools. It will help you to become a real estate agent.

What Are the Main Requirements to Become a Real Estate Agent in California?

  • You must have at least 18 years old.
  • Have to legally allowed to work in the US.
  • Don’t have any criminal indictments.
  • You don’t have home invasion related offenses.

How Much Money Make in Real Estate Agents in California?

A real estate agent may earn an average of $92,372 in the Golden State. It depends on experience and how much you complete your task. Remember, it’s not a salary based; it’s based on commission.

Should I choose a Full-Time or Part-Time Real Estate Agent in California?

It entirely depends on your circumstances. As a commission-based job, you may increase you’re earning by more deals as a full-time worker. On the other hand, you also handle it as a part-time job from your other job.

Which did Brokerages operate in California?

Most of the national real estate brokerage works out of California. So, pick the right one from your abilities and interests.


The real estate agent is an honorable job in the United States. If you are in California, you may get lots of facilities to become a real estate agent. To start this journey, everyone may follow a couple of steps. If anyone follows my above steps carefully, hopefully, they could easily handle it.

Finally, I want to suggest them who are interested in coming to this sector. Stay focus and learn more for the exam. It’s an easy task if you afford it properly. If you have any queries about this field, comment on this post. Hopefully, you guys know all information and clear all doubts about how to become a real estate agent in California.

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