How to Become a Real Estate Agent in California


California has an extensive 135-hour course requirement for aspiring real estate agents. Additionally, you must pass a state licensing exam and demonstrate high character following a criminal background check.

Basic Requirements

  • Before you are even eligible to train for a license, you must meet some basic requirements. First, you must be at least 18 years old to practice real estate in California. You must also be a legal U.S. resident. To become a real estate broker, you also have to complete at least two years of full-time work as a real estate salesperson.

Education and Training

  • The 135 hours of coursework must be at a college level, according to Kaplan. Real estate principles and practices are primary topics. Also, you learn about topics such as appraisals, property management, real estate law, accounting, escrow, mortgage loans and computer applications.

    The educational requirements are waived for California State Bar members, according to the California Bureau of Real Estate. Colleges and private real estate schools approved by the bureau are options for completing coursework.

Background Checks and Testing

  • A criminal record may preclude you from getting a real estate license, reports the bureau. You are also expected to be honest when filling out your license application. Discovery of any crimes or disciplinary actions not noted on your application could also lead to application rejection.

    The minimum score required to pass the California Salesperson License Exam is 70 percent, as of March 2015. You can apply for the test after finishing the educational requirement.

Additional Requirements

  • You can get a salesperson's license without broker affiliation, but you can't practice real estate unless you work out of a licensed broker's office. The two years of experience required to become a broker must be completed within the first five years that you hold a salesperson's license.

    After earning your California real estate license, you are eligible to join a local office of the National Association of Realtors. Doing so makes you a Realtor.

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