Getting your California Real Estate License is the first step to becoming a real estate agent in California. Nowadays, this process can be done almost entirely online. You’ll still need to take your license exam in person, but the rest of the process can be completed entirely online!

    This article outlines the process to get your California Real Estate License in an easy to understand, step-by-step manner. You’ll learn how much it will cost, how long it will take, what is on the exam, and much more.

    How to Become a Real Estate Agent in California

    Becoming a real estate agent in California is as simple as getting your license, finding a broker sponsor, and getting to work selling real estate! As long as you fulfill the below requirements, you are already on your way to your goal.

     

    California Real Estate License Requirements

    The requirements to become a real estate agent in California are:

    • Be a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien
    • Be 18 years of age or older
    • Be honest and truthful in your background check

     

    How to Get Your California Real Estate License

     

    Step 1

    Step 1. Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course

     

    You are now ready to begin your real estate pre-licensing education. California requires that real estate sales agents complete 135 hours of pre-license coursework prior to sitting for their exam. This coursework will consist of Real Estate Principles (45 hours), Real Estate Practices (45 hours), and one elective (45 hours) from the list below.

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

     

    Most people choose to take their pre-license education course online. The majority of online courses are self-paced and include study materials like real estate practice exams and flashcards. Some also come with a “guarantee” that you will pass the exam on your first attempt if you complete their course. These benefits are all dependent on the education provider and package you choose, so be sure to get the course that best suits your needs. 

    Remember that the point of these courses isn’t just to check a box and complete a requirement, but rather to prepare you to pass your exam and become a better agent.

    Recommended Course

    For real estate license exam courses and study tools, StateRequirement recommends:

    California does not require the final pre-license exam to be supervised by a proctor. This is not the same as the state exam. This test is provided by your pre-license education company and is an indication that you have completed and retained the information from your pre-license education course.

    Similar to the state exam, this test is closed-book and closed-note. You are allowed a basic-function calculator and scratch paper, but no cell phones or outside internet access.

     

    Step 2

    Step 2. California Real Estate License Exam

     

    After you’ve completed your pre-license education, it is time to apply for the California Real Estate Exam.

    The fee to take the Salesperson exam is $60 per attempt.

    The California Real Estate Exam consists of 150 questions. You will have 195 minutes (3 hours and 15 minutes) to complete the entire exam.

    You will need to complete and submit a Salesperson Examination Application and submit it along with the required fee and transcripts showing successful completion of the pre-licensing hours.

    Once qualified, an Examination Schedule Notice – or an authorization to self-schedule – will be sent to you. Use the eLicensing online system to check your exam date or to self-schedule.

    Examination scheduling is based on the volume of applications received by the DRE. Exam availability is subject to the seating capacity of the facility and the demand for that site.

    Exams are generally administered in the following areas:

    • Fresno – Exams conducted in this location are offered in an electronic format
    • San Diego – Exams conducted in this location are offered in an electronic format
    • Los Angeles Vicinity – Exams conducted in this location are offered in an electronic format
    • Oakland – Exams conducted in this location are offered in an electronic format
    • Sacramento – Exams conducted in this location are offered in an electronic format

    How Hard is the California Real Estate Exam?

    The passing rate for the California Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 70%. This test is purposefully difficult, but not impossible. Be sure to pay attention during your pre-license course and take studying seriously. If you put the proper effort forth, we know that you can pass on your first attempt!

    The passing rate for the California Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 70%. This test is purposefully difficult, but not impossible. Be sure to pay attention during your pre-license course and take studying seriously. If you put the proper effort forth, we know that you can pass on your first attempt!