Know How To Get A Real Estate License in California

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Real Estate License

For those looking to get into the real estate industry, California is the ideal state to be in. This sector is one of the fastest growing in the state driven by economic stability and high job opportunities.

It is thus no wonder that thousands of people migrate to the state every year, giving a boost to the housing market. Hence, it is the perfect ground for real estate professionals to work in and earn high commissions.

However, it is easier said than done as a California real estate license has to be first earned before you can practice in the state as a real estate professional. This provision is mandated by the California Department of Real Estate (CDRE), a statutory body that controls the functioning of the real estate sector in the state.

What Is The Process For Obtaining A California Real Estate License

Let us now go through the steps that aspiring real estate agents must follow to get a real estate license in California.

Step 1

Fulfill Basic Requirements

The first criterion for obtaining a California real estate license is to be 18 years of age. Additionally, you must be an American citizen and a resident of the state.

People who have migrated to the USA can also be real estate professionals in California provided they have been admitted legally into the country and have been granted working rights.

There is a catch here about the age limit. You can complete all the formalities for getting a license before you are 18 years old but you will be awarded a license only after you reach that age.

Step 2

Go Through the Pre-Licensing Education

Pre-licensing coursework is mandated in all states in the USA to be awarded a license. This is because it provides the necessary education to potential real estate practitioners to understand the complexities of this sector.

The number of hours of coursework varies between states. In California, it is 135 hours divided into three modules of 45 hours each.

These are:

  • Principles of Real Estate
  • Practice of Real Estate
  • Elective Course

You have to choose one subject for your elective course depending on your preferred area of specialization. They are:

  • Real Estate Finance
  • Real Estate Appraisal
  • Legal Principles of Real Estate
  • Property Management
  • Business Law
  • General Accounting
  • Escrows, Business Laws
  • Mortgage Loan Brokerage and Lending
  • Real Estate Administration
  • Computer Applications in Real Estate

You can either complete the courses online or from a brick-and-mortar real estate school. However, once you choose an online course, you are not limited to fixed hours of study. You have the flexibility to go through the course materials anytime from anywhere at your own pace. The one condition is to ensure that the coursework is accredited by the California Department of Real Estate.

One of the leading online course providers in California is RealEstateU. Not only are their pre-licensing courses very affordable but also the study materials and guides are of the highest quality. This is because the coursework is designed by experienced real estate professionals.

Step 4

Submit Your Fingerprints for Verification

A real estate agent must have high moral standards and set benchmarks in honesty and trustworthiness. It is because they deal in millions when it comes to real estate transactions.

To verify this aspect, you must submit your fingerprints to the CDRE for checking of past criminal records and any act of felony. You will then be issued a Live Scan Fingerprint Clearance though the CDRE has the right to deny your application for a California real estate license if any adverse records are found against you.

Step 5

Apply for The Licensing Exam

Apply online to the CDRE to schedule the licensing exam, enclosing the fingerprint clearance certificate and proof of having completed the pre-licensing coursework. Pay the exam fee of $60.

Step 6

Pass The Licensing Exam

You must pass the licensing exam to be eligible for a real estate license in California. There are 175 questions to be answered in multiple-choice format of which 70% must be answered correctly to get a pass grade. Even though the exam is conducted online, you must visit designated centers as decided by the CDRE. The licensing exam is conducted in Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno, San Diego, and La Palma (Orange County) in California.

Step 7

Apply for A Real Estate License

After passing the licensing exam visit the website of the CDRE and apply online for a California real estate license. Pay the fee of $245 and attach proof of having passed the licensing exam. Get the license within 2 to 3 weeks of application.

Step 8

Find a Broker to Mentor You

The final step in the process of obtaining a California real estate license is to find a broker who will sponsor you. There are several reasons for this step.

First, the real estate industry is complex and any wrong move by you will have serious financial implications. Hence, you need an experienced professional to be constantly by your side, guiding and mentoring you and even giving you business leads in the initial stages of your career.

Next, to launch your profession, you need some basic infrastructure like a cabin to meet clients, stationery, and supporting office staff. A broker can provide you with this setup for a nominal fee or a part of the commission earned by you on a real estate transaction.

With a California real estate license now in your hands you can look forward to a very satisfying, well-paying, and rewarding career.