Are you interested in pursuing a career in real estate in California? If so, you’ll need to obtain a California real estate license. This license allows you to legally sell and broker real estate transactions in the state of California. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to obtain a California real estate license, including what you need to do to complete each step, activities requiring a license, potential obstacles, and resources to help you along the way.
Step 1: Meet the Eligibility Requirements
Before you can apply for a California real estate license, you need to meet several eligibility requirements. These requirements include:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have legal residency or authorization to work in the United States
- Complete three college-level courses in real estate, consisting of Real Estate Principles, Real Estate Practice, and one additional course from a list of approved courses. Alternatively, you may have a degree in real estate from an accredited institution.
Step 2: Complete the Required Pre-Licensing Education
To qualify for a California real estate license, you must complete 135 hours of pre-licensing education. This education is divided into three courses: Real Estate Principles (45 hours), Real Estate Practice (45 hours), and one additional course from a list of approved courses (45 hours). You can complete these courses entirely online through an approved provider, like Chamberlin Real Estate School. The DRE website has a portal to verify approved educators.
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Step 3: Pass the California Real Estate Salesperson Exam
Once you have completed your pre-licensing education, you must pass the California Real Estate Salesperson Exam. The exam is divided into two sections: a national section and a California-specific section. The national section covers general real estate principles and practices, while the California-specific section covers state-specific laws and regulations. You must pass both sections with a score of at least 70%.
Step 4: Apply for Your California Real Estate Salesperson License
After passing the exam, you can apply for your California Real Estate Salesperson License. You must submit an application to the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) and pay the application fee. The application requires you to provide information about your education, exam results, and criminal history.
Step 5: Find a Brokerage to Work For
To legally practice real estate in California, you must work under a licensed real estate broker. You can work for a brokerage as an independent contractor or as an employee. It’s important to research different brokerages and find one that fits your career goals and values.
What Activities Require a Real Estate License in California?
In California, a real estate license is required to perform various activities related to real estate transactions. Some of the activities that require a real estate license in California include:
- Selling or leasing real estate properties: Any individual who engages in the sale or lease of real estate properties in California must hold a valid real estate license.
- Listing properties for sale or lease: Listing a property for sale or lease on behalf of the owner or the owner’s agent requires a real estate license.
- Negotiating real estate transactions: Negotiating or offering to negotiate the purchase, sale, or lease of real estate properties requires a real estate license.
- Providing advice or opinions on real estate transactions: Providing advice, opinions, or recommendations on real estate transactions for compensation requires a real estate license.
- Property management services: Providing property management services, such as collecting rent, arranging for repairs and maintenance, and supervising tenants, requires a real estate license.
Potential Roadblocks to Getting Your License
While obtaining a California real estate license can be a straightforward process, there are several obstacles that may arise. These obstacles include:
- Failing the California Real Estate Salesperson Exam: The exam can be challenging, and if you don’t pass both sections with a score of at least 70%, you’ll need to retake the exam.
- Criminal History: If you have a criminal record, your application for a California real estate license may be denied. It’s essential to disclose any criminal history on your application and be honest about your past.
- Lack of Pre-Licensing Education: If you haven’t completed the required pre-licensing education, you won’t be eligible to take the California Real Estate Salesperson Exam.
- Finding a Brokerage: Not all brokerages are created equal, and finding one that fits your career goals and values may take time.
Resources to Help You Get & Keep Your License
If you’re interested in obtaining and maintaining a California real estate license, there are several resources available to help you along the way. These resources include:
- California Department of Real Estate (DRE): The DRE is the regulatory agency that oversees the real estate industry in California. Their website provides information about the licensing process, educational requirements, and exam details.
- Approved Education Providers, like Chamberlin Real Estate School: Our experienced instructors are available to answer any questions you may have about getting a license, and our online courses are designed to prepare you to take and pass the state exam on the first try. Once you’ve obtained your license, we also offer required real estate license continuing education to help you stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and regulations.
- Exam Prep Courses: Our 1-Day California Real Estate Exam Crash Course is designed to help you ace your state exam. Led by an expert licensed instructor, this webinar includes key terminology, exam-taking hints, memorization aids, and a hot questions handout to ensure you’re fully prepared for the big day.
Professional Associations: Joining a professional association, such as the California Association of Realtors or the National Association of Realtors, can provide you with valuable networking opportunities and resources.
Where To Find Out More About Real Estate Licenses
The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) is the state agency responsible for regulating and enforcing real estate laws and regulations in California. The DRE oversees the licensing of real estate professionals, including salespersons, brokers, and appraisers. They also investigate complaints and take disciplinary action against licensees who violate real estate laws or engage in unethical conduct. In addition to their regulatory role, the DRE provides consumer resources, such as a database of licensees, publications on buying and selling real estate, and information on filing a complaint. The DRE is committed to promoting a fair and competitive real estate market in California and protecting consumers from fraudulent and deceptive practices. You can find out more about the Real Estate Exam here.
Now You Know!
Obtaining a California real estate license requires meeting eligibility requirements, completing pre-licensing education, passing the California Real Estate Salesperson Exam, submitting an application, and finding a brokerage to work for. While there may be obstacles along the way, there are several resources available to help you achieve your goal. By utilizing these resources and being persistent, you can obtain your California real estate license and pursue a successful career in real estate. Get started today, with Chamberlin Real Estate School!