Being a real estate agent in California is a worthwhile job. Not only do you meet different kinds of people, but being able to close a sale is both fulfilling and provides satisfaction knowing that you provide someone a home that they can cherish for a long time. Helping people with what could be the most substantial investment in their lives is a matter that should be handled with great care and professionalism. In California and the rest of the country, it is unlawful for any person to engage in real estate in the capacity of a real estate broker or a real estate agent without obtaining a real estate license. If you choose to be a real estate agent vs realtor or a broker in this state, you will still need a California real estate license to engage in the real estate industry.
If you want to know how to get into real estate career, the process of getting a California real estate license may seem daunting at first. Once you see the steps you need to take, you will find it easier to visualize yourself as a successful real estate agent.
Step 1: Pre-Qualification
The general requirements to start the process of becoming a California real estate agent are not stringent. Unless you are not a California resident, you only need to be at least 18 years old with no conviction of a criminal violation. However, failure to disclose any criminal offense may result in the denial of your license. If you are a non-resident of California, you need to read the guidelines further in your case.
Step 2: Completing 135 Hours of Real Estate School Instruction
Once you have determined that you meet all the requirements to become a California real estate agent, Step 2 is to be prepared for the California real estate exam. These courses are meant to prepare you, not just for the California salesperson licensing exam, but to provide you with the principles of real estate practice that will prove valuable in the work of licensed real estate agents. The 135 hours of pre-licensing education is further split up into three 45 hour courses:
- Real Estate Principles (45 hours)
- Real Estate Practice (45 hours)
- Real Estate Finance (45 hours)
The third 45-hour course could cover any of the following real estate courses:
- Real Estate Appraisal
- Real Estate Finance
- Real Estate Economics
- Property management
- Legal Aspects of Real Estate
- General Accounting
- Business Laws and Escrows, among others
An accredited private California real estate school or a state college/university offers pre-licensing coursework. These institutions are certified by the California Department of Real Estate. The coursework mode can be either online real estate courses or in-person classes. You may select the method of instruction that can fit your schedule, or you may opt to complete your real estate pre-licensing education at your own pace.
Step 3: Pass The Real Estate Course Exam
You will be required to pass the course final exam once you complete your 135 hours of real estate courses. The duration of the exam is 3 hours, covering 150 multiple-choice questions. You need to get 105 correct questions out of the 150 to pass. You are given two attempts to pass each final exams.
Step 4: Pass The California Real Estate Exam or the California Salesperson Licensing Exam
The CA real estate license examination has the same duration and number of questions as the course final exam. The passing rate is also 70%. Should you fail the real estate salesperson examination on the first attempt, you must wait 18 calendar days before retaking the California real estate license exam. If you fail the California Real Estate salesperson exam for the third time, you will need to retake the entire 135-hour course.
Step 5: Find a Sponsoring Broker
Choosing a sponsoring broker is crucial for becoming a successful licensed real estate agent. Aspiring real estate professionals require a steady and reliable mentor to guide them through a California real estate career. It pays to be hired by a real estate brokerage that has a stellar reputation that allows you room to grow. Moreover, being technologically advanced and being up to date with the latest trends in marketing techniques will work for aspiring real estate agents in the long run. A mentor in the same brokerage firm can provide real estate leads as you hone your skills to become a bonafide real estate agent.
Step 6: Complete The Documentation For Your Real Estate License Application
The Department of Real Estate will require you to complete the California License Application form within a year after you successfully pass the exam. You will need to pay $245 aside from asking you to provide additional background information. The DRE also requires you to visit a live scan fingerprint service provider as a part of the background check. The fingerprint processing fees are around $45. The DRE will publish the current wait times once you submit your application.
Takeaways: How to Become a Real Estate Agent in California Is Actually Straightforward
Knowing the steps and being committed to a successful real estate career, hurdling the California Real Estate exam, and jumpstarting your real estate career is a challenge that is worth taking on. Taking the real estate principles, real estate practices, and applicable laws to heart won’t just help you with satisfying the requirements to possess a real estate salesperson license. Still, they can also help you serve your clients professionally and with integrity.
The Karen Sandvig Real Estate Family has 17 years of experience in California’s luxury real estate market. As a top-producing award winner, Karen Sandvig will always surpass your expectations and ensure that you get the best value from your real estate transactions. To know more about our property listings and services, call us at (818-941-7437) or Contact Us.