Your Guide To Becoming A Real Estate Agent In California

Becoming a real estate agent in California can be somewhat of a challenging task, but the rewards can be worth it. A career as a real estate salesperson provides a seemingly unlimited opportunity to achieve personal and financial success. Here is a breakdown of everything you need to know on how to get started.

Meet Minimum Standards To Become An Agent

Before you even start on your path to a real estate license in California, you must first meet some minimum requirements. These requirements are standard in any state you wish to become licensed in. There are three primary qualifications you must meet to begin real estate practice in California.

  • You need to be at least 18 years of age or older
  • You need to be a United States resident
  • You need to have eligibility to work in the United States

The Department of Real Estate has established these requirements to give legitimacy for anyone who wishes to become a real state agent in California.

How To Gain Relevant Experience

Any successful real estate agent needs to be knowledgeable about the kind of work they will be performing daily. To begin, you should search for an accredited real estate school. Many individuals have busy schedules, so many California state real estate classes are offered with online courses instead of in person. Either way, you’ll be learning aspects such as real estate principles, the practice of real estate, and business law. The flexibility gives potential agents to work around their current schedules as needed. It is a requirement that anyone who wishes to practice real estate in California first complete 135 hours of prior coursework. Then, he or she becomes eligible to take the state licensing exam.  Once you are ready to take the exam, you can register in multiple locations throughout California. You will be subject to pay for fingerprints, registration, and licensing fees. You have up to two years to take the exam after you register.

Understanding The State Exam Process

The state exam to become a California real estate agent is demanding, so it’s best to familiarize yourself with everything you need to know. You have roughly three hours to complete the exam that includes 150 multiple choice questions on varying topics. A score of 70 percent must be achieved on the salesperson examination and a 75 percent on the real estate broker exam. Many institutions will offer additional study preparation before you set off to tackle the test on your own. You’ll be tested on your command of the English language, the basis of real estate business, real estate finance, and other duties that need to be fulfilled for your clients. As stated earlier, the exam is rigorous, but you should pass it if you take exam prep seriously. Don’t assume it’s a “breeze” of a test. At less than a 50% pass rate the first time around, it’s not something to take lightly. However, if you don’t pass the first time, it may be retaken it as many times as you need during your registration window. You will have the benefit of knowing whether you passed or not.  For a better result, take advantage of crash courses that are often offered so you can have the confidence you need to pass quickly. On the day of the test, you will need a form of identification along with your reservation confirmation.

Completing Your License Application

Congratulations! You’ve passed the exam to become an agent. So now what? The Department of Real Estate must receive your license application within one year of you passing the state exam. You will be asked to prove documents showing that you have indeed completed preliminary courses to become an agent in California.

Getting With The Right Brokerage

The real estate practice is all about working with a group of like-minded individuals. All the work that you have put into becoming a real estate agent doesn’t stop once you have your license. The next step is finding a brokerage that will sponsor you. You’ll want to search for one that has a good reputation that will support new agents starting off their careers. Finding the right brokerage can help you get acquainted with other professionals who can assist you in beginning your successful journey. Proper mentorship is essential because you’ll most likely have questions and concerns that need to be addressed. If you feel comfortable in the brokerage you choose, you’ll have a better understanding of all the legal aspects of real estate.  Here’s a breakdown of what a new agent should consider when selecting the agency that they will work for.

  • How are new agents supported?
  • What is the commission plan?
  • How does the brokerage handle marketing and advertising?

Keeping Your License Active In California


Continuing education requirements are required to keep your California real estate license active. Every four years, it is needed for an agent to take 45 hours of an approved real estate course. Keeping sharp on your skills can help you continue your success as you advance further in your career. It’s also good to stay fresh on any trends or changes in the field. You can find out more information on maintaining an active license on the California Department of Real Estate.  The state’s DRE can give you further information on any other questions as well.

Summarizing Becoming An Real Estate Salesperson In California

A real estate agent in California can remember these five steps to get started.

1.  Meet the minimum requirements.

2.  Get in an accredited school to learn real estate principles.

3.  Prepare and pass the exam.

4.  Interview and sign with a brokerage

5. Keep your license active with continuing education.

Being A Real Estate Agent In California Is Rewarding


It’s no secret that getting a California real estate license takes dedication and hard work. The real estate market for homes in the California area is extremely competitive, so you must be well versed in the skills you have acquired. A real estate career will require you to work closely with the brokerage that hires you. Ask questions, be determined, and you’ll have much success using your real estate salesperson license.