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How to Become a Realtor in California

Updated on August 1, 2014
Obtaining the real estate salesperson license in the State of California is actually a straightforward process.
Obtaining the real estate salesperson license in the State of California is actually a straightforward process.

Real estate can be a very lucrative career depending on the housing market in a particular area. Before making the decision to become a real estate agent, it's important to understand how well other realtors in the area you wish to work are doing in their business. This is a good way to find out whether or not it will be profitable for you.

In the state of California there are two types of real estate licenses. It is important for those planning on going into real estate to know before applying for a license which they wish to apply for. There is the salesperson license and then there is the broker license. In most cases, those new to the real estate business get their salesperson license first and work under a broker while they work toward their broker license.

Real Estate Classes in California

There are several real estate classes that must be taken before a student can be licensed which include real estate principles and real estate practice.

An elective is required, in addition to the core requirements. You can choose from one of many possible real estate electives which include appraisal, business law, finance, or property management.

Many community colleges offer these courses or they can also be taken online. By California State law, the courses must either be 3 units in a semester system or 4 units under a quarter system. These courses are designed not only to teach real estate, but to help students pass the California Department of Real Estate exam.

The California Real Estate License Exam

The State of California offers an exam prep booklet, but there are also many courses that students may take to prepare for the test.

By State law, you must be at least 18 years old in order to apply to take the licensing exam. There are two different applications for a real estate license: one is for residents of California and the other is for residents of other states who wish to practice real estate in California.

The exam covers real estate principles, property ownership, land-use controls, valuation, agency laws, transfer of property, disclosures, contracts, and much more.

Getting your California Real Estate License

Before obtaining a license to practice real estate, you must pass the California licensing exam and meet all educational requirements. In addition, you must complete the Live Scan fingerprinting process. This is part of a background check that the State of California uses for those wishing to be licensed in real estate.

If you have previously been licensed in California and your license has expired within the past two years, you are exempt from the Live Scan process. Once you meet the educational requirements, have passed the exam, and have met all other legal requirements (including passing the Live Scan background check), you will be awarded a license to practice real estate in the State of California.


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    • melbel profile image

      Melanie Shebel 7 years ago from Midwest USA

      Thank you! That really makes my day!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Well written and interesting.


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