How to Become a Real Estate Agent in California

Do you want to become a real estate agent? California is an excellent state for a real estate career. The California real estate market is hot, licensing is relatively easy, and this career offers a lot of freedom and flexibility. Accredited by ARELLO and IDECC, Colibri Real Estate has taught thousands of aspiring real estate agents across the country with our affordable and convenient online program. We’re so confident in our ability to give you the best real estate education at the most affordable price that we even guarantee that you will pass your license exam the first time—or you don’t pay.* Enroll in our classes to become an agent in California.

Here’s how to become a California real estate agent in 3 steps

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Step 1: Understand the California Real Estate Commission Requirements.

In order to become a licensed real estate agent in the state of California, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • You also need to be honest. Conviction of a crime may result in the denial of a real estate license in California. Failure to disclose a criminal violation in an applicant’s history may also result in the denial of a California real estate license.
  • Complete the 135 hours of required pre-licensing education.
  • Take and pass the real estate license exam.
  • Submit application for license and associated fees to the California Division of Real Estate.

Here are the details concerning real estate requirements in California.

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Step 2: Plan for How Long it Takes to Earn a California Real Estate License.

There are several steps to becoming a real estate agent in California, so it’s a good idea to plan for multiple months to get your license. An average timeline looks like:

  • 2-6 months to complete 135 hours of pre-licensing courses.
  • 1-4 weeks for the California Department of Real Estate to process your application.

In-person classes can’t be expedited, but for students who follow an aggressive study schedule with online courses, it’s possible to complete all the required steps and become a California real estate agent in just a few months.

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Step 3: Prepare for How Much it Costs to Become a Real Estate Agent in California.

Perhaps the biggest financial investment you will have to make in order to become a licensed California real estate agent is your real estate education. You’re required to complete 135 hours of pre-license courses to become a real estate agent in California, but the options to get there vary greatly.

Onsite education options are often more expensive than online education, due to the cost of the physical location being passed along to the student. Refer to the table below to compare and contrast some of the most well-known California real estate schools.

California Real Estate Schools

Institution Location Cost Schedule
Colibri Real Estate Online $119 Course accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
CA Realty Training


$399.99 (onsite)
$154.99 (online)
Daytime or evening classes
24/7 online
Premier Real Estate School California Onsite $168 24/7
California School Of Real Estate Onsite $129 24/7
Accredited Real Estate Schools Onsite
$399 (onsite)
$169 (online)
Evening classes (6-9pm)
San Diego Real Estate School Onsite
$599 (onsite)
$399 (online)
Evening classes, multiple locations
Chamberlin Real Estate School Online $350 24/7
CE Shop Online $129 24/7
OnCourse Learning Online $129 24/7
Kaplan Online $249 24/7


In addition to real estate education courses, you will have to pay the following fees in order to get your California real estate license.

Application Fee: $60
License Fee: $245
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*Our Pay or Don’t Pay Guarantee only applies to our exam prep, exam prep Plus and Ultimate Learning packages