Becoming a Real Estate Broker in California

Becoming a real estate broker in California entails several requirements in addition to taking and passing a written exam with the state of California.  You must have a valid real estate license before being allowed to become a broker.

Before you are allowed to sit for the broker exam in California you must be at least 18 year old and prove you have legal residence in the United States.  Residency in the state is not necessary to become a licensed broker.  However, you must file an “Out-of-State Broker Acknowledgement”  form with the state.

Real estate agentCriminal background checks may causes a denial of your license should you fail to disclose any criminal violation at any time in your history.  So, it is very important to be sure you include ALL information during the application process.  Having a criminal background does not necessarily mean you will be denied.  But, not disclosing it, increases the chances greatly that you will be denied the opportunity to become licensed.

Experience in real estate must be a minimum of two years as a full-time licensed agent within the prior 5 years.  This minimum requirement is becoming the norm in other states such as Florida where they previously required 12 month within the prior 5 years.  Now, Florida is following California requirements with 24 months experience within the prior 5 years.

Completion of college-level courses are required before being able to sit for the broker exam.


The core list of real estate courses:

  • Real Estate Practice
    Includes the daily real estate sales and brokerage tasks such as the selling process and real estate transactions from listing to closing escrow.  Additional topics included in this course are prospecting, qualifying prospect lists, marketing, financing and closing the sale.  Brokerage topics include owning a real estate business, managing realtors, office administrators, budgets and community relationships.
  • Legal Aspects of Real Estate
    Deals with legal issues regarding real estate ownership, transfer, rights of ownership, mortgages, deeds, escrow, title insurance and zoning.  Agency ethics can also be a part of the course.
  • Real Estate Finance
    Concepts, methods and techniques of financiing real estate transactions including parameters of mortgage capital, mortgage rates, amortization APR, loan underwriting and case studies.
  • Real Estate Appraisal
    Pricinples of appraising various types of real estate.  Includes valuation, real estate values, trends, use potential  and market data.
  • Real estate Economics/Accounting
    Appraising different real estate properties.  Includes neighborhood analysis, site utilization and property value.


Three elective real estate courses:

  • Advanced Real Estate Finance
  • Real Estate Principles
  • Advanced Legal Aspects of Real Estate
  • Business Law
  • Property Management
  • Real Estate Office Administration
  • Mortgage Loan Brokering & Lending
  • Common Interest Developments
  • Advanced Real Estate Appraisal
  • Computer Real Estate Applications
  • Escrow