Applying for a real estate license is one of the most common starting points for a career in real estate. Beyond many people being interested in the field, the overall employment of real estate brokers and sales agents is forecasted to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 5% through 2031, going to show how this field is growing. Everything you need to know about the requirements for a California Real Estate License. However, applying for a real estate license isn’t as easy as it seems, so understanding the steps involved can help anybody speed up the process.
What is a Real Estate License?
A real estate license is simply an authorization issued by a governmental body that gives both agents and brokers the legal ability to represent either a home seller or buyer in the real estate process. Put another way, when a person is interested in buying a home or selling a home, they will employ either an agent or broker to assist with the process. However, a real estate license is required for that person to legally represent the party who is buying or selling.
What Are the Steps Involved with Acquiring a Real Estate License?
The steps required for acquiring a real estate license vary from state to state, but the California real estate license process is relatively simple:
- Wait until you are 18 years old to apply
- Enroll in three courses: Real Estate Principles, Real Estate Practice, and one course from the following:
- Real Estate Appraisal
- Real Estate Finance
- Real Estate Economics
- Real Estate Office Administration
- Property Management
- Legal Aspects of Real Estate
- General Accounting
- Business Law
- Computer Applications in Real Estate
- Common Interest Developments
Once the above courses have all been passed and the final exams have been completed, a person can fill out their application for the license. When your application is approved, you will receive a date to take the final exam associated with the license. Once this has been passed, a license will be given to the person who passed the exam.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Real Estate License?
The overall amount of time it would take to get approved for a real estate license can vary from state to state depending on the amount of coursework that is required. However, the general timeline for getting approved for a California real estate license is around 2-5 months depending on how much time a person can dedicate to their coursework.
45 hours are required in each of the two compulsive courses and one elective course, with most courses being a “complete at your own pace” structure. This is why the time to get a real estate license can vary so drastically. For those who already have a full-time job and are getting their license on the side, the process could take as long as a year or more if classes are being done in the evenings only.
Career Paths to Consider After Receiving a Real Estate License
After you ace your real estate exam with prep and crash courses, you may be wondering what types of careers you can now pursue. The specific career you choose will be dictated by your interests, but some of the most common options include:
- Real Estate Agent: These professionally licensed individuals help to organize and assist with real estate transactions. They tend to work on a commission structure and work underneath a broker who oversees multiple real estate agents.
- Real Estate Broker: A real estate broker, on the other hand, is a real estate agent who has additional certifications and who can assist with more in regard to real estate transactions. They typically own their brokerage form and employ a number of agents.
- Residential/Commercial Appraiser: Real estate appraisers estimate the value of the property, whether that be a home or a building, based on the comparable market.
Plan your future in real estate today
Launching a new career is challenging regardless of the field you are trying to enter. However, real estate is unique in that it requires a certain level of certification for more advanced jobs. Ensuring you understand what is required when applying for a real estate license in California can help you be more successful in the process of requirements for a California Real Estate License. For those who reside out of state, but still wish to pursue a license in California, there are specific requirements that will vary depending on where you live.