Is a Real Estate License Hard to Get?

Karen D. Friedman
Nov 29, 2021
5 min

Actually, compared to other fields, the steps to get a real estate license is fairly easy.

The process of getting your license can take months and not years to achieve. This makes becoming a real estate agent very attractive to most people. 

While other fields of study may require a degree or years of specialized training, real estate does not. You are not even required to have a high school diploma. At the very least, you must be 18 years old by the time you are ready to take the State Exam with the Department of Real Estate.

Yes, really.

Of course, there is some training and a few other steps needed before you can call yourself a licensed real estate agent. Here is an outline of the process as an overview. Let’s start with the first step on the path to your real estate career.

How Hard Are Real Estate Pre-Licensing Courses?

The first step to getting your license is completing the 3 required prerequisite courses.

  1. Real Estate Practice
  2. Real Estate Principles and an
  3. Elective of your Choice 

These courses can be taken at a traditional college or at an online real estate school, like CA Realty Training.

Because online real estate schools only focus on the courses needed to get a real estate license, this would be the most effective way to fast-track your education. Enrolling online is simple and you get immediate access to the courses.

If finishing quickly is your priority, taking your courses online is the best approach. Although, the Department of Real Estate does regulate how quickly you can complete the courses. The shortest amount of time allowable to complete the courses is 54 days!  

Not too bad, right?

When you complete a course online you’ll get your certificate of completion. These are equivalent to a school transcript. When you gain all 3 certificates for each course, you have satisfied the education requirement and are ready for the next step. 

Is it Hard to Get a Real Estate License Background Check?

Now you are ready to get the background check done. This is also known as a Live Scan and is required by the Department of Real Estate. It will need to be completed before you can apply for the state exam and license.

You can go to any place that offers Live Scan services in your area. When you make your appointment, be sure to let them know that you need it for your real estate license. You will get instructions on what to bring with you to your appointment.

The live scan operator will take your fingerprints and electronically send them to the Department of Justice. Once received, it will take several weeks to be fully processed by the DOJ. The results will then get sent directly to the Department of Real Estate. 

At your appointment, you will receive the signed RE 237 form that shows you completed the live scan. So, what’s next?  

How Hard is it to Apply for the Real Estate License Exam?

You have obtained your 3 certificates of completion and your live scan is done. You are now ready to apply for the real estate exam and license!

While you do have the option to apply for the exam first and the license later, the RE 435 is the application that will allow you to apply for both together. This will save you on processing time and get you closer to getting your license.

You can mail in your application or apply directly on the Department of Real Estate’s website using e-licensing. You will qualify to schedule your exam once the DRE receives the results from the live scan. This can take approximately 6-8 weeks for the Department of Justice to process. 

So while you’re waiting, it’s time to study! 

Is Studying for the Real Estate License Exam Hard?

Most real estate schools, like CA Realty Training, will provide you with a real estate exam prep course. These are practice tests that cover the 7 categories that you will be tested on by the Department of Real Estate.

Because these practice tests are timed and patterned after the real estate exam, they will also mentally prepare you for what you can expect on test day. These exam prep courses may come with other resources like digital flashcards to help study terminology. 

If you are scoring well on these tests (80% or higher,) this is a good indication that you are ready for the real estate exam. 

Once you have scheduled your exam, if you still feel that you need some extra prep, you can choose to attend a crash course. It is designed to be taken as close to your exam date as possible. 

While the practice tests cover everything that you have learned, the crash course will focus on concepts and terms known to be on the real estate exam. They also include test-taking tips and tricks.  

The last step is taking the exam. Once you pass, you are officially a licensed real estate agent and ready to work! 

Costs of Getting a Real Estate License in California

Here is a brief overview of the costs associated with getting a real estate license:

Step 1: Pre-licensing Courses (Online Courses)

You can expect to pay about $100 - $200

Step 2: Real Estate License Background Check

Live Scan - $60-80 

Step 3: Apply for the State Exam/License

Exam/License Fee - $305

Step 4: Study and Take Exam (Optional)

Crash Course - $150 - 175

Altogether, the initial investment to get your real estate license is under $700. Considering the ease and low cost, why wouldn't you get your license?

TL;DR: Getting your real estate can be quick and easy in our program. We give you a schedule, the curriculum, and an abundance of resources to guide you through your studies. Also, our student support team is with you every step of the way. Getting a real estate license can be hard without direction, but we can make it easy.

Karen D. Friedman
Nov 29, 2021
5 min