Benefits of Becoming a Real Estate Broker

Nice work! You're here because you want to get a real estate broker license in California!

The sales license just wasn't enough for you? You're motivated. You're driven. You want to open your own company and are ready to make it happen!

Broker license here you come!

Fortunately for you, applicants wishing to obtain a California real estate broker license face a rather straightforward process. After completing some easy educational requirements with ADHI Schools and the required experience you can hop on over and test to become a California real estate broker!

Keep in mind that you'll also need to pay a couple of small fees to the state in order to take the real estate broker exam in California. It's $95 for the state examination and $300 for a four-year real estate broker license.

We will prepare you well for the examination and help you pull together all the knowledge you've accumulated from ADHI Schools' real estate courses, on the job experience, and our legendary crash course and crush this thing the first time!

Don't forget, you'll also need to clear criminal background in California which involves submitting fingerprints prior to licensure. Clear criminal history isn't just a California real estate broker requirement, virtually all states require real estate agents and brokers to submit to a background check prior to obtaining a license.

Here's a step-by-step breakdown.


There are three broad requirements for all prospective real estate brokers in California which will be outlined below.

1. Background clearance

2. Experience

3. Education

6 Steps to Becoming a California Real Estate Broker

To meet the California real estate broker license requirements, do the following:

Step 1

Make sure you're honest about your background

In terms of the background check, you need to be at least 18 years old and demonstrate 100 percent honesty on the "criminal history" and background sections of the broker license application. Note that having a criminal record is not a de facto grounds for denial of a license. Rather, the Department of Real Estate (DRE) investigates each application individually. It is up to the Real Estate Commissioner to decide whether a past legal infraction warrants denial of licensing.

One thing that will almost invariably lead to denial is lack of full disclosure on the application. The Department of Real Estate makes its determination based upon the relevance of any criminal offenses as they might pertain to the practice of real estate brokerage. Things like felony fraud, theft and any types of violent crimes are often grounds for denial of a license. Applicants should know that failure to list any part of a criminal record, no matter how seemingly insignificant a particular charge or conviction might seem, can lead to swift denial of a license application.


steps to become a real estate broker

Step 2

Get the necessary real estate industry experience:

You also have to submit written verification of experience, which can be done a few different ways. If you have 2 years of full-time and verifiable real estate experience that has taken place during the prior 5 years, that's all you need. Also, remember that the Department of Real Estate will accept a 4-year college degree, with a minor or major in real estate, as fulfilling the requirement.

A few alternate forms of experience also work. For example, if you have 2 years of experience working in another state or country as a real estate agent, or worked 2 years or more as a real estate developer, property manager, loan officer, escrow officer, or builder, you may meet the requirement. Applicants who are unsure whether their experience is relevant for purposes of obtaining a real estate broker license should contact the DRE and find out before they send in an application.

Step 3

Complete the required education

ADHI Schools has you covered on all of the eight courses you will need. They are as below:

Real Estate Practice

Legal Aspects of Real Estate

Real Estate Finance

Real Estate Appraisal

Real Estate Economics or Accounting

Three elective courses

*Note: If you take both accounting and economics you only have to take 2 electives.

Step 4

Pay the combined application fees for taking the exam and obtaining a license:

On the Broker Examination and License Application, you must fill out everything and submit the fees. No cash! Credit cards, cashier's checks, money orders and checks are acceptable. The RE 436 form is the main form that you'll need.

Currently the fee to take the California real estate broker exam is $95 and a four-year license will set you back $300.

On the application, you can choose to schedule your own exam time or let the DRE pick a time for you.

After that, it's time to wait. The Department of Real Estate will get back to you within 4-8 weeks.

Step 5

Decide on a date when you will be able to take the exam:

If you opted to determine your own exam time when you sent in the application, you will receive communication from the state stating that you can now choose your exam time, location and date. If you chose to let DRE pick your exam time, you will get an Exam Schedule Notice stating the time, date and location where you will take the test.

Step 6

Sit for, and pass, the California real estate broker's examination:

The exam is given at various sites around the state. You'll be able to choose one of five locations that is most convenient for you. Testing takes place throughout the week and is year round. Don't forget your government issued photo identification.

You'll have five hours to respond to 200 questions, all of which are multiple-choice format. All real estate broker exams are now administered in electronic form, which allows you to get your exam results instantaneously. If you score 75 percent or above, you pass.

Resources You’ll Need to Start Your Brokerage

The California real estate broker exam tests candidates in several areas, including real estate law, accounting, contracts, laws of agency, financing, mandated disclosures, appraisal, real estate practice, property ownership, transfer of property, market analysis, land use regulations and controls, and more. The test has been designed to be truly comprehensive and challenging.

This is why it's so important to take a live crash course like the one we offer. Head on over to to learn more.


Always keep an eye on state requirements for continuing education and consider joining the National Association of Realtors if you want MLS access and other benefits. Brokers should stay abreast of California's real estate licensing requirements and know where they stand in terms of continuing education courses, annual fees and any new rulings issued by the California Department of Real Estate.

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