How to Become a Real Estate Broker in California

Learn how you can boost your real estate career by earning a real estate broker’s license.

Once you’re a licensed California real estate agent, what's next for your career? For many California real estate agents, the logical step is becoming a real estate broker. Brokers take on additional responsibilities and have the chance to increase their income. There’s a seven-step process to becoming a real estate broker in California, but once you’ve completed the California broker licensing process, you’ll discover new opportunities for your real estate career.

What is a real estate broker in California?

In California, a real estate broker is a licensed professional who acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers of real estate properties. Brokers oversee the entire real estate transaction process, from property listings to negotiations to finalizing deals.

Real estate brokers in California represent clients in the buying and selling of residential, commercial, and industrial properties. They work closely with clients to understand their needs and preferences, then use their knowledge and expertise to find the right property or buyer. Brokers are also responsible for conducting market research to determine the value of properties and marketing properties to potential buyers or tenants.

In addition to representing clients, real estate brokers in California may also provide a range of other services, such as property management, real estate consulting, and real estate investment advice. They can also specialize in specific property types like luxury homes, commercial buildings, or vacation rentals.

In short, California real estate brokers facilitate transactions, advise clients, and help Californians achieve their real estate goals. That’s why we want to help you elevate your career and become a real estate broker in California.

Difference between a broker and agent

Real Estate Salesperson

A real estate salesperson (or real estate agent) has completed the coursework and passed the licensing exam so that they can legally represent buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. As they help clients find properties, negotiate deals, and handle paperwork, they work under a real estate broker.

Real Estate Broker

A real estate broker in California has spent at least two years as a salesperson, then completed additional coursework and passed an additional exam. Once they’ve become a licensed broker, they operate independently as they oversee transactions conducted by real estate salespeople. With their additional education and expertise, they offer more comprehensive services to clients—and may even train and mentor salespeople in their brokerage.

Risk & Responsabilities

One key difference between a real estate broker and a salesperson is the level of financial risk involved. Brokers typically have more financial responsibilities, such as managing escrow accounts, handling legal disputes, and ensuring that all transactions comply with state laws. Salespeople, on the other hand, are primarily focused on finding and closing deals to earn their commission.

How do you become a real estate broker in California?

To get broker license in California, there are seven steps.

1. Meet the requirements. You must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and complete the required real estate courses from an accredited institution to earn your real estate agent license in California.

2. Gain experience. To become a broker, you must first work as a licensed real estate agent for at least two years under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker.

3. Complete additional coursework. This coursework includes 8 college-level real estate courses, including Real Estate Principles, Real Estate Practice, and one elective course.

4. Pass the state exam. You must pass the California real estate broker exam. The exam covers real estate principles, practice, law, and ethics.

5. Apply for a broker license. After passing the exam, apply for a broker license through the California Department of Real Estate (DRE). The application also has a fee and a background check.

6. Find a sponsoring broker. Whether working as an independent broker or joining another brokerage, you also must find a sponsoring broker to work with.

7. Renew your license. Like with renewing your California real estate agent license, you also must renew your broker license every four years by completing continuing education courses.

Is the California real estate broker exam hard?

As California’s real estate broker exam has a lower pass rate than other states, it’s definitely considered difficult. Covering a wide range of topics related to real estate law, practices, and principles, the exam demands extensive study and practice in order to pass.

Many individuals find the exam difficult due to its comprehensive nature and the depth of knowledge required. However, with dedication and a solid study plan, it is possible to pass the California broker exam.

At Allied, all of our courses and curriculum meet the state requirements for education and are designed to help you pass the exam. Plus, we also have our own exam prep courses that can give you the practice you need to take the exam with confidence.

How long does it take to become a real estate broker in California?

The process of becoming a real estate broker in California can take anywhere from 2 to 5 years, depending on individual circumstances.

After completing pre-licensing education and gaining two years’ experience as a licensed agent, you then have to study for and pass the broker exam, followed by submitting the necessary paperwork to obtain a broker license.

In order to get a broker license in California, you must first complete the necessary coursework through an approved real estate program (like Allied), which includes 135 hours of coursework covering topics within real estate principles, practices, and laws.

After completing the required education, you then have to pass the California Real Estate Broker License Exam. This exam has a national portion and a state-specific portion. You must pass both sections to obtain your broker license.

Broker Continuing Education

To renew your broker license in California, you must take continuing education courses every four years. The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) requires 45 hours of approved continuing education courses during this period, with courses covering topics such as ethics, agency, fair housing, and updates to applicable laws and regulations.

While some courses are elective, others are mandatory. A course in Risk Management ensures you’re equipped to handle potential legal issues and disputes. A course on Agency Relationships and Responsibilities covers the duties and obligations that you have to clients and customers.

But don’t worry. It’s not just busy work. Continuing education for real estate brokers in California will help you stay current on industry trends, regulations, and best practices. Through real estate broker continuing education, you can ensure you provide high-quality service to your clients and stay compliant with state regulations.

Becoming a real estate broker with Allied Schools

At Allied Schools, you can upgrade your license and become a real estate broker in California. With our flexible course offerings, we can help you get a broker license in California. Whether you prefer to study online or via livestreaming courses, we have options that fit your lifestyle and learning preference.

Join over 350,000 real estate agents and reach the next level right here.