California is one of the bigger, more prominent states in the country, and these days, it’s not hard to see why. The willingness to pioneer new industries and experiment has always been a part of this state’s character. So while other states in the early 20th century might have thought it silly to create an economy around the film industry, California didn’t. And when other states weren’t sure that computers would be a part of the future, Silicon Valley in California moved forward.
Today, California is now one of the richest and most well-known states in America thanks to those choices, and that’s made it a huge market for property in both the commercial and residential sectors. This is a place where homes can be affordable in smaller towns, perfect for families to be raised in, or run millions of dollars, with structures and grounds as large as castles. This makes it a perfect place to get into the real estate industry and have a very promising and profitable career. But it’s not as easy as just deciding to get into real estate and start selling property. In the beginning, you need to be a real estate agent or salesperson, and then, ultimately, you might want to get your California real estate broker license. So what is the California real estate broker license, how does it differ from having a regular real estate license? How do you get it? I’m going to explain that now.
Before you can get a California real estate broker license, you need to achieve the first, crucial step, which is getting your “basic” real estate license. There’s a big difference between being a real estate agent and being a real estate broker. As a real estate agent, you’re still working independently, making your own deals, arranging your own schedules, meeting your clients and working on a commission. However, the work you do is with a bigger real estate company that is owned and operated by someone with a California real estate broker license. A real estate agent or realtor must be affiliated with a real estate agency run by a broker.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that a broker is your “boss,” in the sense that a salary is paid out, working hours are defined, and there’s an office you have to go to. But in the same way that a legal practice has lawyers that come together under one company banner, the same is true with real estate, only it gathers around whoever has the California real estate broker license. The broker is the one that can actually transact the financial deals that an agent secures, making listings for properties, and can, if he or she wants, work alone and independently, or with other brokers, or with agents in his or her company.
Getting a California real estate broker license can happen in a few different ways. All of them, however, have two universal requirements. You must be at least 18 years of age, and you must have a clean record, the presence of a criminal conviction, especially if you lie about it, can get your California real estate broker license revoked.
If you’re just starting out in real estate, you have a few options. If you don’t have a four-year college degree, you’ll need to start at the very beginning. You must become a real estate agent, taking the required classes, writing and passing an exam, and then working in California for at least two years as an agent. After that, you can take eight college-level real estate courses, and then write and pass the exam for the California real estate broker license.
If, however, you already have a college degree, then you’ve got some room to maneuver. Holders of a four-year college degree can take the additional eight college-level real estate courses, and then write their exam for the California real estate broker license. If you complete those courses and pass, you’ll have your California real estate broker license.
Finally, there’s an even faster route for people who are already practicing lawyers. If you’re a lawyer in California, you only need to write the California real estate broker license exam! That’s it! Of course, it’s still probably a good idea to read up on the vagaries real estate law, and the financial regulations associated with it if you’re not so familiar, but that’s what license courses are for, and there are lots of ways to get this education.
As with becoming a real estate agent, people have a lot of options when it comes to getting a California real estate broker license. Depending on your time commitments and personal preferences, you may want to simply attend your classes with a lecturer, and get the traditional classroom experience. However, as with the real estate agent process, it’s also possible to get a broker license online.
The same schools that make it possible for people to become agents often also include options for even more professional development, to take things to the next level. Places like Oncourse Learning Real Estate, formerly known as Career Webschool and Real Estate Express are places I like to point people towards for getting their California real estate broker license online. Oncourse has a 45-hour course that covers more advanced situations that brokers will deal with, such as financing, foreclosures, loan types, lenders and a lot of other essential information.
Real Estate Express has a complete, in-depth course for people that may be starting right from the beginning, with a 225 hour course that covers all the essential aspects. They’ve also a smaller, 45 hour course available similar to Oncourse Learning’s, that lets more experienced students come to grips quickly with newer, more advanced concepts and situations a broker will be addressing.
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