There is no question that the world of real estate holds plenty of rewards for those who can put forth the time and energy needed to truly succeed in the field. And California makes it even easier thanks to a strong economy throughout the state, growing population numbers, and one of the most diverse housing markets in the country. Simply put, real estate professionals can thrive here.
But going beyond being just a real estate agent is something that many will end up deciding is right for them. There is nothing wrong with being an agent, but taking the next step in your career could enhance your life even more. The next step is to become a real estate broker, and learning more about the California real estate broker requirements is important to ensure that you know what is required and how to go about getting what you deserve.
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What Does A Broker Do?
It’s easy to get brokers and real estate agents mixed up. After all, they both have the ability to buy and sell real estate in California. But there is a big difference. Essentially, a real estate agent must work for a brokerage, under the supervision of a broker. A broker is able to work on their own, and the majority of them will start their own real estate company and end up with agents working for them. All real estate agents in California are actually working on a broker’s license – the broker is able to work entirely on their own.
The brokerage will collect a portion of money from each transaction that their agents represent, but will have more responsibilities to their clients. This is the key reason that there are many more California real estate broker requirements in place than there are for an agent – the responsibilities are much more profound, and brokers must meet numerous California real estate broker requirements to show that they are capable of handling the work.
Are You Qualified To Be A Real Estate Broker In California?
The first thing you’ll need to do before even worrying about the rest of the California real estate broker requirements is to verify that you are actually qualified to apply. Under the California real estate broker requirements, you must have worked as a real estate salesperson for two years. However, this doesn’t just mean that you have to have a license. You actually must be able to show documented proof that you have held a real estate license and that you are a salesperson who is actively engaged in the field on a full-time basis – or part-time for what would be the equivalent of two years.
More info on how to prove this is included in the broker examination application package, and can also be found on the California Department of Real Estate website – along with an even more in-depth breakdown of the California real estate broker requirements. Essentially, you must be working at least 40 hours per week in activities that require your license. If you’re part-time, the credit is pro-rated – if you work for 20 hours per week, you’ll need to complete four years of work in order to achieve the 40 hours and the two-year California real estate broker requirements needed to become a broker. Along with this two-year experience, you must also show that that experience must have been gained at some time within a five-year period before the date of your broker examination application.
In short, you must have spent two years working as a real estate agent in California before applying to become a broker, or you won’t be qualified to even sit for the exam. This is the first of several additional California real estate broker requirements, but one of the most important.
Educational California Real Estate Broker Requirements
The most intensive part of the California real estate broker requirements is, without a doubt, the educational requirements. While agents can enter the field fairly quickly, brokers must complete much more education. For starters, all brokers must complete the following courses:
- Real Estate Practice
- Real Estate Finance
- Legal Aspects of Real Estate
- Real Estate Appraisal
- Real Estate Economics – or General Accounting
Along with these five core courses, a potential broker must choose and complete at least three courses from the following options:
- Business Law
- Property Management
- Real Estate Principles
- Mortgage Loan Brokering And Lending
- Real Estate Office Administration
- Advanced Legal Aspects of Real Estate
- Advanced Real Estate Appraisal
- Computer Applications in Real Estate
- Advanced Real Estate Finance
The time it takes to complete these courses can vary, especially when one is using online education to finish their educational requirements to fulfill the California real estate broker requirements. Once that these basic courses are completed, you’ll be ready to fulfill the remaining California real estate broker requirements and become a broker.
Additional StepsOnce that the California real estate broker requirements of education are completed, you must submit and pass the written state exam. You must wait 18 days after completing your coursework before attempting your exam and pay all applicable fees associated with it. Once that you complete the written exam you’ll be able to send in the information showing that you have met all California real estate broker requirements and apply for your broker’s license.
Along with this, it’s important to remember that you must submit your fingerprints and undergo a background check as part of the California real estate broker requirements. Those who have already submitted their fingerprints may still have to undergo a background check in some situations.
The Bottom Line
While it may seem like there is a lot to becoming a broker, the basic California real estate broker requirements are simple enough – actively work as a real estate agent for two years, and complete the additional education requirements. Then, it’s just a matter of taking and passing the broker exam. The process requires that you put forth your time and effort, but it’s effort that is well worth investing in yourself when you consider the possibilities that becoming a broker can offer to you.