Category Archives: Broker License

How to Become a Broker in California

We will take an in-depth look at what the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) requires for somebody to obtain a license as a broker.

Short Answer

  1. Verify that you meet the experience requirement
  2. Complete the pre-license education
  3. Submit your broker application
  4. Pass the state exam
  5. Complete your broker application

Long Answer

Basic Requirements:

  • You must be 18 years of age or older
  • California residency is not required.

1. Verify that You Meet the Experience Requirement

The DRE requires that you have a minimum of 2 years full-time equivalent, real estate related experience within the last 5 years.

This means that being licensed as a salesperson for 2 years does not automatically satisfy this experience requirement. You must have been actively engaged in real estate activity on a full-time basis, which is defined as 40 hours of work per week. The DRE does not give any additional credit for more than 40 hours of work per week.

This also means that if you have been working part-time, then as long as your accumulated hours within the past five years add up to the equivalent of 2 years full-time, that is acceptable. However, the DRE will not give you any partial credit for work that was under 10 hours per week.

Your current and/or former employing brokers will have to certify your experience by signing off on the Employment Verification Form (RE226). Letters of recommendation will not be accepted by the DRE.  

If your current or former broker is unable to certify your experience, then you can attach the form Employment Certification (RE 228), and give a short explanation (e.g. deceased, litigation, etc…) in the “Signature of Certifying Broker” field.

As a general rule, it is better to provide the DRE with too much information than not enough information. Otherwise, your application will be delayed.

If you do not have a California salesperson license, there are other acceptable forms of experience.

The DRE will accept two years of full-time experience in the following occupations:

  • Escrow or title officer or as a loan officer in a capacity directly related to the financing or conveying of real property.
  • Subdivider, or speculative builder, during which time the applicant performed comprehensive duties relating to the purchase, finance, development, and sale or lease of real property. General contracting experience does not satisfy the intent of the law.
  • Real property appraiser.
  • Licensed real estate professional in another state or country.

If you have other real estate related experience that you feel should qualify, the DRE is open to hearing about it so long as it satisfies the ultimate intent of the law.

If you are active duty military or veteran, you may be able to use some of your military experience and training to count towards this experience requirement.

 

Special Exemptions

If you have a college degree from an accredited four year college or university with a major or minor in Real Estate, then you are exempt from this 2 year experience requirement.

2. Complete the Pre-License Education

To become a broker in California, the DRE requires that you complete a total of 8 qualifying college-level courses.

The following 5 course topics are mandatory:

  1. Real Estate Practice 
  2. Legal Aspects of Real Estate
  3. Real Estate Finance
  4. Real Estate Appraisal
  5. Real Estate Economics or Accounting

The remaining 3 courses are electives based on your personal preference. However, they must be from the following list:

  • Real Estate Principles
  • Business Law
  • Property Management
  • Escrow
  • Real Estate Office Administration
  • Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending
  • Advanced Legal Aspects of Real Estate
  • Advanced Real Estate Finance
  • Advanced Real Estate Appraisal
  • Computer Applications In Real Estate
  • Common Interest Developments
  • Real Estate Economics or Accounting (if not already taken above)

If you have taken any of these courses from college, you will need to provide copies of official transcripts to the DRE. Each college course must be the equivalent of three semester units or four quarter units.

 

Special Exemptions

If you are a member of the California State Bar, then you are exempt from the pre-license education. However, you will still need to satisfy the 2 year experience requirement.

3. Submit Your Broker Application

Fill out the Broker Examination Application Form (RE400B). You can either mail or fax your application with all the supporting documents, along with the $95 application fee, to the DRE.

After your mail your application, you will have two years to pass the broker state exam. Otherwise, you will have to repay the $95 application fee and re-qualify for the 2 year experience requirement.

The broker state exam is typically given once a month and is administered by the DRE at one of their offices in California. Their main offices are located in Fresno, Los Angeles, Oakland, La Palma, Sacramento, and San Diego. You can check the exam availability here.

It will take approximately 6 weeks for the DRE to finish reviewing your application.  This is why it’s critical to make sure you dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s on the application. You can check the current application processing timeframes here.

There is a “fast track” option where you can send your application with all the support documents, and pay all licensing fees upfront. This will shorten the processing time to receive your broker license. You will need to use the Broker Exam/License Application Form (RE436) instead if you want to go this route. Keep in mind that all fees are non-refundable.

4. Pass the Broker State Exam

You will be given a maximum time limit of 5 hours to answer 200 multiple choice questions with a score of 75% or better.

The test is conducted into 2 parts: a 2.5 hour session in the morning and a 2.5 hour session in the afternoon.

If you fail the test, you may re-apply to take the exam online by using the DRE’s eLicensing System.

If you are still within 2 years of filing your initial broker application, you will not need to pay the test fee again. You are allowed to retake the state exam as many times as you need during this 2 year window.

5. Complete Your Broker Application

If you haven’t done so already, you will need to get your fingerprints taken at an approved Live Scan provider so they can run a criminal background check on you. The fingerprint fee is $49.

Once that comes through clear, you simply need to pay the DRE the broker license fee of $300.

After you receive your broker license in the mail, you will officially become a broker in the state of California!

How to Become a Broker in Texas

If you are ready to move up to a broker license in Texas, this article will walk you through all of the requirements you need. 

TREC defines a licensed real estate broker as a person who provides real estate services to another person in exchange for a commission. Brokers can also sponsor and supervise real estate agents. 

Short Answer

  1. Verify you satisfy the experience requirements
  2. Complete the pre-license education
  3. Submit your application
  4. Pass the state exam
  5. Wait for your license in the mail

The amount of time it takes to get a broker license will vary by individual, depending on your past experience and education. It could take as little as 1 month or as long as 4 years. 

Long Answer

Basic Requirements

  • Applicants will need to be 18 years or older.
  • You must be a US citizen or lawfully admitted alien.
  • Texas residency is required unless you are a licensed broker from another state, or you were previously licensed in Texas as a sales agent or broker within the past 2 years.
  • There will be a criminal background check at the end.

If you have a felony or misdemeanor that you are concerned about and want to find out if this will disqualify you before going through all of the pre-licensing steps, you can complete the Moral Character Determination form and submit it to TREC, along with a $50 processing fee.

1. Verify that You Satisfy the Experience Requirements

TREC requires that you have at least 4 years of active real estate experience within the last 5 years prior to filling your broker application.

You must also have accumulated at least 3,600 total experience points. This is to show that you have actually been using your real estate license. You get points for each activity on a real estate transaction, such as closing a purchase or sale, posting a listing, managing property, etc…

You must document and certify your experience by filling out the Qualifying Experience Report for a Broker License worksheet.

2. Complete the Pre-License Education

You will need to have completed 900 total hours of qualifying real estate education. If you are a licensed sales agent in Texas, you will most likely have already completed 270 of these hours when you initially obtained your real estate license.

The following course topics are mandatory:

  • 30 hours – Principles of Real Estate I
  • 30 hours – Principles of Real Estate II
  • 30 hours- Law of Agency
  • 30 hours – Law of Contracts
  • 30 hours – Promulgated Contract Forms
  • 30 hours – Finance
  • 30 hours- Brokerage – This course must be completed within the last two years of applying for the broker license.

The remaining 690 hours can be made up of real estate related qualifying education that has been approved by TREC.

If you have a bachelor’s degree or higher degree from an accredited college or university, it will satisfy all of the related education requirements for a broker license.

Otherwise, you will need to take additional real estate and/or academic college courses to get up to the 900 total required hours.

The following real estate course subjects are approved as qualifying education:

  • 30 hour – Real Estate Appraisal
  • 30 hour – Real Estate Law
  • 30 hour – Real Estate Marketing
  • 30 hour – Real Estate Math
  • 30 hour – Property Management
  • 30 hour – Real Estate Investments
  • 30 hour – Residential Inspections for Real Estate Agents

The following academic course subjects are acceptable as qualifying education:

  • Accounting
  • Advertising
  • Architecture
  • Business or Management
  • Construction
  • Finance
  • Investments
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Real Estate

The Commission also accepts your Continuing Education (CE) courses as qualifying education. 

3. Submit Your Application

You can either apply online or by paper application. The initial application fee is $305.

I would recommend applying online. It is not only faster than snail mail, but the Commission will charge you a $20 paper processing fee for applications by mail.

TREC will review your work history and course certificates to make sure you have satisfied all of the experience and education requirements.

You will eventually have to get your fingerprints taken so they can run a criminal background check on you. You can either get this done now, or wait until after you pass the state exam.

You must have your fingerprints taken at an approved Live Scan location by IDEMIA (formerly known as MorphoTrust). They will electronically send your file directly to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), where they will run your background check through the FBI criminal database. The fingerprint fee is $38.25 and the background check fee is $28.25.

4. Pass the State Exam

TREC has contacted with Pearson VUE to conduct its broker state exam. There are locations readily available all over Texas, and you can schedule to take the exam in as little as 24 hours.

Pearson VUE also has test centers at some military bases around the world. So, if you are a military service member, dependent, or contractor with authorized access, you will be able to take the state exam there.

Simply make a reservation for an exam on their website. The examination fee is $54.

The Texas broker state exam consists of a total of 145 questions over 4 hours, broken up into two parts: the national and state portions.

National portion: You have 150 minutes to answer 85 questions with a score of 70% or higher.

State portion: You have 90 minutes to answer 60 questions with a score of 63.3% or higher.

You must pass both portions to pass the exam.

You will have 3 attempts to pass both the national and state portion on the exam. If you fail on the third attempt, you will have to take an additional 30 hours of qualifying real estate education for each failed portion. So, if you fail both the national and state portion, then that means you will have to re-take 60 hours of real estate courses.

5. Wait for Your License to Arrive in the Mail

If you haven’t gotten your fingerprints taken for the criminal background check by now, you will need to do that in order to complete your broker application and receive your license.

Once TREC finishes reviewing your broker application, they will send your broker license by mail. 

Once your license arrives in the mail, you will officially be a licensed real estate broker in Texas!

How to Become a Broker in Florida

This guide covers how to upgrade your Florida sales associate license, or the equivalent real estate license from another state, to a Florida Broker license.

Here are the Florida state regulators you need to know about:

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is the agency charged with licensing and regulating businesses and professionals in the State of Florida, such as cosmetologists, veterinarians, real estate agents and pari-mutuel wagering facilities.

Under the umbrella of the DBPR is the Division of Real Estate (DRE), which is responsible for the examination, licensing and regulation of over a quarter of a million individuals, corporations, real estate schools and instructors.

The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) consists of seven members appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate. They administer and enforce the real estate license law by passing rules to enable it to implement its statutorily authorized duties and responsibilities. 

A broker is a person who, for another, and for compensation or in anticipation of compensation, appraises, auctions, sells, exchanges, buys, rents or offers, attempts or agrees to appraise, auction, or negotiate any sale, exchange, purchase, or rental of business enterprises or any real property or any interest in or concerning the same or who advertises the same.

Short Answer

  1. Verify that you meet the experience requirements
  2. Submit your initial application
  3. Complete the 72 hours of pre-licensing education
  4. Pass the state exam
  5. Complete your application

From start to finish, it will take about 4 weeks to 6 weeks. 

Long Answer

Basic Requirements

  • You must be 18 years or older, and have a high school diploma, or equivalent.
  • Applicants must have a valid social security number.

1. Verify that you meet the Experience Requirements

There are 3 different ways to satisfy the experience requirement:

  1. If you’ve been registered as an active sales associate for at least 24 months during the preceding 5 years under one or more brokers
  2. If you’ve held a current and valid real estate sales associate’s license for at least 24 months during the preceding 5 years in the employ of a governmental agency for a salary and performing the duties authorized in Chapter 475, F.S.
  3. If you’ve held a current and valid real estate broker’s license for at least 24 months during the preceding 5 years in any other state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States, or in any foreign national jurisdiction.

You will need to provide evidence of your experience with a current certification of license history from the state you are claiming experience from. The history must contain your initial license exam type, current license status, disciplinary information, and how many valid months within the preceding five years.

2. Submit the Initial Application

You must first setup an online account using the Online Service, where you will be able to upgrade your current sales associate license. You can also choose to mail in your application.

If you are out-of-state, there will be two additional “Broker out-of-state” and “Mutual Recognition Agreement” options available.

3. Complete the Education Requirements

Broker applicants must complete 72 hours of approved pre-license education.

After you get your broker’s license, you will need to complete an additional 60 hours of post-license education. However, you are given up to two years after receiving your broker’s license to complete this.

The certificates for any course that you complete are valid for two years. If you don’t turn them in and apply with the two years, then you will have to re-take the courses.

Note: If you have a Florida Sales Associate license and want to upgrade to a broker’s license, you will still need to complete the 45 hour sales associate post-license course.

 

Special Exemptions

  • If you are a member of the Florida State Bar, then you are exempt from the pre-licensing course, but you will still need to take the post-licensing course.
  • If you have a bachelor’s or master’s degree with a major in Real Estate, then you are exempt from all pre-license and post-license requirements

4. Pass the State Exam

The DRE has contracted with the testing company called Pearson VUE for its state exams. You can find a location near you and their availability here.

Once you have your candidate ID#, you can make a reservation for your exam. You don’t have to wait to receive a letter of confirmation or authorization.

The broker exam will test on your knowledge, understanding and application of real estate law, real estate principles and practices, including appraising, finance, investment and brokerage management and real estate mathematics.

You have 3.5 hours to answer 100 multiple choice questions. The passing score is 75% or higher.  The results will be reported immediately after you finish. The state exam fee is $36.75.

Here are the available Test Center locations: Orlando, St. Petersburg, Boynton Beach, Coral Gables, Oakland Park, Ormand Beach, Fort Myers I, Fort Myers II, Lake Mary, Gainesville, Melbourne, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Miami, Lakeland, Pensacola, Tallahassee, Doral, Tampa, Hollywood, Ft. Lauderdale II.

If you fail the exam, Pearson VUE will allow you to review the questions that you missed within 21 days of your examination date. There is a $35 Review Fee.

5. Complete your Application

If you haven’t done so already, you will also need to get your fingerprints taken at any Live Scan provider that has been approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

They will need this to run a federal criminal background check with the FBI.

The DBPR recommends that you do this at least 5 days prior to submitting your final application. This allows sufficient time for the FDLE to process your fingerprints and submit the results.

After you receive the results of your background check, simply go back to your online account on the DBPR’s website and complete your application. You will need to pay the application fee of $91.75.

After they approve your application, your license status will be “Inactive.”

To activate your license, there’s one last step. You will need to complete and submit the DBPR RE 13 Broker Transactions form.

After they activate your license, you will officially be a licensed broker in Florida!