Are you looking for a new career with an almost unlimited earning potential? If you have that entrepreneurial spirit and want to be your own boss, then real estate could be the perfect career path for you. We’re going to share everything you need to know to become a real estate agent in Colorado, but please note that Colorado is considered a ‘single license’ state, so there are no real estate agents, just real estate brokers or associate brokers. So once you follow the simple steps below and get licensed, you’ll be referred to as an ‘Associate Broker.’
Now let’s jump in! Today we’ll cover:
The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) requires that in order to become a licensed real estate agent / broker in the state of Colorado, you must be at least 18 years old and have a social security number. You do not have to be a resident of Colorado to get a license but you do have to follow a few simple steps:
STEP 1 | Pre-License Real Estate Course
STEP 2 | Background Check
STEP 3 | Register and Pass State Exam
STEP 4 | Choose a Real Estate Broker
STEP 5 | Apply for Your License
Once you’ve made the decision to become a real estate agent in Colorado, you’re probably excited and want to get started ASAP. But before you leave your current position, it’s important to understand how long the licensing process can take in Colorado. Often it’s 3 to 6 months. Here is what an average timeline looks like:
While this timeline may seem a bit daunting, there are a few ways to expedite things. First, your real estate course online is the way to go. Instead of attending scheduled in-person classes a few times each week, you can learn at your own pace online. Requesting your fingerprint / background check early and interviewing brokers while you are finishing up your coursework, will also help move things along. If you are able to complete your 168 hours of DORA-approved college-level real estate in 4 weeks, it is definitely possible to become a real estate agent in Colorado in about eight (8) weeks.
There are several fees involved when working to become a real estate agent in Colorado…
Getting a license is just the beginning! What many aspiring Realtors don’t realize is that there are several other costs to consider when becoming a real estate agent. Whether you’re building a new business and opening a dance studio, coffee shop, or starting your real estate empire, keep in mind there are always start-up costs involved.
Here are some of the most common expenses:
If you add up the costs to get your license and the costs to officially become an agent, you will likely need to spend somewhere between $2,400 and $4,000 launch your new career.
Learn more about costs to become a real estate agent in Colorado:
To get your real estate license, you’ll have to attend a school that’s approved by the Colorado Real Estate Commission. There are at least a dozen approved real estate schools throughout the state. Some are online, others in person, and a few do a combination of the two.
Here are a few of the most popular:
When shopping for the best online real estate schools, you’ll want to compare pricing, but there are a few other things you will need to consider:
In Colorado, you must affiliate with a real estate brokerage in order to apply for your license and actively help home buyers and sellers. This is often referred to as the “sponsoring broker” or “managing broker.” Picking the right brokerage to work with can be key to your success as a newly licensed agent.
We would recommend shopping for the best broker once you’ve completed the pre-licensing course and are waiting to take your Colorado state exam. There are a few ways to do this:
When researching and meeting with different brokerages, keep in mind that many are independently owned franchises. So one Century 21 or Keller Williams office could be completely different from another that’s just 10 minutes away. The culture, training, support team, and sometimes even the fees and commission splits can vary from franchise to franchise.
When shopping for the best brokerage firm, many newly licensed agents are looking for the best commission splits. We highly recommend that you commission splits #2 or #3 on your list. The most important thing you should look for in a brokerage is how they support brand new real estate agents. Do they have a formal training program? Will you have at least 3 people you can reach out to if you have questions? Are they available outside traditional business hours? Do they have mentors – and what exactly will the mentors do to assist you? Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions!
Most agents will describe the Colorado real estate broker licensing exam as “not easy.” There are 154 multiple choice questions for both the state and national portions of the exam.
You have to take the test in person, it is not open book, and typically you cannot bring anything with you to the PSI testing center. If you’d like more info about the exam, visit PSI Exams to download the latest Candidate Information Book as well as practice exams.
You will have a total of just under 4 hours to complete the exam. They allow 120 minutes for the national portion and 110 minutes for the Colorado state portion of the real estate exam.
It’s not uncommon for people not to pass the exam on the first try. They make it fairly simple for you to retake the exam, you just need to reschedule with PSI exams and pay the re-take exam fee of $42.50.
Please note that if you fail all or part of the exam, you only need to retake the failed portion of the exam. Your passing score for that section (state/national) is only valid for one (1) year for your broker license application. Those who pass one part of the exam and not the other, need only to retake the portion they failed.
After passing the Colorado state real estate exam, you’ll have one year to activate your license with a real estate brokerage.
In most states, there are real estate sales or salespeople and they work for a broker. In Colorado, it is a single license state, so everyone is a broker. The person who runs the brokerage firm is called the Broker or Managing Broker. All of the licensed real estate professionals in the office are referred to as Associate Brokers.
If you are a licensed agent in Florida or California, for example, and would like to get your license in another state, many US states have a “reciprocity agreement” with one another. This means that you don’t have to attend any additional classes, you just have to pass the state portion of the exam to hold an active real estate license in that state.
The good news is that Colorado has reciprocal agreements with all states! You also do not have to be a resident of Colorado to get your real estate license.
Colorado requires 24 hours of Continuing Education (CE) every three years. Twelve (12) hours are elective, meaning that you can select whichever CE course you’re interested in. The remaining 12 hours of coursework need to be from the list of Colorado Real Estate Commission Annual Update Courses.
Honestly, it depends on what your goals are. If you just want to sell a few homes each year to friends and family, you’ll have to crunch the numbers to see if the cost of getting and maintaining your real estate license is worth it.
If you plan to jump in and make a career in real estate, then absolutely! The real estate market is booming. It can be a challenge moving from a salaried position to a commission-based business, so it’s important to have at least six months of savings in the bank. If you don’t have that yet, then you may want to keep your current job for a short period of time until you lay the foundation for your new real estate business.
Kerry Lucasse and the Building Better Agents team talk with hundreds of newly licensed real estate agents each year. Most have no idea how challenging the first year or two can be and how much you need to learn to be successful. This business is not as easy as it looks on TV! Real estate can be a rewarding and profitable business if you are a self-starter who is 110% committed to being successful and you have the support of a great mentor and brokerage.