How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Colorado

Colorado Reals Estate License Requirements

To get a real estate salesperson license in Colorado, you need to meet certain requirements including:

  • You must be a citizen of the U.S. or a legal resident.
  • You must be 18 years or older. If you’re 17 years old, you can take the exam, however, your license will be activated only when you turn 18.
  • You must have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • You should not have a criminal conviction.
  • Pass a complete background check.

CO Real Estate License Costs

  • Real Estate Agent Education in Colorado: $199
    to $1400 (approx.)
  • Exam Fee: $85

Helpful Tips


STEP 1: Colorado Pre-License Education

Before you get a real estate salesperson license in Colorado, you will need to complete a pre-licensing education of 168 hours. Depending on the real estate school you join and your location, you could spend between $599 to $1399 for the classes. For example, Kaplan Real Estate Education offers OnDemand, Live Online and Live Class and Online exam preparation courses.

You can join a real estate college physically or take up classes online, which you can accommodate into your schedule. However, you must remember to get your transcripts, as well as a certificate after you complete the courses successfully.

But, before you sit for the Colorado pre-licensing exam, you must meet any one of the following pre-licensing education requirements.

Option 1

Complete 168 hours of real estate license education in Colorado. The 168 hours of qualifying education consists of courses that are mandatorily required by the Division of Real Estate, Colorado. These mandatory courses prepare you to pass the real estate broker exam of both the state and national portions. The 168-hour education consists of:

  • Real Estate Law and Practice – 48 hours
  • Colorado Contracts and Regulations – 48 hours
  • Trust Accounts and Recordkeeping – 8 hours
  • Current Legal Issues – 8 hours
  • Real Estate Closings – 24 hours
  • Practical Applications – 32 hours

Option 2

The Real Estate Commission of Colorado recognizes previous education. A degree from an accredited university or college along with a major course of study in real estate meets this requirement. Before you take the broker’s exam, you can submit unofficial transcripts to the division; however, on application, you will need to provide original transcripts.


STEP 2: Applying to State Licensing

Where to Apply

When you have completed the pre-licensing education, you must submit a completed application form to take the state licensing exam on the PSI Exams Online (the exam provider).

Exam Fees

A non-refundable or non-transferrable exam fee of $85 must be paid to PSI Services Inc.

The fees can be paid via Visa or Mastercard credit cards, money order or check payable to PSI. This is a one-time fee. However, if you fail the exam, you can take it again but you will have to pay an additional charge of $80 to retake the exam.

Fingerprinting (Background Check)

You must complete the background check requirement, which consists of submitting your fingerprints to the CBI (Colorado Bureau of Investigation). You can also do this at the office of the local sheriff. You need to make an appointment at an IdentoGO fingerprint location that is approved by the state and inform them that you want to get a real estate license.

You will get the report in around 2 weeks. The fingerprints are used to conduct a state, as well as federal criminal history assessment and background check. The cost of fingerprinting is $25. The exam and the fingerprints are valid for a period of 1 year.

If you are convicted of a felony in Colorado, then your real estate license can be revoked or suspended. Having a criminal conviction in the past can prevent you from getting a real estate license in the first place. In case you are convicted of a serious crime, you have 30 days in which you must inform the Colorado Real Estate Commission. If your license is revoked or suspended, you can continue working as a real estate agent lawfully.

If you are a licensed real estate agent in any of the U.S. states or territory, then Colorado will accept your application for a real estate license with limited pre-licensing education or examination. However, you must pass the background check, pass the state portion of the Real Estate Broker Exam of Colorado and also provide a certified license history from the state or jurisdiction from where you hold the license.


STEP 3: Pass the State License Test

To become a licensed real estate agent in Colorado, you need to pass the exam, which consists of 2 parts – national and state specific. The national portion of the exam essentially covers real estate practice and law, which is common to most of the states. The second part of the exam is specific to the real estate contracts, rules and regulations of Colorado.

The national part of the test is for 120 minutes, while the state portion is for 110 minutes. The national portion has 80 questions of which, to pass you need to get 60 correct answers and the state-specific portion has 74 questions, of which you must get at least 53 right to pass. To pass, you will need to get a score of 75% of more. If you fail any of the portions of the exam, you need to retake that portion only.

Topics Covered in the Test

National Portion consists of the following sections:

  • Ownership of property
  • Valuation and market analysis
  • Land use controls and regulations
  • Property condition and disclosures
  • General principles of agency
  • Contracts
  • Financing
  • Real estate calculations
  • Transfer of title
  • Areas of specialty

State-specific portion consists of the following sections:

  • Licensing requirements
  • Duties and powers of the Real Estate Commission
  • Requirements governing the activities of licenses
  • Colorado forms and contracts
  • Closing and settlement
  • Recordkeeping and trust accounts
  • Brokerage relationships
  • Additional topics

What to Bring to the Exam Venue?

You must carry the following to the exam:

  • Two forms of valid identification containing your matching name and a valid signature, such as passport, driver’s license, U.S. Social Security card, Green Card, credit or debit card with your signature. One of the forms of identification must be a government-issued identification and should have a photo.
  • Before you are allowed to take the exam, you must complete an affidavit. You must also bring a copy of your REC-33 or eligibility certificate (electronic versions are allowed) to support your choice selected in the affidavit.
  • You will be provided with an on-screen calculator at the exam venue.

Use the practice tests and guides that your school gives you to prepare for the test. For example, once you attend the 138-hour program offered by any real estate school that is approved by the state and pass the final exams of the particular school and receive your certificates, then you can appear for the real estate licensing exam with PSI within 3 to 5 business days.

As soon as you complete the exam, you will get your scores. The exam results will be available on the DORA website and also reported to the students.


STEP 4: Apply and Obtain Your License

After you pass the exam, you have 1 year in which to apply for a broker’s license. If you don’t apply within 1 year, although you need not have to retake the courses, you will have to retake both portions of the Colorado Real Estate Exam and also have to get another background check.  You can check the real estate license application requirement here.

Once you complete the pre-licensing requirements set by the Division of Real Estate of Colorado, the Division will take around 10 days to process your license. The time to complete the pre-licensing requirements varies from one candidate to another and depends on the individual circumstances. The cost to get a real estate license in Colorado is $485.


STEP 5: Finding a Brokerage

As a new real estate agent, finding a brokerage to work with can be a challenge. There are so many brokerages in Colorado, that finding the right one that matches your career goals is important. You must consider the following factors before deciding on the brokerage firm you want to work with.

  • Size of the brokerage company
  • The reputation of the brokerage
  • Commission structure
  • Internet presence
  • Location of the firm and facilities
  • Management and administrative support
  • Training and mentoring
  • Business model
  • Culture of the firm
  • Leads and referrals

How to Find a Brokerage in Colorado

Real Estate Ads

You can make a list of brokerage firms in your area that you want to talk with. You can browse your local newspaper, classifieds, etc. and check out the real estate ads to see which firms interest you.

Online Search

You can find real estate brokerages easily by searching on the internet. You can choose a brokerage by reading customer and employee reviews about the company on various platforms such as Glassdoor and Yelp.

Local Realtors Association

You can visit your Board of Realtors or your local Chamber of Commerce to find out which are the best represented brokerage firms in the state. Check out the radio, TV and billboard advertising and also the “For Sale” boards in yards of homes.

Networking

Networking on social media sites and other offline events is a great way to find the right brokerage to work with. You could check out various platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and also attend webinars. You could attend events organized by the Colorado Association of Realtors and build connections.

Types of Brokerages in Colorado

National Franchise

National franchise brokerages are large companies which sell the rights to brokers to use their name, business model and branding. Once these companies sell the franchise to a broker, they charge them a percentage for every deal closed by the broker. Although the franchise offices work independently, they may follow the rules and regulations that have been set by the head office. Some examples of national franchises are Re/Max, Keller Williams, TransWorld, Sunbelt, etc.

Small Boutique Brokerage

Boutique brokerage firms are generally owned by a small company and are usually managed and run by a single broker. These firms may be the best option if you’re looking for collaboration with multiple brokers, a personal level of customer service, more flexibility and greater understanding and knowledge of the local real estate market. Examples of boutique brokerage firms in Colorado are Madison & Co. Properties Ltd., Kentwood Real Estate, Selley Group Real Estate, etc.

Online or Virtual Brokerage

Today, with SAAS real estate software and the reliance on the internet, virtual real estate brokerages are becoming a viable option for independent real estate professionals. Online or virtual brokerage allows you to handle your real estate requirements from your computer. And, since these virtual or online brokerage firms don’t have to pay for expensive brick and mortar office spaces, they offer the real estate agents higher commissions. Online or virtual brokerage firms offer advanced technology and more flexibility compared to traditional real estate brokerage firms.


STEP 6: Post-learning Requirements

Every 3 years, real estate brokers in Colorado must complete 24 hours of continuing education. 12 hours of the 24 hours comprise approved elective credit courses and the balance 12 hours comprise 4 hours of Annual Commission Update Course. The annual course is updated each year.

The license renewal date depends on the initial license date. The real estate agent license expires on December 31st, every 3 years starting with the year in which the license was first issued. The CE Shop offers continuing education courses on their website. The site offers 3 continuing education packages (of 8 hours, 12 hours and 16 hours) costing between $69 to $125. You can also do individual courses, which are priced at $29 per course.

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RE Agents Team