Whether you have always been interested in real estate, have a passion for helping others find their dream home, or just want to make a little extra income, becoming a real estate agent is an exciting journey. However, all the steps required to get there can be overwhelming.
This article will provide you with everything you need to know about becoming a Colorado real estate agent. From the pre-qualifications to the exams to the application itself, we are walking you through every step of the process.
There are many steps to becoming a real estate agent in Colorado, so follow along to find out exactly what to expect from each one.
The Real Estate Market in Colorado
As of right now, the Denver housing market is the second most competitive in the country. Home prices themselves have driven up as of late, likely due to the fact that there are more buyers than there are houses, resulting in a seller's market. This trend is largely driven by low-interest rates. In Denver, the average amount of time a home stays on the market is 22 days.
To be truly successful in the competitive Colorado real estate market, you have got to be hard-working, self-motivated, honest, and enjoy helping people. If you check all of those boxes, then it may be time to follow the steps below and start your Colorado real estate journey.
Benefits of getting into Colorado Real Estate
The first benefit is clear — the income. According to salary.com, a real estate sales agent in Colorado averages $42,000 to $54,000 per year. These numbers can fluctuate based on commission percentage, number of homes sold, the split with your broker, if you have any caps, and the value of the homes.
For further insight, the median home price in Colorado is around $392,907 (and currently rising), which means when a real estate agent makes a sale, they have a solid commission — often 5% or $19,645.
Aside from gaining a good amount of income, becoming a real estate agent has many other benefits, including:
- Flexibility in your work
- Constantly varying environments and tasks
- Helping people
- YOU are the boss
- Gaining knowledge and insight about people, your community, and your area
Now that you have an idea of what you are walking into, let’s get into the actionable steps that will have you on your way to thriving in the Colorado real estate market.
Do I Prequalify?
There are some things to check on before you can start the process of becoming a real estate agent in Colorado. The overall requirements of obtaining a Colorado real estate license include the following:
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
Once you have that box checked, you are ready to begin the journey of becoming a Colorado real estate agent!
1. Complete 168 Hours of Pre-License Education
There are a lot of registered real estate schools to choose from across Colorado. Pick whichever one calls to your heart, and complete 168 hours of real estate educational classes. There are both in person and online options available for you.
The 6 courses required in Colorado pre-licensing education are:
- Law & Practice
- Contracts & Regulations
- Colorado Closings
- Record Keeping & Trust Accounts
- Legal Issues
- Practical Applications
Each course has an exam at the end of it, and depending on the length of the course, the exam will have either 20 or 50 questions. Once you have passed each course exam, you’re ready to move on to the final exam.
2. Take and Pass the Final Course Exam
Congratulations! You have made it through your online or in-person classes and are now ready to show your knowledge. The final exam consists of 100 questions specific to Colorado and 100 questions based on national real estate information.
In order to pass the exam, you must receive a minimum score of 75%, and you will earn a certificate of completion upon passing the final course exam.
3. Pass the Colorado Real Estate Exam
That’s right, another exam. Don’t worry, we are here to prepare you so that you know exactly what to expect.
The Colorado Real Estate Salesperson Examination is administered by PSI, an outside agency. You can apply to take the exam by mail, online, or over the phone at (855) 744-0313. There is a $44.95 examination fee, and a $42.50 fee if you are retaking the exam.
On the day of your Colorado real estate exam, bring the following:
- Two (2) forms of identification
Once inside the exam site, you’ll be asked to place all electronic devices, bulky clothing, and other personal items in a secure location, and you will be asked to sit in front of a computer to take the test.
The exam has 154 questions and is split between two sections: a National portion with 80 questions that you’ll have 120 minutes to complete and a Colorado-specific portion with 74 questions and a 110-minute time allowance.
Some of the topics covered in the exam include the following:
- Real Estate Principles
- Land use controls and regulations
- Property disclosures
- Property valuation and financial analysis
- General agency principles
- Practice of real estate
You must receive at least a 75% on the national portion and a 71.5% on the state portion to become a Colorado real estate agent, and the score will immediately be given to you once you complete the exam. If you do not pass, you will have an opportunity to schedule to take the exam again.
For more information on taking the Colorado real estate exam, PSI has a candidate handbook with everything you need to know.
4. Complete a Background Check
Before sending in your license application and registering for the Colorado Real Estate Salesperson Exam, you must complete a background check. This requires submitting a set of fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
There are 3 provider options for completing this step:
- There are IdentoGo centers across Colorado, and you must schedule an appointment since they don’t allow walk-ins.
- Colorado Applicant Background Services (CABS)
- Similarly, you must schedule an appointment with CABS through their website.
- Fingerprint Card with Electronic Transfer
- If you can’t find a physical location near you or if you are an out-of-state resident, you can use this option for submitting your fingerprints. If you choose to submit fingerprints this way, make sure to use FBI fingerprint card FD-258.
5. Obtain E&O Insurance
You are required to have an Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance policy in place before you can apply for your Colorado real estate license. You can find more information on obtaining E&O insurance on the RISC website.
6. Submit Your License Application
Your next step is to complete the application for your Colorado real estate license through the Colorado Division of Real Estate and eLicense. You must apply for your license within one year of passing the Colorado real estate exam.
You can register for an eLicense account and follow the instructions given to fill out the online application, keep track of your application status, and pay the initial application fee.
Want to Become a REALTOR® in Colorado?
Every Realtor is a real estate agent, but not every real estate agent is a Realtor. Want to take your business a step further, have great networking opportunities, and be part of an evolving real estate community? Here are your steps to becoming a REALTOR®:
- Obtain your state real estate license
- Join your local REALTORS® Association — The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has over 1,400 associations across the U.S. You can find one closest to you with their “find an association” tool.
- Pay the one-time application fee — The amount varies in each association.
- Upkeep NAR membership dues — Once you are a REALTOR®, you must pay the annual association fee of $150 per year.
There you have it! Everything you need to know about joining the competitive world of Colorado real estate.
Now that we have taken you this far, we would love to provide you with more resources and information to help you thrive in this new venture. Get the ball rolling and be the best agent you can be with our Showcase IDX Grow Your Real Estate Business Academy courses.