Obtaining a Real Estate License in Colorado

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Obtaining a real estate license in Colorado differs from other states in that while other states may refer to the license as a “salesperson license,” Colorado calls it a “real estate broker” license. In essence, these individuals perform the same functions as a seller of real estate in other states. Colorado also offers an appraisal license, but the focus of this article will be on broker licenses. Regulated by the Real Estate Division of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, requirements for real estate licenses in Colorado follow similar guidelines as other states. All state realty offices are governed by the larger Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) as well as the National Association of Realtors. While regulated by these widespread organizations, the state of Colorado maintains its own guidelines. The following offers some basic information regarding how to get a real estate license in the state of Colorado.

Basic Prerequisites

Real estate applicants in the state of Colorado must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Submit to a federal background check with fingerprinting
  • Be honest and disclose any previous felony or criminal convictions
  • Complete 168 hours of pre-licensing coursework
  • Pay the appropriate nonrefundable application fee
  • Pay for and take the final state licensing exam

Applicants for a real estate broker license do not need prior experience, but they will need to complete the prerequisites before being awarded a real estate license. Candidates must also purchase Error & Omission (E&O) Insurance before their licenses will become active. 

Training & Education

Colorado requires a hefty amount of pre-licensing education courses, for a total of 168 hours. These educational requirements must be completed prior to receiving a license, and they must be obtained from a state-approved, accredited institution. While candidates may complete their required education at a traditional college or university, private real estate schools that adhere to the state’s guidelines may also count toward the educational requirements. 

The Colorado real estate licensing exams are given by Psychological Services Inc. (PSI). Candidates can register for the test online once the educational requirements have been met. Applicants have one year to complete the application process with current scores; otherwise, the scores will be considered invalid.

In order to promote continued learning, Colorado requires that real estate agents complete 24 hours of continued learning educational credits throughout the three-year cycle of a real estate license. Realtors should complete these 24 hours prior to renewal, and the hours should be broken down into the following: 12 hours of the 4-part Annual Commission Update Course and 12 hours of relevant electives approved by the Colorado Real Estate Commission.

Additional Information

The fee for a real estate license in the state of Colorado is $328 for new applicants. Candidates can also expect other fees, such as separate testing fees and fingerprinting charges, along with their application fee. 

While the bulk of this article addresses real estate broker licenses in general, those interested in this profession should note that Colorado designates three levels of real estate licensing: associate (under the supervision of a broker), independent (sole practitioner) and employing (supervisory position). Each classification requires different continuing education and fees, but each also begin with obtaining an initial license.

Colorado does allow reciprocal licenses to be issued for qualifying realtors in the other 49 states. Real estate agents from other states must show proof of an equivalent license, pay the necessary fees and fill out the required reciprocal paperwork in order to conduct real estate transactions in Colorado.

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