How to get your Sacramento real estate license

Sacramento,,Ca,-,United,States,Of,America,-,01-07-2021:,"californiaLately, Sacramento’s real estate market has been booming. Median home prices recently hit a record high of $499,000trending up 16.1% year-over-year. Values have been increasing steadily each month making for a seller’s market, and there is no end in sight.

Over the past year alone, the Sacramento home values have gone up by 25.5% due to robust housing demand and low mortgage rates.

  • Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade Metrohome values have gone up 24.0% over the past year and the latest forecast is that they will rise 14.7% in the next twelve months.
  • Sacramento County home values have gone up 23.8% over the past year and will continue to rise in the next twelve months.
  • Sacramento City home values have gone up 23.8% over the past year and will continue to rise at a similar pace in the next twelve months.

Agents looking to join this exciting industry can look forward to enjoying benefits that go beyond a generous salary. Most agents can make between $41,000 and $140,000 a year with median salaries coming in around $84,966.

Sacramento’s cost of living is much cheaper than the California coast just 75 miles away. That’s why the Sacramento real estate market being 50 percent higher than that national average is irrelevant. But more than that, they can enjoy living in a sunny climate with access to the coast, mountains, and beautiful Lake Tahoe. They can take advantage of a flexible schedule and reap the rewards of knowing they helped someone make an important decision at a pivotal time of their lives.

If the job of a Sacramento real estate agent sounds good to you, read on to find out how you can get your license and get started in the industry.

Requirements for Sacramento real estate licenseSacramento,Is,The,Capital,City,Of,California

  • Residence: applicants don’t have to be a state residence but must be a legal citizen and residence of the United States to apply for the state’s license.
  • Age: asides having to be of legal age (18) there is no age restriction to applying for a license.
  • Education: applicants must complete a college-level course in California Real Estate Principle.
  • Integrity: applicants are expected to be honest and truthful to thrive in the real estate industry. Conviction of a felony or/and moral turpitude crime can result in license denial, as well as failure to reveal a criminal conviction on a license application.

Steps to getting your Sacramento salesperson license

  • Pre-licensing course: applicants are required to complete 135 hours of real estate coursework in any state-approved real estate school. Several real estate schools offer online and/or in-person classes in Sacramento.
  • Exam application: after completing the required 135 hours of coursework successfully, applicants can apply to take the California real estate salesperson examination. The application form is to be properly filled and an examination fee of $60 is to be paid. Once your application is processed, the time date and venue of the examination can be scheduled personally or by the California Department of real estate. Steps on how to submit your fingerprint are also provided for a background check.
  • License examination: the California Department of real estate has a pass mark of 70% to become a licensed real estate agent. Applicants that fail to meet the pass mark are allowed to retake the exam as many times as possible within two years of the initial application.
  • Join a brokerage: to be a practicing real estate agent in California, you are required to work under a broker. A broker has additional training, education and has been in the real estate industry for a minimum period. Brokers serve as a mentor to newly licensed real estate agents.

Some things to consider before deciding on a broker:

  • Reputation of the broker
  • Level of support given to their agents
  • Commission structures

After completing all these steps, applicants are to complete the California license application form to get their license. Additional information and fee may be required.

Choosing a real estate school in Sacramento

There are several real estate schools in Sacramento and deciding on which to attend can be difficult. Level of accreditation, courses offered, mode of teaching, price, and location are some factors to be put into consideration before deciding on a school. Here are some of the top real estate schools that offer the best courses for the California real estate licensing exam.

Colibri Real EstateColibri-Real-Estate-1

Colibri Real Estate (established in 1996) is one of the pioneers of online real estate education. Colibri offers a wide range of state-approved, ARELLO and IDECC accredited courses to help applicants complete the required hour of coursework and prepare for the final examination. They currently have four packages for California license applicants.

The basic offers the required 135 hours’ licensing classes, state-approved instructor support, and three e-books. The exam preparation package offers students the basic package, an exam prep to help them prepare better, and a pass or don’t pay guarantee. The exam preparation plus package entails the exam preparation package, an exam cram video, a real estate dictionary, and an instructor for questions and answers. The ultimate learning package offers the exam preparation plus package as well as a printed textbook and a 90-day boot camp learning exercise before the licensing examination. This package also gives professional development membership for a year.

Allied Real Estate Schoolallied real estate school logo

Allied Real Estate School is one of the most popular schools in California with over 25 years of operation. They offer online courses to aspiring California real estate agents to cover the required hours of coursework and sit for the license examination.  Allied real estate school offers students a basic program that contains all pre-licensing courses, eBooks, practice exams, and an instructor for questions. This package provides students with the basic materials and knowledge required to pass the license examination. The premium package offers the basic package and additional study materials (an online dictionary and an exam cram video). The premium package gives students an 100% money-back guarantee if they don’t pass the license examination.

AceableAgentaceableagent logo

AceableAgent is an online school that offers up to date pre licensing courses to students. This is because they are one of the most recently approved real estate institutions in California. They provide textbooks (PDF formats) that contain all necessary knowledge needed for the pre licensing examination to students. These books can be accessed on any device at any time, which makes it possible to read anywhere at any time. AceableAgent offers an Essential package that contains a PDF study format (self-paced) that meets the study hours required by the state and access to an instructor via email.


CA Realty Trainingca realty training logo

CA Realty Training offers licensing courses to aspiring California real estate agents. CA Realty is specific to the state of California, which enables them to provide in-depth materials needed to ace the California licensing examination. This gives them an edge over other licensing schools. CA offers students online courses, textbooks, and in-person learning methods. It is one of the most popular real estate schools in the state, and boasts a high pass and success rate.

Real Estate Brokerages in Sacramento

Licensed real estate agents need the sponsorship of a real estate broker to begin their career in the real estate industry. The broker serves as a mentor and guide to the agent. Brokers’ reputation, culture, and commission split should be considered before deciding on one. here are some of the top brokers in Sacramento.

Century 21

Address: 1555 river park Dr. Suite 109, Sacramento, CA 95815Century 21 logo

Century 21 is a long-standing real estate company, founded in 1971. The company address issues millennials and they are known for their advocacy and involvement in fair housing and LGBTQ rights in the housing sector as well as the transformation of commercial space into residential space. This has given them a good reputation.

At Century 21, there is no fixed cap and split ratio, but there is a 5 – 8% franchise fee. The commission split and cap are negotiated on an agent-to-agent basis at the local level. Century 21 franchises don’t charge a desk fee except in some major metropolitan markets (here office space is premium).

RE/MAX ReMax Logo

Address: 2014 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95811

RE/MAX (founded in1973) is a top real estate company with a strong presence in major metropolitan markets around the United States. They are known to house some of the best real estate agents in the country, holding 55 slots in the top 200 real estate agents in the country according to Real Trends.

They help high-performing and established agents take their careers to the next level and offer materials, tools, and mentorship to their agents. RE/MAX has no fixed policy on commission split, desk fees, and caps. All of these are negotiated at the local level.

Keller Williamskeller-williams-logo

Address: 4080 Truxel road, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95834

Keller Williams is one of the best and most recognized real estate companies in the United States. They are focused on constant improvement and support of their agents, through proper training and professional development and create career-lasting relationships with their agents.

Keller Williams has a fixed cap for all agents at every market center. The pre-cap commission is split 64% to the agent, 30% to the market center, and 6% to the national brand as a franchise fee. After meeting the annual cap, the agent keeps 100% of his commission. The company has a commission scheme they call “profit-share”. Profit share is a secondary commission an agent receives when someone they recruit closes a deal. The company gives the agent a piece of their share.

Best Real Estate Associations to Join

After you have your license under your belt, you may consider moving forward by becoming a realtor. It requires extra training which will increase your abilities and make you look more impressive to your clientele. It also allows you to join real estate associations which offer several perks.

There are several real estate associations in Sacramento you may consider joining. Here are some of your options.

Sacramento Association of Realtorssacramento-association-of-realtors-squarelogo-1504002960916

The Sacramento Association of Realtors was established in 1908 as Sacramento Realty Board having 50 original members. In 1918 they became affiliated with the National Association of Real Estate Board and Members.

SAR members adhere to a Code of Ethics which increases their credibility with clients. SAR offers educational and networking opportunities and insurance policies to its members. They currently serve over 6,000 Realtors across Sacramento.


The Association of Commercial Real Estateacre logo

The Association of Commercial Real Estate, ACRE, is a non-profit, professional association formed to promote relationships and professionalism within the Sacramento commercial real estate community.

ACRE raises money via their events. This allows them to donate thousands of dollars on a yearly basis to Sacramento regional charities in an effort to enhance and strengthen the community. Since 1983, ACRE has donated several millions of dollars to the region. When you join ACRE, you become a part of this regional giving community and your membership give you discounted pricing to events.

Reasons to join ACRE:

  1. Charity & Philanthropy – ACRE has raised millions of dollars for local non-profit organizations in our region
  2. Industry Education Updates
  3. Social Networking Events – grow and strengthen your network of business contacts
  4. Medical Association Insurance (optional for members only)


Sacramento Realtist Association (SRA)sra logo

The Sacramento Realtist Association (SRA) is a local chapter of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc. (NAREB), the largest and oldest minority real estate trade association in America. NAREB members are known by the trade name of “Realtist”.

SRA is dedicated to bringing together the nation’s minority professionals in the real estate industry to promote the meaningful exchange of ideas about business and how to best serve clientele.


Need Help?

The process of becoming a licensed real estate agent in Sacramento is more straightforward than you think. Carefully following the above steps helps you become one. More hands-on advice and information can be provided when you contact us.

Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 12/14/2023