How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Colorado? (license| income| exam)


Real Estate Broker Colorado

(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our company, JCHQ Publishing will get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, but at no additional cost to you.

Are you thinking of becoming a real estate agent in Colorado? If so, that’s great! This will be the most resourceful guide that you can find.

To become a real estate agent in Colorado, an applicant must obtain a real estate broker license from the Colorado Division of Real Estate. The applicant must complete 168 hours of pre-license courses, pass a broker exam, go through a background check and submit an application and license fee.

There are two types of real estate brokers in Colorado:

  • Broker (or what most people would still call agents or salesperson)
  • Employing Broker

Unlike most other states, agents are licensed as real estate “broker” in Colorado. Therefore, when I mention “agent” or “salesperson” in this article, I’m really referring to the entry-level of brokers.

Before you decide to pursue further in this profession, it’s important to know what the role of a salesperson is. To put it simply, an agent acts as an intermediary between buyer and seller in order to facilitate the sale or purchase of property.

They help clients find homes that meet their needs and negotiate contracts with sellers for those homes. Some agents also help clients in searching for a rental property or lease out their units.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the step-by-step process to become a real estate salesperson in Colorado, income figures, career updates and FAQ on this profession.

But before we start, I want to give a brief disclaimer. This post is not intended as legal advice or state/federal real estate training. It is for general information only. Please always follow your State laws and best practices.

A Table Summary of Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Colorado

EligibilityEducationExamFees
At least 18 years of age

Have a valid Social Security Number

Hold a high school diploma or equivalent
168 hours of pre-license courses



24 hours of continuing education every 3 year
230 minutes

154 questions

Required passing score: 60/80 for the National Portion and 53/74 for the State Portion
Pre-licensing courses fees – $240 to $360 (approximately)

Exam fee – $44.95

Application fee- $200

Background check fee – $30 to $40 (approximately)

E&O Premium – $229

8 Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent in Colorado

real estate agent house showing

Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Hold a high school diploma or equivalent

Step 2: Complete the pre-license education

You will need to take 168 hours of pre-license broker education from a school approved by the CO Real Estate Commission.

The curriculum must include the following: (You may click on the links below to view the content of the courses)

When choosing a real estate school, I prefer one where you could take the courses online. This way, you could study at your own pace whenever and wherever. RealEstateExpress is a trustworthy real estate education provider. You may click here to see whether they offer pre-licensing course in your state. (**)

Step 3: Pass the Colorado Real Estate Broker Exam

Real estate career studying

The Colorado Real Estate Broker Exam consists of two portions, the National portion and State portion. It consists of 154 questions and you’ll be given 230 minutes in writing it. The required passing rate is 60/80 for the National portion and 53/74 for the State portion.

The test is administered by the PSI Services. Before you can write the exam, you need to register at the PSI, which is the testing vendor. You may do so online through their website.

In there, you’ll need to submit the proof of pre-licensing courses completion. Also, there is a $44.95 exam fee, which could be paid by credit card.

At the day of the exam, make sure to bring along 2 forms of ID (not expired). They must include your name and signature, and at least one of them must have your photo.

Since this is a computerized test, you’ll know the score immediately once you complete writing it.

This examination is to test your knowledge and understanding of real estate law, principle and practices, and mathematics. You can find more details about the exam later in this post.

Step 4: Submit application to Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies

After you pass the exam, you have one year to apply for the license before it expires. Whenever possible, I would strongly encourage you to use the online submission. Not only this is the quickest and most convenient way, but less paper mailing is also good for the environment.

Here’s the link to the CO licensing website. The application fee is $485.

Step 5: Go through a background check

The Colorado Division of Real Estate is part of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, which responsible for issuing licenses to real estate salesperson and brokers. To protect the public interest, they will conduct a criminal background check on you.

You’ll need to submit the fingerprint through an approved vendor for a criminal history background check. You can do so through IdentoGO.

Step 6: Find an employing broker

After you pass the exam, you must work with an employing broker who would sponsor your license.

Finding a good mentor is crucial at the initial stage of your real estate career. It’s important to learn a repeatable and systematic process in running your business profitably.

When choosing a real estate brokerage, many people only focus on the commission split, but there are many other factors you also need to consider.

For example, what type of training will they provide? Will they equip you with the skills in finding qualify prospects and closing a sale? Is there a shared office space you could use? Can the brokerage provide you with adequate administrative and marketing support? Will they provide you with leads to work on? Do they utilize up-to-date technology (i.e.: CRM, software subscription) to streamline the daily workflow.

All these would be extremely important especially at the beginning phase of your career.

Below are the top real estate brokerage in Colorado based on their sales volume in 2018. The figures are obtained from RealTrends.com.

CO Real Estate BrokeragesCities2018 Sales Volume
RE/MAX Alliance/Equity GroupArvada$7,302,719,674
LIV/Sierra/Summit Sotheby's International RealtyDenver$6,283,186,262
RE/MAX ProfessionalsHighlands Ranch$2,519,326,957
Your Castle Real EstateCentennial$2,306,099,741
Keller Williams - Brian Smith Mgmt.Denver$2,023,558,413
The Group, Inc. Real EstateFort Collins$1,878,751,329
Slifer Smith & Frampton Real EstateAvon$1,847,000,000
Keller Williams Realty DTC LLC - Masters Realty LLCCentennial$1,394,768,389
Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's International RealtyAspen$1,371,220,862
RE/MAX Properties, Inc.Colorado Springs$1,342,982,508
RE/MAX of Boulder Inc.Boulder$1,214,156,873
8z Real EstateBoulder$972,794,771
PorchLight Real Estate GroupDenver$897,015,386
RE/MAX Masters Inc.Greenwood Village$864,472,660
RE/MAX Real Estate GroupColorado Springs$853,028,071
RE/MAX of Cherry Creek Inc.Denver$728,500,348
Madison & Company PropertiesGreenwood Village$713,791,840
Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real EstateAspen$683,588,264
Keller Williams Preferred RealtyBroomfield$675,940,115
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Innovative Real EstateDenver$668,146,387
The Platinum Group, RealtorsColorado Springs$614,523,850
RE/MAX Peak To PeakWinter Park$583,571,642
Coldwell Banker Distinctive PropertiesGrand Junction$580,261,974

Step 7: Obtain a E&O insurance

real estate agent getting E&O policy

According to the Colorado Division of Real Estate, all real estate licensees must obtain an errors and omissions insurance policy (E&O). This is to protect your clients against claims of your wrongdoing.

The Division is contracted with Rich Insurance Services LLC to providing this group coverage for brokers. I just checked on their website, for coverage of $100,000 per claim / $300,000 aggregate with $1,000 damage deductible, their annual premium is $229.

It seems the premium is calculated on a pro-rated basis, and it’s also subjected to the amount of coverage.

Step 8: Maintain a real estate license

Colorado has a three years license cycle. All real estate licensee need to renew the real estate broker license on or before December 31 of every second (2nd) year after issuance.

During each license cycle, you need to complete 24 hours of CE courses. The curriculum must include:

  • Three different versions of the 4 hours Annual Commission Update Course. (Total of 12 hours)
  • The remaining 12 hours can be any combination of elective credit courses

Here’s more info about the Colorado Real Estate Broker Exam

National Portion

It has 80 questions, and you’ll be given 120 minutes in writing it. You need to have at least 60 correct answers. Below is the weighting of each topic.

Exam TopicsWeighting
Property ownership8%
Land use controls and regulations 5%
Valuation and market analysis 7%
Financing 10%
General principles of agency 13%
Property disclosures 6%
Contracts 17%
Leasing and Property Management
3%
Transfer of Title 8%
Practice of real estate
13%
Real estate calculations 10%

State Portion

This exam portion has 74 questions, and you’ll be given 110 minutes to write it. To pass the exam, you are required to answer at least 53 questions correctly. Below is the weighting of each topic.

Exam Topics# of Items
Duties and Powers of the Real Estate Commission 2
Licensing Requirements5
Requirements Governing the Activities of Licensees 11
Additional Topics7
Colorado Forms and Contracts 23
Record Keeping and Trust Accounts 5
Closing and Settlement10
Brokerage Relationships11

To give you an idea, here are some sample questions

A. Which of the following interests in property is held by a person who is granted a lifetime use of a property that will be transferred to a third party upon the death of the lifetime user?

1. A life estate.

2. A remainder estate.

3. An estate for years.

4. A reversionary estate.

B. Which of the following statements BEST identifies the meaning of the term, “rescission of a contract”?

1. A ratification of a contract by all parties.

2. A return of all parties to their condition before the contract was executed.

3. A transfer or assignment of a particular responsibility from one of the parties to another.

4. A review of the contract by the legal counsel of either party that may result in a cancellation without penalty or further obligation.

Quoted from the COLORADO REAL ESTATE CANDIDATE INFORMATION BULLETIN

Doing multiple sets of practice questions is an excellent way to prepare for the exam and also boost your confidence.

RealEstateExpress is an online school that I like. They offer pre-licensing courses and also have excellent exam prep materials. Their programs have a “Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee” in most of the states. That’s how confident they are. You may click here to view their courses. (**)

FAQ about Real Estate License in Colorado

real estate career studying

How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Colorado?

It takes approximately five months to become a real estate agent in Colorado. Still, it largely depends on the time it takes you to complete the pre-license course, exam, application, and get sponsorship by a licensed real estate brokerage.

You may speed up in getting the real estate license by taking online courses. This way, you’ll have the flexibility to finish the pre-license education at a quicker pace. Online application submission will also eliminate the mailing time.

How much does it cost to get a real estate license in Colorado?

It costs approximately $833 to get a real estate broker license in Colorado. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Pre-licensing courses fees – $240 to $360 (approximately)
  • Exam fee – $44.95
  • Application fee- $200
  • Background check fee – $30 to $40 (approximately)
  • E&O Premium – $229

The above are just the costs of getting the license. But to start a real estate business, there will be other expenses involved such as MLS subscription, phone, internet, and office supplies.

Also, you may want to invest into exam prep. This can increase your chance in passing the exam on the first try, so that you don’t need to waste time and money in retaking it.

I have a real estate license in another state. Can I become licensed in Colorado by applying through reciprocity?

Yes, you may apply through reciprocity. This way, you are only required to pass the State Portion of the broker exam.

Can the CO pre-licensing education requirement be waived?

If you are a licensed attorney, then you just need to take the “Trust Accounts, Closings & Record keeping Course”. (12 Hours)

Can a felon be a real estate agent in Colorado?

The Colorado Division of Real Estate would put into consideration of the applicant’s honesty, trustworthiness, character and integrity.

Whether a felon can be a real estate broker in Colorado is subjected to how the Division evaluates the case. But don’t get discouraged as everyone has a past. The most important is that you can demonstrate that you will serve the public in a fair, honest, and open manner.

However, before you invest your time and money into this career, you could submit a preliminary advisory opinion (PAO) to the CO Real Estate Commission. They will be able to determine the effect of the offense on licensure.

Here’s another post that covers how to apply for a real estate license with a felony record. In there, you’ll find practical ideas which could help your application.

How to become a commercial real estate broker in Colorado?

commercial real estate agents working together

To become a commercial real estate broker in Colorado, an applicant must obtain a real estate broker license from the Colorado Division of Real Estate. The applicant must complete 168 hours of pre-license courses, pass a broker exam, go through a background check and submit an application and license fee.

Basically, it is the same requirement as we just went through because most states do not issue separate licenses for residential and commercial agents. However, if you are going to pursue a career as a CRE agent, you should look for a brokerage that could give you the right support and resources.

Here’s the “Complete Guide to a Commercial Real Estate Agent Career“, where I cover the career outlook, earning potential, and response from actual CRE agents. Be sure to check it out.

I have more questions about the Colorado real estate license, whom should I contact?

You may contact the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Division of Real Estate.

  • Address: 1560 Broadway, Suite 925, Denver, CO 80202
  • Phone: 303-894-2166
  • Fax: 303-894-2683
  • dora_realestate_website@state.co.us

Want to know whether being a real estate agent is a good career path? I connected with several real estate professionals, and they shared their thought and experience of this industry with me. You may read their valuable insight here.

Real Estate Career Updates in Colorado

Real estate agent handling out keys to home owners

How much do real estate agent make in Colorado?

Real estate agents in Colorado earn an average yearly income of $81,210, typically range between $40,940 and $110,210. The top 10% high-earning real estate sales agents are making over $138,250 per year. (*)

At the beginning phase in your real estate career, you might not earn a lot, because it takes time to build up the client base and established trust with the prospects.

As you continue to gain experience and sharpen your business skills, you should be able to notice a significant improvement to your earning.

Furthermore, your income potential as a real estate agent would depend on the price range of the properties that you work with, the number of transactions you can complete, the commission splitting schedule with the real estate brokerage and other factors.

[Read: Real Estate Agent Salary Guide – What Makes a 6 Figures Earner?]

(*) Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2020

Want to know how to become a six-figures income earner? Check out this “Real Estate Agent Salary Guide“. In there, you’ll find what are the important factors which could significantly influence your income.

Is being a real estate agent a good career in Colorado?

Being a real estate agent can be a good career in Colorado if you enjoy running a self-employed business, interacting with different people, travelling around and have flexible work hours.

According to the RedFin, as of May 2021, there were 9,332 homes sold, and the median sales prices was $500,000. All these figures went up when comparing to the year-over-year period. As I’m reviewing the data now, it seems that the demand far exceeded the housing supply. In fact, 70.7% of homes were sold above the list price!

Colorado has a population of nearly 5.77 million. It is the 8th largest state in US, but it’s also relatively sparsely populated. Still, this transaction volume shows a significant demand for real estate agents.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2020), there were 4,790 real estate sales agents in Colorado, which worked out to be 1.858 sales agent per 1,000 jobs.

However, there are always people succeeding and failing in each industry. The utmost importance is how you can remain competitive in the real estate market.

Check out this article: 30 Practical Tips to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent!

A Video on Getting a Colorado Real Estate License

If you are reading up to this point, I bet you must be interested in getting a real estate license. Your first step is to complete the pre-licensing courses. You should select one that has an excellent reputation and long-term track record of satisfying students. RealEstateExpress is exactly that! You may click here to check it out yourself. (**)

So that’s all I have to share for now. Do you like this guide? If so, please share it.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information only, and not intend to provide any advice. They are subjected to change without any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. Some of the posts on RealEstateCareerHQ.com may contain views and opinions from the interviewees. They do not reflect our view or position.

(**) Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. Our company, JCHQ Publishing will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking on the link. Please understand that we include them based on our experience or the research on these companies or products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through the links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Reference:

  • Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies – Division of Real Estate (Source)
    • Broker applications, Documents and Fees (source)
  • Colorado Real Estate Candidate Information Bulletin (Source)
  • RISC – Pricing & Available Coverage (source)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – Real Estate Agents (Source)
  • Real Trends: 2018 Real Trends 500 by Volume (Source)
  • RedFin – Colorado Housing Market (source)
  • Zillow.com – Colorado Home Prices & Values (Source)
  • World Population Review- Population of Cities in Colorado (Source)

Jacob Coleman

Jacob is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors.) In order to build a career you love, Jacob believes not only you need a thorough understanding about the profession, but you also have to find out what type of jobs could match your personality, lifestyle and expectation.

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