How to Get a Real Estate License in Colorado? [Full Career Guide]


Real Estate Broker Colorado

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

Before we jump into the details, I want to let you know that there is no real estate “agent” in Colorado. The reason is unlike most other states, agents are licensed as real estate “broker” in Colorado.

Therefore, when I mention real estate agent in this article, I’m really referring to the entry-level of brokers.

To get a real estate broker license in Colorado, you need to complete the 168 hours of pre-licensing courses, pass the real estate broker exam, and register at the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies – Division of Real Estate.

The Colorado Real State Commission is the entity that regulate licensees to ensure the real estate practice upholds the public interest.

There are two types of real estate brokers in Colorado:

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

If you are reading this article, there’s no doubt you are interested in knowing about being a real estate agent in Colorado.

In this guide, not only you’ll know about the step-by-step process to become a real estate broker or Employing Broker, but you can also find important information such as the salary, career out and a list of the best real estate brokerages in Colorado.

Without further ado, let’s start!

How to Become a Real Estate Broker in Colorado?

Colorado Real Estate Broker License Requirement

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement

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

Step 2: Complete the Pre-Licensing Education

You will need to take 168 hours of pre-license broker education from a school approved by the CO Real Estate Commission. One thing I find very interesting is that the Colorado Division of Real Estate actually discloses the First Time Exam Pass Rate of different course providers on their website.

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

Study Tip: 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. Here are some helpful details on our education resources page.

Step 3: Pass the CO Real Estate Broker Examination

Real estate career studying

How to schedule the broker exam writing?

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.

What are included in the CO broker exam?

This examination is to test your knowledge and understanding of real estate law, principle and practices, and mathematics. It consists of two portions, the National Broker Portion and the State Broker Portion. 

Here’s more info about National Portion of the Broker Exam

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%

And here are the details about the 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

(Instead of studying randomly throughout the entire textbook, here’s a Real Estate Exam Study Hacks to increase your chance in passing the exam on the first attempt. Not only you’ll find tips and tricks about the exam, but I’ll also show you how to cope with the stress.)

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.

PrepAgent is an exam prep that I highly recommend. Many students were able to pass the real estate exam after doing their practice questions. Over 97% of users provided a 5 out of 5 stars rating to them on Facebook. Click here to check out their package options. (**)

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

Step 4: Submit Application to CO 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. Furthermore, you need to submit fingerprints in fulfilling the background check requirement. You can do so through IdentoGO.

Step 5: Find an Employing Broker

You are one step closer in becoming a real estate agent. After you pass the exam, you must work with an employing broker who would sponsor your license.

But don’t rush into working for just any firm. Finding a good mentor is crucial at the initial stage of your real estate career. A thoughtful and experienced trainer could teach you a repeatable and systematic process in running your business profitably.

You will find some of the top producing CO brokerages later in this guide.

How to Become a Employing Broker in Colorado?

Once you have established a solid client base and develop the necessary skills, then you could consider expanding your business to become a real estate employing broker.

So what type of real estate broker license should you obtain? It really depends on what type of business structure you want to set up your business – for example, do you want the business to operate in your personal name or the brand of a company? Will this be a sole proprietorship or limited corporation? You should discuss with your accountant before applying.

[Read: Do Brokers Make More than Real Estate Agents? -Facts Revealed]

This allows you to build a sales team, where your brokerage could be providing training, marketing, administrative support, office space, and a subscription to industry software. In return, you would get a share of the commission from the transactions that your real estate sales associates close.

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement

You’ll need to be at least 18 years old, completed high school education, have a valid Social Security Number, Citizen of the United States or lawfully admitted alien.

Step 2: Fulfill the Work Experience Requirement

Real Estate Agent Using Mobile Phone In New Property

The Colorado Division of Real Estate uses a point system to keep track of your work experience. It is written on the Employing Broker Experience Affidavit. You are required to accumulate at least 50 points in the 5 years preceding the application.

Here’s how their point system work:

  • Number of years that I have practiced as an employing level broker in Colorado or any other jurisdiction (do not include partial years). – 10 points/year
  • Number years that I have been delegated supervisory authority by an employing broker that included responsibility for ensuring compliance with commission statutes and rules (must include a copy of the detailed executed delegation of authority). – 5 points/year
  • Number of hours of CE taken in my area of expertise on or after January 1, 2018. – 1 point per hour (may not exceed 20)
  • Number of residential transactions completed/closed. – 3 points/transaction
  • Number of commercial transactions completed/closed. – 6 points/transaction
  • Number of vacant land sales completed/closed. – 6 points/transaction
  • Number of administered commercial property management transactions. – 4 points/transaction
  • Number of administered residential property management transactions. – 2 points/transaction
  • Number of commercial lease transactions completed/closed. – 2 points/transaction
  • Number of residential lease transactions completed/closed. – 1 point/transaction
  • Number of time share sales transactions completed/closed. – 2 points/transaction

Step 3: Complete the Pre-licensing Education

You must successfully complete the Employing Broker Refresher Course. It is to fulfill the new Rule A-27 Employing Broker Qualifications. At the time I’m writing this guide, I can only see a handful of approved education provider.

Step 4: Register with the CO Division of Real Estate

Similar to the registration process of being a broker, you may apply through the CO Department website. The fee to upgrade the license is $25.

Real Estate Career Outlook in Colorado

How Much do Real Estate Agent Make in Colorado?

Real estate agents in Colorado earn an average yearly salary of $67,350 typically range between $21,230 and $120,620. (*)

At the beginning phase in your real estate career, you probably would not make a lot, because you have not built up the client base and established trust with the prospects. But as you continue to gain experience and sharpen your business skills, you should be able to notice a significant improvement to your earning.

Your earning potential as a real estate salesperson would depend on the price range of the properties that you work with, the number of transactions you could complete, the commission splitting schedule with the real estate brokerage and other factors.

There are 3980 real estate sales agents in Colorado, which works out to be 1.519 real estate agents per 1000 of workers. (*)

(*) Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics May 2018

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

Which Cities has the Most Real Estate Business Opportunities in Colorado?

Colorado has a population of nearly 5.77 million. It is the 8th largest state in US, but it’s also relatively sparsely populated.

When you are deciding the regions to conduct your real estate business, you should target areas that have a high population. After all, transactions can only occur when there are people.

Also, consider working on properties that have decent value, as this is one of the major factors when calculating your commission. According to Zillow Home Value Index, the median home value in Colorado is $381,300 with median rent of $2,000.

Here are the median home prices in the top 10 cities of Colorado

Name2019 Population Zillow Home Value IndexMedian Rent
Denver732,144$424,300$2,200
Colorado Springs493,799$299,200$1,600
Aurora371,922$329,900$1,900
Fort Collins171,266$392,900$1,795
Lakewood160,429$413,700$1,795
Thornton146,825$365,000$2,000
Arvada124,170$418,800$2,150
Westminster116,308$376,800$1,995
Pueblo114,221$177,100$1,100
Greeley113,065$293,000$1,625

Source: Zillow.com (Jul 31, 2019)

How to Choose a Real Estate Brokerage in Colorado?

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

FAQ about Real Estate Career in Colorado

real estate career studying

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

The broker pre-licensing courses would range between $250 to $400. Adding together the exam fee and license fee. It would cost approximately $780 to $930.

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. You may find the exam prep I like on our education resource page.

2) How often do I need to renew the CO real estate license?

Colorado has a 3 years license cycle. You need to renew the real estate broker license on or before December 31 of every second (2nd) year after issuance.

3) What is the continuing education requirement to renew the CO real estate license?

During a 3 year 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

4) 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.

5) 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)

6) Can a felon be a real estate salesperson in Colorado?

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

Whether a felon can be a real estate broker is subjected to how the licensing commission 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 too much of 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.

7) How to Become a Commercial Real Estate Broker in Colorado?

To become a commercial real estate broker in Colorado, you need to complete the 168 hours of pre-licensing real estate courses and pass the real estate broker exam.

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.

8) I have more questions about the CO 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
  • [email protected]

In Summary

Becoming a real estate agent could be a rewarding career. Not only in terms of financial sense, but you also get the chance of meeting many people and working on different properties every day.

It is very fulfilling when you can help out your clients in finding their dream home or locate the right buyers for their property. Honesty, hard work, and always putting your client’s interest first are the key components to your long-term success.

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.

If you decide real estate is the career that you want to explore further, your first step is to complete the qualifying courses. However, don’t select just from any school that comes along the way.

You should find one that has an excellent reputation and long-term track record of satisfying students. I prefer schools that provide online-courses so that you could take them anytime and anywhere that is convenient for you. Feel free to check out our education resources page for more info.

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

Reference:

  • Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies – Division of Real Estate (Source)
  • Colorado Real Estate Candidate Information Bulletin (Source)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – Real Estate Agents (Source)
  • Real Trends: 2018 Real Trends 500 by Volume (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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