If you’re searching for the best online real estate school in California, you’re probably looking for a program to complete the required 135 hours of coursework. Or maybe you already have your license and need to complete 45 hours of continuing education to maintain it.
Either way, we’ve done the research to find the best online real estate schools in California, and we came up with this shortlist of our top picks.
Our Top 6 Picks for Best Online Real Estate Schools in California for 2021
|Our Top Picks for Best Online Real Estate School in California|
|Real Estate Express||(Best Overall) Affordable and comprehensive prelicense courses|
|Kaplan Real Estate Education||Interactive, live instruction from real estate experts|
|Aceable Agent||Easy to follow online PDF format|
|Mbition||Math prep for real estate exams|
|The CE Shop||A wide variety of continuing ed courses|
|AYPO Real Estate||Simple, no-fuss California license renewal|
Which online real estate school is best for you?
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Best Online Real Estate School in California for Prelicensing Coursework: Real Estate Express
We know that the cheapest option is not always the best option, but every penny counts when you’re just starting a career. Real Estate Express is not only the most affordable option for the 135-hour course, but it also goes on sale periodically.
Real Estate Express feels so confident about their classes that they offer a “Pass or Don’t Pay” guarantee for all but their most basic package. This is probably why most packages also include exam prep materials. These benefits and more make Real Estate Express the obvious choice for those wanting to become a real estate agent.
Real Estate Express Pricing
Real Estate Express offers options for online real estate courses in California, starting at just $119.
The Basic Package is the perfect set of classes for someone who already has real estate experience. It’s an ideal package for a self-starter and starts at $119.
The Exam Preparation Package includes all the benefits of the Basic Package, plus other options like the “Pass or Don’t Pay” guarantee. It also includes valuable exam prep. This package is $225.
Exam Preparation Plus includes everything in the previous package, plus a helpful Exam Cram Video and 40 hours of instructor Q&A. The Exam Prep Plus package is $349.
Real Estate Express Ultimate Learning Package retails for $449. In this package, you receive a printed textbook instead of an e-book. You’ll also benefit from a full year of professional development courses.
Real Estate Express: Our Favorite Features
Our two favorite features of the Real Estate Express prelicense courses are flexibility and access.
Real Estate Express offers four different packages to prepare you for your licensure exam. If you simply need to complete the required coursework, you can easily do so with the basic package.
However, if you need more in-depth study, you may feel most comfortable enrolling in the Ultimate Learning Package, which comes with an actual textbook.
Our other favorite feature is the Real Estate Express Instructor Q&A, which gives you access to industry professionals who can answer your questions about the certification process. This feature is available to students enrolling in two top-tier packages (Exam Prep Plus & Ultimate Learning).
[Related Article: Real Estate Express Review + Video Walkthrough]
Real Estate Express: Most Useful Real Estate Continuing Education Course
Apart from their four prelicense course packages. Real Estate Express offers a host of continuing education for licensed agents looking for professional development.
One of Real Estate Express’s more popular continuing education courses is Wildfire Risk in Real Estate. Learn about the potential impact of California wildfires on our industry, including water resources, disclosures, and home insurance. As of this writing, this course has more than 1,700 reviews, with an average rating of 4 out of 5.
Where Real Estate Express Could Improve
Real Estate Express does a great job assisting professionals at all levels of their careers. Even though their pre-certifications are inexpensive, their continuing education and brokerage classes could be more competitively priced. If cost is an issue, and you’re searching for competitively priced continuing education courses, consider The CE Shop a cost-effective solution.
Try Real Estate Express
You can’t go wrong in choosing Real Estate Express as your online course provider. The prices are affordable, and the content is highly focused on helping you pass your real estate agent exam. Readers of The Close will save 25% off by using the promo code TheClose25 at checkout.
Best California Real Estate School for Live Instruction: Kaplan Real Estate Education
Kaplan understands that not every student is comfortable taking virtual courses or clicking mindlessly through online content. As an alternative, Kaplan offers both live, online classes and live, in-person classes held in a wide array of locations throughout the state.
Kaplan also offers classes delivered in video format that you can view at your own pace. And like the other providers on this list, Kaplan also offers a home study package.
Widely recognized as a giant in the test prep community, Kaplan has more offerings than most other real estate testing companies. Their course offerings include prelicensure programs, continuing education, and brokerage test preparation.
Kaplan Real Estate Education Pricing
Kaplan’s basic home study package, which gives students the content for the 135-hour course, costs $179. This package also includes access to study webinars and practice questions for the license exam.
The entry-level online video package starts at $399 and includes all the content, plus on-demand video test reviews.
Kaplan’s California Live Online package allows you to take the prelicense classes from home, where you’ll watch a live teacher through your computer. These scheduled classes occur in the evenings and start at $549.
Finally, Kaplan’s live classes enable you to learn about real estate in a traditional classroom environment. Day and evening classes are available in San Diego, Costa Mesa, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The live class packages start at $749.
Kaplan also offers California-specific license renewal courses through their home study and on-demand video packages. The complete license renewal coursework package is available for $144.
Kaplan Real Estate Education: Our Favorite Feature
Kaplan’s interactive learning options are our favorite feature. Since Kaplan has made its name in the test prep industry, the writers of their curriculum know that all people learn differently. Kaplan meets the demands of auditory or visual learners. They also know that some students learn best by interacting with others.
Another of Kaplan’s features that caught our attention was the Career Launcher Live Classroom Package. Although pricey, this package includes face-to-face instruction as well as a 16-hour extensive course that will help you learn real-world skills and tools that will assist you with your career.
[Related Article: Kaplan Real Estate School Review + Video Walk-through: Pass or Fail?]
Kaplan Real Estate Education: Most Useful Real Estate Continuing Education Course
Learn how to better serve your millennial clients by enrolling in Kaplan’s on-demand, continuing education course called Millennials: Challenging the Traditional Real Estate Model. Learn how to change your branding and image to appeal to this discerning demographic.
Where Kaplan Real Estate Education Could Improve
Some online reviews have noted low video quality for the on-demand videos. Other reviewers have complained about the cost. Overall, if you do not have concerns about the pricing, Kaplan does offer a one-stop-shop for your prelicense and re-license coursework needs.
If you are looking for less expensive options, you may want to consider others on this list, including Real Estate Express.
Try Kaplan Real Estate Education
It’s always nice to work with a reputable company that specializes in online education. Since Kaplan is the standard in test prep, you should consider working with them for your prelicensing coursework.
Best California Real Estate School for Online & Print Options: Aceable Agent
California’s prelicense education requirements are some of the nation’s most comprehensive. With 135 hours of required training before you can take your exam, having a convenient course format is critical.
Aceable Agent provides an easy-to-use PDF experience for all Californians who want to get their real estate license. If you’re looking for a real estate education option that will allow you to take your classes when and where you want, Aceable is for you.
Aceable Agent Pricing
Aceable Agent offers a single course option for Californians who need their 135 hours of training for $119. With this straightforward course, you’ll enjoy a completely self-paced learning experience.
With Aceable Agent, you can skip the classroom and study entirely on your schedule and at your own pace. You’ll have access to on-staff career mentors, available seven days a week, with this package. They can walk soon-to-be agents through the licensing process.
Aceable Agent: Our Favorite Feature
Aceable’s PDF format allows students the flexibility of learning however they learn best. If you prefer, you can complete the course on your computer and jot down notes on your favorite note-taking app. Or, you can print the course and make a physical copy to read.
The simple, online textbook format means you can go at your own pace and know exactly where you stand.
[Related Article: Aceable Agents Named One of The 5 Best Real Estate Continuing Education Providers for Realtors]
Aceable Agent: Most Useful Real Estate Continuing Education Course
Aceable Agent does not provide any continuing education options in California.
Where Aceable Agent Could Improve
Aceable Agent’s package is a great, one-size-fits-all solution for aspiring California real estate professionals. Still, it would be great if they offered some package add-ons or exam prep courses too. There’s a lot of value in the package Aceable Agent provides, but it would be nice to have some additional materials available.
If you’re looking for a provider that offers more of an a la carte experience, try Real Estate Express.
Try Aceable Agent
If flexibility in how you consume your 135 hours of California prelicense time is important to you, consider Aceable Agent. For $119, you get everything you need to qualify for the licensing exam. Plus, you’ll enjoy the flexibility to prepare online or off.
Best Online Real Estate School in California for Additional Help With Math Prep: Mbition
Like the other best online real estate schools in California, Mbition offers packages that will help you fulfill your prelicense class requirements to become a real estate agent in California. Additionally, Mbition offers e-books and customer support to help navigate through their program.
There are also several things that Mbition offers that we didn’t find from other companies. First, Mbition allows you to purchase printed resources to help you with your classes. Most companies do not offer printed materials unless you are purchasing the top-level package.
Mbition also offers MathMaster. Since it’s probably been a while since you’ve attended a high school math class, MathMaster is perfect for helping you brush up on the math skills you need to succeed in real estate.
Students may purchase Mbition’s 135-hour prelicense courses in three different packages. The least expensive package is $129, but it does not include MathMaster.
The Gold and Platinum packages are $269 and $339, respectively.
Like all the other companies on this list (except for The CE Shop), Mbition offers a 45-hour renewal package for California agents. Their package is even less expensive than AYPO at $63.95. You can also purchase individual classes.
Mbition: Our Favorite Feature
One of our favorite Mbition features is the MathMaster. Mbition walks you through all the math you need to know to work in the industry. We also like Mbition’s exam prep packages. The packages start at $49. The more expensive packages track your answers and help you understand which sections of the material you may need to spend extra time studying.
[Related Article: 7 Hacks for the Real Estate Practice Exam (+Free Mini-test)]
Mbition: Most Useful Real Estate Continuing Education Course
Learn what eco-friendly features are essential to your clients by enrolling in California Green Real Estate. This class will teach you about green energy and housing trends.
Where Mbition Could Improve
As the company grows over time, one would assume that the number of course offerings for Mbition will also expand. As of now, there are few individual courses to choose from to fulfill the California re-licensure requirements.
This attractive, user-friendly website is the perfect choice for a person who needs to get their real estate license and brush up on related real estate skills. Feel free to purchase their helpful materials whether or not you enroll in their classes.
Best Variety in Continuing Education Courses: The CE Shop
The CE Shop has their work cut out for them. Part of their job is to keep California real estate agents informed of changes to the real estate laws and policies. That’s why they offer plenty of state-specific continuing education courses for those living in the Golden State.
For example, as a real estate agent in California, you must learn about Risk Management and how it pertains to the real estate industry in your state. Real estate agents can also take a course on California Fair Housing Laws, so you can make sure you stay in compliance. Now that recreational marijuana is legal in California, The CE Shop also offers a course called Marijuana in Real Estate.
The CE Shop’s courses tackle complicated topics. And since most classes are less than $20, you receive a lot of thought-provoking content for your money.
The CE Shop Pricing
The CE Shop offers pre-license packages that start at $129, though they frequently go on sale. Check their website often for deals.
Their Courses Only package starts at $129, their Standard Package starts at $189 and includes exam preparation materials. Their Value Package starts at $229 and includes resources you can use to build your business after getting your license. Finally, their Premium Package offers all of the above plus your first year’s worth of continuing education requirements.
The CE Shop: Our Favorite Feature
The CE Shop had the busy real estate agent in mind when they created their continuing education courses. Their concierge service will notify you as your re-licensing deadline approaches.
The website also offers easy navigation, so you won’t waste time searching for a course that fulfills your requirements.
Lastly, the CE Shop offers prelicensing courses in all 50 states. If you have a real estate license in two states, a CE Shop representative will help you pick classes that can work for both re-certification programs.
The CE Shop: Most Useful Real Estate Continuing Education Course
An important part of being a real estate agent is preparing comparative market analysis for your clients. Not following best practices may mean the difference between a sale and a fail. That’s why we like The CE Shop’s Preparing a Market Analysis class. This three-hour class is only $19, so it’s a good deal.
Where The CE Shop Could Improve
Other continuing education companies allow you to purchase a package that includes all your re-licensing coursework. Usually, these packages offer the greatest value. Buying a package deal helps busy agents save time with one-stop shopping.
The CE Shop offers a package for the 18 set hours of continuing education, but you must purchase the balance of 27 hours of electives a la carte.
If you are looking for a continuing education company that allows you to purchase a 45-hour license renewal package, check out AYPO Real Estate.
Try The CE Shop
Fulfilling your continuing education requirements shouldn’t be a bore. Take interesting courses that are helpful to you as a California agent by signing up with The CE Shop.
Best Online Real Estate School in California for Simple, No-fuss License Renewal: AYPO Real Estate
Don’t bother trying to sound out the name of our next company. AYPO is an acronym for At Your Pace Online.
AYPO doesn’t offer prelicense coursework or test prep guides for the state of California. AYPO provides inexpensive packages that let you bundle 45 hours of coursework required for your California license renewal.
The course is super straightforward, user-friendly, and easy to follow. It covers all the topics one would expect, including risk management, handling trust funds, consumer protection, and the Truth in Lending Act.
The courses are specific to the state of California, and the bundle includes the required ethics course, as well. Once you have completed your coursework, you can print out your certificate to keep for your records.
AYPO Real Estate Pricing
The California 45-Hour Complete Renewal Package costs only $65, but other options are available. AYPO Real Estate also offers an 18-hour consumer protection course specific to California agents for only $36.
You may also be interested in AYPO’s 12-hour and 8-hour consumer services classes, which cover lending laws, sales agreements, and leases. AYPO also offers six California-specific, three-hour courses for just $9 each.
AYPO Real Estate: Our Favorite Feature
Our favorite feature of AYPO is that it is meant as a no-frills California license renewal option for busy real estate agents. The website is mobile-friendly, so you can knock out a few lessons as you are waiting for your client at a showing.
The online reviews of AYPO praise the easy navigation of the website and useful online content.
[Related Article: Real Estate License Reciprocity & Portability: A State-by-State Guide]
AYPO Real Estate: Most Useful Real Estate Continuing Education Course
One of the most highly rated courses on the AYPO website is the California Risk Management Continuing Education Course. This class talks about the legal responsibilities of risk management, as well as risk prevention.
Where AYPO Real Estate Could Improve
Yes, you will fulfill your license renewal requirements for the state of California by taking the coursework through AYPO. But, the classes appear to cover only the necessary information. Do not expect any high-interest courses.
The writing and design of the AYPO website are also very simplistic. And at this time, At Your Pace Online only offers prelicensure coursework for budding real estate agents in five states. As such, if you plan on operating a multi-state business, AYPO likely a comprehensive resource for your needs.
If you’re looking for more high-end, interactive instruction, you should check out Kaplan’s real estate education programs.
Try AYPO Real Estate
Whether you’re attracted to AYPO’s simplistic design or not, this company makes obtaining all your California continuing education requirements as easy as pie.
California Online Real Estate School FAQs
Got some questions about getting your real estate license in California? Don’t worry. We’ve got the answers.
How long will it take to complete my prelicense requirements?
The minimum amount of time from enrollment to completion date is seven and a half weeks. California regulations mandate that you complete any 45-hour course in two and a half weeks or longer. With three 45-hour courses to complete, you’ll need at least seven and a half weeks.
Do I have to pass the final exam of my prelicense course?
Yes. To qualify for the state licensing exam, you must first pass the exam for your prelicensing course. Good news, though: it’s an open book exam, and you can take it as many times as you need to pass.
Can I use college credits toward my prelicense requirements?
Yes. Specific real estate or law courses can apply, supplanting 45 of the 135 required class hours. You’ll still need to complete the other 90 using a traditional prelicense education program.
Which Online Real Estate Courses in California Are Right For Me?
The provider and class style you choose will ultimately come down to two factors: your availability and your learning style. If you work a busy day job and don’t have much flexibility in your schedule, carving out time for an in-person or live online class can be challenging. Aceable Agent, Mbition, or one of the On Demand options from Real Estate Express will be your best bet.
On the other hand, if you learn best through real-time interaction with an instructor and other students, Kaplan Real Estate Education is going to be your best choice for an online real estate school in California.
Can I use my law degree credits toward my California real estate prelicense requirements?
Yes. If you’re a member of the California Bar Association, the California DRE will waive your 135-hour prelicense education requirement. If you hold a law degree but are not a Bar member, you are eligible to waive 45 of the 135 hours of prelicense education.
Are online real estate courses in California difficult?
They aren’t a walk in the park, but dedicated students won’t have too much trouble with them. Remember, real estate agents in the state of California are responsible for shepherding people through the most important financial transaction of their lives. It’s important to demonstrate the high level of knowledge needed to serve clients effectively.
Set time aside to study every day, ask lots of questions, and take great notes. These strategies will set you up for success in your California real estate courses.
Do I Have to Go to a California Real Estate School to Become a Realtor?
To get a real estate license in California, you need to attend an accredited real estate school and complete your prerequisite 135 hours of classes.
Real Estate Express and Kaplan Real Estate Education providers offer virtual class options accessible from anywhere in the world. Even if you haven’t yet moved to California, you can still attend a California real estate school.
Hopefully, this guide will help you determine California’s best real estate courses and which school is right for you. Although there are positive and negative aspects to each real estate school, this guide is designed to help you find the one to best suit your needs.
Looking for more resources? The Close has got you covered. Start with our national guide for the best real estate schools. You’ll find many of the same highly-ranked California schools are national leaders. Review the robust comments section for FAQs about how to launch your real estate business after getting licensed.
Still not completely clear on the real estate licensure process? We’ve got something to help you. Start with our national guide to getting a real estate license, and follow up with our state-specific tips for getting a real estate license in California. We wish you the best in your real estate career!
Did you have a great experience taking real estate courses in California that we didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments.