If you’re searching for the best online real estate school in California, you’re probably beginning your real estate career and need to find a school that offers the required 135 hours of coursework. Or maybe you already have your license and you need to complete your 45 hours of continuing education to maintain your license.
Here are our top picks of the best online real estate school in California:
Top 6 Online Real Estate Schools in California for 2021
|Online Real Estate School|
|Real Estate Express||(Best Overall) Affordable and comprehensive prelicense courses|
|Aceable Agent||Easy online PDF format|
|Kaplan Real Estate Education||Interactive, live instruction from real estate experts|
|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|
Last Updated 10/15/2020
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Best Online Real Estate School for California Prelicensing Coursework: Real Estate Express
We know that the cheapest option is not always the best option, but when you’re just starting a career, every penny counts. 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” option 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. For a limited time, Real Estate Express is offering 25% off prelicensing education and exam prep products for California. Just use promo code “Theclose25” at checkout. Click here to get started today.
Real Estate Express Pricing
Real Estate Express offers options for online real estate courses in California, starting at $119.
The Basic Package, which starts at $119, is described as the perfect set of classes for someone who already has real estate experience. This is also the perfect package for a self-starter.
The Exam Preparation Package includes all the benefits of the Basic Package as well as other options such as the “Pass or Don’t Pay” guarantee. It also includes useful exam prep. This package is $225.
Exam Preparation Plus includes everything in the previous package along with an 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 also receive one year of professional development courses.
Real Estate Express: Our Favorite Features
We have two favorite features for the prelicense Real Estate Express courses. First, we like that there are four different packages available. If you only need to complete the required coursework, you can easily do so with the basic package.
If it’s been a while since you have taken any class, you may feel most comfortable enrolling in the Ultimate Learning Package. This package comes with an actual textbook.
Our other favorite feature is that Real Estate Express has hired industry professionals to answer any questions you may have about the certification process. This feature, called Instructor Q&A, is available to those enrolling in the top two packages.
Real Estate Express: Most Useful Real Estate Continuing Education Course
If you’re looking for a popular continuing education course, consider Wildfire Risk in Real Estate. This course has over 1,700 reviews and a 4 (out of 5) rating. Learn about the potential impact that wildfires have on real estate, including water resources, disclosures, and home insurance.
Where Real Estate Express Could Improve
Real Estate Express does a great job assisting professionals in all levels of their careers. Even though their precertifications are inexpensive, their continuing education and brokerage classes could be more competitively priced. If you are searching for competitively priced continuing education courses, you might check out The CE Shop.
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 focused to help you pass your real estate agent exam.
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 key.
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. Best of all, our friends at Aceable Agent are also offering a limited-time special offer to The Close readers. Use coupon code “Theclose” at checkout to receive 25% off their real estate courses. Click here to get started.
Aceable Agent Pricing
Aceable Agent offers a single course option for Californians who need their 135 hours of training for $119. With this course, you get access to a completely self-paced experience. With the Aceable Agent option, you can skip the classroom and study completely around your own schedule. Also included in this package is access to on-staff career mentors, available to walk soon-to-be agents through the licensing process seven days a week.
Aceable Agent: Our Favorite Feature
Aceable’s PDF format allows students the flexibility of learning however they learn best. Whether you want to take your course on the computer and jot down notes on your favorite note-taking app or 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.
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, but 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 also.
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, and have the flexibility to prepare online or off.
Best California Real Estate School for Live Instruction: Kaplan Real Estate Education
Kaplan knows that not everyone is comfortable taking online courses that allow the student to click through the content. For that reason, Kaplan offers both live online classes as well as live classes held in a wide array of locations throughout the state.
Kaplan also offers video classes that you can view at your own pace. And like the other websites on this list, Kaplan also offers a home study package as well.
Known as a giant in the test prep community, Kaplan has more offerings than other real estate testing companies. Besides offering prelicensure programs, they also offer 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 test.
The entry-level online video package starts at $399. This package includes all the content, as well as 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 during the evenings and start at $549.
Finally, the 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 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.
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 course called Millennials: Challenging the Traditional Real Estate Model. Learn how to change your branding and image to appeal to this age group.
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 or 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 School 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 as well.
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.
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 grow. 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 for a Variety of 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 in your state and how it pertains to the real estate industry. 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 a package for the 18 hours of required courses for $35. The package includes the required ethics course.
As a California agent, you know that you are required to complete 45 hours of coursework every four years. Out of the 45 hours, 18 hours are set, required courses. This means that you can take 27 hours of electives.
The CE Shop: Our Favorite Feature
The CE Shop had the busy real estate agent in mind when they created their 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 trying to find a course that fulfills your requirements.
Lastly, the CE Shop offers re-licensing 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
As a real estate agent, you know how important it is to prepare a comparative market analysis. Not following the best practices may mean the difference between a sale and a sale fail. That’s why we like Preparing a Market Analysis offered by The CE Shop. This three-hour class is only $19, so it’s a good deal too.
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 also allows the busy agent to save time, as you can experience one-stop shopping.
The CE Shop does offer a package for the 18 set hours of continuing education, but you must purchase the other 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, consider checking out AYPO Real Estate.
Try The CE Shop
You don’t want to be bored as you fulfill your continuing education requirements. Take interesting courses that are helpful to you as a California agent by signing up with The CE Shop.
Best School 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. What AYPO does well is offer an inexpensive package that allows you to purchase all 45 hours of coursework at once for your California license renewal process.
Check out the outline for the course. It’s super straightforward, covering all the topics one would expect. You will cover topics such as risk management and trust fund handling. You will cover 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. AYPO is also user-friendly. 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 there are other options as well. 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 as well for $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 the useful content.
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 seem to cover nothing but the necessary information. Do not expect any high-interest courses.
The writing and the design of the AYPO website is also very simplistic. And at this time, At Your Pace Online only offers prelicensure coursework for budding real estate agents in five states.
If you are looking for more high-end, interactive instruction, you may want to 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 any 45-hour course must be completed in two and a half weeks or longer, and since there are three 45-hour courses to complete, that totals seven and a half weeks.
Do I have to pass the final exam of my prelicense course?
Yes. In order to qualify for the state licensing exam, you must first pass the exam for your prelicensing course. Good news though: the exam is open book and you can take the test as many times as is necessary to pass.
Can I use college credits toward my prelicense requirements?
Yes. Certain real estate or law courses will supplant 45 of the 135 required hours. You will still need to complete the other 90 using a traditional prelicense education program.
Can I use my law degree credits toward my 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 member of the Bar, 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, and it’s important that real estate professionals can prove that they know enough to serve their clients effectively. Set time aside to study every day, ask lots of questions, and take great notes. These strategies will surely set you up for success in your California real estate courses.
Hopefully, this guide will help you determine the best real estate courses for California, 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 by checking out our national guide for the best real estate schools. You’ll find a lot of the same schools that rank in the top for California are also national leaders too, and the frequently asked questions section is great for anyone looking for information about how to launch their real estate business after getting licensed.
Still not totally clear on the real estate licensure process? We’ve got something for that too. Start with our national guide to getting a real estate license, and after you finish that, check out the state-specific tips for getting a real estate license in California.
Did you have a great experience taking real estate courses in California that we didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments.