Having the inside scoop on the best online real estate schools is critical for a successful career. Whether you’re looking for a real estate school to help you get your license, manage your continuing education credits, or become a broker, our list will help you select the best school for your needs.
We evaluated these online real estate schools based on pricing, course offerings, teaching styles, user experience, and exam success rates and came up with our top five. Need a little more information about what it actually takes to get a real estate license? Start with our comprehensive guide on how to get a real estate license.
5 Best Online Real Estate Schools: Our Top Picks for 2023
We chose the front-runners for our list of the best online real estate schools across several categories and narrowed it down to our five favorites.
|Providers||Best Features||Promo Codes|
|Best Overall: Colibri Real Estate||Great pricing options + a premium tier that offers real-life preparation for a future in real estate||TheClose25–Save 25%|
|Best All-in-One: The CE Shop||With extensive continuing ed and exam prep options, it’s a one-stop shop for a new real estate career||TheClose35–Save 35%|
|Best Mobile: Aceable Agent||Designed for students who want education on the go, its excellent mobile interface is second to none||Click our Aceable Agent link–Save 25%|
|Best Live Instruction: Kaplan||This is the pick for students who want to learn directly from an instructor with live classes||KAPRE5–Save 5%|
|Best on a Budget: RealEstateU||A bargain, straightforward option that won’t break the bank||TheClose10–Save $10|
What’s the Best School in My State?
Since each state determines local licensing rules and accredited providers, our advice may differ depending on where you’re looking to practice real estate. For tailored suggestions and resources, select your state below.
Best Overall Online Real Estate School: Colibri Real Estate
- Accreditation: ARELLO, IDECC
The prelicensing courses that Colibri Real Estate offers are designed for students with little or no business experience. Its program includes material that sets them up for a smooth transition into real estate. Some of Colibri’s package options also include exam prep courses and continuing education (in partnership with McKissock Learning). The added assurance of Colibri’s Pass or Don’t Pay guarantee is also helpful, but it’s not available in all states or all class tiers.
Can I Take Colibri Real Estate Courses in My State?
Colibri Real Estate offers prelicensing courses in most states, exam preparation in all 50, plus continuing education and broker licensing courses in selected states. The company is continuously expanding its coverage, so we’ll make sure to update this page regularly.
Colibri Real Estate Pricing
In each school review, we priced out four of the most populous states in different areas of the country to give you an idea of what the program might cost you. As with other institutions below, Colibri usually has many package options with different offerings—basic to premium—so we’re providing you the price ranges for the programs in each of these four states. Make sure to check with Colibri Real Estate for the exact pricing in your state, as well as any discounts or promotions currently available.
Colibri Real Estate Pricing Summary
|Continuing Education Courses*|
*CE courses offered by McKissock Learning
Use promo code TheClose25 at checkout and SAVE 25% on all Colibri Real Estate prelicensing courses.
Favorite Colibri Real Estate Feature: Live Q&A
We really appreciate the live chat Q&A available with some of Colibri’s real estate prelicensing packages. Students can join sessions with licensed real estate agents and brokers to ask questions about their material or the upcoming exam. This also provides valuable information about how to apply what they’re learning in the real world.
Room to Improve
The Colibri Real Estate courses are definitely text-heavy and a lot of reading is involved. Students who need a more interactive experience might prefer a school such as Kaplan.
We also feel that Colibri Real Estate could improve its mobile interface. As mobile learning edges closer to the norm, students are looking for easy, streamlined offerings on their phones. While you can take their courses on a phone or tablet, Colibri Real Estate recommends using Google Chrome as your browser, and you must take final exams and unit quizzes on your desktop computer or laptop for optimal functionality.
Bottom Line on Colibri Real Estate
Colibri Real Estate’s premium courses offer not only everything soon-to-be real estate professionals need to launch their careers, but they have also expanded their offerings of broker courses, in case you’re already looking to further your real estate career. They’re now available in nine states, including New York, Illinois, California, Texas, and Georgia.
If you want to learn more about what Colibri Real Estate has to offer, check out our full review of their platform, including a behind-the-scenes video walk-through. Visit their website to find out about course availability and pricing in your state.
Best All-in-One Online Real Estate School: The CE Shop
- Accreditation: ARELLO
The CE Shop offers a wide variety of courses and packages for real estate professionals, including prelicensing courses, exam prep, and post-licensing requirements. Also, with its custom Leap 2.0 system, The CE Shop optimizes your real estate courses for delivery on just about any platform, so you can knock out education requirements on the go.
Can I Take The CE Shop Courses in My State?
The CE Shop offers prelicensing courses directly in many states (see below). But also, they partner with other schools to provide at least some form of real estate education in all 50 states. Even Maine students, for example, can take their exam prep courses through the company.
The CE Shop Pricing
The CE Shop may be best known for its continuing education courses (hence the name), but they also offer excellent real estate prelicensing courses in many states. Here are four states and examples of the pricing in each one.
The CE Shop Pricing Summary
|Continuing Education Courses|
SAVE 35% on all prelicensing courses from The CE Shop. Use promo code TheClose35 at checkout.
Favorite The CE Shop Feature: Continuing Education
The CE Shop offers some outstanding continuing education courses in unique niches. Assistance Animals in Fair Housing, Marijuana Laws in Real Estate, and Land Contract Details are just some of the topics you can learn about while fulfilling your continuing education requirements.
Every three years, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) requires its members to take a refresher course in the NAR Code of Ethics. The CE Shop offers a great course that fulfills this requirement called Code of Ethics: Good for Your Clients and Your Business.
Room to Improve
The CE Shop’s courses are all online and the interface can feel a little clunky. It can be hard to navigate backward and forward within the courses. We would really like to see The CE Shop put more effort into embedding videos and links as well. The material can be dry and text-heavy.
Bottom Line on The CE Shop
We’re impressed with The CE Shop’s affordable and comprehensive prelicensing packages. But what really makes it stand out is the library of interesting CE courses that will fulfill your state’s requirements year after year.
Best Online Real Estate School for Mobile Experience: Aceable Agent
- Accreditation: Varies by state
Students looking for flexible options for completing their real estate prelicensing education should definitely consider Aceable Agent. Their mobile-first online platform is ideal for students fitting in classes between other priorities. Their PDF-based, long-form course is also an excellent choice if you learn best by reading.
Can I Take Aceable Agent Courses in My State?
Aceable Agent offers real estate prelicensing in the teal-colored states in the image below. They also offer continuing education in New York, Texas, and Georgia, and post-licensing education in Texas.
Aceable Agent Pricing
In the pricing table below, you’ll see a range for each of the featured states. That’s because Aceable Agent, like many others on this list, offers different packages depending on students’ needs—its two top-tier options include thorough exam preparation, for example.
We’ve provided current pricing for courses in some of the most populous states in the country, including Texas, California, New York, and Florida. Visit the Aceable Agent website to determine pricing in your state, and use the coupon code below, exclusively for readers of The Close.
Aceable Agent Pricing Summary
|Continuing Education Courses|
Click our Aceable Agent link to SAVE 25% on prelicensing courses.
Favorite Aceable Agent Feature: Sleek, Easy-to-Use Interface
Aceable Agent’s platform was developed for a digitally savvy audience. Its clean, modern interface is easy to navigate and makes working and learning on the go a real possibility. So if you want to complete your classes online (either from a computer, tablet, or phone), you can.
But you can also work from well-written PDFs. You decide day-to-day how you want to consume the content. These methods clearly work for students who choose Aceable, as the school advertises an outstanding national pass rate of 91%.
Room to Improve
We commend Aceable Agent for their singular approach and focus on excellence in mobile prelicensing courses, but we know that budding real estate professionals have to think about more than just prelicensing. The company’s exam prep packages and continuing education have very limited availability, and they offer no broker preparation whatsoever.
Bottom Line on Aceable Agent
If it’s time to take the next step in your career and add “real estate professional” to your business card, we recommend Aceable Agent as it’s easy to fit their mobile courses into your schedule. They’re an ideal provider if you’re looking for an affordable, flexible course that makes it easy to balance other priorities.
Best Online Real Estate School for Interactive, Live Instruction: Kaplan
- Accreditation: Varies by state
If you’re looking for a company that is synonymous with quality instruction, look no further than Kaplan. The company has a long track record of preparing students for standardized tests across a variety of industries. It’s also a long-time provider of prelicensing courses for students fulfilling their state requirements and preparing for their real estate license exam.
Can I Take Kaplan Courses in My State?
Kaplan either offers prelicensing courses or partners with local schools in the states below. They also offer continuing education, broker licensing, and exam prep courses in some states.
Because Kaplan’s offerings are so diverse in terms of format and interaction, its pricing varies widely. The company’s completely self-paced options start as low as $149. But when it comes to live online instruction with an experienced educator and practicing real estate agent, it can quickly run you more than $1,000.
Below you’ll find sample Kaplan pricing in four states. Note that Florida courses are offered by Kaplan partner Bob Hogue School of Real Estate. Make sure to check with Kaplan for course availability and pricing in your state.
Kaplan Pricing Summary
|Continuing Education Courses|
SAVE 5% on all Kaplan Real Estate prelicensing courses. Use promo code KAPRE5 at checkout.
Favorite Kaplan Real Estate Education Feature: Live Online Instruction
Kaplan‘s best feature is its ability to cater to a variety of learning styles. In most states, you can choose from three different online formats: Home Study, OnDemand, and Live Online.
- The Home Study method is a text-based learning program centered on an e-book, and is completely self-paced. It’s ideal for students who learn best by reading quietly.
- OnDemand takes your nose out of the book with prerecorded video lessons from instructors in live classrooms, teaching the material while you follow along in your textbook. Jot down your questions, email your instructors, and get clarification about whatever you need.
- Live Online is a virtual classroom with a live instructor. Ask questions and interact with your fellow students in real time—this format is similar to the best webinar you’ve ever attended.
Another feature we love is Kaplan’s Real Estate Accelerator. It’s a professional development course led by a highly qualified real estate agent with a ton of experience and knowledge to share. This accelerator program isn’t part of the required prelicensing course hours, but it can help you jump-start your business plan and marketing strategy.
Room to Improve
Kaplan’s interface for their OnDemand and Live Online formats is a little dated compared to what you’ll find at other online schools we’ve reviewed. Students reported having trouble running Kaplan’s programs on various web browsers, so a little bit of technology troubleshooting might be necessary.
Bottom Line on Kaplan Real Estate Education
If a live, instructor-led online experience is what you’re looking for, Kaplan is often your best option. Visit their website today to find out which courses are available in your area.
Best Online Real Estate School on a Budget: RealEstateU
- Accreditation: Accrediting bodies for each RealEstateU school vary by state
RealEstateU launched in 2013 in New York and has since expanded to 14 states, including Texas, California, Florida, Washington, the Carolinas, and Michigan. Designed for budget-conscious consumers, this is one of the least expensive programs on the market. If you put in your time and the format works for your learning style, it’s an excellent, affordable option.
Can I Take RealEstateU Courses in My State?
RealEstateU offers prelicensing courses in the following states:
Overall, RealEstateU is consistently one of the most affordable options on the market. Pricing varies by state, ranging from $99 to $500 for prelicensing, which is a real bargain compared to other providers. Exam prep is an additional cost of about $125. Make sure to check with RealEstateU for the exact pricing in your state, as well as what current discount promotions are available.
RealEstateU Pricing Summary
|Continuing Education Courses|
Favorite RealEstateU Feature: Support at Every Step
RealEstateU’s greatest strength is in the support it provides students. While most online schools just focus on helping you pass the exam, RealEstateU offers plenty of resources to assist you before you start and after you’ve passed.
For example, they have an excellent and regularly updated blog, plus their FAQ section for each state is one of the most comprehensive we’ve seen. RealEstateU also offers some amazing investment courses such as Real Estate Accounting for Beginners, Motivation From a Proven Investor, and a free nine-chapter course called How to Be a Successful Real Estate Agent.
Room to Improve
We hope that RealEstateU will incorporate more inventive and innovative approaches to teaching that work for a wider range of learning styles. Currently, they offer mostly audio classes, which may work for some students, but not others. If interactive courses with a live instructor are important to you, consider Kaplan.
Bottom Line on RealEstateU
There’s really no downside to trying RealEstateU if they have courses in your state. They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee* so you can try it out and decide if it’s the right format for you. If it is, you’re getting your courses at a real bargain!
*Some states, such as Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, and Tennessee, prohibit guarantees on passing the licensure exam. Students will still be able to pick and enroll in their desired course, but the money-back guarantee won’t be honored by real estate providers from the aforementioned states.
How to Choose the Best Online Real Estate School
It might seem like a simple decision—choosing the best school—but there are many factors to consider for your real estate education.
How to Sign Up for an Online Real Estate School
Signing up for an online real estate school is as easy as creating an account when you’re shopping online. Selecting the courses you need to take is just like adding items to your cart. Of course, the number one step is to check that you’ve selected the right state when signing up. From there, you will only need to provide your personal information, email address, and payment details.
The registration terms vary per school, so make sure that you’re 100% decided on where you want to enroll. If not, then make sure that you’ve read your chosen school’s refund policy.
Comparing Prices for the Best Online Real Estate Schools
|Best Overall: Colibri Real Estate|
|Best All-in-One: The CE Shop|
|Best Mobile: Aceable Agent|
|Best Live Instruction: Kaplan|
|Best on a Budget: RealEstateU|
(Prelicensing packages as of August 2023)
How We Selected the Best Online Real Estate Schools
This list did not just appear overnight. At The Close, we have a team of licensed real estate professionals, writers, and editors who research and score the best real estate schools using a weighted rubric according to the following criteria:
Best Online Real Estate Schools: FAQs
If you’re still not sure about the path forward, check out our interactive map for specific advice based on your state. Or check out our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about online real estate schools below.
Do I need a real estate school if I already have a license from another state?
Good news! If you’re currently licensed in a state other than the one you want to do business in, you may be able to have your prelicensing education requirements waived thanks to license reciprocity agreements between states. Each state’s license reciprocity and portability rules are unique, so learn more about your state in our reciprocity guide here.
Which is better: online or in-person real estate classes?
The answer to this question depends on your learning style and what you need to master new material. If you’re someone who needs face-to-face interaction in a classroom setting, away from obligations and distractions at home, an in-person class might be the best bet. For that, consider checking out the local real estate schools in your area.
However, if you’ve got some experience with online learning or are willing to try something different, the online real estate school experience is often more convenient. Online courses offer the benefit of flexibility with self-paced courses as well as massive online resource libraries where you can find answers to your questions in real time.
Also, if you have a question that you can’t answer yourself, most major online real estate schools offer instructor support through email, live chat, or even video chat.
I’ve never attended an online class before. Is it hard?
If you’ve never participated in an online learning environment, it can sound a little intimidating at first, but we assure you it isn’t. If you’ve ever gone to YouTube to find out how to change a headlight or fix a leaking sink, you’ve already attended a short online class.
The live stream classes you’ll take through any of our five recommended online real estate schools will be involved and interactive. Self-paced learning via video and audio courses are more flexible, but you’ll be more accountable for setting aside time and energy to engage with them. Regardless of the method you choose, online real estate education will require your time and attention, but if you can watch and learn from a video on YouTube, you’ll be fine.
How many Realtors are there in the U.S.?
According to the National Association of Realtors’ data, there are more than 1.5 million Realtors in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. This is a very slight increase from the previous month, and a 1% decrease from this time last year. The top 10 states (FL, CA, TX, NY, NJ, NC, AZ, IL, GA, PA) boast the vast majority of agents (940,353).
How much do real estate agents make?
It all depends on the number of deals and the commission splits, but according to The Close’s salary database, the average real estate agent in the United States makes $73,985. If you want to know how much real estate agents in your area make, check out our state-by-state analysis here.
What are average home prices in the U.S.?
According to Zillow, home prices in America rose 1.2% over the past year, reaching an average of $348,853. Texas saw a slight decrease, with home values down 0.4% to $303,971. Average home values in New York are $441,462, and in California, that number hovers around $743,362. Florida had a slight increase (1.6%) in home values over the last year to reach an average of $390,856.
Bringing It All Together
Picking a real estate school is just the first step in your journey to a new career. We stand behind all the schools on this list and hope we’ve helped you find the best online real estate school to meet your state’s requirements, budget, and learning style. Have you taken courses with these schools or others? Do you have any advice for prospective students? Please leave a comment below and let us know.