Having the inside scoop on the best online real estate school is critical for a successful real estate career. Whether you’re looking for a real estate school to help you get your license or continuing education credits, 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: How to Get a Real Estate License.
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.
Cost: Is the course package of your choice within your budget?
Accreditation: It’s vital that your chosen school is recognized by the state you want to work in, otherwise you won’t qualify to take the license exam. But also, most schools are accredited by the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO), the International Distance Education Certification Center (IDECC), or both. These organizations develop and apply learning standards to evaluate how well the schools deliver educational courses.
Class format: Do you prefer a traditional classroom setting where you can easily approach your instructors and peers during classes? Or an online livestream class where you don’t have to commute but still have easy access to instructor support? You may also opt for pure online classes where you can go through the coursework at your own pace.
Pass rates: Does the average student of your chosen school pass the state licensing exam on their first try? Some course packages include a pass guarantee, offering money back or free catch-up courses and study materials to students who don’t pass the exam on the first try.
Refund policy: Some schools, on the other hand, provide a refund option for students who are not satisfied with their courses. Make sure you’re aware of your chosen school’s refund policy—if there is one.
5 Best Online Real Estate Schools: Our Top Picks for 2023
We chose the front-runners for best online real estate school across several categories and narrowed it down to our five favorites.
Best Overall Online Real Estate School: Colibri Real Estate
Accreditation: ARELLO, IDECC
All of the online real estate schools on our list offer courses that satisfy prelicensing requirements, but Colibri Real Estate’s options are the best for their flexible learning options.
The Colibri Real Estate prelicensing courses 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. 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?
Lots of package options in states across the country
Courses require a lot of independent reading
Great customer support
Not a great mobile experience
Live Q&A with expert instructors
Limited options for broker license classes
Colibri Real Estate Pricing
We’ve 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. 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
$549 - $859
$129 - $449
$329 - $529
$139 - $439
$99 - $219
$99 - $219
$99 - $219
$99 - $219
Continuing Education Courses
$140 - $182
$69 - $92
$130 - $169
$20 - $57
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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, and find out how the information they’re learning can be applied 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
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 their custom Leap 2.0 system, your real estate courses with The CE Shop are optimized for delivery on just about any platform, so you can knock out continuing education requirements on the go.
Can I Take The CE Shop Courses in My State?
The CE Shop offers prelicensing courses in many states (see below), but also, they partner with others to provide at least some form of real estate course in all 50 states. Even Maine students, for example, can take their exam prep courses through the company.
The CE Shop Pros & Cons
The CE Shop Pros
The CE Shop Cons
Best-in-class continuing education options
Interface can be clunky
Good mobile device class options
Lesson structure isn’t interactive or dynamic
Classes of one form or another available in all 50 states
The hard deadline for completing the course in the allotted time frame is strictly enforced
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. Check with The CE Shop for course availability and exact pricing in your state.
The CE Shop Pricing Summary
Continuing Education Courses
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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 Detailsare 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: Accrediting bodies for each Aceable Agent school vary 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 blue states in the image below. They also offer continuing education in New York, Texas, and Georgia, and post-licensing education in Texas.
Aceable Agent Pros & Cons
Aceable Agent Pros
Aceable Agent Cons
Superior format and written content
Not available in many states
Affordable price point
No continuing education options
Extremely high pass rate
Limited package add-ons
Aceable Agent Pricing
In the pricing table below, you’ll see a range for each of the featured states. That’s because Aceable Agent offers different packages depending on students’ needs; their 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
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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 has 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 more than just a single need. Their 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: Accrediting bodies for each Kaplan school vary by state
If you’re looking for a company that is synonymous with quality instruction, look no further than Kaplan Real Estate Education. Kaplan has a long track record of preparing students for standardized tests across a variety of industries. They are 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 Real Estate either offers prelicensing courses or partners with local schools in these states. They also offer continuing education, broker licensing, and exam prep courses.
Kaplan Pros & Cons
Best-in-class live and live online courses
Interface is a little dated
Great post-test professional development tools in some packages
Difficult to take classes on a mobile device
Excellent textbook and class materials
Live online classes are pretty pricey
Kaplan Real Estate Education Pricing
Because Kaplan’s offerings are so diverse in terms of format and interaction, their pricing is as well. Their completely self-driven, self-paced options start as low as $149 and go all the way up to live online instruction with an experienced educator (who also happens to be a rock star real estate agent) that 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 Real Estate Education for course availability and pricing in your state.
Kaplan Real Estate Education 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 Real Estate Education‘s best feature is its Live Online course package, but we’re also impressed with the sheer variety of alternatives for every learning style. As a Kaplan Real Estate student, 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 and gives you video streaming of prerecorded 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 Real Estate is 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:
RealEstateU Pros & Cons
Experience varies state-by-state
30-day money-back guarantee
Exam prep and textbooks not included
Access content anytime, anywhere
No live instruction
RealEstateU is consistently one of the most affordable options on the market. Pricing varies by state, ranging from $99 to $299 for prelicensing, which is a real bargain compared to other providers. Exam prep is an additional cost of about $75. 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.
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.
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 evaluate the best real estate schools according to specific criteria. We use a methodology that involves scrutinizing the schools according to course offerings, pass rates, mobile and web interface, pricing, customer support, and more.
Best Online Real Estate Schools: FAQs
Are the requirements for a real estate license different in every state?
Yes. Each state has unique class requirements, testing procedures, and application requirements. At The Close, we offer quality, in-depth guidance for many states, including California, Florida, and Texas. Click your state below for state-specific information.
We’ve done a ton of research to compile our list of the best real estate schools in these states. More state-specific articles are coming, so stay tuned. Similar to this article, we also categorized the schools according to their best features and areas where they can improve. Follow the links below to see our top recommendations for your state.
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 the other 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 done an online class before. Is it hard?
If you’ve never participated in an online class before, 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 livestream classes you’ll take through any of our five recommended online real estate schools will be involved, interactive, and 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’ February 2023 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 decrease from the previous month, and a 0.19% increase 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 (915,649).
How much do real estate agents make?
It all depends on the number of deals and the commission splits, but according to Indeed.com, the average “salary” for a real estate agent in the United States is $95,018. Agents with 10 or more years of experience could make around $112,396.
What are average home prices in the U.S.?
According to Zillow, home prices in America rose 8.7% over the past year, reaching an average of $328,745. Texas saw the most dramatic increase, with home values climbing 9.2% to $290,863. Average home values in New York are $411,206 and in California, that number hovers around $716,909. Florida had a massive increase in home values (14.18%) to reach an average of $377,816.
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, your budget, and your 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.
The Close has a policy of fierce editorial independence. We do not accept money, services, or products in exchange for positive reviews or product placement. Period. If you read about a product or service on this website, it’s because we genuinely think it’s great.
However, we do work with a select group of software companies and service providers that we feel provide real value for our readers. We have affiliate partnerships with these companies and make money when we feature their products on the site.
The reason these companies want to work with us is that they know our readers represent the most engaged, professional, and committed real estate agents online today.
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