Having the inside scoop on the best online real estate school is critical for successfully launching a 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 their 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.
5 Best Online Real Estate Schools: Our Top Picks for 2023
We chose our top picks for the best online real estate school across several categories and narrowed it down to our five favorites.
|Best Overall: Colibri Real Estate||Great classes and pricing options + students get real-life preparation for a future in real estate|
|Best All-in-one: The CE Shop||Extensive continuing ed and exam prep options, it’s a one-stop shop for a new real estate career|
|Best Mobile: Aceable Agent||Designed for students who want education on the go, their excellent mobile interface is second to none|
|Best Live Instruction: Kaplan Real Estate Education||This is the pick for students who want to learn directly from an instructor with live instruction|
|Best on a Budget: RealEstateU||A bargain option, they offer a 30-day guarantee, so it's not hard to give them a try|
Best Overall Online Real Estate School: Colibri Real Estate
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.
The Colibri Real Estate prelicensing courses are designed for students with little or no business experience. Their program includes material that sets you up for a smooth transition into real estate. They also offer exam prep courses, continuing education, and the assurance of a Pass or Don’t Pay guarantee.
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. Check their website to see which courses are available in your area.
Colibri Real Estate Pros & Cons
|Colibri Real Estate Pros||Colibri Real Estate Cons|
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. 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|
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, 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 need to be ready for it. 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 desk computer or laptop for optimal functionality.
Finally, Colibri Real Estate has definitely expanded its offerings of broker courses. They’re now available in seven states, including New York, Illinois, California, and Georgia. We look forward to seeing broker licensing open up in more states.
Bottom Line on Colibri Real Estate
Colibri Real Estate offers everything soon-to-be real estate professionals need to launch their careers. 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 the introduction of Leap 2.0, 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 fifty 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|
The CE Shop Pricing
The CE Shop may be best known for its continuing education courses (hence the name CE), 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|
SAVE 30% on all prelicensing courses from The CE Shop. Use promo code TheClose30 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 four 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 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
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 these states, plus continuing education in New York, Texas, and Georgia, and post-licensing education in Texas.
Aceable Agent Pros & Cons
|Aceable Agent Pros||Aceable Agent Cons|
Aceable Agent Pricing
Aceable Agent offers comprehensive packages and their two top-tier options include thorough exam preparation. 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 content. Their methods clearly work, as they have an outstanding national pass rate of 92%.
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. We love Aceable’s prelicensing courses, but 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 Real Estate Education
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. 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 Courses In My State?
Kaplan Real Estate either offers prelicensing courses or partners with local schools in these states, in addition to providing continuing education, broker licensing, and exam prep courses.
Kaplan Pros & Cons
|Kaplan Pros||Kaplan Cons|
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, all the way up to live online instruction with an experienced educator (who also happens to be a rock star real estate agent instructor) starting at $889.
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.
We also love Kaplan’s Real Estate Accelerator. An intensive course led by a highly qualified real estate agent with a ton of experience and knowledge to share, their accelerator program jump-starts 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 or if Live Online is the best choice for you.
Best Online Real Estate School on a Budget: RealEstateU
RealEstateU launched in 2013 in New York and has since expanded to 15 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
|RealEstateU Pros||RealEstateU Cons|
RealEstateU is consistently one of the most affordable options on the market.
Pricing varies by state, ranging from $69 to $249 for prelicensing, which is a real bargain compared to other providers. Exam prep is an additional cost of about $49. 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. The FAQ section for each state is one of the most comprehensive we’ve seen. They provide a free nine-chapter course: How to Be a Successful Real Estate Agent. Plus, RealEstateU offers some amazing investment courses, like Real Estate Accounting for Beginners, and Motivation From a Proven Investor.
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!
Best Online Real Estate Schools: FAQs
Now that we’ve armed you with the best options for online real estate education, let’s look at a few of the most frequently asked questions from real estate professionals and soon-to-be agents on the topic.
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.
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.
What’s the best school in my state?
We’ve done a ton of research to compile our list of the best schools in these states. Follow the links below to see our top recommendations for your state.
|New Jersey||New York||North Carolina|
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 a license reciprocity agreement between states. Each state’s license reciprocity and portability rules are unique, so learn more about your state here.
Which is better? Online or in-person real estate school?
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.
However, if you’ve got some experience with online learning, or are willing to try something different, the online real estate school experience is the way to go. Online courses offer the benefit of complete flexibility with self-paced courses, and 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 great instructor support through email, live chat, and 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 attended a short online class.
The classes you’ll take through any of our five recommended online real estate schools will be involved, interactive, and require your time and attention, but if you can watch and learn from a video on YouTube, you’ll do fine here.
How many Realtors are there in the US?
According to the National Association of Realtors’ November 2022 data, there are 1,598,117 real estate agents in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. This is a very slight decrease from the previous month, and a 1.88% increase from this time last year. The top 10 states (FL, CA, TX, NY, NJ, NC, AZ, IL, GA, PA) have the vast majority of agents (968,679).
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 $94,274. Agents with ten or more years of experience could make about $111,516.
What are average home prices in the US?
According to Zillow, home prices in the US rose 13.5% in 2022, reaching $357,589. Texas has seen a more dramatic increase (16%), with home values climbing to $315,847. Home values in New York are $783,175 and California home values hover around $765,495. Florida had a massive increase in home values (25%) to reach $406,876.
Bringing It All Together
Picking a real estate school is just the first step in your journey to a new career. Colibri Real Estate, our top recommendation, offers affordable prelicensing, broker licensing, continuing education, and exam prep courses—making it a convenient, comprehensive choice for all your real estate education.
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.