How to become a realtor in Colorado

The career of a real estate broker or agent is quite attractive for an active and communicative person. You close contracts and help individuals or enterprises to sell homes and commercial properties and each contract closed successfully brings you a considerable profit. Well, the perspectives of such a career sound incredible, don’t they?

However, to become a real estate broker and build a successful career in Colorado, like in any state of the country, be it California, New Mexico, or Minnesota, you need to acquire some special skills, experience and practice because this niche is engaged in multiple spheres and numerous skills are required. These are related to law, finance, insurance, closing issues, and even to marketing and business administration options. You cannot operate as a real estate salesperson without that. So, let’s consider details about how to get a real estate agent’s license in Colorado in our short blog guide.

We offer you helpful info about real estate brokerage terms and conditions, types of special education you need to complete, and where and how to apply for a license to join the range of prosperous real estate brokers and agents who start valuable deals and conclude contracts for leasing or selling top-level deluxe home options. Also, in this guide, we’ll share some tips about where to find the best schools for real estate education courses, whom to apply for the exams, and where to pass other steps on your way to your dream license based on the reviews and testimonials of current companies and real estate agents who succeeded to be provided with the license and complete all that is required for that.

An amazing fact:
– Colorado is one of the best-paid states in the real estate industry. According to the Glassdoor resource’s stats, a common real estate salesperson in Colorado earns from $152k to $194k annually. That’s higher than in Texas, Kentucky and North Carolina like in 40+ more states with only West Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont offering higher rates.

6 steps to becoming a real estate agent

What is required from an individual to possess a reputable position as a real estate agent? Let’s consider the information about the licensing process. The first of the tips we offer, you meet state licensing requirements provided by the government of the state of Colorado. Then you apply for a real estate education which is assumed in 168 hours of classes provided by local licensing schools. After you complete your classes, you need to pass a school exam which is followed by a certificate of completion.

That’s your proof that you are ready to undergo state licensing certification by passing one more exam. In case you complete it successfully, you submit fingerprints, undergo a criminal background check, and then apply for your license if you have an associate to be hired by. That may sound hard and arouse multiple additional questions asked by candidates, yet, we are going to make them answered right now in our tips information overview.

An amazing fact:
– Do you know that in Colorado, there are no different types of real estate licenses? Unlike Texas or California, where the pre-licensing process and costs for licenses of a real estate agent and a real estate broker differentiate, in Colorado, you simply get a license of a professional real estate broker which suits both broker company goals and real estate salesperson’s functions.

1. State of Colorado real estate license requirements

The first step that is taken is meeting and fulfilling Colorado state licensing requirements for a real estate broker/agent. The request sounds as follows:

You should be 18 years old or older with no upper age limits.
You must be a legal resident of the state of Colorado or a foreigner who lives in Colorado legally under a visa or a residence permit.
You shouldn’t be engaged in any crime or doubtful issue.
Your higher education i.e., a college degree additionally to your high school education will be a benefit.

Thus, you have rights to acquire the profession and you can leap to the second step if you are OK with these requirements.

2. Complete 168 hours of pre-licensing course

The next to-do thing is to choose one of the real estate courses to complete the level of 168 hours of education. That’s a very responsible step because your active work as a real estate agent is related to deep knowledge in multiple fields like practical sales skills, federal laws, insurance, credit relations, management, math, history, and even the psychology of the purchase. That’s what you get after your enrollment. So, it is important to choose a reliable school which will provide you with the portions of education and further even help you to complete continuing education as you will need it anyway.

Approved pre-licence & continuinge ducation courses.

Choose Your Study Packages

If you are looking at a coursework center you can trust your prep routines, we select the information about the best ones in Colorado for you. Here are our top education classes you can select and apply directly for your successful preparation.

  1. Kaplan Real Estate education are courses by one of reputable real estate companies which provides both studies and employment for students with the best results. Their pass rate is 76% which is considerably high. The pricing for courses is $599.
  2. The Colibri Real Estate School – one of the most affordable prep courses in Colorado. You will pay only $399 and you’ll have a great chance to complete the exam. This course’s pass rate is 78%.
  3. The CE Shop is a training center that operates online and on-premise state-wide. Its pass rate is 68% which is not too low. The price is $495.

As for how to choose the most appropriate type of prep course for your real estate license, you can take into account the following features to make the best choice:

  • Consider the type of education. You can take part in on-board courses and get more information from your instructor in person. In this case you are welcome to choose the closest location to your residence place. Besides, this type of class brings you new acquaintances which further may become your associates or partners, so you can chat with them while completing your studying materials. Also, you can get online classes in real time or remote education programs with a free schedule which you can download from online resources.
  • Compare education costs. Which are more affordable for you and which schedule when calculated in costs per hour is more convenient to you?
  • Compare reviews of each student. That’s what can provide you with information about each education class, its studies, technical requirements, shopping packages, and operation.

You should consider that the final part of your prep study is an exam which proves you acquired all the knowledge and skills to work in a real estate company. So you complete it in the end.

3. Pass the real estate exam

After you finish your prep education and receive a certificate of completion, you have to pass the state portion of the exam test at the PSI testing center. Just click the link to enter the website’s menu where you can register and choose the examination test program date to be reserved for you. The PSI is a state-approved third-party exam proctor which is responsible for the accreditation of future real estate brokers in Colorado and works under its jurisdiction.

The company provides exam test routines in two main types:

  • Personal exam in one of the PSI testing centers. The list of locations can be found here, so you are welcome to sign in on the website and book time for the exam in the center located nearby.
  • Online exam is held on the PC remotely under the guidance of the proctor from PCI.

Both types are eligible and you can choose from them the most convenient one.

How hard is the real estate exam in Colorado?

The exam which approaches you to receive your real estate license is held under the jurisdiction of the Colorado Real Estate Commission. It’s not too hard if you manage to learn all classes during your pre-license courses but requires a portion of your attention and time.

How many questions are on the Colorado permit test

The real estate exam in Colorado consists of 154 questions. They are placed in two divisions. The first division is dedicated to National real estate laws while the second consists of the tasks related to the state laws of Colorado. They are not only law-based, they can relate to other disciplines i,e., math, history, finance etc.

What score do you need to pass the CO real estate exam?

The score that provides you with the certification of a person who passed the Colorado real estate exam is 60+ correct answers from the first section and 53+ correct answers for the second division’s questions. These requirements when completed bring you success.

What happens if you fail the real estate exam in Colorado?

There is nothing to fear when passing your real estate exam. Failing it is not a disaster. You simply may retake it any time you feel you are ready. You can take the exam as many times as you need and on each try you’ll have to submit the section you failed. This means that you do not need to pass the National section if you succeeded with it before and failed with the Colorado state section. Anyway, you’ll try later with no limits.

4. Submit fingerprints and pass a criminal background check

Your education course and examination are not all you have to do. The next step is passing a criminal background check and submitting your fingerprints. That’s not about your privacy penetrated. That’s a matter of trust. When you are engaged in selling a deluxe home, your financial and citizen reputation must be flawless. That’s why you have to do this.

You are welcome to get help from three independent agencies providing this type of procedure in Colorado.


Just use IdentoGo state services which offer applicants timely and approved fingerprinting throughout Colorado. The offices of this provider are located in Denver, Colorado Springs, and a couple of other locations throughout Colorado. For your fingerprinting, you’ll have to pay a fixed commission of $57.

Colorado Background Applicant Services (CABS)

CABS is one more provider you get your criminal history report from. To get fingerprinted, you have to sign in and schedule an appointment on their website. You need a valid ID to pass the procedure in the CABS.

Fingerprint Card with Electronic Transfer

If you have your BI fingerprint card FD-258, you can pass fingerprinting even out-of-state using electronic transfer methods.

After that, you may go to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to get your report and send it to the licensee.

5. Provide proof of errors & omissions insurance

In Colorado, unlike other states, you need to get an errors & omissions insurance policy prior to your real estate license. And it is one of the obligatory requirements. That’s up to you to get the information about that errors and omissions insurance program from your insurer or get help from your affiliate broker who is interested in employing you. Finding a broker or a real estate company who will hire you is also a must. So, keeping that in mind may be a real help.

6. Real estate broker license application

So, now you have a list of proofs which includes the following documents:

  • Your valid ID card, a driver’s license or your residence permit/visa;
  • Your education courses certificate issued by the training center you qualified from;
  • Your real estate exam certificate;
  • Your criminal background history report by the DBI;
  • Your real estate broker’s confirmation of your hiring;
  • Your E&O insurance policy.

What to do with them? You have to visit online the Colorado Division of Real Estate and fill in the application form with all your proofs attached to it. Just send it via email and wait for a couple of weeks while the regulator processes it. It won’t be long. Then your license will be issued and sent to you so, after that, we gladly congratulate you on your new achievement – a position of a real estate agent!

How much does it cost to get your RE license in Colorado?

The next of the most important questions to cover in this article is about the estimated costs of the whole pre-licensing, studying, and getting the real estate license in Colorado. So, we managed to create a comprehensive table to clarify the parts of the process and their average pricing dispersions.

Cost item Pricing range
Real estate education courses $400-$500
Submitting fingerprints $20-40
Commission for criminal background check $39.50
E&O insurance policy $200-$400
Exam & licensing application costs $485
Total: $950-$1,050

As you see, you should expect and reserve a minimum of $950 to pay all the required commissions. Yet, your future salary and career benefits as a real estate salesperson may cover all these expenses.

Colorado real estate license renewal requirements

Although you have already come a long way to your success as a licensed real estate broker or salesperson, it is not the end. The license you got remains valid for three years. After this time, you have to prolong it according to the Colorado state requirements.

Yet, we have good news! Just start your renewal online using the same DORA website you already entered and got a login for your account when opting for the license for the first time. Besides this application, you also have to undergo continuing education to refresh your knowledge. This 24-hour CE includes 12 hours of Annual Update Courses and 12 hours of elective continuing education courses you select yourself. These could be:

  • Residential property management classes;
  • The best practices in the market analysis;
  • Property inspection specific issues.

So when you take this course, you are welcome to ask for the license prolongation. And the following step will be paying fees. Renewal fees in Colorado depend on the time you start the prolongation. For example, if your license is expired in January, you can reduce costs to $361 as a RE appraiser or $387 as a real estate broker when applying for it online the same month as an early bird. If you are late, then you may have to pay a fee in addition:

  • $93/$579 for < 1 year late penalty;
  • $185/$771 for 1-3 year late penalty.

If your license is invalid for 3+ more years, you have to reapply for it and make all the steps listed above once more.

Colorado real estate license reciprocal states

The good news for a real estate agent who wants to move their career to Colorado is that this state offers full national-wide reciprocity with all other states in the US. That means that you do not need to complete the full exam and it is enough for you to follow only 4 steps:

  • Provide local real estate regulation authorities with your documents and a valid license issued by any other state.
  • Pass fingerprinting in the local IdentoGo center and take your criminal background report to provide it when acquiring reciprocal approval.
  • Pass a state-specific real estate examination which may ensure that you understand the local real estate market and regulations.
  • Pay the fees assigned for this kind of governmental service.

As for reversal reciprocity, it depends on the state policy, but in general, you may have to do the same procedures no matter if you move to Arizona, Utah, or New York. Yet, in some of them, for example, in Florida, you should also undergo CE courses and it’s an obligatory requirement to qualify you.

Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (CDRA)

When you decide on starting your career as a real estate agent or broker, you have to contact a local authority which is responsible for licensing and law regulations. In Colorado, it is the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies also known as CDRA or DORA. In it, the following services and procedures are completed:

  • Sign in on the website to create your account as a novice RE agent;
  • Apply for e-licensing services and get your license reviewed and approved;
  • Get your regular license renewal;
  • Track current real estate licenses’ statuses.

The best idea is to visit the regulator’s website which has a clear and user-friendly sitemap and easy accounts development. If you prefer an in-person application, you can use the following contacts:

  • Plan your visit to the CDRA’s headquarters in Colorado which is located at 1560 Broadway #1545, Denver, Colorado. Please, note that the institution works on business days from 8 am to 5 pm.
  • Contact the national institution via telephone by calling +1 303-894-7855

Let’s review the most significant questions about real estate licensing in Colorado to create a clear view of the whole process.

Becoming a real estate agent in CO: FAQs

How long does It take to get your CO real estate license?

The average timeline for a student who wants a license or a real estate agent is from two to 5 months. Mostly, the process of licensing may vary and it depends on your course curriculum, how quickly you manage to pass the criminal background check and how quickly you pass the exam. Just be ready to spend 2-4 months to pass all the steps.

In Colorado, when must real estate licenses be renewed?

Typically, all real estate licenses are issued by the CO DRE are legal for three years after their approval. Then you need to renew them and we recommend you not to delay this process so as not to be trapped by an additional late renewal fee if it is expired.

Is it profitable to work as a real estate salesperson in Colorado?

Just consider that the state of Colorado possesses the 5th place among the best-paid US states in the real estate industry. So, you can be sure that becoming engaged in it is a real deal for Colorado residents.

Pre-Licensing Courses
About the author
Michael Baker is a journalist with over 5 years of experience in the real estate industry. His knowledge of licensing processes, procedures and requirements makes her an expert in the field.