Unlike most other states, technically there are no real estate agents in Colorado. The state designates all real estate professionals as brokers, even though they are still commonly referred to as agents. Here’s what you have to do to become a licensed broker in Colorado.
6 Steps to Getting a Colorado Real Estate License
- Meet the education requirements
- Pass the background check
- Schedule and pass the Colorado Real Estate Broker’s Exam
- Get Errors & Omissions insurance
- Gather together the required application documents
- Apply for a new Colorado real estate broker license
Step 1. Meet the Education Requirement
The first thing you’ll need to do is meet the education requirement for a real estate license. The Colorado Real Estate Commission requires that all applicants complete 168 hours of education. Courses can be taken through a:
- Nationally accredited community college
- Nationally accredited university
- A real estate school that’s approved by the Colorado Department of Private and Occupational Schools (DPOS)
The pre-licensing real estate courses cover everything you need to know to pass the broker’s exam and work as a Colorado real estate agent. Below is an overview of the topics that are included:
Real estate law and practice - 48 hours of instruction Colorado contracts and regulations - 48 hours of instruction Trust accounts and recordkeeping - 8 hours of instruction Current legal issues - 8 hours of instruction Real estate closings - 24 hours of instruction Practical applications - 32 hours of instruction
Once you’ve completed the required courses you can move on to the next step. First, make sure you get a certificate of completion from your real estate school or a transcript from your college.
Education Requirement Exceptions
Colorado does have reciprocity with other states. If you’ve already been licensed in another state for 2+ years in good standing there are no education requirements. However, you will need to provide proof in the form of a certified license history. It must be issued within 90 days of the application and include any disciplinary action.
If you’re an actively licensed attorney that wants to get a Colorado real estate license the education requirements are minimal. You’ll only need to take a 12-hour Trust Accounts, Closings & Recordkeeping course.
Step 2. Pass the Background Check
Given that real estate can involve large sums of money and people’s safety, Colorado wants to make sure that all license applicants have a clean criminal record. Every applicant must submit fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The fingerprints will also be analyzed within the FBI system. That means it doesn’t matter whether an incident occurred within Colorado.
There are three fingerprinting options:
IndentoGO - IndentoGO is a CBI-approved vendor with locations across the state and U.S. You’ll need to visit the IdentoGO website to schedule an appointment to get fingerprinted.
Colorado Fingerprinting - Colorado Fingerprinting is another approved vendor within the state. To schedule an appointment, visit the Colorado Fingerprinting website and enter the code 0800REEI.
FBI Fingerprint Card - If you can’t get to an IdentoGO or Colorado Fingerprinting location there is one more option. You can submit an FBI fingerprint card FD-258 after registering through one of the two approved vendors.
Once you submit your license application, the fingerprints will be matched with your application so you don’t have to provide the prints personally.
Step 3. Schedule and Pass the Colorado Real Estate Broker’s Exam
Colorado licensing exams are administered by PSI. It’s highly advisable to read through the PSI Colorado Candidate Handbook. It contains all the information you need to prepare for test day. If you have your certificate of completion or official transcripts showing that the education requirements were met you can schedule an exam time online or by calling 800-733-9267.
The Colorado Broker’s Exam has two portions: national and state. You’re given 120 minutes to complete the national portion and 110 minutes to complete the state section. There are 80 multiple choice questions on the national exam and 74 multiple choice questions on the state exam.
The exam fee is $44.95 the first time it’s taken. If you need to retake the exam you’ll have to pay an additional $42.50 fee.
The two portions of the exam are scored independently. To pass the national portion you need at least 60 correct answers. The pass the state portion you’ll need to get at least 53 questions right. The good news is if you only fail one portion of the exam you don’t have to retake the part you passed.
Step 4. Get E&O Insurance
In other states, real estate agents don’t have to worry about errors and omissions insurance because their broker has it covered. But in Colorado, there are only brokers and employing brokers. That means if you’re trying to get a new real estate license in Colorado you have to have E&O insurance before you can start working.
The E&O insurance policy must be current, and it must cover all real estate activity that requires a license. If you are with a real estate company, you should be covered under the company’s policy. The Colorado Division of Real Estate also offers a group policy through Rice Insurance Services LLC.
Step 5. Gather Together the Required Application Documents
Now that you’ve completed the required real estate education for a Colorado real estate broker license, gotten fingerprinted, passed the exam and lined up E&O insurance you’re ready to submit your application. Failing to submit all of the proper documentation can lead to lengthy delays that prolong the licensing process.
To submit an application, you’ll need to provide the following documents:
- REC-33 certificate of completion for the education requirement.
- E&O insurance policy (you don’t submit the paperwork but you will need to provide policy information)
- Certified license history if already licensed in Colorado or another state.
If you’ve been professionally licensed before and received disciplinary action you’ll also have to submit:
- Written and signed statement regarding the licensure and actions taken.
- Copy of the complaint or charges.
- Copy of the agency order in response to the complaint or charges.
- Confirmation for the current status of the license.
If you answer yes to any of the criminal background questions on the application you’ll have to provide:
- Court documents or a signed statement if the court documents are no longer available.
- All original charging documents.
- Any police officer reports.
- All arrest affidavits.
- A written explanation of the events and any rehabilitation measures that have been taken.
- A written statement from an employing broker (if you have one).
- All sentencing and judgment orders.
- Terms and conditions of probation.
- All deferred judgments.
- Information regarding dismissed cases.
The documents above will need to be scanned so they can be submitted electronically.
Step. 6 Apply for a New Colorado Real Estate Broker License
Now comes the fairly easy part - submitting your Colorado broker license application! Colorado uses an online application system. To access and complete the application:
- Go to the Colorado Division of Real Estate online eLicense portal.
- Register for an account if you haven’t already.
- Log in and click on the “Create/Continue Application for NEW License” link.
- Select “Real Estate - Brokers” to open the correct application.
- Fill out the application completely answering all applicable questions.
- Upload all required documents.
- Pay the $485 broker application fee.
As long as everything is submitted properly and there are no issues with the criminal background check, you’ll be issued a Colorado real estate license! And because of the way the process is set up you’ll be ready to start working as broker immediately.