6 Best Real Estate Schools in California for 2023


If you’re exploring the possibility of a new career by getting your California real estate license, you’ve come to the right place. To be eligible to take the California real estate license exam, you’ll need to complete a 135-hour prelicensing course.

With so many California real estate schools to choose from, I evaluated the top institutions to help you determine which pick is best for your needs. Here I present my favorites, exploring packages, features, pricing, quality of instruction, ease of use, and so much more. You’ll find many of these highly ranked real estate schools in California are also on our list of the national industry leaders in real estate education. Let’s dive in!

6 Best Real Estate Schools in California for 2023

(California prelicensing package prices as of January 2023)

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California Real Estate Governing Body:

California Department of Real Estate


Prelicensing Requirements:

135 Hours


Post-licensing Requirements:



Continuing Education Requirements:

45 Hours Every 4 Years

Real Estate Schools in California: Helpful Info

Prelicensing education in California is split into three sections, each lasting 45 hours: real estate principles, real estate practice, and legal aspects of real estate. Each of the providers I recommend below offer all three as part of their packages.

But before choosing a school from our list, know that your professional development doesn’t end when you complete your 135-hour prelicensing course. Real estate schools in California generally offer a variety of courses to meet the needs of agents and brokers at various stages of their career.

Now that you understand the importance of choosing the right online real estate school in California, let’s take a closer look at our top picks and learn why they made the cut.

Best Real Estate School in California: Aceable Agent

Aceable Agent offers:

  • Prelicensing Courses
  • Exam Prep

I’ve looked at education requirements for real estate salespeople across the country, and the Golden State definitely takes this seriously. With 135 hours of education required before you can take your exam, California’s prelicensing education requirements are some of the nation’s most comprehensive.

Because of that, a convenient course format is critical, which brings us to our number one pick. At provides an easy-to-use learning experience for all Californians who want to get their real estate license. If you’re looking to take your course when and where you want, Aceable is for you. Best of all, their students nationwide have a 92% license exam pass rate.

With Aceable Agent, you can skip the classroom and study entirely on your schedule and at your own pace via PDF. You’ll have access to instructors for questions and extra help. And their package is highly usable on any device, including your smartphone, making it a favorite of those who want to squeeze in study time almost anywhere.

Aceable Agent Pros

Aceable Agent Cons

  • Ability to take classes from your smartphone or mobile device
  • Basic package offers few exam prep materials
  • Updated study material with a great video component to classes
  • Doesn’t offer post-licensing or continuing education classes

Aceable Agent Pricing

  • Basic Package ($179): With this straightforward course, you’ll enjoy a completely self-paced learning experience with access to instructor support via email, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Deluxe Package ($299): You’ll get everything in the previous package, plus access to 75 videos, 70 audio lessons, digital flashcards, and exam prep materials.
  • Premium Package ($399): Enjoy everything in the previous package, plus an hour of private tutoring with a real estate pro, live webinars five times a week, and livestream Q&A via “Facebook Fridays.”

(California prelicensing package prices as of January 2023)

Exclusive offer for readers of The Close: Click on any Aceable Agent link and SAVE 5% at checkout.

FAVORITE FEATURE: Aceable’s PDF format allows you the flexibility of learning however you prefer. You can complete the course on your computer and jot down notes on your favorite note-taking app. Or, you can print the course if you want a physical copy to read. The simple, online textbook format means you can go at your own pace and know exactly where you stand.

ROOM TO IMPROVE: Aceable Agent’s prelicensing package is a great, one-size-fits-all solution for aspiring California real estate professionals. They’ve recently added some new tools and exam prep materials, but their packages are a bit limited compared to other real estate schools in California.

There’s a lot of value in the package Aceable Agent provides. But it would be nice to have some additional bells and whistles. If you’re looking for a provider that offers more of an à la carte experience, try Colibri Real Estate.

BOTTOM LINE: If flexibility in how you consume your 135 hours of California prelicensing time is important to you, consider Aceable Agent. For $179, you get everything you need to qualify for the licensing exam. Plus, you’ll enjoy the flexibility to learn online or off.

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Best Real Estate School in California for Career Advice:

Kaplan offers:

  • Prelicensing Courses
  • Exam Prep
  • Post-licensing Courses
  • Continuing Education
  • Agent and Broker Renewal Courses

Kapla understands that not every student is comfortable learning in a virtual, self-paced format. That’s why they offer live online courses. They still offer courses in video format to view at your own pace, as well as a home-study package.

Widely recognized as a giant in the exam prep community, Kaplan has more offerings than most other real estate testing companies. Their real estate course offerings include prelicensure programs, continuing education, and broker exam preparation.

Kaplan Pros

Kaplan Cons

  • Fantastic track record in online education
  • Dated interface, not a great mobile experience
  • Packages include extremely affordable license renewal options
  • Packages offer little flexibility in class choice
  • No phone-based student support
  • Optional Career Launcher program

Kaplan Real Estate Education Pricing

K courses are broken down into three formats: Textbook Home StudyOn-Demand Online Videos, and Live Online Classroom. Within those three sections, they offer a variety of tiers. The lowest-cost option for each format still includes weekly live mentorship sessions online and access to an interactive study group. The more expensive options offer extras such as printed textbooks, live online coaching, and separate courses that cover test prep and sales techniques.

  • Textbook Home Study Packages ($179-$679): Provides all the content of the 135-hour prelicensing course that’ll prepare you for the California real estate exam, plus access to study webinars and practice questions.
  • On-demand Online Video Packages ($399-$799): The entry-level online video package includes all the necessary content for the California real estate exam, plus on-demand video test reviews.
  • Live Online Classroom Packages ($549-$949): This package lets you complete your prelicensing courses from home, where you’ll join live, scheduled online classes led by an instructor (typically in the evening).

Kaplan also offers California-specific license renewal courses through their home-study and on-demand video packages. The complete license renewal coursework package is available for $144.

(California prelicensing package prices as of January 2023)

Readers of The Close can SAVE 5% on any Kaplan prelicensing course in California. Use promo code KAPRE5 at checkout.

FAVORITE FEATURES: The sheer breadth of Kaplan’s learning options is my favorite feature. Their curriculum designers know that all people learn differently. Kaplan meets the demands of auditory and visual learners, as well as those who learn best by interacting with others.

Another of Kaplan’s features that caught my attention is the Career Launcher option. This package is available in any of the three learning options laid out above. Although pricey, it includes additional courses on how to run a real estate business, plus face-to-face time with a career mentor who will help you learn real-world skills and tools. Most schools concentrate solely on what you need to pass the exam. That’s why I appreciate Career Launcher’s goal to prepare students for life in the industry.

ROOM TO IMPROVE: I’d love to see Kaplan update its website. Also, it’s important to note that some online reviews have noted the low quality of Kaplan’s on-demand videos, and others complain about the cost. If you are looking for less expensive options, you may want to consider my budget pick, OnlineEd, as an alternative.

BOTTOM LINE: It’s always nice to work with a reputable company that specializes in online education. Since Kaplan is the gold standard in exam prep, you may want to consider working with them for your prelicensing coursework.

Enroll Now

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Best Real Estate School in California for Exam Prep:


Colibri Real Estate offers:

  • Prelicensing Courses
  • Exam Prep
  • Continuing Education Courses
  • Broker Prelicensing Course

As one of the most affordable options for your prelicensing course in California, is a solid choice. I especially recommend them to those who suffer from test anxiety due to the many exam prep materials they offer.

In fact, Colibri Real Estate feels so confident about the quality of their courses that they offer a Pass or Don’t Pay guarantee for all but their most basic package. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of their offerings:

Colibri Real Estate Pros

Colibri Real Estate Cons

  • Various course packages, bonus materials, and extra support
  • Livestream classes are offered during weekdays only
  • Easy-to-use web interface
  • The Basics course doesn’t come with exam prep materials
  • Livestream and online classes at your own pace
  • No interaction with a live instructor
  • Pass or Don’t Pay guarantee

Colibri Real Estate Pricing

Colibri Real Estate offers four online self-paced course packages and two livestream courses for those who prefer a more interactive experience. The basic package will get you through the coursework easily. For more in-depth study, you may consider the Ultimate Learning Package, which comes with a textbook and ongoing learning opportunities.

Colibri Real Estate Online Packages

  • The Basic Package ($129):  The perfect course for a self-starter, this package includes your prelicensing course, state-approved instructor support, three e-books, and on-demand coaching videos.
  • The Exam Preparation Package ($229): Includes all the benefits of the Basic Package, plus exam prep materials like practice tests, a readiness assessment, and flashcards, as well as the Pass or Don’t Pay guarantee.
  • Exam Preparation Plus ($349): Includes everything in the previous package, plus the mobile-friendly CompuCram program, six hours of webinars known as the Exam Crammer series, and 40 hours of instructor Q&A time.
  • Colibri Real Estate Ultimate Learning Package ($449): You get all of the offerings of the previous package, plus a printed copy of the textbook and a one-year membership to the company’s professional development program.

Colibri Real Estate Livestream Packages

  • California Livestream Classes ($449): Choose one of Colibri’s livestream packages and you’ll get a textbook, instructor support, practice exams, Exam Cram video, and more. You’ll also get a Pass or Don’t Pay guarantee and an e-book dictionary. The current scheduling offerings are:
    • Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for 12 weeks
    • Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for 21 weeks
    • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for 12 weeks
    • Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for 12 weeks

(California prelicensing package prices as of January 2023)

Colibri Real Estate is offering 25% OFF to our readers on all prelicensing education and California exam prep products for a limited time. Use promo code TheClose25 at checkout.

FAVORITE FEATURES: My two favorite features of the prelicense courses are flexibility and access. I also love the instructor Q&A, which connects you to industry professionals who can answer your questions.

Colibri Real Estate also offers continuing education for licensed California agents. For example, you can learn about the impact of wildfires, including water resources, disclosures, and home insurance, in their popular course, Wildfire Risk in Real Estate.

ROOM TO IMPROVE: Even though their prelicensing packages are inexpensive, their continuing education and broker courses could be more competitively priced. If cost is an issue, consider my budget pick, OnlineEd, as an alternative.

BOTTOM LINE: I’m very comfortable recommending Colibri Real Estate as an online course provider. Their prices are affordable and the content is highly focused, helping you to pass the California real estate exam.

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Best Real Estate School in California on a Budget: OnlineEd

OnlineED Logo

OnlineEd offers:

  • Prelicensing Courses
  • Continuing Education Courses
  • License Renewal Courses
  • Broker Licensing Courses

OnlineEd is a real estate school based in Portland, Oregon, gaining a strong foothold in the education sphere. They come in with the cheapest package option on my list and provide quality instruction. 

OnlineEd isn’t known for including tons of extra features in its course packages, but their two top-tier options still include exam prep. Plus, you’ll get an instructor assigned to you whom you can contact at any time for support.

OnlineEd Pros OnlineEd Cons

OnlineEd Pricing

Students looking to get a California real estate license can complete the required 135-hour prelicensing course in three different packages with OnlineEd.

  • Bronze Package ($99): Includes your coursework with helpful videos and a course e-book in PDF and e-reader format.
  • Silver Package ($204): Includes everything in the previous package, plus practice tests to prepare you for the California real estate license exam.
  • Gold Package ($264): You’ll enjoy everything from previous packages, plus a bound copy of the textbook.

(California prelicensing package prices as of January 2023)

For a limited time, OnlineEd is offering 35% OFF all their packages exclusively for The Close readers in the state of California. Use code TheClose35 to save 35%.

FAVORITE FEATURES: One of my favorite OnlineEd features is their free demo, where you can take their course for a spin before you buy. You’ll get access to all the same features you would in a package to see how you enjoy the platform.

ROOM TO IMPROVE: I understand that OnlineEd omits extra features to keep costs low, but I’d like to see an additional package option with some career resources.

BOTTOM LINE: OnlineEd’s simple packages lead you to an easy-to-use online platform that will guide you through your course while saving you money.

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Best Real Estate School in California for Continuing Education: The CE Shop

The CE Shop offers:

  • Prelicensing Courses
  • Exam Prep
  • Post-licensing Courses
  • Continuing Education
  • Managing Broker Prelicensing

The CE Shop has their work cut out for them. Part of their job is to keep California real estate agents informed of changes to local real estate laws and policies. That’s why they offer plenty of state-specific continuing education courses for those living in the Golden State.

For example, as a real estate agent in California, you must learn about risk management and how it pertains to the local real estate industry. Real estate agents can also take a course on California fair housing laws in order to stay in compliance. Now that recreational marijuana is legal in California, The CE Shop also offers a course called Marijuana in Real Estate.

The CE Shop’s courses tackle complicated topics. And since most of their continuing education classes are less than $20, you receive a lot of thought-provoking content for your money.

But back to the reason we’re all here: to get you licensed. The CE Shop boasts a 94% student satisfaction rate and a 91% national pass rate for students taking their licensure exams.

The CE Shop Pros The CE Shop Cons
  • Modern, expertly designed courses
  • No access to live instructors
  • Even the Basic package contains a LOT of bonus resources
  • No access to live instructor support
  • Offers one-stop shopping CE courses AFTER you pass your exam
  • Not as focused on simply passing the exam
  • Offers a pass guarantee for three of their four packages

The CE Shop Pricing

The CE Shop offers four prelicensing packages, all of which frequently go on sale. Check their website for the latest deals.

  • Courses-only Package ($129): This basic package covers the three 45-hour class sections that make up the required pre-exam coursework as well as business e-books, flashcards, a real estate glossary, and study schedule.
  • Standard Package ($199): This package includes everything in the previous one, plus Exam Edge Prep and a pass guarantee.
  • Value Package ($249): This package includes everything in the previous one, plus business-building courses to kick-start your career.
  • Premium Package ($445): Includes everything in the previous package, plus the 45-hour license renewal course you’ll need to complete to renew your California real estate license for the first time.

(California prelicensing package prices as of January 2023)

SAVE 30% at The CE Shop. Use promo code TheClose30 at checkout.

FAVORITE FEATURES: The CE Shop offers courses in all 50 states. If you have a real estate license in two states, a CE Shop representative will help you pick classes that can work for both recertification programs.

The CE Shop had the busy real estate agent in mind when they created their continuing education courses. Their concierge service will notify you as your relicensing deadline approaches. The website also offers easy navigation, so you won’t waste time searching for a course that fulfills your requirements.

An important part of being a real estate agent is preparing comparative market analyses for your clients. Not following best practices may mean the difference between a sale and a fail. That’s why I like The CE Shop’s Preparing a Market Analysis class. This three-hour class is only $19, so it’s a good deal.

Related Article

23 Crucial Real Estate Exam Prep Tips You Need to Know

ROOM TO IMPROVE: The CE Shop offers a package of 18 hours of continuing education, but you must purchase the balance of 27 hours of electives à la carte. Other continuing education companies allow you to purchase a package that includes all your relicensing coursework. Usually, these packages offer the greatest value, helping busy agents save time with one-stop shopping. If you are looking for a continuing education company that allows you to purchase a 45-hour license renewal package, check out AYPO Real Estate instead.

BOTTOM LINE: Fulfilling your continuing education requirements shouldn’t be a bore. Take interesting courses that are helpful to you as a California agent by signing up with The CE Shop.

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Best Real Estate School in California for Independent Learners: Real Estate U

RealEstateU Offers:

  • Prelicensing Courses
  • Continuing Education

Real Estate U prides itself on providing expert education that’s affordable. It serves 14 states across the country and uses top real estate professionals and scholars to teach their material. Real Estate U’s entire value proposition is that you can get great schooling on a budget.

The course is 100% online so you can learn from the comfort of home. Also, you can take the final exam for each section of your 135 required hours through Real Estate U. The format is simple, using audio lectures over slides and infographics to help you learn the material. Real Estate U skips extra features in favor of a minimalist course structure.

RealEstateU Pros RealEstateU Cons
  • Limited course package options
  • Practice quizzes included

RealEstateU Pricing

Real Estate U has one package that tackles the 135-hours of prelicensing requirements:

  • Online Course Bundle ($149): The school offers this course in audio format, supplemented with a workbook, infographics, glossary and final exams included.

(Real Estate U prelicensing package price as of January 2023)

BEST FEATURE: Real Estate U offers a solid package that doesn’t skimp on key features. Each chapter finishes with quizzes you must pass in order to gain access to further lessons, making sure you know your stuff before moving on.

ROOM TO IMPROVE: Real Estate U’s prelicensing course is an audio-recorded lesson with overlaid text, so you’re pretty much watching a PowerPoint for the length of the entire course. For people who prefer to see someone, a video lecture or livestream option would be better.

BOTTOM LINE: If you’re not looking for flashy features, can study independently, and are looking for a good deal, Real Estate U is a great California real estate school option.

Enroll Now

(California prelicensing package prices as of January 2023)

FAQs About Real Estate Schools in California

Got some questions about getting your real estate license in California? Don’t worry. I’ve got answers to the most commonly asked questions about real estate schools in California, including getting your license, how to choose a school, and more.

Related Article

Real Estate Broker vs Agent: A Head-to-Head Analysis

Bringing It All Together

Hopefully, this guide will help you pinpoint the best real estate schools in California to meet your needs. Looking for more resources? The Close has got you covered at every stage of your real estate career. You can begin with the comments section of this article for robust discussion about how to launch your real estate business after getting licensed.

Have any thoughts or questions? Join the discussion and leave us a comment below!


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