Whether you’re exploring the possibility of a new career or looking to renew your California real estate license, we’ve pinpointed the best real estate schools in California to help you meet your goals. 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, we evaluated the top schools and their online programs. Here, we present our top picks, exploring their 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 national industry leaders. Let’s dive in!

6 Best Real Estate Schools in California for 2022

Our Top Picks
Pricing From
Promo Codes
Best Overall: Real Estate Express
TheClose25 - Save 25%
Best for Career Advice: Kaplan Real Estate Education
KAPRE5 - Save 5%

Best for Mobile: Aceable Agent
Click our Aceable Agent link - Save 25%
Best for a Budget: OnlineEd
TheClose - Save 35%
Best for Continuing Education: The CE Shop
TheClose30 - Save 30%
Best for License Renewal: AYPO Real Estate
$65 (for license renewal)
(California prelicensing package prices as of April 2022)
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        Real Estate Schools in California: Helpful Info

        Before choosing a school from our list, you should 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.

        Related Article
        How to Get a California Real Estate Broker License

        Best Overall Real Estate School in California: Real Estate Express


        Real Estate Express Offers:

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

        For many reasons, Real Estate Express is our top overall pick. They are one of the most affordable options for your prelicensing course. Plus, they’ve been providing quality online real estate education for a long time, making them a reliable choice.

        Real Estate Express 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.

        These benefits and more make Real Estate Express the obvious choice for those wanting to become a real estate agent in California. Read on to find out what’s included in their packages.

        Real Estate Express Pros
        Real Estate Express Cons
        • Various course packages, bonus materials, and extra support
        • Livestream-only 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

        Real Estate Express Pricing

        Real Estate Express 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.

        Real Estate Express Online Packages

        • The Basic Package ($129):  The perfect course for a self-starter, this package includes your prelicensing course, state-approved instructor support, and three e-books.
        • The Exam Preparation Package ($225): Includes all the benefits of the Basic Package, plus Exam Prep materials like practice tests and flashcards, and a Pass or Don’t Pay guarantee.
        • Exam Preparation Plus ($349): Includes everything in the previous package, plus a helpful Exam Cram Video and 40 hours of instructor Q&A time.
        • Real Estate Express 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 professional development membership.

        Real Estate Express Livestream Packages

        • California Livestream Tue/Wed/Thurs Evenings ($449): Choose this livestream package to attend classes on weekday evenings from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Included are your textbook, instructor support, practice exams, Exam Cram video, and more. You’ll also get a Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee, and an eBook Dictionary.
        • California Livestream Tue/Wed/Thurs Evenings ($449):  Choose this livestream package and enjoy all of the above features. Livestream classes are held on weekends from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

        (California prelicensing package prices as of April 2022)

        Real Estate Express 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: Our two favorite features of the Real Estate Express prelicense courses are flexibility and access. We also love the Instructor Q&A, which gives you access to industry professionals who can answer your questions.

        Real Estate Express also offers continuing education for licensed California agents, like their popular course Wildfire Risk in Real Estate. Learn about the impact of wildfires, including water resources, disclosures, and home insurance.

        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 The CE Shop as a cost-effective solution.

        BOTTOM LINE: You can’t go wrong in choosing Real Estate Express as your online course provider. Their prices are affordable, and the content is highly focused, helping you to pass the California real estate exam.

        Enroll Now

        Best Real Estate School in California for Career Advice: Kaplan Real Estate Education

        Kaplan Offers:

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

        Kaplan understands that not every student is comfortable learning in a virtual, self-paced format, so 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
        • Variety of class formats
        • No phone-based student support
        • Optional Career Launcher program

        Kaplan Real Estate Education Pricing

        Kaplan courses are broken down into three formats: Textbook Home StudyOn-Demand Online Videos, and Live Online Classroom.

        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.

        • Textbook Home Study Packages (starting at $179): 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 (starting at $399): 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 (starting at $549): 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).

        (California prelicensing package prices as of April 2022)

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

        FAVORITE FEATURES: Kaplan’s interactive learning options are our 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 our attention was the Career Launcher Live Online Package. Although pricey, this package includes an interactive study group, plus face-to-face time with a Career Mentor who will help you learn real-world skills and tools that will assist you with your career.

        Once you’re licensed, learn how to better serve your millennial clients by enrolling in Kaplan’s on-demand, continuing education course called Millennials: Challenging the Traditional Real Estate Model. Learn how to change your branding and image to appeal to this discerning demographic.

        ROOM TO IMPROVE: Some online reviews have noted low video quality for the on-demand videos. Other reviewers have complained about the cost. Overall, if you do not have concerns about the pricing, Kaplan does offer a one-stop shop for your prelicense and relicense coursework needs.

        If you are looking for less expensive options, you may want to consider others on this list, including Real Estate Express.

        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 should consider working with them for your prelicensing coursework.

        Enroll Now

        Related Article
        How to Become a Real Estate Agent in California in 5 Easy Steps

        Best Real Estate School in California for Mobile: Aceable Agent

        Aceable Agent Offers:

        • Prelicensing Courses
        • Exam Prep

        California’s prelicense education requirements are some of the nation’s most comprehensive. With 135 hours of required hours before you can take your exam, having a convenient course format is critical.

        Aceable Agent provides an easy-to-use PDF experience for all Californians who want to get their real estate license. If you’re looking for a real estate education option that will allow you to take your course when and where you want, Aceable is for you. Best of all, their students nationwide have a 94% licensure exam pass rate.

        With Aceable Agent, you can skip the classroom and study entirely on your schedule and at your own pace. You’ll have access to instructors for questions or for extra help, and their package is highly usable on any device, including your cell phone, making it our favorite because you can squeeze in study time almost anywhere.

        Aceable Agent Pros
        Aceable Agent Cons
        • Ability to take classes from your smartphone or mobile device
        • Offers few exam prep materials
        • Updated study material with a great video component to classes
        • Doesn’t offer post-licensing or continuing education classes
        • Affordable

        Aceable Agent Pricing

        • Basic Package ($149): 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 ($225): You’ll get everything in the previous package, plus access to 75 videos, 70 audio lessons, digital flashcards, and exam prep materials.
        • Premium Package ($370): Enjoy everything in the previous package, plus an hour of private tutoring with a real estate pro, live webinars 5x/week, and a livestreamed Q&A on “Facebook Fridays.”

        (California prelicensing package prices as of April 2022)

        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 learn best. If 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 and make a physical copy to read. The simple, online textbook format means you can go at your own pace and know exactly where you stand.

        Related Article
        The 5 Best Real Estate Continuing Education Providers for 2022

        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 package add-ons and exam prep materials, but their packages are a bit more limited than other real estate schools in California.

        Still, 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 a la carte experience, try Real Estate Express.

        BOTTOM LINE: If flexibility in how you consume your 135 hours of California prelicense time is important to you, consider Aceable Agent. For $149, you get everything you need to qualify for the licensing exam. Plus, you’ll enjoy the flexibility to prepare online or off.

        Enroll Now

        Best Real Estate School in California for a Budget: OnlineEd

        OnlineED Logo

        OnlineEd offers:

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

        OnlineEd is an online real estate school from Portland, Oregon, gaining a strong foothold in the education sphere for its affordable and reliable courses. They come in with the cheapest package option on our list and provide quality instruction. 

        OnlineEd isn’t known for adding tons of extra features to your course package, but their more comprehensive packages still include exam prep. Plus, you’ll get an instructor assigned to you per class whom you can contact at any time for support.

        OnlineEd ProsOnlineEd Cons
        No Pass Guarantee
        Exam prep included
        No livestream classes
        Helpful videos

        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 ePub format for an e-reader.
        • 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 to keep.

        (California prelicensing package prices as of April 2022)

        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% OFF.

        FAVORITE FEATURES: One of our 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: We understand that OnlineEd omits extra features to keep costs low, but we’d like to see an additional package option with added 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.

        Enroll Now

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

        The CE Shop Logo

        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 the 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 real estate industry in your state. Real estate agents can also take a course on California Fair Housing Laws, so you can make sure you 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 classes are less than $20, you receive a lot of thought-provoking content for your money.

        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 the most affordable option
        • Offers a Pass Guarantee for three of their four packages

        The CE Shop Pricing

        The CE Shop offers four packages. Each one is divided into three sections (totaling 135 hours to meet the state’s requirements). These include a 45-hour principles course, a 45-hour practice course, and a 45-hour finance course.

        They have a 94% student satisfaction rate and a 91% national pass rate for students sitting their licensure exams. The CE Shop’s prelicensing packages frequently go on sale. Check their website often for deals.

        • Courses Only Package ($129): As the name suggests, this basic package just covers the three 45-hour courses described above.
        • 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 ($279): 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 April 2022)

        SAVE30% at The CE Shop. Use promo code TheClose30 at checkout

        FAVORITE FEATURES: The CE Shop offers prelicensing 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 analysis for your clients. Not following best practices may mean the difference between a sale and a fail. That’s why we 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 for the 18 hours of continuing education, but you must purchase the balance of 27 hours of electives a 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. Buying a package deal helps 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.

        Enroll Now

        Best Real Estate School in California for No-fuss License Renewal: AYPO Real Estate

        AYPO Offers:

        • License Renewal Course

        Don’t bother trying to sound out the name of our next company. AYPO is an acronym for At Your Pace Online. AYPO doesn’t offer prelicense coursework or test prep packages for the State of California.

        However, AYPO provides inexpensive packages that let you bundle 45 hours of coursework required for your California license renewal. The course is super-straightforward, user-friendly, and easy to follow. It covers all the topics one would expect, including risk management, handling trust funds, consumer protection, and the Truth in Lending Act.

        The courses are specific to the state of California, and the bundle includes the required ethics course as well. Once you have completed your coursework, you can print out your certificate to keep for your records.

        AYPO Real Estate Pros
        AYPO Real Estate Cons
        • Affordable packages for renewal
        • Doesn’t offer prelicense classes
        • Comprehensive topic bundles
        • Doesn’t offer exam prep materials
        • User-friendly, easy to follow

        AYPO Real Estate Pricing

        While AYPO doesn’t offer prelicensing courses, they made our list because they offer an easy-to-use license renewal package. You may also be interested in AYPO’s 12-hour and 8-hour consumer services classes, which cover lending laws, sales agreements, and leases.

        AYPO also offers six California-specific, three-hour courses for just $9 each, plus an 18-hour consumer protection course specific to California agents for only $36.

        • 45-Hour Complete Renewal Package ($65): Covers all the required topics for your California real estate license renewal, including risk management, trust funds, sources of financing, land use controls, real estate investment, valuation and taxation, fair housing, ethics, fair housing, lending laws, real estate contracts, leadership, and more.

        (California prelicensing package prices as of April 2022)

        FAVORITE FEATURE: Our favorite feature of AYPO is that it is meant as a no-frills California license renewal option for busy real estate agents. The website is mobile-friendly, so you can knock out a few license renewal lessons as you are waiting for your client at a showing.

        The online reviews of AYPO praise the easy navigation of the website and useful online content. One of the most highly rated courses on the AYPO website is their California Risk Management Continuing Education Course. This course talks about the legal responsibilities of risk management, as well as risk prevention.

        Related Article
        Real Estate License Reciprocity & Portability: A State-by-State Guide

        ROOM TO IMPROVE: Yes, you will fulfill your license renewal requirements for the state of California by taking the coursework through AYPO. But, the classes appear to cover only the necessary information. Do not expect any highly interesting or innovative courses.

        The writing and design of the AYPO website are also very simplistic. If you’re looking for more high-end, interactive instruction, you should check out Kaplan’s real estate education programs.

        And at this time, At Your Pace Online only offers prelicensure coursework for budding real estate agents in five states. As such, if you plan on operating a multistate business, AYPO would likely be a comprehensive resource for your needs.

        BOTTOM LINE: Whether you’re attracted to AYPO’s simplistic design or not, this company makes obtaining all your California continuing education requirements as easy as pie.

        Enroll Now

        FAQs About Real Estate Schools in California

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

        We want you to hit the ground running in your new career in real estate! Did you have a great experience at other real estate schools in California that we didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments.

        More Career Resources From The Close

        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.

        Continue the conversation among Realtors nationwide in our Facebook Mastermind Group. Join The Close Pro to level up your skills and subscribe to our newsletter to get our latest articles direct to your inbox so you won’t miss important insights from the real estate pros here at The Close.