How to Get Your Real Estate License in Texas
They say everything is bigger in Texas, from the sprawling ranches to the suburban family homes. Whether you wrangle cows or kids, Texas has something for everyone. If you have ever found yourself lingering over the thought of becoming a real estate agent, now is a great time to take that plunge. A thriving economy coupled with affordable housing makes Texas the poster child for the national housing industry.
Ready to learn how to get your Texas real estate license? The overall licensing process and education requirements are typically pretty similar across the U.S., but some of the specifics do change state-by-state. Here is a list of the basic requirements you will need to meet to become a real estate agent in Texas.
- Meet the pre-qualifications
- File your license application.
- Get your fingerprints taken and pass your background check.
- Pass and submit your qualifying education.
- Take the exam.
- Find a sponsor.
1. Meet the pre-qualifications.
In Texas, you need to meet some pre-qualifications before you can start your real estate licensure journey. The Texas Real Estate Commission, or TREC, requires that you are at least 18 years old and a citizen of the United State. You’re also required to take pre-licensing coursework to help you prepare for the state licensing exam.
All applicants are subject to a background check. Although it’s not required, you may also want to request a fitness determination before applying for a license. The fitness determination assesses each applicant on TREC’s qualifications for honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity. Once you’ve filed your real estate license application, you have one year to the date to meet all the license requirements.
2. File your application.
3. Get your fingerprints taken and pass your background check.
Texas law requires each real estate license applicant to undergo a background check. Under that law, your fingerprints are required to be on file with the Texas Department of Public Safety. On your application, be honest about any criminal convictions you’ve had. Depending on the crime, a conviction does not necessarily mean you won’t be approved for licensure. Being dishonest, however, is grounds for immediate denial of your application. You can expect delays if there is an investigation into your background history.
4. Pass and submit your qualifying education.
Texas requires real estate agents to complete 180 classroom hours of qualifying real estate courses from a qualifying education provider. Course required include education in the following areas:
- Principles of Real Estate I (30 classroom hours)
- Principles of Real Estate II (30 classroom hours)
- Law of Agency (30 classroom hours)
- Law of Contracts (30 classroom hours)
- Promulgated Contract Forms (30 classroom hours)
- Real Estate Finance (30 classroom hours)
Once you’ve completed your coursework, submit your coursework to TREC with your real estate licensing exam application (see below for more instructions). If you have completed any of the courses mentioned above through an accredited college or university, you can submit a course and instructor evaluation to submit and have your transcript evaluated.
5. Take the real estate licensing exam.
Next, you’ll want to schedule your Texas real estate license and request a copy of the candidate handbook. The exam has 120 questions and is broken into two parts, a state and national section. Exams are administered by PearsonVUE, a third-party testing service company.
Be prepared for the fees associated with your real estate licensing exam. The exam fee is $54, and there’s a Texas Real Estate License Application Fee of $205 and a Recovery Trust Fund fee of $10. You can also expect to pay around $39 for fingerprinting.
You must score 70% or higher on the real estate license exam to pass. If you do not pass, you may retake the exam twice. If you fail the test three times, additional credits will be required before you can retake the exam again.
Assuming your full application is in order, the TREC will send your license document in the mail. Congratulations on becoming a new licensee!
I should point out that completing these steps does not make you a Texas Realtor, however. This is because “Realtor” is a copyrighted term owned by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). NAR has its own list of requirements to join, and each member of NAR is bound to specific ethical standards.
6. Select a sponsoring real estate broker.
Once you have passed the test and met the above requirements, you are issued an inactive license. To get the green light to be a real estate agent in the state of Texas, you need to find an active real estate broker to sponsor you. You can complete a sponsor request using this online service. Once a broker accepts your request, your license is upgraded to active, and you are free to work as a real estate agent in the state of Texas.
Even if the state didn’t require you to work through real estate brokerage services at first, I would still strongly recommend it to any new real estate agent. When I first started, I didn’t join a team, and I look back on that as one of my biggest mistakes. If I could give you one piece of advice on how to pick the right broker to work with, it’s this: Make sure that the broker you’re considering matches your needs, and don’t worry about the other way around.
Before you commit to anything, I recommend researching each brokerage you’re considering. Start with their reputation. Does this broker seem to be on solid ground with a good reputation in the state? Ask them about how much room you’ll have to grow at their brokerage. What kind of training program or further education do they offer? What is their commission structure like? Do they charge desk fees to work at the brokerage? If so, do they offer any technological advantages, such as a multiple listing service (MLS)?
Once you’ve found the right broker, your license can be updated to active status. Congratulations on earning the right to practice real estate!
Does Texas have license reciprocity with other states?
Texas does not have reciprocity with other states.
How much time does it take to get your real estate license?
You can expect it to take four to six months to become a real estate agent in the state of Texas.
Is there anything aspiring real estate professionals can do to get an advantage?
You bet there is! In fact, I’ve partnered with CE Shop to make sure of it. Through our partnership, we’ve created the training program that I wish I had when I first started my journey into real estate. With the Sell It Like Serhant: Pre-Licensing Sales Accelerator, you’re getting a full state-qualifying education combined with my own sales system that my team and I use at my brokerage.
In addition to getting all the course hours you need from our state-approved program, this package includes plenty of unique benefits. You’ll have support from state-approved expert instructors and all the ebooks that you’ll need to succeed, including Principles of Real Estate Practice, The Real Estate Math Handbook, and my own “Quick Start Guide”. Each helps you prepare for your state exam with the latest information and tips.
This course package also contains 10 progress exams, five practice exams (three state and two national), and flashcards to get you ready for test day. We’re so confident you’ll pass your exam the first time that Texas students even get our Pass or Don’t Pay guarantee. If you don’t pass your state exam on your first attempt, we’ll refund all your money!
The good news doesn’t stop there, either. You’ll also get additional resources from SERHANT. to help you start achieving success from your first day in the business. Perhaps the most notable of these is my Sell It Like Serhant: Real Estate Core video course. This is a 42-video online course that teaches you the same techniques that I use with my team to generate leads, create markets, close deals, and much more.
You already have the potential to get your license and build a successful real estate career inside you. Let us help you unlock that potential today!