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How to Get a Real Estate License in Texas (TX): A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Get a Real Estate License in Texas – If you are interested in becoming a real estate professional in Texas, you will need to obtain a license from the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). TREC is the state agency that regulates and oversees the real estate industry in Texas. TREC issues two types of licenses: sales agent and broker.

A sales agent is a person who is licensed to act as an agent on behalf of a real estate broker and their clients. A broker is a person who is licensed to own and operate a real estate brokerage firm and to supervise sales agents.

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In this article, we will explain the requirements, process, and costs of getting a real estate license in Texas. We will also provide some tips and resources to help you prepare for the licensing exam and start your career as a real estate professional.

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Requirements for Getting a Real Estate License in Texas

Before you apply for a real estate license in Texas, you must meet the following basic requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must be a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien.
  • You must meet TREC’s qualifications for honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity. This means that you must disclose any criminal history, disciplinary actions, or unpaid judgments on your application. You must also submit your fingerprints and pass a background check. If you have any concerns about your eligibility, you can request a fitness determination from TREC before applying for the license.

Education Requirements for Getting a Real Estate License in Texas

The education requirements for getting a real estate license in Texas vary depending on the type of license you want to obtain. Here are the education requirements for each license type:

Sales Agent License

To get a sales agent license, you must complete 180 hours of approved real estate courses. The courses must include the following topics:

  • Principles of Real Estate I (30 hours)
  • Principles of Real Estate II (30 hours)
  • Law of Agency (30 hours)
  • Law of Contracts (30 hours)
  • Promulgated Contract Forms (30 hours)
  • Real Estate Finance (30 hours)

You can take these courses online or in person from any TREC-approved education provider. You can also get credit for these courses if you have a four-year degree in real estate from an accredited college or university.

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You must complete these courses within two years before applying for the license. You must also pass the final exam for each course with a score of at least 70%.

Broker License

To get a broker license, you must have at least four years of active experience as a sales agent within the past five years. You must also complete 270 hours of approved real estate courses, plus an additional 630 hours of approved continuing education courses. The courses must include the following topics:

  • Brokerage (30 hours)
  • Law of Agency (30 hours)
  • Law of Contracts (30 hours)
  • Promulgated Contract Forms (30 hours)
  • Real Estate Finance (30 hours)
  • Principles of Real Estate I (30 hours)
  • Principles of Real Estate II (30 hours)

The remaining 630 hours can be any combination of qualifying real estate courses or related courses from an accredited college or university. You can also get credit for these courses if you have a four-year degree in real estate from an accredited college or university.

You must complete these courses within two years before applying for the license. You must also pass the final exam for each course with a score of at least 70%.

Application Process for Getting a Real Estate License in Texas

Once you meet the requirements and complete the education, you can apply for your real estate license online through TREC’s website. You will need to create an account and fill out an application form. You will also need to pay an application fee, which is $205 for a sales agent license and $305 for a broker license.

After you submit your application, you will receive an email from TREC with instructions on how to get your fingerprints taken and submit them to TREC. You will need to schedule an appointment with IdentoGO, which is TREC’s authorized fingerprint service provider. You will also need to pay a fingerprint fee, which is $37.

TREC will review your application and conduct a background check. If your application is approved, you will receive another email from TREC with instructions on how to register and schedule your licensing exam.

Exam Process for Getting a Real Estate License in Texas

The licensing exam is administered by Pearson VUE, which is TREC’s authorized exam provider. You can register and schedule your exam online through Pearson VUE’s website. You will need to pay an exam fee, which is $54 for both sales agent and broker licenses.

The exam consists of two parts: a national part and a state part. The national part covers general real estate topics, such as property ownership, valuation, financing, contracts, agency, ethics, and federal laws. The state part covers Texas-specific real estate topics, such as licensing requirements, commission rules, disclosures, contracts, and agency, and state laws.

The exam is computer-based and multiple-choice. You will have 150 minutes to complete the national part and 90 minutes to complete the state part. You will need to score at least 70% on each part to pass the exam.

You will receive your exam results immediately after you finish the exam. If you pass the exam, you will receive a license application form and a certificate of completion. If you fail the exam, you will receive a diagnostic report and a retake application form. You can retake the exam as many times as you need within one year of your application date. You will need to pay the exam fee each time you retake the exam.

Activation Process for Getting a Real Estate License in Texas

After you pass the exam, you will need to activate your license before you can practice real estate in Texas. To activate your license, you will need to do the following:

Sales Agent License

  • Find a sponsoring broker who is willing to supervise and mentor you. A sponsoring broker is a licensed broker who agrees to take responsibility for your actions and education as a sales agent. You can search for brokers online through TREC’s website or network with other real estate professionals in your area.
  • Submit your license application form and certificate of completion to TREC along with your sponsoring broker’s signature and information. You can submit these documents online through TREC’s website or by mail.
  • Pay a license fee, which is $110 for a sales agent license.

Broker License

  • Submit your license application form and certificate of completion to TREC along with your business entity information if applicable. You can submit these documents online through TREC’s website or by mail.
  • Pay a license fee, which is $435 for a broker license.

TREC will process your license activation within 10 business days. Once your license is activated, you will receive an email from TREC with your license number and expiration date. You can also verify your license status online through TREC’s website.

Tips and Resources for Getting a Real Estate License in Texas

Getting a real estate license in Texas can be challenging but rewarding. Here are some tips and resources to help you succeed:

  • Study hard for the courses and the exam. The courses and the exam cover a lot of information that you need to know as a real estate professional. You can use various study materials, such as textbooks, online courses, flashcards, practice tests, and exam prep courses to prepare yourself. You can also join study groups or find a mentor who can help you with any questions or difficulties.
  • Choose a reputable education provider and exam provider. The quality of your education and exam experience can make a difference in your learning and performance. You should choose an education provider and an exam provider that is approved by TREC and has good reviews from past students. You should also compare the prices, schedules, formats, and features of different providers to find the best fit for your needs and preferences.
  • Find a good sponsoring broker and brokerage firm. Your sponsoring broker and brokerage firm will play an important role in your career development and success as a sales agent. You should look for a broker and a firm that matches your personality, goals, values, and expectations. You should also consider the commission structure, training programs, marketing support, technology tools, culture, reputation, and size of the broker and the firm.
  • Keep learning and growing as a real estate professional. The real estate industry is constantly changing and evolving. You need to keep up with the latest trends, laws, regulations, best practices, and market conditions. You also need to maintain your license by completing 18 hours of continuing education every two years. You can also pursue additional designations or certifications that can enhance your skills and knowledge in specific areas of real estate.

How to Get a Real Estate License in Texas

How to Get a Real Estate License in Texas: Frequently Asked Questions (F&Qs)

How long does it take to become a licensed real estate agent in Texas?

To become a licensed real estate agent in Texas, you need to meet the following requirements:

  1. Age and Citizenship: You must be at least 18 years old and either a U.S. citizen or a lawfully admitted resident.
  2. Integrity: The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) assesses candidates based on certain qualifications, such as integrity, trustworthiness, and honesty in their personal lives.
  3. Education: Complete your high school education and any desired postsecondary education.
  4. Application: File your real estate agent application with the Texas Real Estate Commission.
  5. Real Estate Education: It may take up to six months to complete the required 180 hours of real estate education.

So, on average, it can take between 2 to 6 months to complete the required classroom hours, apply for your license, and take the final licensing exams. However, you have one year from the date your application is filed to meet all the license requirements. Please note that it might also take a few additional years if you decide to attend university and earn a degree in the field.

How much is it to get your real estate license in Texas?

The cost to get a real estate license in Texas can vary, but here’s a general breakdown of the expenses you might encounter:

  • Pre-License Real Estate School Courses: These are required by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) and can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000. The cost can vary depending on whether you choose an online provider or an in-person school.
  • Application Fees: After finishing your pre-license education, you must complete the Inactive Real Estate Sales Agent License application. The current fee for a two-year license application, which includes fingerprinting and a background check, is about $220.
  • Exam Fees: Before becoming licensed, students must pass the Texas Real Estate Sales Agent licensing exam. You can expect to pay an exam fee of about $40 for each attempt.

Adding all these costs together, you should expect to pay somewhere around $800 to $1,300 total to get your real estate license in Texas.

How do you become eligible for a real estate license in Texas?

To become eligible for a real estate license in Texas, you need to meet the following requirements:

  1. Age and Citizenship: You must be at least 18 years old and either a U.S. citizen or a lawfully admitted resident.
  2. Integrity: The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) assesses candidates based on certain qualifications, such as showcasing integrity, trustworthiness, and honesty in their personal lives.
  3. Education: Complete your high school education and any desired postsecondary education.
  4. Application: File your real estate agent application with the Texas Real Estate Commission.
  5. Real Estate Education: It may take up to six months to complete the required 180 hours of real estate education.

So, on average, it can take between 2 to 6 months to complete the required classroom hours, apply for your license, and take the final licensing exams. However, you have one year from the date your application is filed to meet all the license requirements. Please note that it might also take a few additional years if you decide to attend university and earn a degree in the field.

How hard is it to get a Texas real estate license?

The difficulty of getting a real estate license in Texas can vary depending on your background, study habits, and the education provider you choose. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Pre-Licensing Course: Texas requires a pre-licensing course of 180 hours, which is the longest required pre-licensing course in the country. The difficulty of this course can depend on your previous knowledge and experience in real estate, as well as the quality of the education provider you choose.
  • State Exam: The average student who sits for the Texas Real Estate Exam passes 61% of the time. The exam consists of 110 questions and you must achieve a grade of 70% or above on both the National and State portions to pass.
  • Continuing Education: Texas real estate agents are also required to take 18 hours of continuing education every two years.

While some people may find the process challenging, others may not. It’s important to note that compared to other professions that require licensure, getting a real estate license is relatively fast and inexpensive. With the right preparation and dedication, many people successfully obtain their real estate license in Texas.

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