If you are thinking about starting a career in the real estate industry in Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Austin, or El Paso, you will need a Texas real estate license.
While the process of becoming a certified real estate sales agent is similar in most states, each area has its unique steps and rules that must be adhered to.
Getting your license may seem daunting, but we are here to guide you through the process.
How Can I Get My Real Estate License in Texas?
According to the Texas Real Estate Commission, the steps to becoming a Texas real estate agent and be able to do your job officially are as follows:
Step 1: Meet Texas Real Estate License Pre-Requirements
To apply for a sales agent license, you must be a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years old, and meet the qualifications for trustworthiness, honesty, and integrity by the Texas Real Estate Commission or TREC.
Step 2: Complete Minimum of 180 Hours in Real Estate Education Courses
The Texas Real Estate Commission requires everyone interested in applying for the license exam to complete at least 180 hours of TREC college-level real estate education courses.
- Principles of Real Estate I
- Principles of Real Estate II
- Law of Agency
- Law of Contracts
- Promulgated Contract Forms
- Real Estate Finance
You must submit the course completion documents when you fill the application for the real estate commission.
While taking the State Prep course, it is highly recommended that you have your background check and fingerprinting done. According to the Texas Real Estate License Act, any person applying for a sales agent or broker license must be fingerprinted and pass a background check. If you schedule your fingerprinting after taking the test, your license will not issue.
Step 3: File the Application
You have 365 days from the date your real estate application is filled to meet and satisfy all requirements.
- Apply for your Inactive Sales Agent License by mail or using a paper application.
- Pay all fees when applying. You can pay with personal checks or credit cards. Fees are non-refundable.
- Scan and email your education documents
Don’t forget to provide copies of certificates or credit transcripts as evidence of successful completion. Keep one copy for yourself.
Step 4: Take the License Exam
Next step is taking and passing the real estate exam. Pearson VUE administers all license exams in Austin, TX. Once you submit your application, you will receive a notice with instructions for obtaining a copy of the exam and scheduling the test.
If you fail three times, additional education will be inevitable.
Step 5: Prepare For The Exam
If you don’t want surprises on exam day, it is highly recommended to prepare yourself properly. There are great Texas real estate exam prep programs to help you get ready for the upcoming test. You don’t want to be one of those failed sales agents, so make sure to invest in education.
Step 6: Take the State Test
Once you have passed the Texas real estate test, you will receive an Inactive or Active Estate Salesperson License from the Texas Real Estate Commission.
Step 7: Select a Sponsoring Broker
In order to become a licensed real estate sales agent, you must be associated with an active Texas sponsoring broker. Find the best broker to work with since he/she is going to be your mentor and help you start a career in Texas real estate.
During your search, ask the following questions:
- What kind of agents are they looking for?
- What is their reputation?
- Are they technologically advanced?
- How do they train and support their agents?
- What kind of commission system do they offer?
- Is there room to grow and prosper with the brokerage?
Now that you know how to get a real estate license, let’s see what the cost of a Texas real estate license is.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Texas?
The bad news is there are lots of expenses. The good news is that most of them are affordable. In fact, you can fully cover your costs with your first deal.
The first step in starting your journey as a real estate sales agent is to take your pre-license courses. You can select any real estate course approved by the TREC or Texas Real Estate Commission. Some real estate education courses may vary in terms of student support, terms of curriculum, and cost, so spend some time comparing courses to find the right option for you.
So, how much should your classes cost?
You should expect to pay around $500 for the required real estate courses. Online courses cost less than on-campus.
Testing, Application, and Processing Fees
Once your course session is complete, it is time to apply for your real estate exam and get your sales agent license. At this stage, you will pay several state fees. The most expensive cost is the application fee for the license. The cost is around $200, and in addition to it, you will also have to pay:
- Background check fee ($27)
- Fingerprinting fee ($37)
- Certificate of Sponsorship fee ($20 if completed online, $40 if using a paper application)
- Paper processing fee ($20)
On top of pre-license courses, testing, application, and processing fees, you will have to pay to take the TREC exam. The cost of the exam is $54.
Adding all expenses together, you should expect to pay around $800 to $1,000 total to get your license.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Real Estate License in Texas?
Getting a realtor license in Austin, TX, involves multiple steps that stretch over several months. Although the individual ambition can vary, on average, getting a license to buy and sell Texas real estate takes four to six months. If you are committed to your real estate career, you can complete the requirements and take the test in eight weeks.
Is The Real Estate Exam Hard in Texas?
Given the fact that only 57.09% of real estate agents pass the exam on the first try, we can agree that it is not an easy test.
You will have 150 minutes to read and complete 110 questions during the exam. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions that are in two sections:
- Section I (National Section) – You will have to complete 80 questions within 105 minutes.
- Section II (State Section) – You will have to complete 30 questions in 45 minutes.
The questions require a little more time to answer. The sections are graded independently. To pass the exam, you have to make 70% or higher on each section.
Everything you learn in the pre-licensing courses will be on the final test. Some of the topics covered are Law of Agency, Law of Contracts, Real Estate Finance, Property Use, Forms of Ownership, Environmental Issues, Commission Duties and Powers, Community Property, Homeowners Associations, and so on.
Expect to see several different questions on the existing Texas state rules and regulations and questions that involve statistics and math.
The best way to prepare for the upcoming test is to invest in education, meaning practicing exams and retaining information. The Texas test administrator – Pearson VUE has a reference list guide you can download. It is an excellent tool for the Texas real estate test since the information and topics are pulled from the courses.
A career in real estate is fulfilling, exciting, and rewarding. You will enjoy being your own boss and making your own schedule.
It all starts with the license. Now that you know how to get your real estate license – go for it. The upfront costs may be an obstacle, but the rewards will be well worth it.