So you decided that you want to become a Texas real estate agent. It’s a decision that can put you on a career path where you have more control over your schedule and income, but first, you have to earn your Texas real estate license.
11 Steps to Obtain Your Texas Real Estate Agent License
- Check your eligibility
- Take the required Texas real estate pre-license courses
- Sign up for a TREC Account and Apply Online
- E-mail your course completion certificates to TREC
- Wait for your eligibility letter
- Study for the Licensing Exam
- Get fingerprints and a background check
- Schedule Your Exam
- Take the Texas Real Estate Exam
- Find a Real Estate Broker
- Get Your Texas Real Estate License
Getting your Texas real estate license (or broker license) isn’t as intensive as earning a bachelor degree, but there is a process that has to be followed and requirements that have to be met. Follow these eight essential steps, and you’ll be well on your way to getting a real estate license in Texas.
Step 1 - Check your eligibility
Are you an 18-year-old Texas resident who can’t tell a lie? Good news! If you’re a US citizen/permanent resident alien and meet the Texas Real Estate Commission's, also known as TREC standards for honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity, you’re in.
Step 2 - Take the Required Real Estate Courses
If you meet the minimum general requirements for getting a Texas real estate license, you can focus your attention on the education requirements. You don’t need a college degree to become a real estate agent, but the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) does require applicants to complete six required courses:
- Principles of Real Estate I - 30 hours
- Principles of Real Estate II - 30 hours
- Real Estate Finance - 30 hours
- Law of Contracts - 30 hours
- Promulgated Contract Forms - 30 hours
- Law of Agency - 30 hours
You must successfully pass each real estate course before you can take the pre-license exam. If you’re doing the math on that you’ll notice there’s a total of 180 classroom hours to meet the real estate education requirement. But you don’t have to rework your life to fit the courses into your busy schedule.
AceableAgent now offers TREC-approved pre-license courses that can be taken on your smartphone, tablet or computer. Now real estate school is in session whenever and wherever you choose!
Planning to get your real estate broker license? Then you’ll need to take one more pre-licensing course. The Real Estate Brokerage pre-license course provides additional real estate training on how to operate as a broker. There are also additional elective courses for:
- Real estate appraisal
- Property management
- Residential inspections
Step 3 - Sign Up for a TREC Account and Apply Online
Once you’ve completed your mandatory real estate courses it’s time to get the license application process started. The quickest way to do that is online, but first, you have to be registered with the Texas Real Estate Commission. Once you’re registered, TREC will email a username and password that allows you to create an account and use the TREC Online Services.
One thing to watch out for is the name used on the account. The “Account Owner Contact Information” needs to be exactly the same as the name on your driver's license. After the account is set up you’ll receive an ID and barcode that must be used to submit additional documents and schedule the licensing exam.
Now that you’ve set up your TREC account you can submit a Texas real estate salesperson application. It’s a fairly simple process:
Pay the fee - There’s a one-time initial application fee of $205.
Get fingerprinted - Each applicant must get fingerprinted by MorphoTrust, a vendor that collects prints for the FBI.
Background check - The applicant background check is fairly standard. However, if there are certain “red flags” you may have to complete a background history form and there may be an investigation.
Submit proof of course completion - TREC requires that applicants submit education course completion documents to prove the six required courses have been completed.
Step 4 - E-mail your course completion certificates to TREC
E-mail TREC your certificates to prove you’ve completed the necessary coursework.
Step 5 - Wait for your eligibility letter
TREC will send your state exam eligibility letter within 21 business days of receiving your certificates.
Step 6 - Study for the Pre-Licensing Exam
While TREC is taking 15-21 business days to process your real estate license application, you can simultaneously start step four. Exam prep is different for everyone, but practice tests are scientifically proven to be one of the best types of exam prep you can do. You’ll also receive an exam candidate handbook from TREC to help you prepare.
If you’re tempted to skip the exam prep, keep in mind that you only have three attempts to pass the exam. People who fail to pass the exam after three tries must do additional real estate training.
Step 7 - Get fingerprints and a background check
Once you receive your eligibility letter, it's time to schedule your required fingerprinting on TREC's website. You don't have to have a completely clean record, and even if you have criminal convictions, you still qualify if you pass the state's moral character determination process.
Step 8 - Schedule Your Exam
You can’t schedule your pre-licensing exam until your application has been processed and you receive a TREC ID number. The Texas real estate exam is administered by Pearson VUE, which also handles the scheduling. Exams can be scheduled online by:
- Creating an account using your ID
- Paying the fee
- Picking a date, time and location
Unlike your real estate courses, you do have to show up in person for the exam. There are testing locations across the state from Dallas to San Antonio, so finding one nearby shouldn’t be hard. Pearson VUE will provide additional details as far as what to expect during the exam, general requirements and what you’ll need to bring with you on test day.
Step 9 - Take the Texas Real Estate Exam
After months of taking real estate courses, completing the license application and studying it’s all comes down to the real estate licensing exam. It’s by far the most intimidating of the requirements, but if you’ve prepped there’s a good chance you’ll pass it on your first try.
The exam for a real estate license in Texas is broken into two parts: a national section and state-specific section. You’ll have two and a half hours to complete both sections. Once you’re done you’ll get your score immediately. However, the scores must be sent to the state real estate commission before a license is issued.
Step 10 - Find a Real Estate Broker
Another step you can take while you wait on the application, is finding a broker. Technically, the Texas Real Estate Commission licenses a real estate agent to act on the behalf of a licensed broker. That means you can’t become an active real estate agent unless you have a licensed TX broker as a sponsor.
Although a broker isn’t your “boss”, they will have an impact on your career and income. It’s best to research your options and interview each broker that seems like a good fit. Once you found a broker you want to work with you’ll need to submit a salesperson broker sponsorship form. If you get this done before taking the exam you won’t have to worry about switching from an inactive to an active license.
Step 11 - Get Your Texas Real Estate License & Begin Your New Career!
After you pass the real estate exam, the Texas Real Estate Commission will review your test score and salesperson sponsorship form. They’ll then email the active real estate license to you and your broker.
Congratulations - you’ve officially gotten your Texas real estate license!