How Much Does It Cost To Get A Real Estate License In Texas?

Looking to start your real estate career, and wondering how much it costs? Here is a guide to help you navigate the costs of a getting your Texas real estate license!
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So you’re thinking about becoming a real estate agent! Very exciting! There are a few hoops you’ll need to jump through first like taking a pre-licensing course, passing the state licensing exam, and getting your license. And all of those things cost money, unfortunately. There are application fees, processing fees, and exam fees you’ll need to budget for.

This post will walk you through how much a Texas real estate license costs and how much you’ll need to budget to be successful as an agent.

Texas Real Estate License Costs: The Breakdown

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Let’s take a look at the different real estate license costs in Texas and the requirements of getting your Texas real estate license, total them up, and determine if the expense will pay off for you.

Cost #1: Pre-License Real Estate School Courses: $500 to $1,000

The very first step in your journey to a real estate license is to take the state-required pre-license courses. There are six required courses:

  1. Principles of Real Estate I (Course #121) - 30 hours
  2. Principles of Real Estate II (Course #122) - 30 hours
  3. Real Estate Finance (Course #451) - 30 hours
  4. Law of Contracts (Course #1251) - 30 hours
  5. Promulgated Contracts (Course #351) - 30 hours
  6. Law of Agency (Course #1151) - 30 hours

You can enroll in the courses at any real estate school approved by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). Real estate schools vary in terms of curriculum, student support, and cost, so spend a little time comparing schools to find the best option for you.

As you look at real estate schools, pay special attention to:

  • TREC exam pass rates. How well do the students from each school do on the state real estate exam?
  • Access to the course materials. Do you have to attend courses on campus? Can you access the coursework from your cell or tablet?
  • Student support. Will there be real estate professionals available to answer your questions?
  • Price. How much is your real estate school? Will your student experience be worth the expense?

How Much Is Real Estate School?

Generally speaking, you should expect to pay $500 to $1,000 for the required pre-licensing courses. Usually, on-campus courses will cost more than online courses. If you enroll at Austin Community College, for example, you should expect to pay closer to $1,000 in tuition and fees for the required courses. You might also pay more if you enroll in each class individually.

Cost #2: Exam Fee: $43 per attempt

Once your coursework is complete, you can apply to take your TREC real estate exam and get your real estate license. The current exam fee for the sales agent license is $43 per attempt. It’s a difficult test, and many people need two or even three attempts to pass it. This is why those exam pass rates are so important when you’re choosing your real estate school. You want to give yourself the best possible chances of passing on your first try. Passing on the first try will save you time and money.

Cost #3: Application Fee: $185 for a two-year real estate license

The initial sales agent application fee for a two-year real estate license is currently $185. You’l have to have this license to practice as a real estate agent.

Cost #4: Fingerprinting Fee: $38.25

In addition to the application fee, you’ll pay a fingerprinting fee of $38.25. Anyone who is applying for a real estate license must have a background check done to check for any criminal history.

Cost #5: Miscellaneous Fees: Varies

You may have to pay additional miscellaneous fees. For example, if you have a criminal record, you may consider requesting a Fitness Determination before applying for the license. For $52 TREC will look at your record and determine if you satisfy the requirements for honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity necessary to be an agent.

The Total Texas Real Estate License Cost - $800-$1,300

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, with the biggest variable in cost being which real estate school you choose.

  • Pre-License Real Estate School Courses: $500 to $1,000
  • Exam Fee: $42 per attempt
  • Application Fee: $185 for a 2-year real estate license
  • Fingerprinting Fee: $38.25
  • Miscellaneous Fees: Varies

Other Costs to Become a Real Estate Agent

Next, let’s take a look at some of the costs associated with being a new agent.

Cost #1: Brokerage Desk Fees: Varies, anywhere from $0 to $3,600 per year

New agents must work under a broker, and some brokerages charge monthly fees to agents in exchange for office space, mentoring programs, and training.

Cost #2: Membership Dues: Varies, $150 to $2,000 per year

You’ll want to join professional associations like the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and your city’s local real estate board. These organizations offer tools and resources that can help you succeed as an agent. Dues for NAR were $150 as of 2022. Local real estate board membership dues will vary, but in Austin, for example, membership in Austin Board of REALTORS® costs from roughly $400 to $2,000 per year.

Cost #3: Multiple Listing Service (MLS): Varies, anywhere from $0 to $1,500 per year

An MLS subscription is critical to your success as an agent. A subscription fee may be part of your local board of REALTORS® membership, or you may pay it separately. Prices vary, but a subscription to the local MLS could be as much as $1,500 per year.

Cost #4: Marketing Materials: Varies, anywhere from $200 to $3,000 per year

You can start marketing for free on social media. You will need to budget some money for your print needs like business cards, property flyers, signs, and mailers to advertise both you and your properties. You’ll also likely need a website and may want to spring for paid advertising in local newspapers and magazines.

Cost #5: Living Expenses: Varies

Real estate is different from many other career paths. Real estate agents are typically not employees; they’re independent contractors. This means you’ll probably work on commission instead of receiving a predetermined salary. You’ll probably have to pay for your own insurance and fund your own retirement.

It can take time to close your first deal. You’ll need to find your first clients and see that deal through to close before you collect a paycheck. This whole process can take two to six months. That means two to six months without an income. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average cost of living in Texas is $3,305 per month per person, so consider what you’ll need to budget for as you’re starting out.

The Total Cost of Becoming a Real Estate Agent - $1,100+

Adding all these costs together, you should expect to pay somewhere around $1,100 to $11,000 per year to be a real estate agent in Texas. These are rough estimates, but it gives you an idea of what to expect:

  • Pre-License Real Estate School Courses: $500 to $1,000
  • Exam Fee: $42 per attempt
  • Application Fee: $185 for a 2-year real estate license
  • Fingerprinting Fee: $38.25
  • Brokerage Desk Fees: anywhere from $0 to $3,600 per year
  • Membership Dues: $150 to $2,000 per year
  • Multiple Listing Service (MLS): $0 to $1,500 per year
  • Marketing Materials: $200 to $3,000 per year
  • Living Expenses for first two to six months

Is a Texas Real Estate License Worth the Cost?

With all these upfront fees, and the slow start to your new income, you may be wondering: Is my real estate license worth it?

As long as you’re a hard-working self-starter, the answer is a resounding YES!

According to Indeed, the average salary of a real estate agent with one to two years of experience is $93,000, which makes getting a real estate license in Texas absolutely worth considering.

And one of the best things about real estate is the unlimited income potential!

If you can hustle to land lots of clients, and provide top-quality service, you can potentially make six figures every year!

The Bottom Line

A career in real estate is exciting, fulfilling, and flexible. And it’s also high-paying if you’re willing to work hard and stick with it!

It all starts with your real estate license. The upfront cost and time spent studying may be an obstacle for you to overcome, but the rewards will be well worth your investment with our TREC-approved real estate courses.

Ready to take the next step toward becoming an agent? You can learn more about how much it costs to get your license and even sign up to take a pre-licensing course today!

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