Getting your Texas real estate license takes time, but the hours you put in will be well worth it. You’ll have a shot at a promising real estate career that allows you to be your own boss. Let's look a little more at what it takes to get a real estate license in Texas.
The first thing most future real estate agents want to know is:
How long does it take to get your real estate license in Texas?
It will take at least 180 classroom hours to complete the required real estate courses.
However, that question is really best answered by looking at each step of the real estate licensing process.
Taking the Required Texas Real Estate Courses
In addition to having a high school diploma or GED, the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) has established an education requirement that must be met prior to receiving a real estate license. There are six mandatory real estate courses every prospective real estate agent must pass.
In total, it will take at least 180 classroom hours to complete the required real estate classes. However, if students have to repeat a course that will add to the hours.
Principles of Real Estate I and Principles of Real Estate II - 60 Hours
Principles of Real Estate I is usually the first pre-license course people take. Both courses cover all of the real estate industry essentials, including common terminology and closing procedures.
Real Estate Finance - 30 Hours
As a real estate agent it’s important to know how mortgage financing works.
Law of Agency - 30 Hours
This real estate course discusses the fiduciary duties of agents, disclosure requirements and professional relationships.
Law of Contracts - 30 Hours
Learn about the legal requirements and laws surrounding the use of contracts.
Promulgated Contract Forms - 30 Hours
In this pre-licensing course you’ll become familiar with the forms used in a real estate sale.
These six courses are the foundation of your real estate education. If you plan to get a broker license you’ll need to complete the Real Estate Brokerage course as well. This real estate course covers what goes into operating a real estate brokerage. There are also a number of elective real estate courses that can be taken before getting a Texas real estate license.
How long it actually takes to complete the courses all depends on the program you choose. You can work your schedule around classes at a school of real estate or community college, or you can take our TREC-approved online real estate courses and save yourself hours of travel time. Online real estate courses also allow students to work at their own pace.
Once you’ve met this real estate education requirement you’re ready to start preparing for the licensing examination.
Applying for a Texas Real Estate License
It may seem counterintuitive, but every hopeful salesperson should apply for their Texas real estate license before taking the licensing exam. Filing can take time (i.e. at least a few weeks), especially if you apply by mail rather than applying online.
Fingerprints are another part of the application process. After the application is processed you’ll have to schedule an appointment with a company called MorphoTrust if your prints aren’t on record already with the Texas Department of Public Safety. If a background investigation is conducted getting your real estate license may take longer.
You have 12 months to pass the final exam after the application is filed, which should be ample time to study for your exam.
Studying for the Real Estate Pre-License Exam
Preparation is the key to passing the Texas real estate license exam on your first attempt. Every time you take the licensing exam you must pay a $61 nonrefundable fee. Having to retake the exam will also delay getting a real estate license.
Real estate exam study guides and practice tests like the ones included in the AceableAgent pre-license exam course are an excellent way to prepare. As far as the time it takes, you’ll want to give yourself at least a few weeks to study. If it’s been several months since you took your real estate courses you may want to give yourself more time to prep. While you wait on the application to process it’s the perfect time to start studying for the licensing exam.
Taking the Real Estate Exam
A final exam must be taken before you can get a Texas real estate license. Technically, the real estate licensing examination takes a maximum of two and a half hours. But you have to plan ahead and schedule the real estate exam first.
Schedule your exam so that you have enough time to study, but there’s still an opportunity to take the exam again if needed. Pearson VUE, the Texas real estate exam administrator, notes that it typically takes 5-7 days of processing before the exam can be scheduled again.
Finding a Broker
In order to get an active real estate license you need to have a broker act as your sponsor. You can have a license without the backing of a real estate broker, but your license would be inactive.
Finding the right real estate broker can take time. It’s something you’ll want to start thinking about before you even begin taking the mandatory real estate courses. Square away enough time to interview several brokers over the course of a few weeks to make sure your goals align.
Once you’ve selected a broker, you’ll need to submit a broker sponsorship form. There’s no fee to submit the broker sponsorship form. As soon as TREC verifies the broker sponsorship and other requirements have been met your official real estate license will be emailed and you can start your career as a real estate professional.
All said and done, in 3-4 months many of you can go from being one of the students taking real estate courses to a licensed Texas real estate agent that’s helping people buy and sell homes.
Image sources in order of appearance: Jackie Kelly via Unsplash