Becoming a real estate agent in Texas can put you on a career path where you control your time and income, but you have to earn a real estate license.
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 go through the process to earn your Texas real estate license. Let’s go over the steps to obtain your real estate license in Texas.
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How to get a real estate license in Texas:
Getting your Texas real estate license isn’t as intensive or expensive as earning a bachelor’s degree, but there is a process that has to be followed and requirements that have to be met. Follow these 11 essential steps to find out how to get your real estate license in Texas!
Are you an upstanding Texas resident who is 18 or older? Good news! If you’re a US citizen/permanent resident alien and meet the Texas Real Estate Commission (also known as TREC)’s standards for honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity, you’re in. Even if you have a criminal record, you may still be able to qualify.
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:
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.
Aceable offers TREC-approved pre-license courses that can be taken anytime and anywhere on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. It’s the fastest way to get a real estate license in Texas. With Aceable, 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.
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 along with the one-time initial application fee of $185.
E-mail TREC your certificates to prove you’ve completed the necessary coursework. It is important to do this as soon as possible, as you cannot schedule your licensing exam until TREC has processed your completion certificates and sent you your exam eligibility letter.
TREC will send your state exam eligibility letter within 21 business days of receiving your certificates. While you are waiting for your letter to arrive, you can proceed to the next step!
During the 15-21 business days it typically takes for TREC to process your real estate license application, you can simultaneously start step six. Exam prep is different for everyone, but practice tests like those included with the Aceable Texas Pre-Licensing Course are scientifically proven to be one of the best types of exam prep you can do. Along with your eligibility letter, you should also receive an exam candidate handbook from TREC and PearsonVUE to help you prepare.
The Texas Pre-Licensing Exam is made up of two sections: a national section that is 85 questions long with a time limit of 150 minutes, and a state section that is composed of 40 questions with a 90 minute time limit. You will take both sections at the same appointment.
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 – this means redoing one 30 hour course for each section that is failed three times.
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.
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 PearsonVUE, which also handles the scheduling. Exams can be scheduled online by:
Unlike your real estate courses, you do have to show up in person for the exam. If you’re wondering where to take your real estate exam, there are testing locations across the state in most municipalities, so finding one nearby shouldn’t be difficult. 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.
After months of taking real estate courses, completing the license application, and studying, it 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 four 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.
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.
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!
Watch Joe Juter from our partners at PrepAgent walk you through the Texas real estate pre-licensing process.