How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Texas

Texas Real Estate License Basic Requirements

To become a real estate agent in Texas, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • You must be 18 years or older.
  • You should be a U.S. citizen or a legal alien.
  • You should be a resident of Texas.

Texas Real Estate License Costs

  • Real Estate Agent Education in Texas: $400 to $700 (approx.)
  • Exam Fee: $54
  • Original Application Fee: $205
  • Background Check Fee: $38.25
  • Real Estate Recovery Fee: $10
  • Paper Processing Fee: $20

Helpful Tips


STEP 1: Pre-licensing

To get a real estate license in Texas, you need to complete 180 hours of real estate qualification courses, which include:

  • 30 Hours: Principles of Real Estate I
  • 30 Hours: Principles of Real Estate II
  • 30 Hours: Law of Contracts
  • 30 Hours: Law of Agency
  • 30 Hours: Real Estate Finance
  • 30 Hours: Promulgated Contract Forms


STEP 2: Submit a Completed Application

Where to Apply

To get a real estate license, you need to pass the Real Estate Salesperson Exam. You need to send your application to TREC to register for the exam. Once the exam application is approved, you’ll receive instructions to schedule the exam and the Candidate Handbook. The license exams are administered by PearsonVUE. You can get all the information regarding the real estate exam from the PearsonVUE Texas Candidate Handbook.

Exam Fees

You need to pay an exam fee of $54 at the time of reservation. You can pay the fees by credit or debit card, electronic check or voucher. The exam fees cannot be paid at the test venue and the fees are non-transferable and non-refundable.


STEP 3: Pass the State License Test

The real estate exam consists of 2 portions – national and state. The national portion comprises 85 questions that you must complete in 150 minutes and the state portion has 40 questions that must be completed in 90 minutes. To pass the exam, you must get at least 56 questions right in the national portion and 28 right in the state portion of the exam, at least 70% in each case.

Topics Covered in the Test

The topics and their breakup in the National portion of the exam include:

  • Real Property Characteristics, Legal Descriptions and Property Use: 8
  • Forms of Ownership, Transfer and Recording of Title: 8
  • Property Value and Appraisal: 11
  • Real Estate Contracts and Agency: 16
  • Real Estate Practice: 14
  • Property Disclosures and Environmental Issues: 8
  • Financing and Settlement: 7
  • Real Estate Math Calculations: 7

The topics and their breakup in the State portion of the exam include:

  • Commission Duties and Powers: 2
  • Licensing: 2
  • Standards of Conduct: 7
  • Agency or Brokerage: 8
  • Contracts: 7
  • Special Topics: 4

What to Bring to the Exam Venue?

On the exam day, you will require to carry with you 2 forms of ID with your signature and legal name.

  • The 1st ID must be a government-issued ID like a driver’s license, passport or military ID card.
  • The 2nd ID can be your debit or credit card having your signature, Social Security card or any other ID issued by the state.

If you fail any one portion of the exam, then you need to retake only that portion, as long as you do it within one year from the date that the application was filed with TREC. You can make reservations for the re-examination for 24 hours before scheduling along with a fee of $54.

You have 3 attempts to pass both the portions of the exam before the expiration date of the application. If you fail 3 times, then you cannot retest or submit a new application until you qualify additional real estate education:

  • 30 hours of education if you fail either the national or state portion of the exam.
  • 60 hours of education if you fail both parts of the exam.

Once you complete the additional education, the documents pertaining to the course completion must be submitted along with a copy of the 3rd failed report to the TREC and allow around 5-7 days for this to be processed and authorization submitted to PearsonVUE to allow you to reschedule the exam.

Once you pass the exam, you’ll get an inactive license from the state. You do not have to fill any other forms for this.


STEP 4: Apply and Obtain Your Texas License

After you have passed the final exams, you must complete the license application using the TREC online services. When you submit your application for your real estate license, you must also pay all the required fees. TREC accepts the payment via check – personal or cashiers or money order. Cash is not accepted and the fees are non-refundable.

The fees to be paid are:

  • Application Fee: $205 (to be paid by all applicants)
  • Background Check Fee: $38.25 (if not previously fingerprinted for TREC)
  • Real Estate Recovery Fee: $10 (due on initial applications)

Background Check/Fingerprinting

In Texas, if you have a criminal history, this makes you ineligible for an occupational license and if you are concerned that your criminal history may affect the ability to get a real estate license, then you can request for a criminal history evaluation before enrolling for the course or applying for the real estate license.

The Texas (DPS) Department of Public Safety should have your fingerprints on their file in order to conduct a background check. If you already have not been fingerprinted, then you must register for fingerprinting via MorphoTrust or PSI. Your fingerprints will be registered with the FBI through the Texas DPS. You will be charged a fee of $29.75 for fingerprinting.

Reciprocity

Texas does not have any reciprocity agreements with any other U.S. state, which means that if you’re a real estate broker in another state and are moving to Texas, you must meet all the qualifications needed to become a real estate broker in Texas and also pass the state broker exam of Texas.


STEP 5: Finding a Brokerage

When you’re starting your career in real estate, finding a real estate brokerage to work with is an important aspect, which will set your career path and determine if you will be a success or failure as a real estate agent. Here are some factors to consider during your search:

  • What is the reputation of the brokerage both nationally and locally?
  • What kind of real estate agents is the brokerage looking for?
  • How technologically advanced is the brokerage and its systems?
  • How does the brokerage support their agents in terms of education, as well as training?
  • What commission split does the brokerage offer?
  • What are the benefits offered?
  • Do they provide leads, marketing and advertising support?
  • How conducive is the brokerage for your growth as an agent?

How to Find a Real Estate Brokerage in Texas?

Online Search

Do a Google search for the real estate brokerages in your area. It is a good idea to shortlist a few real estate brokerage firms that you want to work with and check out websites like Yelp and Glassdoor for employee and customer reviews and what they have to say about the brokerage company before making your final decision.

Real Estate Ads

Check the classifieds and real estate ads in the local newspapers and see which real estate brokerages are advertising. Check out the radio, TV and billboard advertising of brokerage firms in your area.

Networking

Speak with the locals in Texas, family members and friends and find out information about the real estate brokers in the area. This can be especially insightful if they have bought/sold any property via real estate brokers recently. Find out which brokers have businesses that are doing well and growing. Which brokerages have the best reputation? Check the websites, LinkedIn and Facebook pages of the various real estate brokerages in Texas. Attend events, webinars or meetings conducted by the various brokerages or local real estate association.


STEP 6: Post-learning Requirements

Once you’re licensed, then you must complete 98 hours of SAE (Sales Agent Apprentice Education) before the end of your 1st license term. These hours include:

TREC’s Legal Update I: 4 hours

TREC’s Legal Update II: 4 hours

Elective Qualifying Courses: 90 hours

As a real estate salesperson, you require 18 hours of continuing education of which includes:

Mandatory Courses: 8 hours

Elective Courses: 10 hours

The CE Shop offers post-licensing education courses on their website. The website offers packages for $349 to $389 and individual courses ranging between $39 to $135. The CE Shop offers continuing education packages for $55 to $139 and individual courses ranging between $29 to $59.

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RE Agents Team