How to obtain real estate license in Texas

A real estate agent is a professional salesperson who handles the sale and purchase of properties on the client’s behalf. Texas law requires a license for broker activity, issued by the Texas Real Estate Commission. To become an agent for real estate, complete each step:

  • apply;
  • do the required courses;
  • pass the state licensing exam.

Once every essential step is completed and in order, your career development in the real estate industry can begin!

The process of how to get a real estate licence in Texas is both lengthy and costs a lot. Expect to spend around $1000 on getting your real estate agent license. The step requiring the most time and money is licensing education.

6 Steps to Get a Real Estate License in Texas

Real estate licensing is a clear process, open to all candidates who meet the basic requirements.

1. Review Texas Real Estate License Requirements

Any person meeting these conditions is eligible for becoming a professional real estate salesperson in Texas:

US citizen or an individual with the status of a lawfully admitted alien.
Age of 18 or older.
Educational requirement: secondary education is a must; no need for a college degree.
Meet the TREC qualifications for honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity (based on a background history check).
Note:
– While it’s not in the requirements, they recommend Fitness Determination (FD) before licensing for everyone with past criminal offenses and other law over-steps. It’s important to work out early whether you’re qualifying or not to be a real estate agent; it should save you a lot of time.
 

2. Complete 180 Hours of Required Pre-Licensing Courses

Time Cost
From three weeks From $149

The initial step has the same requirements for any future housing salesperson: completing the full real estate licensing courses. There are six license courses totaling 180 hours, 30 credit hours per each course. They consist of such topics as real estate principles, broker ethics and clients’ privacy, law and finance, and real estate contracts.

Studying in an Accredited School
Order an approved course for pre-licence real estate training in your state.

Start Education Course

Only trust a TREC-approved education center. The policy is: no other school is allowed to become the education provider for real estate sales agents. A self-paced student is usually able to complete the six courses within a period of three to six months or less.

Interest fact:
– Texas has the longest pre-license real estate program in the United States. Colorado (168 hours) and California (135 hours) follow closely. Only 40 hours are required in Michigan, and 90 hours in West Virginia and Arizona.
 

Formats of Real Estate Pre-License Courses

Wondering if you must be present in the classroom? As a paying customer, you can choose the format of education that you prefer.

Type of instruction Advantages Disadvantages
Physical attendance Classes with traditional structure;
Socialization experience;
Course instructors are easy to access;
Pricier courses;
Commuting takes time;
Hardly works for a student with a busy life;
Live streams Study from home;
Best option if your home is in a remote area;
Streams include real-time interactions in video format;
Set course times;
Doesn’t include social experience;
Technology isn’t always reliable;
Online courses Your own pace of studying from home;
Study and watch videos online when your schedule allows;
More affordable;
Limited personal interaction with course instructors;
You only see real estate experts in videos;
Possible device or internet failures;

3. Submit Your License Application to the Texas Real Estate Commission

Time Cost
Up to 14 business days $205 for application processing

As an aspiring real estate agent, submitting your application online may be the best step in terms of convenience.

  • Go to  TREC Online Service and click “Begin Here For Sign-up” to create an account;
  • Pay for the application, then check and fill out the forms;
  • Note that from the day your application is sent, you have one year to obtain your license.

TREC will review your real estate agent application. Once it’s approved, this stage is completed. You’ll be sent an eligibility letter right away. There’ll be your applicant’s guide included, too.

Note:
– Read your free copy of the Candidate Handbook! It’s incredibly helpful to its owner, providing step-by-step information on the state exam (including exam locations, scheduling, exam procedures, prep resources) and the details of relevant organizations.
 

4. Submit Your Fingerprints for a Criminal Background Check

Time Cost
Up to 10 business days $38.25

According to the laws, everyone looking how to become a real estate agent in Texas must have their fingerprints taken. The Department of Public Safety performs it at an authorized site, by FBI standards. A background information check is also in order for a real estate agent career, as you will work with privacy sensitive information after you start out as a broker or realtor.

Remember to schedule an appointment for fingerprinting: call (888)467-2080, or use the TREC’s portal.

Interest fact:
– Electronic biometrics is both more accurate and faster, making the wait time will become shorter.
 

5. Pass the State Licensing Exam

Time Cost
Minimum 2 days (scheduling + exam) $43 as the Exam Fee

The student’s next step is taking a state exam. The testing is performed by Pearson VUE under its contract with TREC. Exam scheduling can be done in two ways:

This company can help you learn information on:

  • finding the closest exam location;
  • how to become acquainted with the state exam rules;
  • how to schedule or cancel the exam;
  • where to search for exam prep resources.

How Difficult is the Texas Real Estate Exam?

The exam lasts 240 minutes. Administered with a proctoring inspector, your exam is the final test of everything you know from the content of your pre-licensing real estate courses. More than 58% of Texas applicants pass their exams first try. Taking a practice exam may be a good way to prepare (ask your education provider).

How Many Questions Are on the Exam?

The exam will give you 125 test questions about real estate. Each question offers four answer options to choose from.

Examination Time allowance Test Questions Passing threshold
National portion 150 min 85 56/85 correct answers to pass
Texas-specific portion 90 min 40 21/40 correct answers to pass

What Score Do You Need to Pass the Texas Real Estate Exam?

The Texas real estate exam is passed by achieving a certain threshold in each section. This means if you want to pass, you must submit:

  • at least 56 correct answers during the national part;
  • 21 correct answers during the Texas-specific part.

What Happens If I Fail the Texas Real Estate License Exam?

If you failed, it’s within your legal rights to re-take your real estate exam two more times. The policy is that more re-takes require additional coursework. You must be charged $43 per take. For more updated information, you might want to contact TREC at education@trec.texas.gov.

6. Find a Brokerage Firm or a Sponsoring Broker

To start a career as a real estate agent, the candidate has to be sponsored by an active broker licensed in Texas. It is key to interview with one broker after another to find the top sponsor and partner.

Login to TREC with your User ID to complete a broker sponsorship request. One of the brokers will accept your request of support, and TREC will issue a shiny new license for you. Time for congratulations! You are all set and ready for success as a licensed real estate agent in Texas!

Note:
– Ensure your real estate broker sponsorship is reserved before your exam, so you immediately receive an active license.
 

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Texas?

The financial information on getting a real estate license is detailed below. The aspiring agent’s choices about the pre-license course package impact the cost the most and make all the difference. Take caution and don’t fall for marketing tricks selling you expensive real estate courses, as they aren’t insurance against exam failure.

Step Cost
Pre-licensing education Cheapest: $149
Average: $700
High: $1500+
State exam fee $43
License application fees $205
Fingerprinting fee $38.25
Total Cheapest: $435.25
Average: $986.25
High: $1966+

Reciprocity Real Estate License, Texas

Unfortunate news for relocating real estate sales agents. Unlike South Carolina, Florida, or Georgia, Texas does not have real license reciprocity. In this regard, Texas follows the example of New York.

Even if you’ve already been working with a license, made a name and career in a different state, you still have to take the coursework before applying to receive a real estate license in Texas.

Texas Real Estate Commission License Renewal

When you receive your real estate agent license, it’s valid for two years. To renew it, contact a TREC-approved center once again to complete additional post-licensing courses:

  • First renewal: 90 hours of Sales Apprentice Education (SAE).
  • Subsequent renewals: 18 hours of Continuing Education (CE).

Sign in to the TREC licensing page with your User ID to file for renewal online. This downloadable form is used to request renewal by mail. Include your certificates from post-licensing courses. Also, a charge of $110 is necessary.

Note:
– Your license expiration is promulgated to you three months before the date. After expiration, you have half a year to easily renew your license or it’ll become inactive. An inactive license will take more effort to activate.
 

Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC)

The Texas Real Estate Commission is a government agency overseeing the TX real estate field. The list of its functions includes:

  • the tasks to determine the requirements for candidates;
  • approval of schools that provide real estate education;
  • reviews and judgments of real estate licensing applications;
  • issuing of real estate licenses.
Website https://www.trec.texas.gov/
Email information@trec.texas.gov
Telephone number 512-936-3000
Mail address Texas Real Estate Commission
P.O. Box 12188
Austin, TX, 78711-2188

Texas Real Estate License FAQ

What is the average salary I can earn as a licensed estate agent?

As estimated by reputed sources in a research of years 2023-2024, a Texas-located real estate agent brings home about $84,000 per annum. In hourly rates, real estate agents earn $40.3 on average.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Texas Real Estate License?

It may take between seven weeks and half a year, depending on how fast you can finish the licensing studies. Also, it cannot be faster than 15 days.

How Do I Get a Commercial Real Estate License in Texas?

A Texas real estate agent license qualifies you for a career in all types of real estate. You don’t need any new or additional licenses if you decide to work for commercial real estate broker companies.

Can You Apply for a Texas Real Estate License Online?

Application forms for a real estate license are available online, using the TREC licensing page. Application tracker tools will update you on the process.

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About the author
Michael Baker is a journalist with over 5 years of experience in the real estate industry. His knowledge of licensing processes, procedures and requirements makes her an expert in the field.