With record-breaking home sales in the Lone Star State, it’s little wonder that you want to learn how to become a real estate agent in Texas. After all, it’s a great career with almost unlimited growth potential. Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive to get started.
Before you begin the process, make sure you meet the Texas Real Estate Sales Agent license requirements:
- You need to be at least 18 years old.
- You need to be a U.S. citizen or have the ability to work legally in the United States
- You need to pass a background check.
Not surprisingly, there’s a bit more to the process. Want to learn how to become a real estate agent in Texas? These are the steps you’ll need to follow:
- Complete & Submit Your License Application
- Get Fingerprinted at a MorphoTrust Location
- Choose a Real Estate School
- Complete Your Prelicensing Classes
- Schedule Your Licensing Exam
- Study for Your Licensing Exam
- Take & Pass Your Texas Real Estate License Exam
- Find a Sponsoring Broker
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Texas?
Obtaining your real estate license in Texas will add up to about $900. Some of the costs are fixed, including the exam, fingerprinting fees, and the license itself. The coursework and exam prep materials, on the other hand, can vary significantly in price.
Make sure you look for discount codes for real estate schools to cut costs on your educational requirements. Readers of The Close can save 25% with Real Estate Express using the promo code TheClose25.
Texas Real Estate License Costs
|Prelicensing Classes (180 Hours)||$507 (Real Estate Express)|
|Exam Prep Materials||$129 (Mbition)|
|Texas Real Estate License Exam Fee||$54|
How to Get a Real Estate License in Texas in 8 Steps
Let’s dive into these steps in a little more detail. Before long, you’ll be helping clients buy and sell condos in Dallas, houses in Austin, and ranches across the state.
1. Complete & Submit Your License Application
To get your new career in real estate started, you’ll need to register for an account with the Texas Real Estate Commission Online Service. From there, you can complete the Application for Inactive Real Estate Sales Agent License and pay the $185 license fee. You can also print out and mail their downloadable form if you prefer.
The application should only take a few minutes to complete. The bulk of the application asks questions about your legal history and previously held professional licenses. You may have to fill out the Texas Real Estate Commission Background History Form if you need to explain some of the answers to your questions on the application.
Once your application has been approved, the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) will send you a letter with your “TREC ID.” You’ll need that number to continue with the process.
2. Get Fingerprinted at a MorphoTrust Location
Any person applying for a real estate license must be fingerprinted and pass a background check. Once you have your TREC ID number, you can schedule an appointment at one of the 20 MorphoTrust locations across the state. You’ll be charged $38.25 for the service.
3. Choose a Real Estate School
Your next step is to choose a real estate school for your prelicensing coursework. The TREC provides applicants with a list of schools that you can sort by location and course delivery method. Or, you can check out our super-helpful guide to real estate schools in Texas.
If you prefer learning from a dynamic instructor rather than pacing your own learning experience, Kaplan offers live, virtual classes with an instructor and classmates you can interact with directly. Kaplan offers both daytime and evening classes in their live, online program, at a cost of $889.
4. Complete Your Prelicensing Classes
The State of Texas requires 180 hours of coursework before sitting for the licensing exam. Courses are comprised of six sections:
- Principles of Real Estate I (30 hours)
- Principles of Real Estate II (30 hours)
- Law of Agency (30 hours)
- Law of Contracts (30 hours)
- Promulgated Contract Forms (30 hours)
- Real Estate Finance (30 hours)
All courses will prepare you for the licensing exam and your career in real estate. After completing the classes, you’ll be ready to help your clients sell their ranch near Amarillo or buy a bungalow in Waco.
5. Schedule Your Licensing Exam
Pearson VUE administers the Texas real estate license exam. Once you’ve completed your prelicensing courses, submit your course completion documents to the Texas Real Estate Commission.
You’ll receive more information from Pearson VUE about how to schedule your Texas real estate exam, but you can begin the process by calling (800) 997-1248 or visiting Pearson VUE’s website. You must schedule the test 24 hours before the exam and walk-ins are not available.
When scheduling your exam, make sure that your name and personal information match precisely with the ID you’ll use to enter the exam. There are 30 Pearson VUE exam locations across the state, and the exam costs $54.
6. Study for Your Licensing Exam
If you’ve completed your coursework and have circled your exam date in red on your calendar, it’s time to start studying. After all, the exam includes detailed questions about all the material you’ve learned in 180 hours of classes. You’ll need to review the material before taking the exam.
Consider purchasing exam prep material through Mbition. For only $129, you’ll have access to study materials that will help you with both the national and state part of the exam. Mbition’s program is unique because it uses adaptive learning technology to develop a personalized study plan to meet your individual needs.
7. Take & Pass Your Texas Real Estate License Exam
Arrive at the Pearson VUE examination site at least 30 minutes before your computer-based exam is scheduled. Remember to bring:
- Two forms of valid ID (one must be a government-issued photo ID with a signature and the other must have your signature)
- A non-programmable, silent calculator (optional)
Leave your purse, wallet, phone, watch, food, and drinks in the car. For other examination center policies, refer to page eight of this Pearson VUE handbook. Your score report will immediately appear on the screen when you complete the exam.
8. Find a Sponsoring Broker
You’ve almost made it! After following the above steps for how to become a real estate agent in Texas, you’ll initially be issued an inactive license. To receive a full license and work as a real estate agent in Texas, you’ll need to find a sponsoring broker to oversee your work.
Once you have found a broker, you’ll be ready to complete a brokerage sponsorship request through TREC’s online service. Only when the broker has accepted your sponsorship request can you begin to work as a licensed Texas Real Estate Sales Agent.
To help guide your decision on which Texas brokerages to consider, we compiled a list of the best real estate companies to work for in 2021.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Texas: FAQs
We know you’re excited to begin your new real estate career! Allow us to answer a few more questions about how to become a realtor in Texas.
How much do real estate agents in Texas make?
According to Indeed, Texas real estate agents make an average of $88,660 per year, based solely on commission.
As you consider a commission-based income, make sure you understand these three essential principles:
A split refers to how the brokerage and the real estate agent will share the commissions. Some brokerages will ask for an even 50/50 split on commissions, while others will offer you a higher percentage if you agree to pay a desk fee.
A desk fee is a monthly fee paid by the real estate agent to the brokerage. It covers administrative costs, including access to copiers and desk space. This fee is collected whether you earn a commission that month or not.
A cap is the maximum amount that the agency will take from the commissions you’ve earned within a year. Everything that you make above that cap is yours to keep.
How long does it take to become a licensed real estate agent in Texas?
It takes between four and five months to earn a real estate license in Texas.
Even a person devoting 40 hours a week to real estate classes will take more than a month to finish the coursework. It may also take several weeks for the board to approve your application. Fortunately, you can use the Application Tracker Tool to see how your application is progressing in the approval process.
What is the fastest way to get a real estate license in Texas?
The fastest way to get a real estate license in Texas is to choose an online real estate school that allows you to work at your own pace. Check out the program offered through Real Estate Express. You’ll receive a top-notch education while going through the material as fast as you are comfortable. The Close readers can save 25% with Real Estate Express using the promo code TheClose25.
Is the Texas real estate license exam difficult?
The Texas real estate license exam includes both a national and state section. All the questions are multiple-choice. You’ll have a total of four hours to complete both sections.
The national portion of the exam requires a 66% pass rate, and the state portion requires you to get 53% of the answers right.
Breakdown of the Texas Real Estate Sales Exam
|Exam||Time Limit||Number of Questions||Requirement to Pass|
|National Section of the Exam||150 minutes||85 multiple-choice questions||At least 56/85 correct answers required to pass|
|Texas Section of the Exam||90 minutes||40 multiple-choice questions||At least 21/40 correct answers required to pass|
If you don’t pass on your first try, you’ll receive a diagnostic report that tells which portions of the exam you’ll need to study further.
You can retake the exam:
- Within one year of filing your initial application with the Texas Real Estate Commission.
- After you’ve paid the $54 exam fee.
- After 24 hours have passed since your last exam.
You’ll need to pass both the national AND state portions of the exam. If you’re unable to pass these after three tries (and before the application expiration date), you must complete additional courses.
If you fail EITHER the state or the national portion of the exam, you must take 30 hours of additional courses. If you fail BOTH the national and state sections of the exam, you must take 60 hours of additional education. You can choose which areas of the coursework you’d like to retake.
Once you complete the additional classes, the course completion document and the failed score reports must be submitted to the TREC. When those documents are processed, Pearson VUE will be notified, and you’ll be able to retake the exam.
Is getting a Texas real estate license worth it?
Changing careers may feel risky, especially if you move from one with a regular salary to one based entirely on commission.
At the same time, the Texas real estate market is booming! A driven person who isn’t afraid of a little hard work could clean up in this market.
Instead of jumping into a real estate career with both feet, you might consider keeping your “day job” for a while. Check out How to Become a Successful Part-time Real Estate Agent, which includes an interactive tool that compares the costs involved when working as a real estate agent to how many average-priced homes you need to sell to break even.
Additional Resources for Launching Your Real Estate Career
Are you looking for more information about becoming a real estate agent? Check out our ultimate guide to getting a real estate license for more details on choosing a brokerage and joining national real estate organizations.
Also, if you want to meet other real estate agents or people transitioning into a real estate career just like you, consider joining The Close Real Estate Agents Mastermind Facebook Group. It’s a community of new and experienced real estate professionals who are available to answer your questions about this exciting industry. We wish you every success in your new career!