HOW TO GET A REAL ESTATE LICENSE IN TEXAS
Step by Step Guide How To Become a Texas Real Estate Agent in 2023
By: Ciprian MorariuUpdated: 6 January 2023
In a nutshell here is how to get your real estate license in Texas.
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- A high school diploma or GED is NOT required to apply for a real estate license.
- You must be a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien.
You must complete six, 30-hour courses (180-hours in total). These courses must be approved by the Texas Real Estate Commission.
Submit your Sales Agent License application online with the Texas Real Estate Commission.
Once your application is approved, you will be eligible to sit for the State exam.
Next, you will have to get fingerprinted and file them with the Texas Department of Public Safety. Your fingerprints will then be used by TREC to perform a background check.
Now you are ready to take the Texas real estate license exam (also called the TX state exam).
The State exam is divided into two parts: a national portion and a state portion.
Once you pass the State exam, the last step is to apply for your active real estate license (more on this later), with the help of your sponsoring broker.
Now let’s cover each of these steps in detail.
How To Get A Real Estate License in Texas: Introduction
Today we’re going to show you exactly how to get a real estate license in Texas in 2022.
In this comprehensive guide we’ll cover:
- How much you can expect to earn as a TX real estate agent
- What steps you need to follow to get your Texas real estate license
- What are the licensing costs
- How fast you can get your TX license
- Lots more
So, if you want to save money and time while looking to obtain a new career in Texas as a real estate salesperson then, you’ll love this updated guide.
Let’s get started.
How To Get A Real Estate License in Texas: The Basics
In this chapter, we’ll cover the fundamentals of real estate licensing in Texas.
First, you’ll learn why a realtor license in Texas is required and why it’s important to have one.
We’ll also show you how using your license can set you up for a successful career in the Texas real estate market.
Is a real estate license required in Texas?
Short answer is YES. A Texas real estate license is required if you wish to buy and sell properties while representing someone else and earn a commission in the process. You must also be 18 years old, have completed specified real estate training, passed a test, and complete a criminal background check.
In Texas, a real estate agent (also known as a salesperson) works for a sponsoring broker. We’ll touch more on this later.
How Much Can You Expect To Make As A Real Estate Agent in Texas?
Texas real estate agents earn an average salary of $104,000 including commissions.
To get updated information for a Texas real estate agent salary you can look at Indeed.com.
Under the Career section in the What box you can type in “real estate agent” and under the location box Where type in “Texas”.
If you scroll down on the Texas real estate agent salary page you will notice a breakdown of highest paying cities for real estate agents in Texas: Dallas, Austin, Houston, Plano, Fort Worth, Southlake, Arlington, Amarillo, and Beaumont
Now that you know how much you can earn, let's focus on how to become a realtor in Texas.
How To Get A Real Estate License in Texas: Becoming Licensed
Now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of TX real estate license requirements.
Specifically, it’s time to look at the exact steps you must follow.
In this chapter we’ll show you the specific steps that you can use and we’ll show you LOTS of examples.
Let’s dive right in.
Complete the TX 180-hours Real Estate Courses
First, you must complete six, 30-hour courses (180-hours in total). These courses must be approved by the Texas RealEstate Commission (TREC).
The 6 courses (each course is 30 hours long) are as follows:
1) Principles of Real Estate 1
2) Principles of Real Estate 2
3) Law of Contracts
4) Promulgated Contract Forms
5) Law of Agency
6) Real Estate Finance
If you are looking to SAVE money and time you should take the Texas real estate license courses online.
Compared to a classroom setting, this will SAVE you anywhere from 40-74% from the course price of getting a realtor license in Texas. Plus you will be able to study at your own pace.
We’ll provide you pricing from several Texas real estate schools in the cost section later on…so keep reading.
TX School Final Exam
At the end of each of the 6 courses there is a proctored final exam.
Please do not confuse the school’s FINAL EXAMS with the TX real estate STATE EXAM.
To complete your Texas education requirements you MUST pass 6 final exams, one for each course. The state allows for 2 attempts at passing each exam. If you fail both attempts you will have to retake the 30 hour course before you can sit for your final exam again.
The fastest way to get your real estate license in Texas is to also take the proctored final exam online. The benefit is that you don’t have to drive to a school or proctoring location. You will be in the confort of your own home.
A popular proctoring solution is ProctorU which is chosen by quite a few educational institutions.
Once you complete your Texas education requirements you can move on to the next step.
Submit your Sales Agent License Application With Texas Real Estate Commission
When you complete your education and obtain your certificates of completion, head over to the TREC website and apply for a real estate license.
Once your application is approved, you will be eligible to sit for the Texas State exam.
Click on the “Become Licensed” tab and select “Real Estate Sales Agent” under the “Real Estate” dropdown menu.
Follow the instructions in the first tab “File Your Application”.
You will have to register for an online account with TREC.
Once you register you will receive a TREC ID. Save if for later. You’ll need it for your fingerprint application and Texas real estate state exam application.
If you want to learn how to become a real estate agent in Texas using a paper application you can head over to the Texas realestate commission paper application. They provide you with a downloadable form that you can then fill out.
If you are looking to get a real estate license in Texas for the first time you are actually applying for an initial inactive sales agent license. In order to receive an active sale agent license you need to have a sponsoring broker (we’ll discuss this a bit later).
Get Background Check and Fingerprinted
Anyone applying for a TREC license must submit their fingerprints for a criminal background check. The fingerprinting procedure is simple and may be completed in a few stages.
First you will have to go to the IdentoGo Texas section and select the “Digital Fingerprint” option.
You will need your TREC ID which you obtained when you signed up for a TX sales agent license account. You can follow the TREC’s Fingerprint Requirements.
Your fingerprints and background data will be submitted to the FBI via the Teas Department of Public Safety (DPS). The information will be stored for future use. For example in the future when you will renew your license you will not have to go through this process again.
Take the TX State Exam
The Texas real estate State Exam is proctored through PearsonVUE, a testing service company.
Make sure you have your TREC ID handy as you will need it to sign up on the PearsonVUE website.
Click the “Create account” button and follow the instructions.
You will be asked to fill in your TXREL ID which is the TREC ID you were issued when you signed up for your TREC sales agent licensing account.
The Texas real estate STATE exam is divided into two parts:
- National portion which consists of 85 multiple-choice questions and
- State portion which consists of 40 multiple-choice questions.
You must answer at least 56 questions correctly on the national portion and 21 questions correctly on the state portion in order to pass the overall exam.
If you fail the state exam 3 times in a row you will have to retake one of the 30 hour courses before you can take the TX State exam again.
How To Prepare for TX State Exam?
If you are looking for additional resources to prepare for your Texas real estate state exam and you are on a budget then you can take a look at the Quizlet Texas flashcard estate exam portion. This is a FREE option.
PearsonVue offers a real estate license Texas Practice test which is inexpensive.
If you want to economize time and look for an affordable exam prep solution check out the TX state exam prep course.
This is a well thought out state exam prep guide. There are also plenty of sample practice tests that mimic the Testate exam. And you will find filtered out information you need to know for your Texas state exam.
You have 1 year to pass the state exam after your application has been submitted.
Get A Sponsoring Broker in Texas
Real estate agents in Texas are required to work under a brokerage company.
When you hear the term sponsoring broker it means a TX brokerage company you will be working under.
In Texas a sponsoring broker will hold the agent’s license for the duration of their employment.
Although from a tax perspective you are considered self-employed in Texas, you will be employed by a brokerage.
Chances are that you will know early on which brokerage you want to work for. However, if you don’t have a broker and don’t know where to start then do a Google search.
Use the search terms: “Texas real estate brokers next to me” and you will be shown plenty of results.
As a new Texas real estate agent it is best to look for a sponsoring broker that has a strong education program for new agents.
Focus less on getting the high commissions at first and focus more on getting properly educated.
Another easy and practical way to choose a broker in Texas you can check out Indeed.
We searched for “real estate agent in Texas” and here is a list of brokers and how much a real estate agents can potentially earn.
If you already know which brokerage you will want to work for, good for you.
Once you have a sponsoring broker your application is complete.
Both you and your Sponsoring Broker will get an email with your Active Sales Agent License. You can also use TREC's License Holder Search function to seek up your public license number.
How To Get A Real Estate License in Texas: The Costs
This chapter is all about understanding the Texas real estate license cost.
Can cost vary based on the TX licesning courses you choose?
But we’ll try to show you the variable and fixed cost to make things easier.
With that, here are the costs and our recommendations.
Online TX Real Estate Licensing Course
We have already established that if you want to save money and time you should consider taking your Texas real estate classes online. You will be able to study at your own pace and acording to you schedule.
You might be wondering which is the school that provides the best real estate license Texas online?...valid question.
There are plenty of schools out there that provide online courses. They all follow the same Texas state curriculum so the courses are somewhat similar.
Our research shows that prices for the full 180 hour TX Real Estate licensing online package varies from $249 up to $980.
This is a variable cost so depending on which school you choose you can have a higer or lower cost.
We’ll provide you some examples starting with the most affordable option.
Please do your own research as the prices migh be different after the publication of this page.
RealEstateU® offers the full 180-hour TX Real Estate Lincese Licensing Course Online + Online Proctoring for $249. From our research we believe this is the most affordable real estate licensing course in Texas.
Vaned offers a “Texas 180-Hour Convenience Package” which includes proctoring for $413
Aceable offers the Texas 180-Hour Real Estate Course and proctoring for $419.
Real Estate Express offers the Texas 180-Hour Real Estate Licensing Package and proctoring for $439.20.
360 Training provides both the Texas Real Estate License Pakage and proctoring for $440.
The CE Shop offers the full Texas 180-Hour Real Estate Courses and proctoring for $503.20.
Champion School provides the full Texas 180-Hour Package and proctoring for $980.
Each Texas school determines their own pricing based on their own unique situation like: ongoing costs, licensing fees, content creation, profit margin, support, etc.
Texas Physical Real Estate Licensing Classes
If you do opt for a classroom setting when here are a few options under $1,000 that we saw. You will quickly notice these are more expensive options compared to TX online courses.
One option we found for Texas classroom setting education is Rett School and they offer the full 180 hour Texas real estate education package for $869.
Champion School of Real Estate offers a blended classroom option and the cheapest options we could find for the Texas Real Estate licensing course is $980.
In addition all Texas real estate physical schools require that you register for classes according to their schedule. That might be inconvenient but that depends on you.
As you notice by now the most affordable option is to take the Texas real estate license online. You will also study according to YOUR SCHEDULE.
Now let’s move on to the fixed costs which are generally related to license application and TREC expenses.
Texas Real Estate Commission Fees
Here is where you can find all the TREC fees associated with getting your real estate license.
Let’s look at the fees that matter to you as a first time real estate licensing agent in Texas:
State Exam Fee
Texas Real Estate License Application Fee
Finger-Printing - Paid to IDEAMIA for first time applicants
Real Estate Recovery Fee
Now that we know both the variable TX real estate education requirements cost and the TREC fixed costs you can determine the total cost.
If you were to choose RealEstateU’s TX real estate licensing package (which is the most affordable option) then the total cost will be $249 + $276.25 = $525.25
How To Get A Real Estate License in Texas: Time Needed
How do you know how much time it takes to study for your TX license?
It’s a good question to ask.
Because if you study too little it might take you forever to become a real estate agent in Texas.
Also how long is the TREC application process and when will you get your state exam results?
With that, here’s how to figure out how long it takes to get your TX real estate license.
Education Requirements Completion Time
3 - 4 Months (depends on you)
To satisfy your education requirements and obtain your TX real estate license you need to complete the 180 hours.
There are six courses and each is 30 hours long. That means it will take you a minimum of 30 hours to complete each course.
If you study 3 hours each day it might take you about 60 days to complete your Texas courses. As you can see the more you study the fastest you can complete you required education. Is as simple as that.
Pre-License education 180-hour course should take no less than 18 days to finish. Each 30-hour course should take at least 3 days to complete.
Our experience shows us that most students spend about 3-4 months to complete all six courses.
Application, TX State Exam and Fingerprints Processing
1 - 4 WEEKS (depends on TREC)
Afte you complete your 180 hour courses you will:
- apply for your license,
- get fingerprinted and
- take your Texas real estate state exam.
Each of these have their own processing times as you will see below.
When you submit your Texas real estate license application TREC let’s you know what the applications processing time is based on the date when they were submitted.
In the screenshot below you can see TREC processing application received on 6 May 2022.
You will be ablet to track the your application status using the TREC Status Tracker.
You will see exactly what is being processed from documents (certificates of completion) to TX state exam results.
Overall the whole process of getting your Texas real estate required education, license appliaction, fingerprinting and state exam will take you no less than 28 days.
Most students will take approximately 3-4 months to get their active Texas real estate license.
Texas Real Estate License Reciprocity
In some states real estate agents use licensing reciprocity to obtain a new real estate license in that state. Texas is not one of them.
Texas does NOT have license reciprocity with any state. You can see this on the TREC website as well.
So if you are licensed in another state please have in mind that you will have to satisfy the Texas real estate license education requirements and apply for a real estate salesperson license as everyone else.