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If you have been working as a real estate salesperson in Texas for some time, and wish to bring your business to the next level, then upgrading your license to become a real estate broker could be a sensible choice.
Rather than making income solely based on your sales production, being a broker allows you to build a team of real estate agents. You’ll be recruiting, providing training and support to your underlying agents. In return, you would get a share of their commission.
To become a real estate broker in Texas, you must:
- Be at least 18 years and have a valid SSN;
- Have at least 4 years of active real estate sales experience;
- Hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university;
- Complete 270 hours of pre-licensing courses from an approved education provider;
- Pass the Texas Real Estate Broker Exam;
- Submit an application and a $353.25 fee to the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC)
TREC is the regulatory body that protect consumers in matters relating to real property transactions. They are responsible for issuing the licenses and regulates the real estate industry.
In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to become a real estate broker in Texas, income updates, and FAQs on this profession.
(By the way, if you are just starting the real estate career, but haven’t obtained the sales associate license yet, you should read over this career starter guide first.)
But before we start, I want to give a brief disclaimer. This post is not intended as legal advice or state/federal real estate training. It is for general information only. Please always follow your State laws and best practices.
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7 Steps to Become a Real Estate Broker in Texas
Once you have established a solid client base and develop the necessary skills, then you could consider expanding your business to become a real estate broker.
This allows you to build a team of real estate agents, where your brokerage could be providing training, marketing, administrative support, office space, and a subscription to industry software. In return, you would get a share of the commission from the transactions that your real estate sales associates handle.
Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement
You need to be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security Number, be a US citizen/lawfully admitted alien, and resident of Texas.
While most other states only require their applicants to have a high school diploma, to become a real estate broker in Texas, you need to have a Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university.
Step 2: Fulfill the real estate work experience requirement
You need at least 4 years of active experience as a sales agent or broker in the preceding 60-months before the filing of the application, of which the last two years experience must be obtained in Texas.
The Texas Real Estate Commission has an Experience Qualifying system. They would assign different points according the type of real estate transaction that you worked on. You are required to obtained a total of at least 3600 points.
Here’s the Qualifying Experience Report you should fill out. In there, it will show you the points system for each real estate transaction.
Step 3: Complete the pre-licensing education
You are required to complete the 270 hours of pre-licensing classes from an approved provider.
Here’s the list of classes you are mandatory to complete.
- 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)
- Real Estate Brokerage (30 hours)
- 60 hours of qualifying courses or approved CE courses
In addition, you must complete another 630 classroom hours in related qualifying courses. They must be accepted by the Commission or approved as Continuing Education (CE) course.
The list of related qualifying courses include:
- Real Estate Appraisal
- Real Estate Law
- Real Estate Marketing
- Real Estate Math
- Property Management
- Real Estate Investments
- Residential Inspections for Real Estate Agents
Keep in mind that the completed courses are only valid for two years before the application date.
Step 4: Go through background check
The TREC needs to protect the public interest, so they will conduct a background check on all real estate license applicants.
To do so, you must submit fingerprints through the approved vendor, MorphoTrust. Then they would send the fingerprints to the FBI via the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Note that fingerprints on file for other agencies are not acceptable.
Furthermore, you need to fill out a Fitness Determination Form. In there, it will ask you background questions such as:
- Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offense? Include all felonies, all misdemeanors other than minor traffic tickets, and all military tribunal convictions.
- Have you ever been placed on parole, probation, or community supervision (also known as deferred adjudication) regardless of whether the case was dismissed or you were discharged?
- Are there any criminal charges pending against you?
If you answer “Yes” to any of the above, you need to provide more details about the incident through the Background History Form.
There is a $50 processing fee.
Step 5: Submit a broker application to the Texas Real Estate Commission
Similar to the registration process of being a real estate agent, you’ll need to apply to the Texas Real Estate Commission. Just that this time you’ll complete the Application for Broker License Form, or you could do so through their Online Licensing Services.
Applying online is quicker and more convenient. You can also save the paper filing fee.
In addition to the application, you also need to provide other documents, such as the course completion proof, experience report, and $333.25 of fees.
Step 6: Pass the Texas Real Estate Broker Examination
The Texas Real Estate Exam is a 4-hours electronic test. It is administered by Pearson-Vue and the exam fee is $54.
It consists of 130 multiple choice questions, of which
- 80 questions are on the National portion (required passing score 60)
- 50 questions are on the State portion (required passing score 38)
Below are the exam content outline and the weighing of each.
Real Estate Broker Exam Content (National)
|Exam Content||Number of Scored Items|
|REAL PROPERTY CHARACTERISTICS, LEGAL|
DESCRIPTIONS, AND PROPERTY USE
|FORMS OF OWNERSHIP, TRANSFER, AND RECORDING|
|PROPERTY VALUE AND APPRAISAL||7|
|REAL ESTATE CONTRACTS AND AGENCY||16|
|REAL ESTATE PRACTICE||18|
|PROPERTY DISCLOSURES AND ENVIRONMENTAL|
|FINANCING AND SETTLEMENT||9|
|REAL ESTATE MATH CALCULATIONS||10|
|Total Number of Scored Items||80|
Real Estate Broker Exam Content (State)
|Exam Content||Number of Scored Items|
|Commission Duties and Powers||3|
|Standard of Conduct||9|
|Total Number of Scored Items||50|
Texas Real Estate Broker Exam Passing Rate (1/1/2019 to 12/31/2020)
|Broker Exam Count||Broker Exams Passed||Broker Pass Rate|
Source: Texas Real Estate Commission
Step 7: Maintain the Texas Real Estate Broker License
All real estate license holders must renew their license once every 24 months. You would mail out the renewal form or do so through the Online Licensing Services. The renewal fee is $217.
Before each renewal, you need to take at least 18 hours of Continuing Education. The courses must include:
- 8 hours of TREC Legal Update I and II; and
- 10 hours of elective CE
If you are a broker who have sponsored sales agent(s), then you’ll need to complete the 6 hours of Broker Responsibility Course as part of the CE requirements.
A Quick Table Summary of Becoming a Real Estate Broker in Texas
|Work Experience Requirement||Education||Exam||Fees|
|Have at least 4 years of active real estate sales experience||Hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher|
270 hours of pre-licensing course
18 credit hours of continuing education every two year
130 multiple-choice questions
Required passing score is 70%
|Pre-licensing courses $730|
Exam fee $54
Background check $50
TREC fees $333.25
How much does it cost to get a real estate broker license in Texas?
It costs approximately $1,167.25 to get a real estate broker license in Texas. Here’s the breakdown:
- Broker Courses – $730 (Approx.)
- Exam fee – $54
- Background check – $50
- TREC fees – $333.25
However, if you were setting up a real estate brokerage, the cost of getting a broker license is only part of the expenses. There is also other office expenses such as salary of administrative staff, office lease, furniture, equipment, software subscriptions.
How long does it take to become a real estate broker in Texas?
It takes at least four years to get a real estate broker license in Texas. Since the TREC requires you to have four years of active real estate sales experience. But it also depends on the time it takes you to complete the pre-licensing courses, exam, background check, application.
You may speed up in getting the Texas real estate license by taking online courses. This way, you’ll have the flexibility to finish the pre-licensing education at a quicker pace.
Can you become a real estate broker with a felony in Texas?
An applicant with a felony may not obtain a real estate broker license if the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) determines that the offense is too severe. They would typically be more alarmed on incidents that impact the applicant’s honesty, trustworthiness, character, and integrity.
What is the nature of the crime? Does it have anything to do with the honesty, truthfulness, and reputation of the applicant? Is the applicant currently under probation or parole? All these are factors that may affect a real estate license application.
The TREC will evaluate each case independently. They may also require you to provide further documents and explanation about the incident.
But don’t get discouraged as everyone has a past. The most important is that you can demonstrate that you will serve the public in a fair, honest, and open manner.
Here’s an article that covers how to apply for a real estate license with a felony record. In there, you’ll find practical ideas which could help your application.
How Much do Real Estate Brokers Make in Texas?
Real estate brokers in Texas earn an average yearly income of $91,150. It typically ranges between $34,180 and $108,410. (*)
Your earning depends on many factors. For example, the amount of time per week you are dedicated to run the business and the number of agents in your sales team. Having the skills and vision to delegate tasks to others rather than DIY is another major determining factor.
(*) Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2019)
Do real estate brokers make more than agents in Texas?
Yes, real estate brokers do make more than agents in Texas. Real estate broker earns an average of $91,150 in Texas, but only $72,830 as a sales associate.
Here’s another post you could be interested. “Do Brokers Make More than Real Estate Agents? (Facts Revealed)“
In there, you’ll find the income difference between agents and brokers in different states, the type of brokers that are making the most money. You will also learn the reasons why being a broker could earn more income and other aspects which influence the profitability of these professions.
Is there a demand for real estate brokers in Texas?
Texas has a population of nearly 29 million. Currently, there are only 1,820 real estate brokers in Texas, but 16,380 real estate agents. This works to an average of 9 agents per office.
So whenever there are sales associates who need support and training to grow their business, there is always a demand for real estate brokers in Texas.
Whom should I contact if I have more questions about the Texas real estate license?
You could contact the Texas Real Estate Commission:
- Address: Texas Real Estate Commission, PO Box 12188, Austin, TX 78711-2188
- Phone: (512) 936-3000
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are reading up to this point, I bet you must be interested in becoming a real estate broker. Go through practice questions indeed can help you better prepare for the exam. PrepAgent is the exam prep that I highly recommend. You may click here to check out their package options. (**)
(**) Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. Our company, JCHQ Publishing will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking on the link. Please understand that we include them based on our experience or the research on these companies or products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through the links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information only, and not intend to provide any advice. They are subjected to change any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. For full and exact details, please contact the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC)
- Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) (source)
- Texas Real Estate State Content Outlines (source)
- Bureau of Labor Statistics