(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our company, JCHQ Publishing will get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, but at no additional cost to you.
To engage in the real estate practice in Texas, all individuals must obtain a salesperson or broker license from the Texas Real Estate Commission. This is the regulatory body that grants licenses to real estate agents and brokers, handles the real estate license renewal and regulate the industry.
To become a real estate agent in Texas, you must be at least 18 years old, complete the 180 hours of pre-licensing courses, pass the Texas real estate sales associates exam, and work with a broker who would sponsor your real estate license. You also need to submit an application and a fee of $225 to the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC).
As a real estate agent in Texas, your role is to work with clients to buy or sell the property according to their needs. You would be responsible for showing the property, bringing potential buyers to house tours, and handling the purchase and sale agreement.
Some agents may also help clients in searching for a rental property or lease out their units.
Since you are reading this guide, then you should have some interest in knowing about being a real estate agent in Texas.
In this guide, you’ll learn about the steps to obtain a real estate salesperson license in Texas, income updates, career outlook and FAQ about this profession.
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.
When choosing a real estate school, I prefer one where you could take the courses online. This way, you could study at your own pace whenever and wherever. RealEstateExpress is a trustworthy real estate education provider. You may click here to see whether they offer pre-licensing course in your state. (**)
6 Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent in Texas
Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement
- Citizen of the United States or lawfully admitted alien
- Resident of Texas
- At least 18 years of age
- Have a valid Social Security Number
Step 2: Complete the Pre-Licensing Education
Texas is one of the states with the most stringent education requirement. You’ll need to take 180 hours from a qualifying education provider.
The pre-licensing courses would consist the following:
- 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)
When choosing the best online real estate school in Texas, you’ll need to consider different factors such as the students’ exam passing rate, number of enrollment, ease to access the course materials, feedback from students, and the price.
Here are the details of the exam passing rate of students from different education providers.
Step 3: Submit Application to the Texas Real Estate Commission
You need to complete the Application for Inactive Sales Agent Information Sheet and provide the following:
- Application fee $225; Background check fee $28.25
- Cheque payable to TREC
- Electronic fingerprints
- MorphoTrust is the vendor that collects and submits fingerprints to the FBI
- However, if you have previously submitted fingerprints for a TREC or TALCB license (i.e. real estate appraiser license), then you don’t have to re-submit another fingerprint
- Supporting legal documents
- Transcripts or course completion certificates of the pre-licensing education
After you have prepared all the necessary documentation, you could mail them to the Texas Real Estate Commission P.O. Box 12188 Austin, Texas 78711-2188.
Alternatively, you could apply through the online services on their website. It would be a lot faster, and you could save $20 of paper filing fee.
If you need any help on the registration, you could contact the TREC at
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 512.936.3000
Step 4: Pass the Texas Real Estate Sales Associate Examination
This examination is to test your knowledge and understanding of real estate law, principle and practices, and mathematics.
You’ll be given 4 hours to complete. This is a computerized exam administered by Pearson-Vue. The exam fee is $54.
At the day of the exam, you are required to show a valid photo ID which was issued within the past 5 years. (i.e.: State issued driver license, DMV identification card, U.S passport)
I’ll also include more helpful details later in the post. So make sure to read on.
Step 5: Join a Texas Real Estate Brokerage
After you pass the exam, your license status would still be inactive. You need to work with a Texas qualified broker to sponsor your license.
The broker can submit the sponsorship request through the online services. Once your license is active, you can begin your career as a Real Estate Sales Agent!
But don’t rush into joining any brokerage. Finding a good mentor is crucial at the initial stage of your real estate career.
I will also provide more details about choosing a real estate brokerage to work for later in this post.
Step 6: Maintain the Real Estate Salesperson License
All real estate licensees must renew their license every 24 months. To do so, you would complete the license renewal form and pay the $110 renewal fee.
On the first renewal, you need to complete 270 hours of qualifying course hours, and the Legal Update I and II courses.
For subsequent renewals, you will 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
To avoid having interruption to your real estate practice and late fees, don’t wait until the last minute to renew your license.
A Quick Table Summary of Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Texas
|Citizen of the United States or lawfully admitted alien|
Resident of Texas
At least 18 years of age
Have a valid Social Security Number
|180 hours of pre-licensing course|
18 credit hours of continuing education every 24 months
110 multiple-choice questions
Required passing score is 70%
|Pre-licensing courses from $330 to $520|
Exam fee $54
Background check $28.25
Application fee $225
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Here’s a Snippet of Vicki Deane Think about the Real Estate Sales Profession
“Being able to hold yourself accountable to daily productive activities, seeking out ongoing training, and understanding this is a business built over time will enable you to be one of the success stories. I believe these traits are necessary for anyone going into business for themselves.
Everyone’s journey and measure of success is different. My motivations may not be the same as another broker’s. There is no “typical” first year trajectory.
Some brokers begin with business ready and waiting and can generate a good income their first year; others need time to build their clientele and confidence. I do see a significant percentage increase in the third year for almost everyone if someone has truly been working consistently.”
– Vicki Deane, Assistant Manager/Broker at Baird & Warner
Here’s an exclusive interview I had with Vicki Deane, where she shared her journey in the real estate sales profession and the mindset needed to succeed in the long haul. Don’t miss out!
Here are more details about the Texas Real Estate Exam
The Texas Real Estate Sales Agent Exam has 110 multiple choice questions. It consists of:
- 80 questions are on the national portion (required passing score 56)
- 30 questions are on the state portion (required passing score 21)
Real Estate Salesperson 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||10|
|REAL ESTATE MATH CALCULATIONS||8|
|Total Number of Scored Items||80|
Real Estate Salesperson Exam Content (State)
|Exam Content||Number of Scored Items|
|COMMISSION DUTIES AND POWERS||2|
|STANDARDS OF CONDUCT||7|
|Total Number of Scored Items||30|
Texas Real Estate Salesperson Exam Passing Rate (1/1/2019 to 12/31/2020)
The pass rate for the Texas real estate exam is 62.75%.
Source: Texas Real Estate Commission
The required passing rate for the Texas real estate exam is 70% and you only have three attempts in writing it. Else, you’ll need to take an additional 30 hours of qualifying real estate education for each failed portion before you could register for re-write.
RealEstateExpress is an online school that I like. They offer pre-licensing courses and also have excellent exam prep materials. Their programs have a “Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee” in most of the states. That’s how confident they are. You may click here to view their courses. (**)
How much does it cost to become a real estate agent in Texas?
It costs approximately $828 to become a real estate agent in Texas. This includes the expenses to obtain a Texas real estate salesperson license. Here is the breakdown:
- Pre-licensing courses with exam prep is approximately $520
- Exam fee- $54
- Background check- $28.25
- Application fee- $225
How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Texas?
It takes about four to six months to become a real estate agent in Texas. But it also depends on the time it takes you to complete the 180 hours pre-licensing course, exam, background check, application, and get sponsorship by an actively licensed Texas real estate broker.
Does Texas have reciprocity for real estate license?
No, Texas does not have reciprocity with any other states.
Can you become a real estate agent with a felony in Texas?
An applicant with a felony may not obtain a real estate salesperson 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 Agents Make in Texas?
Real estate agents in Texas make an average annual income of $72,830, it typically falls between $39,950 and $93,290. Top earning sales agent are making $124,570 per year. (+)
You earning as a real estate agent would depend on the price range of the properties that you work with, the number of transactions you could complete, the commission splitting schedule with the real estate brokerage and other factors.
At the beginning phase in your real estate career, you probably would not make a lot, because you built up the client base and established trust with the prospects.
But as you continue to gain experience and sharpen your knowledge, you should be able to notice a significant improvement to your earning.
Here’s an article that uncover numerous important factors that could significantly affect your earning.
(+) Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2019)
Is there a demand for real estate agents in Texas?
Texas is the second most populous state in U.S. with over 28 million resident. Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin are the cities with the most population.
There are 16,380 real estate agents in Texas, which is the state with the second highest number of real estate agents. It works out there are 1.318 real estate agents per 1000 of workers. (*)
(+) Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2019)
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
Practical ideas to build a real estate career in Texas
Tip#1: Choose the right real estate mentor
When choosing a real estate brokerage, many people only focus on the commission split, but there are many other factors you also need to consider.
For example, what type of training will they provide? Will they equip you with the skills in finding qualify prospects and closing a sale? Is there a shared office space you could use? Can the brokerage provide you with adequate administrative and marketing support? Will they provide you with leads to work on? Do they utilize up-to-date technology (i.e.: CRM, software subscription) to streamline the daily workflow.
All these would be extremely important especially at the beginning phase of your career.
Below are the top real estate brokerage in Texas based on their sales volume in 2018. The figures are obtained from RealTrends.com.
|Keller Williams Realty, GO Management Offices||Arlington||$9,326,489,252|
|Ebby Halliday Real Estate, Inc.||Dallas||$8,039,214,848|
|Keller Williams Memorial||Houston||$3,177,459,878|
|Keller Williams Realty||Austin||$3,140,158,384|
|Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty||Dallas||$3,048,578,194|
|Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene||Houston||$2,518,018,416|
|Keller Williams Realty||The Woodlands||$1,825,446,146|
|JP and Associates REALTORS||Frisco||$1,789,591,767|
|Coldwell Banker Apex/Jim Stewart/Bob King||Richardson||$1,677,767,568|
|Kuper Sotheby's International Realty||San Antonio||$1,676,490,900|
|CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company||Dallas||$1,543,820,647|
|Keller Williams Signature||Katy||$1,467,320,989|
|RE/MAX DFW Associates||Coppell||$1,434,481,945|
|Keller Williams Realty||Austin||$1,416,907,643|
|Greenwood King Properties||Houston||$1,399,879,931|
|Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties||Houston||$1,367,033,965|
|Keller Williams Realty||Lubbock||$1,257,018,289|
|Keller Williams Realty||Denton||$1,180,419,711|
|John Daugherty, Realtors||Houston||$1,108,200,204|
|Heritage Texas Properties||Houston||$1,104,574,736|
|Keller Williams Realty Allen||Allen||$1,085,066,681|
|Keller Williams Realty||Fort Worth||$993,895,311|
|Keller Williams Realty||Plano||$969,193,576|
|Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper, Realtors||San Antonio||$913,711,554|
|RE/MAX The Woodlands & Spring||The Woodlands||$811,760,872|
|RE/MAX Fine Properties||Sugar Land||$756,179,618|
|Phyllis Browning Company||San Antonio||$754,744,384|
|Keller Williams Legacy||San Antonio||$703,656,245|
|Keller Williams Lake Travis||Austin||$574,158,531|
|Keller Williams Realty Central 75||Richardson||$567,848,158|
Tip#2: Select an area with demand for sales agents
When you are selecting the neighborhoods to conduct your real estate business, you should consider areas that have a high population. After all, transactions can only occur when there are people.
Also, consider working on properties that have decent value, as this is one of the major factors when calculating your commission.
Median Home Prices of the Top 10 Highest Population Cities in Texas
|Cities in Texas||Population||Median Home Price|
Overall speaking, the median home value in Texas is $193,500, with a listing price per square foot of $125. The median monthly rent in Texas is $1,500. (+)
Tip#3: Network with real estate professionals
You may consider joining the Texas REALTORS. This allows you to connect with other real estate sales agents and brokers, thus learn from their valuable experience and share ideas with one another.
In addition, you should build a referral network with other real estate professionals. such as mortgage agents, lenders, notary loan signing agents, and appraisers.
Here’s a list real estate professional groups on our resource page. Hope this will be useful to you.
Tip#4: 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. Thus, lead to a scalable business model.
Here’s a post on how to become a real estate broker in Texas.
Tip#5: Just enjoy it!
Becoming a real estate agent could be a rewarding career. Not only in terms of financial sense, but you also get the chance of meeting many people and working on different properties every day.
It is very fulfilling when you can help out your clients in finding their dream home or locate the right buyers for their property.
Honesty, hard work, and always putting your client’s interest first are the key components to your long-term success.
That’s all I have to share for now. I hope you will find this guide helpful.
If you are reading up to this point, I bet you must be interested in getting a real estate license. Your first step is to complete the pre-licensing courses. You should select one that has an excellent reputation and long-term track record of satisfying students. RealEstateExpress is exactly that! You may click here to check it out yourself. (**)
(**) 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
- Real Trends: 2018 Real Trends 500 by Volume (source)
- Zillow.com (source)
- Word Population Review – Population of Cities in Texas (source)