How to Obtain YOUR Real Estate License in Texas? [+Career Outlook]


Portrait Of Smiling Young Female Realtor Holding Document With Clients In Background

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To become a real estate agent in Texas, you need to complete the 180 hours of qualifying real estate courses, pass the real estate sales associates exam, and register at the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). 

This 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.

If you are reading this article, you must be interested in knowing about being a real estate agent in Texas.

In this guide, not only you’ll know about the step-by-step process to become a real estate agent or broker, but you will also find important information about the real estate career outlook in Texas. So make sure you’ll read until the end!

Having said that, let’s get started!

How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Texas?

Texas real estate agent licensing requirement

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

Real Estate Courses

Texas is one of the states with the most stringent education requirement. While many other states such as Florida only required 63 hours of pre-licensing courses, you need to complete 180 hours in Texas.

You’ll need to take them from a qualifying education provider. But make sure to search for one that is reputable and has a long track record in successfully helping their students. You could check out the one we like on our resource page.

The pre-licensing courses could 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)

Step 3: Submit Application to the Texas Real Estate Commission

You need to complete the Application for Inactive Sales Agent Information Sheet.

In addition to the application, you also need to provide.

  • Application fee $225; Background check fee $28.25
    • Cheque payable to TREC
  • Electronic fingerprints
    • 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. In fact, we prefer online submission. Not only it would be a lot faster, but you could save $20 of paper filing fee.

If you need any help on the registration, you could contact the TREC at

Step 4: Pass the Texas Real Estate Sales Associate Examination

real estate career

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.

It consists of 110 multiple choice questions, of which

  • 80 questions are on the national portion (required passing score 56)
  • 30 questions are on the state portion (required passing score 21)

Below are the exam content outline and the weighing of each.

Real Estate Salesperson Exam Content (National)

Exam ContentNumber of Scored Items
REAL PROPERTY CHARACTERISTICS, LEGAL
DESCRIPTIONS, AND PROPERTY USE
8
FORMS OF OWNERSHIP, TRANSFER, AND RECORDING
OF TITLE
7
PROPERTY VALUE AND APPRAISAL7
REAL ESTATE CONTRACTS AND AGENCY16
REAL ESTATE PRACTICE18
PROPERTY DISCLOSURES AND ENVIRONMENTAL
ISSUES
6
FINANCING AND SETTLEMENT 10
REAL ESTATE MATH CALCULATIONS 8
Total Number of Scored Items80

Real Estate Salesperson Exam Content (State)

Exam ContentNumber of Scored Items
COMMISSION DUTIES AND POWERS 2
LICENSING2
STANDARDS OF CONDUCT7
AGENCY/BROKERAGE8
CONTRACTS 7
SPECIAL TOPICS4
Total Number of Scored Items30

Texas Real Estate Salesperson Exam Passing Rate (1/1/2017 to 12/31/2018)

Sales Agent
Exam Count
Sales Agent
Exams Passed
Sales Agent
Pass Rate
30,36018,09359.59%

Source: Texas Real Estate Commission

You only have three attempts in writing the exam. 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.

Exam Passing Tip: Everyone wants to pass the exam on the first attempt. We recommend doing more exam prep questions. It helps you to familiarize with the questions and exam format. You could find the exam prep providers that we like on our resource page.

Step 5: Work with a Real Estate Brokerage

real estate brokerage career

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.

But don’t rush into working for just any broker. Finding a good trainer is crucial at the initial stage of your real estate career. We will also provide more details about choosing a real estate brokerage to work for later in this post.

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!

How to Become a Real Estate Broker in Texas?

real estate broker career 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 Basic Requirement

Once again, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security Number, Citizen of the United States or lawfully admitted alien, and resident of Texas.

Also, you need to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university.

Step 2: Fulfill the Work Experience Requirement

real estate agent career

You need to have 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.

You could find about more info in their Qualifying Experience Report for a Broker License.

Step 3: Complete the Pre-licensing Education

Real Estate Exam Study

You are required to complete the 270 hours of pre-licensing classes from an approved provider.

Study Tip: When choosing a real estate school, we prefer one where you could take the courses online. This way, you could study at your own pace whenever and wherever. Here are some helpful details on our education resources page.

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

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

Furthermore, you are required to complete an additional 630 hours Continuing Education (CE) courses.

Note: These courses are only valid for two years before the application date.

Step 4: Submit Application to the Texas Real Estate Commission

Real estate exam study

Similar to the registration process of being a real estate agent, you’ll need to apply to the regulatory commission. Just that this time you’ll complete the Application for Broker License Form or you could do so through their online services.

You also need to provide other necessary documents, such as the courses completion documents, experience report and the application fee of $353.25.

Step 5: Pass the Texas Real Estate Broker Examination

You’ll be given 4 hours to complete this electronic exam. It is also 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 Salesperson Exam Content (National)

Exam ContentNumber of Scored Items
REAL PROPERTY CHARACTERISTICS, LEGAL
DESCRIPTIONS, AND PROPERTY USE
8
FORMS OF OWNERSHIP, TRANSFER, AND RECORDING
OF TITLE
7
PROPERTY VALUE AND APPRAISAL7
REAL ESTATE CONTRACTS AND AGENCY16
REAL ESTATE PRACTICE18
PROPERTY DISCLOSURES AND ENVIRONMENTAL
ISSUES
5
FINANCING AND SETTLEMENT 9
REAL ESTATE MATH CALCULATIONS 10
Total Number of Scored Items80

Real Estate Salesperson Exam Content (State)

Exam ContentNumber of Scored Items
Commission Duties and Powers3
Licensing4
Standard of Conduct9
Agency/Brokerage10
Contracts8
Special Topics6
Case Studies10
Total Number of Scored Items50

Texas Real Estate Broker Exam Passing Rate (1/1/2017 to 12/31/2018)

Broker Exam CountBroker Exams PassedBroker Pass Rate
1,18771059.81%

Source: Texas Real Estate Commission

Here’s a guide on how to pass the real estate exam in 4 simple steps.

Real Estate Career Outlook in Texas

How Much do Real Estate Agents Make in Texas?

Real Estate Agents in Texas earn an average yearly salary of $62,439 which is higher than 80% percent of similar careers in the same state. (*)

real estate salary

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.

The salaries of a real estate agent in Texas typically start at
$22,463 and go up to $123,926. (*)

Your earning potential 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.

Here’s an article that discusses important factors that could significantly affect your income as a real estate agent.

(*) Source: Sokanu.com

Which Cities has the Most Real Estate Business Opportunities in Texas?

real estate career

There are 15,770 real estate agents in Texas, which is the state with the second highest number of real estate agents. It works out there are 2.596 real estate agents per 1000 of workers. (*)

(*)Figures displayed on Sokanu.com as of Jan 2019

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.

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 TexasPopulationMedian Home Price
Houston2,359,480$184,100
San Antonio1,565,929$174,900
Dallas1,379,735$206,400
Austin1,001,104$363,400
Fort Worth913,939$194,200
El Paso696,610$127,600
Arlington405,486$204,500
Corpus Christi329,408$148,800
Plano294,478$336,500
Laredo264,473$143,300

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. (+)

How to Choose a Real Estate Brokerage in Texas?

Real Estate Office

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.

CompanyCityVolume
Keller Williams Realty, GO Management OfficesArlington$9,326,489,252
Ebby Halliday Real Estate, Inc.Dallas$8,039,214,848
Keller Williams MemorialHouston$3,177,459,878
Keller Williams RealtyAustin$3,140,158,384
Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International RealtyDallas$3,048,578,194
Realty AustinAustin$2,636,357,535
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary GreeneHouston$2,518,018,416
Keller Williams RealtyThe Woodlands$1,825,446,146
JP and Associates REALTORSFrisco$1,789,591,767
Coldwell Banker Apex/Jim Stewart/Bob KingRichardson$1,677,767,568
Kuper Sotheby's International RealtySan Antonio$1,676,490,900
CENTURY 21 Judge Fite CompanyDallas$1,543,820,647
Keller Williams SignatureKaty$1,467,320,989
RE/MAX DFW AssociatesCoppell$1,434,481,945
Keller Williams RealtyAustin$1,416,907,643
Greenwood King PropertiesHouston$1,399,879,931
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson PropertiesHouston$1,367,033,965
Keller Williams RealtyLubbock$1,257,018,289
Keller Williams RealtyDenton$1,180,419,711
John Daugherty, RealtorsHouston$1,108,200,204
Heritage Texas PropertiesHouston$1,104,574,736
Keller Williams Realty AllenAllen$1,085,066,681
Keller Williams RealtyFort Worth$993,895,311
Keller Williams RealtyPlano$969,193,576
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper, RealtorsSan Antonio$913,711,554
RE/MAX The Woodlands & SpringThe Woodlands$811,760,872
RE/MAX Fine PropertiesSugar Land$756,179,618
Phyllis Browning CompanySan Antonio$754,744,384
Keller Williams LegacySan Antonio$703,656,245
RE/MAX GrandKaty$579,612,183
Keller Williams Lake TravisAustin$574,158,531
Keller Williams Realty Central 75Richardson$567,848,158

FAQ about Real Estate Career in Texas

real estate career training

How long is a Texas real estate license good for?

The Texas real estate license is good for 24 months, then you would need to renew it.

What is the continuing education requirement to renew a real estate license in Texas?

All real estate license holders must renew their license once every 24 months. 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 and have sponsored sales agent(s), then you’ll need to complete the 6 hours of Broker Responsibility Course as part of the CE requirements.

How many questions are on the real estate exam in Texas?

There are 110 questions in the real estate salesperson exam, and 130 in the real estate broker exam.

Is the Texas real estate exam multiple choice?

Yes, the Texas real estate exam are all multiple choice questions.

What is the pass rate for the Texas real estate exam?

The passing rate of Texas real estate salesperson exam is 59.59% and the passing rate of Texas real estate broker exam is 59.81%.

What is the best online real estate school in Texas?

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.

Does Texas have reciprocity for real estate license?

No, Texas does not have reciprocity with any other states.

What does it take to be a realtor in Texas?

To become a realtor in Texas, not only you’ll need to complete the pre-licensing courses, pass the exam, but you also need to enjoy interacting with people and driving around on a day to day basis.

You should equip yourself with good sales and business skills.

Our Final Thoughts

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 new people and working on different properties every day.

If you decide real estate is the career that you want to explore further, your first step is to take the real estate agent courses. However, don’t select just from any school that comes along the way. Here are some education resources for your reference.

You should find one that has an excellent reputation and long-term track record of satisfying students. We prefer schools that provide online-courses so that you could take them anytime and anywhere that is convenient for you.

That’s all we have to share for now. We hope you will find this guide helpful.

So what do you think of the real estate career in Texas? Please let us know in the comment below!

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)

Reference:

Jacob Coleman

Jacob is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors.) In order to build a career you love, Jacob believes not only you need a thorough understanding about the profession, but you also have to find out what type of jobs could match your personality, lifestyle and expectation.

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