Everything You Need to Know about Real Estate Licensing Requirements in Texas
The average annual salary for a real estate agent in Texas is upwards of $76,000 dollars. At the same time, there are thousands of people who get their realtor license in Texas in order to work part time. Unlike other professions, working as a realtor in Texas doesn’t require a college degree. Rather, the Texas real estate license requirements can be completed in a relatively short amount of time for a cost that is marginal when compared to a four-year university degree.
Below, we offer a detailed description for how to get a real estate license in Texas, including the Texas real estate licensing requirements, the best Texas real estate schools (including how to get your Texas real estate license online), and a list of online resources to help your obtain your Texas realtor license.
Real Estate License Requirements in Texas
To receive your TX real estate license, there are five basic steps that need to be completed, though not necessarily in the order laid out below.
- All Texas real estate agents need to take and subsequently pass real estate courses from an accredited TX real estate school. There are schools that offer in person classes and others that make it possible to learn Texas real estate online. Whether you choose online or in person classes, this is often considered to be the most demanding requirement in order to receive your Texas real estate license.
All prospective real estate agents have to complete 180 hours of classroom coursework, including 30 classroom hours for each of the following subjects:
- Principles of Real Estate I
- Principles of Real Estate II
- Law of Agency
- Law of Contracts
- Promulgated Contract Forms
- Real Estate Finance
Below we offer information on where you can find the best educational institutions offering in person classes or online real estate schools in Texas.
- It is also necessary for all prospective real estate agents to have their fingerprints on file with the FBI through the Texas Department of Safety (DPS). With these fingerprints, the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) are enabled to proceed with a criminal background check which must be cleared as well.
- Real estate agents in Texas also have to apply for an inactive sales agent license with the Texas Real Estate Commission. Once you apply for this first license (which costs upwards of $200), you have a one year window to complete the other steps detailed here in order to become a licensed and active real estate agent in Texas. For this reason, many people do not apply for an inactive license until they have first completed the education requirements. However, this can be the first step in the process for people who are determined to finish the required coursework in the short term.
- Once you have completed the required 180 hours of coursework and also applied for the inactive license, you will have to schedule and pass the state real estate exam. If your application is accepted (and it almost will be if you have adequately completed steps 1-3), then the Texas Real Estate Commission will give you a “confirmation of authorization” to sit for the exam.
The state real estate exam is administered exclusively by Pearson VUE. Fortunately, it is possible to find licensed test centers in 18 cities across the state. You can search for the location nearest you at the Pearson VUE website. If you register for the real estate test online, a $54 fee is also charged.
Once you have completed the above step and passed the exam, you will receive an inactive real estate sales agent license.
- Lastly, in order to upgrade your inactive real estate license for an active license, you will need to find a real estate broker to sponsor you. Without an active license you will not be cleared to work as a real estate agent in Texas. If you cannot find a broker to sponsor you, there is an online sponsorship request that you can fill out. Once accepted by a broker, you can begin to work as a Texas real estate agent.
It is also worth mentioning in this section that there are a few qualifications that all applicants must fulfill before beginning the process of applying for a realtor´s license in Texas. These qualifications include:
- You must be a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien,
- You must be at least 18 years of old,
- You must be a resident of Texas, and
- You must meet the Texas Real Estate Commission´s qualifications for honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity. If you are not sure if you meet these character qualifications, you can request a Moral Character Determination from the commission before beginning the process of applying for your license.
Where to Find Real Estate License Schools in Texas
The most costly, difficult, and time-consuming part of getting your real estate license in Texas is the educational course requirements. If you prefer in person Texas real estate classes, these courses can be taken at various community and junior colleges, universities, and other real estate schools approved by the Texas Real Estate Commission. In some cases, boards or associations of realtors can also offer courses that satisfy the above-mentioned requirements. You can search for schools and colleges that offer qualifying real estate courses at this website.
Many of these providers offer Texas real estate courses online while others offer in-person classes. Online classes come with the benefit of allowing you to work at your own pace while setting your own timeline. If you live near a major university, however, in-person classes are also an option. These courses will break the required 180 hours of classroom hours into programs that last up to six months.
The University of Texas at Arlington is one of the top providers of the required real estate course. Besides offering the real estate courses to become a certified Texas real estate agent, they also offer a variety of advanced courses for people wanting to become brokers or participate in other aspects of the real estate market. These courses include Real Estate SAE (Salesperson Apprentice Education) courses, Texas Real Estate Continuing Education courses, and real estate investment courses.
Furthermore, the Austin Community College Real Estate Program is also a leader for in-person classes. It is possible to complete courses for either your Texas real estate sales agent license or for a broker´s license. Since the Austin, Texas housing market is widely considered to be one of the hottest markets in the country, doing your licensing in this city would give you a head start if you plan to work around the Austin area.
Website Resources for Getting Your Real Estate License in Texas
Becoming a real estate sales agent in Texas has simpler requirements than other professions, while offering a similarly competitive salary. Since most real estate agent jobs are commission-based, there is also an opportunity to increase your salary. Lastly, you can fulfill the educational requirements to become a real estate agent without taking on substantial educational loans that are common for other professions that require a college degree.
To help you get started with the application process, the following online resources will be helpful.
- Moral Character Determination to make sure that you can apply (important for people who have a criminal history): https://www.trec.texas.gov/forms/moral-character-determination
- List of qualifying education providers in Texas: https://www.trec.texas.gov/education/qualifying-education-providers
- Where to mail your education course completion documents: [email protected]
- List of application fees: https://www.trec.texas.gov/agency-informaiton/fee-schedule
- Fingerprint requirements and instructions: https://www.trec.texas.gov/fingerprint-requirements
- Texas Real Estate Commission Online Licensing Service (you will need to create an account to apply to become a Texas real estate agent): https://mylicense.trec.texas.gov/datamart/login.do;jsessionid=7tSKPQFcQKkqBo24mkz4k7FQvN_46tqsdt8k59I4.idvoapp1
- Sponsorship request form to obtain your active license: https://mylicense.trec.texas.gov/datamart/mainMenuTXREC.do