How to Get a Texas Real Estate License?


How to Get a Texas Real Estate License

The real estate market in Texas is booming, and becoming a licensed real estate agent can be an incredibly rewarding career path. 

However, before you can start showing homes and earning those lucrative commissions, you’ll need to meet certain requirements and obtain your Texas Real Estate License from the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC)

Don’t worry, though – this comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire process of becoming a Licensed Real Estate Agent in the Lone Star State for 2024.

Prerequisites for Getting a Texas Real Estate License

First things first, let’s go over the basic prerequisites to get started on your journey to becoming a Texas Real Estate Sales Agent:

  1. You must be at least 18 years old.
  2. You must be either a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident.
  3. You’ll need to pass a background check conducted by TREC.

The Background Check Process

TREC wants to ensure that anyone holding a Texas Real Estate License is an honest, trustworthy individual. During the background check, they’ll review your history for any criminal offenses or professional disciplinary actions that could raise red flags.

Common issues that may require additional review include:

  • DUI/DWI convictions
  • Drug-related crimes
  • Sexual offenses
  • Fraud, forgery, or falsification of records
  • Offenses against property or people
  • Perjury or bribery

However, having a blemish in your past doesn’t automatically disqualify you. TREC considers factors like how long ago the incident occurred, whether you’ve completed all court-ordered requirements, and if you’ve demonstrated rehabilitation. 

If you’re concerned about something from your past, you can request a Fitness Determination ahead of time for clarification.

Education Requirements (180 Pre-Licensing Hours)

Education Requirements (180 Pre-Licensing Hours)

To obtain your Texas Real Estate Sales Agent License, you’ll need to complete 180 hours of pre-licensing education from a TREC-approved provider. This coursework is divided into six mandatory 30-hour courses:

  1. Principles of Real Estate I
  2. Principles of Real Estate II
  3. Real Estate Finance
  4. Law of Contracts
  5. Law of Agency
  6. Promulgated Contract Forms

When researching Licensing Course options, look for reputable providers like VanEd Real Estate School that offer flexible online formats and comprehensive Exam Prep Courses. Their 180-Hour Licensing Package costs $495 and is carefully designed to prepare you for the licensing exam.

There are also specific timing requirements set by TREC for completing this pre-licensing coursework:

  • You cannot complete more than 12 hours per day
  • Each 30-hour course must be completed within at least 3 days
  • The entire 180-hour package should take no less than 18 days total

So plan accordingly and don’t try to rush through the material. These courses will build the foundation you need to truly succeed in your new career.

VanEd Real Estate School Overview

As an example, let’s take a closer look at the VanEd 180-Hour Package:

  • $495 for all required TREC courses
  • Online, self-paced format for flexibility
  • Access to coursework for 1 full year
  • Most students complete in 4-6 months
  • Option to upgrade to their Convenience Package with remote proctoring for final exams

To ensure you meet TREC’s timing rules, VanEd’s system will track your progress and notify you if you need to spend more time in a particular course. You can also reach out to their expert VanEd team with any questions.

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VanEd’s Texas Pre-Licensing Course Packages

The Texas Real Estate Licensing Exam

Once you’ve powered through all 180 hours of pre-licensing education, it’s time to apply for your license through TREC’S ONLINE LICENSING SERVICE. After your application is approved, you’ll need to schedule your licensing exam.

The Texas Real Estate Exam is administered by testing provider Pearson VUE. Be sure to obtain the latest CANDIDATE HANDBOOK for all the details.

The exam consists of two portions:

National Portion:

  • 85 questions
  • 150 minutes allotted

State Portion:

  • 40 questions
  • 90 minutes allotted

To pass the overall exam, you need a minimum score of 70% – so 56 correct answers out of the 80 questions.

While challenging, this exam is very passable if you diligently studied the pre-licensing material and utilized quality exam prep resources. VanEd offers a Texas Exam Prep package with timed practice tests, digital flashcards, and other study tools.

“Proper preparation prevents poor performance. With VanEd’s resources, I walked into that licensing exam confidently and passed on my first attempt.” – Sarah T., Houston

Post-Licensing Education (First Renewal Period)

Post-Licensing Education (First Renewal Period)

Congratulations, you’re officially a licensed Texas real estate agent! But the education doesn’t stop there. During your first two-year license period, you’ll need to complete post-licensing requirements to eligible for renewal.

Specifically, TREC requires:

  • 90 hours of Qualifying or SAE (Salesperson Annual Education) courses
  • Two 4-hour TREC Legal Update courses
  • Potentially the 6-hour Broker Responsibility course if assigned supervisory duties

These Texas SAE Post-License Education Requirements ensure you continue expanding your knowledge and skills as a new agent. The courses can cover topics like residential property management, commercial real estate, advertising, and more.

VanEd and other providers offer comprehensive SAE/qualifying course packages to fulfill this requirement conveniently. Be sure to get these done within your first two years so you’re prepared for your license renewal.

Cost Breakdown: Budgeting for Your License

Pursuing any new career path requires a financial investment. Here’s a breakdown of the typical costs involved in getting your Texas Real Estate License:

FeesCost Range
180-Hour Pre-License Courses$350 – $1,000
State Exam Fee$43
Texas Real Estate License Application Fee$185
Finger-Printing (estimated)$38.25
Recovery Trust Fund$10
Course Exam Prep Tools (optional)$25 – $200+
Total Cost Estimate$626.25 – $1,476.25+

As you can see, the biggest variable is the price of your pre-licensing education package. Costs can range quite a bit depending on the school and what’s included.

Be wary of real estate schools charging over $1,000 for just the 180-hour package. Established providers like VanEd offer quality courses for far less.

Of course, your total budget will depend on any exam prep materials or convenience extras you opt for as well. But in general, plan for an overall investment of roughly $650 to $1,500.

Taking the Next Step: Start Your Pre-Licensing Today

Becoming a licensed real estate professional in Texas requires dedication, an investment of time and money, and a passion for helping people find their dream homes. But it’s an incredibly rewarding career that allows you to be your own boss, set your own schedule, and truly impact lives.

By following this step-by-step guide for 2024, you’ll know exactly what to expect and how to check all the boxes to get your Texas Real Estate License. From prerequisites and education to exams and renewals, you’ll be prepared.

The real estate market in Texas is hotter than ever, with no signs of slowing down. So what are you waiting for? Take the first step today by enrolling in a [TREC-Approved Pre-License Course].


Finding the Right Sponsoring Broker

One important step we haven’t covered yet is finding a sponsoring broker once you pass the licensing exam. In Texas, all licensed real estate agents must be sponsored by an active broker in order to perform licensed activities.

Your sponsoring broker provides invaluable mentorship, guidance, and oversight as you start your real estate career. They’ll help show you the ropes of the business and the practical know-how you can’t learn in a classroom.

When evaluating potential brokers, consider:

  • Their reputation and experience level
  • Office location and coverage area
  • Commission splits and fee structures
  • Support systems and resources provided
  • Office culture and training opportunities

Many new agents start with a larger, more established brokerage firm to gain experience before potentially branching out on their own.

Don’t just settle for the first broker, though. Interview multiple companies and personalities to find the right fit for your goals and working style.

“Interview prospective brokers like they’re interviewing you. The broker-agent relationship is a two-way commitment, so find someone you really click with.” – Betsy P., Dallas Broker

Continuing Education to Renew Your License

Continuing Education to Renew Your License

In Texas, real estate licenses must be renewed every two years. While the post-licensing SAE courses cover your first renewal, you’ll then enter a two-year continuing education cycle.

TREC’s continuing education requirements for active license holders include:

  • 30 hours of CE courses (8 hours must be core courses on key topics)
  • 6 hours of broker responsibility courses if sponsored by a broker

Staying up-to-date on these CE credits ensures Texas agents have the latest knowledge of legal updates, best practices, and skills to best serve their clients.

Many agents opt for convenient online CE packages to renew easily from home on their own schedule.

Success Tips for New Real Estate Agents

Earning your license is a major accomplishment, but it’s just the first step on your journey. Here are some tips from successful Texas agents:

Have a financial plan

  • Budget appropriately as you get your business ramped up
  • Many agents don’t see substantial income for 6-12 months
  • Consider keeping your current job temporarily

Get a technical co-pilot

  • Having great real estate CRM software is critical
  • Helps you stay organized, build your pipeline, and market properties
  • Popular tools include Wise Agent, BoomTown, and Follow Up Boss

Become a marketing machine

  • Successful agents are constantly marketing themselves
  • Leverage social media, a professional website, video marketing, mailers
  • Have a content strategy and email newsletter for nurturing leads

Find a supportive network

  • Join online communities and forums for new agents
  • Attend events by your local realtor association
  • Network with other experienced agents who can mentor you

Always keep learning

  • The educational doesn’t stop after your license
  • Read books, listen to podcasts, take advanced courses
  • An attitude of constant learning will elevate your skills

Success in real estate isn’t automatic. But by following tips from seasoned pros and continually sharpening your skillset, you can build a rewarding, lucrative career.

Key Takeaways: Get Licensed in 2024

Let’s quickly recap the major steps to getting your Texas real estate license in 2024:

  1. Meet the age, citizenship/residency, and background requirements
  2. Complete the 180 hours of pre-licensing coursework
  3. Pass the state licensing exam
  4. Satisfy the post-licensing SAE education within 2 years
  5. Find an active broker to sponsor your licensed activities
  6. Continue taking CE courses to renew your license every 2 years

While there’s an investment of time, effort, and finances upfront, becoming a licensed real estate agent gives you the flexibility of being your own boss with unlimited income potential.

The Texas real estate market shows no signs of cooling off. By getting licensed now, you’ll be positioned to capitalize on one of the hottest housing markets for years to come.

So start exploring TREC-approved pre-licensing course options today. With focus and persistence, you can have your Texas real estate license by 2024.

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