If you’d like to become a real estate agent in Texas, it helps to understand everything involved before you start the process. Here, we’ll cover the benefits of the profession as well as everything that is required to receive your license.
There are a number of steps in the Texas real estate licensing process, so we’ve broken it down to keep things simple. To get your license, you will need to:
Step 1: Complete the pre-licensing education
Step 2: Pass the final exam
Step 3: Submit a Real Estate License Application
Step 4: Complete a Background check
Step 5: Pass the Texas Real Estate Licensing Exam
Step 6: Choose a Sponsoring Broker
Before explaining each step, consider if becoming a Texas Real Estate Agent is right for you.
The Benefits of Working as a Texas Real Estate Agent
At salary.com, the average salary for a real estate agent in Texas is listed as $41,000 to $53,000 per year. This varies depending on your commission percentage, the number of homes you sell, if you have any caps, what your split is with your broker, and the value of the homes sold.
In Texas, the average price of a home is around $359,739. Real estate agents often make a 5% commission on sales, which would be $17,986.
Salary aside, becoming a real estate agent includes these other benefits:
- Flexibility in your schedule
- Unlimited income potential
- Career mobility
- Helping people
- Familiarity with your community and neighborhoods
- Varying environments and tasks
If this sounds like a good fit for you, these are the things you should consider next.
Do You Prequalify?
To begin the process of obtaining your Texas real estate license, first make sure that you meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a U.S. Citizen or legal alien
- Meet the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC)’s qualifications for honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity.
- Consider requesting a Fitness Determination before applying for the license (according to www.trec.texas.gov, “Certain elements of your background may disqualify you from obtaining a license, but you don’t have to wait until the final steps of the licensing process to find out”. They point out that you can “save your time and money and request a Fitness Determination.”)
As long as you meet these prerequisites, you can take the next steps towards obtaining your license.
1. Complete Pre-License Education
In addition to a high school diploma or its equivalent, to qualify as a real estate agent in Texas you need to complete 180 hours of real estate education courses. There are a number of real estate schools in Texas that you can use for this, both in-person and online.
The 6 Required Courses:
- Real Estate Principles 1
- Real Estate Principles 2
- Law of Agency
- Law of Contracts
- Promulgated Contract Forms
- Real Estate Finance
2. Pass the final exam
At the end of each course you will need to take an exam. To pass you need to get a score of at least 70%. All exams must be taken with a proctor present, and can be scheduled through the real estate school you take classes through.
3. Submit a Real Estate License Application
After you complete the courses and each exam, you can now submit your real estate license application.
You can apply either online or by mail:
- To apply online, submit your application with the $205 application fee on the TREC website using their online portal
- To apply by mail, mail your application and fees (money order, cashiers check, or personal check) payable to Texas Real Estate commission. The mailing address is Texas Real Estate Commission, PO Box 12188, Austin, TX 78711-2188.
After your license application is approved, you will receive an eligibility letter that includes an ID number you will use to make your exam reservation.
4. Complete a Background check
Before your application can be approved, you need to complete a background check and submit your fingerprints to theTexas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
To make an appointment to get your fingerprints taken, schedule it with MorphoTrust. The fee for this is $38.25.
5. Pass the Texas Real Estate Licensing Exam
Once your application has been approved, you can apply to take the Texas Real Estate Licensing Exam. This will be administered by an outside agency, Pearson VUE. You can schedule your exam on Pearson VUE’s website, using the eligibility ID you received with your application approval. There are a number of Test centers in Texas that you can go to for the exam.
The fee for the exam is $43 – you need to pay this when you make the reservation.
On the day of the exam, you will need to bring 2 forms of ID.
Once you’re in the exam site, you will need to place all electronic devices, bulky clothing, and other personal items in a secure location. You will then sit at a computer to take the test.
You will be allowed 4 hours to complete the exam, which is split into two sections. The first section is the 85-question national portion, which you get 150 minutes to complete. The second is the 40-question state portion for which you get 90 minutes to complete.
The Texas Real Estate Licensing exam is pass/fail, and you will receive your score as soon as you finish the exam. To pass you need to answer at least 60 questions correctly on the national portion and 21 questions correctly on the state portion.
You can find more information on the Texas Real Estate Exam at the Pearson VUE website.
6. Choose a Sponsoring Broker
To become a licensed and practicing real estate agent in Texas, you need to be associated with a registered brokerage firm or broker. Before submitting your application, you’ll need to have secured this sponsorship. It’s important to choose the right broker, as they’ll play a key role in growing your real estate career.
Consider the following when choosing a broker to work with:
- Their reputation as a broker or brokerage firm
- The types of agents they look for
- If they provide education and training for agents
- If they provide marketing materials and potential leads
- Which systems they use
- The benefits they offer
- What is their commission structure?
- What is the growth potential?
Once you’ve completed all of these steps and passed the exams, you will have your Texas Real Estate Agent License. At this point, you may want to consider if you’re interested in becoming a Realtor. Here is what that means:
Real Estate Agent vs Realtor: What’s the difference?
For a real estate agent to become a Realtor, they need to become a member of the National Association of Realtors®. The NAR is an organization for real estate agents and other industry professionals. Members are required to subscribe to standards and a code of ethics set by the association. Membership offers access to market data and transaction management services, and other benefits.
To become a part of this community, these are the steps you need to take:
- Get your state real estate license
- Join your local REALTORS® Association – find one close to you with their “find an association” tool
- Pay the application fee – this varies by association
- Maintain membership dues – to keep your title of REALTOR®, you need to pay an annual fee of $150
According to theceshop.com, San Antonio, Texas is one of the best cities in the country for real estate agents: “Despite being one of the nation’s biggest metropolises, the average home value in San Antonio is only $248,346 — meaning commissions are good but the cost of living is still relatively low. Here, new real estate agents can focus completely on building their career while tapping into a large pool of potential homebuyers so they can eventually work their way up to selling prime lots in the Texas hill country or even nearby Austin.” This is encouraging news for anyone considering becoming a Texas real estate agent.
Become a top Real Estate Agent!
Now that you’re a Real Estate Agent. You’ll need a website to show off your listings, attract buyers and sellers and if your ambitious get real estate coaching or digital marketing from some of the best in the field. Reach out to us at RE Digital to learn how we can help you become a top performer.
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