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How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Texas

Working a 9 to 5 job that you hate can be soul-sucking. Like many others in the same situation, I too came to the realization that working in real estate as a real estate agent would be the perfect way to set my own schedule, make a great living, and have the freedom to do what I want in my free time. Today we will breakdown how to become a real estate agent in Texas.

Today I am going to break down what it takes to become a licensed real estate agent in Texas. This includes, pre-qualification requirements, mandatory education, testing requirements, fingerprint, and finding a sponsoring broker.

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Take some notes and get ready to take the first steps towards your next career and the lifestyle you’ve always wanted.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

1. State Required Pre-Qualification to Become a Real Estate Agent in Texas

Firstly, here are a few things to keep in mind before applying for your license to become a real estate agent in Texas. 

To be eligible to become a licensed Real Estate Agent in Texas, you must be:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • A citizen or legal resident of the United States
  • Meet the Texas Real Estate Commission’s (TREC) standards of honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity (they offer a fitness test if you aren’t sure)

What can disqualify you from becoming a Real Estate Agent in Texas?

Additionally, there are a few things that will disqualify you. For example: criminal offenses, unpaid judgements, discipline taken against professional licenses, and selling real estate without a license will do it. Although many are concerned about parking tickets, TREC only looks for signs that someone should not handle other people’s money.

If those apply to you, request a Fitness Determination to determine if you can apply for a real estate license. Further, education can be expensive, so figure this out before paying for all of your coursework.

2. Mandatory Education

Now, you are ready to sign up for your classes once you have confirmed your eligibility.

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Should I take my Real Estate Agent classes online or in person?

Thankfully, Texas accepts education completed online or in person. Many professionals choose to take their courses in-person and to knock them out all at once. However, there are plenty of busy professionals that pursue the online route as well. This is a common decision for working professionals and full-time students.

That being said, there is a solution that works for you regardless of your situation.

180 Hours of Mandatory Coursework to Become a Real Estate Agent in Texas

In total, there are 180 hours of classroom hours that you will need to take to meet the education requirements. The 180 hours are split up across 6 courses that you can take in any order. They are 30 hours each, and include:

How do I take my exams online?

After each 30-hour course, you must take a proctored exam to confirm that you retained everything taught. Virtual proctors are available for online classes and instructors serve as proctors for in-person classes.

If you are taking licensing courses online, you will be required to use an online proctoring agency. They provide a proctor who watches you over webcam while you complete your exam. Online proctors usually charge $10 to $20 depending on the provider you are using.

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Photo by Wadi Lissa on Unsplash

3. Pass the State and National Exam and Become a Real Estate Agent in Texas

To be eligible to sit for your exams, you must complete the required 180 hours of coursework.

Exam Scheduling

PearsonVue administers the exams in Texas. They handle all of the logistics, administration, and delivery of results to you and TREC. Typically, there is at least one testing center in every major city.

Exam Day

The testing process is quick and simple. First, sign in with your driver’s license and they will assign you a cubicle and noise-cancelling headphones. Then, room monitors in each room observe test-takers to make sure there is no cheating. Typically, you receive your test results in the lobby only a few minutes after completing the test.

The pass rate for first-time test takers is 62.64%. This means that a fairly high number of individuals won’t meet the necessary score their first time taking it. It is very common for it to take more than one attempt to pass the test. Don’t feel bad if you don’t ace it the first time, just study up for your next attempt!

You have three opportunities to take and pass the licensing exam before you have to retake the educational courses to confirm that you learned the material satisfactorily.

Exam Study Tips

My recommendation is to make the small investment of $50-100 and purchase an exam study guide, as well as utilizing free-to-use flashcards that are readily available online and voraciously study these leading up to your testing date. Make sure that you over prepare for the exam so that none of the questions catch you off guard.

4. Fingerprints and Background Check

Once you get the green light from TREC that you passed your licensing exam, you need to schedule yourself to be fingerprinted. They do not accept fingerprints on file with other agencies, so you will need a fresh set done for TREC specifically.

Find somewhere to get fingerprinted

IdentoGO helps you find the nearest location to get fingerprinted for your real estate sales agent license. Once sent in, TREC is able to begin your background check and get you one step closer to working as a real estate agent!

Photo by Immo Wegmann on Unsplash

5. Find a Great Sponsoring Broker

In Texas, you have to work underneath the sponsorship of a qualified and licensed broker that can supervise and help to ensure that you are operating within the scope of your license. Your broker is your go-to resource for questions you have about working with clients, negotiating contracts, and your helping hand when you don’t know how to fix a problem that arises during the course of a deal.

Interview Different Real Estate Brokers

Above all, finding the right brokerage to work at is one of the most important decisions you will make early on in your career. Speak to several brokerages in your area, and let them know that you are working on attaining your real estate license in Texas and the approximate timeline for when you should be fully licensed and able to get started working.

That being said, it is important to let them know what you are looking for in your broker, and they will let you know what they offer their agents. Next, see if you get along and if working with them will be a good fit.

Interview Local Agents

A great way to learn about brokerages is by asking 4 or 5 agents who actively work there about what it is like to work there, how it is different from any other brokerages they have worked at, and if they would work there if they were a brand new agent all over again.

Even if you don’t enjoy the broker that you start out with, don’t sweat it too much. Nearly all new agents switch brokerages at least once within their first year or two in business. Find the right fit for you, and do what feels right and makes the most sense for you personally. 

Some agents will prefer a flat-fee brokerage model where they pay a fixed amount to their broker each time they close a deal, while others will prefer paying a higher percentage per deal in exchange for the services provided to them by their broker.

Check out our extensive guide finding a great sponsoring real estate broker.

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

Conclusion – How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Texas

In short, making the switch to being a real estate sales agent in Texas is one of the biggest and best choices that you can make this year. This is not necessarily an all-inclusive list of everything from start to finish that you may do as part of getting your license, but it certainly covers all of the state-required items that you will need to do along the way along with these tips on making it faster and more fun.

Start out on the right foot and knock your licensing process out of the park with as little stress and hassle as possible.

TL;DR

To review: be sure that you are 18 years or older and are a legal US citizen or lawful resident without any disqualifying crimes on your record. Sign up for class and complete your 180 hours of required education. Study for your state exam and get it scheduled. Ace the test and get your fingerprints and background check done — and get your license sponsored by the broker you feel matches your business needs the best.

Links and Sources:

The CE Shop Course Examples:

https://www.theceshop.com/online-education/texas/real-estate/sales-license/pre-licensing/course/tx-30-hour-principles-of-real-estate-i-2885-13221.html

https://www.theceshop.com/online-education/texas/real-estate/sales-license/pre-licensing/course/tx-30-hour-principles-of-real-estate-ii-2886-13222.html

https://www.theceshop.com/online-education/texas/real-estate/sales-license/pre-licensing/course/tx-30-hour-law-of-agency-2887-13337.html

https://www.theceshop.com/online-education/texas/real-estate/sales-license/pre-licensing/course/tx-30-hour-law-of-contracts-2889-13336.html

https://www.theceshop.com/online-education/texas/real-estate/sales-license/pre-licensing/course/tx-30-hour-law-of-contracts-2889-13336.html

https://www.theceshop.com/online-education/texas/real-estate/sales-license/pre-licensing/course/tx-30-hour-real-estate-finance-2893-13307.html

Average Real Estate Sales Agent Passing Rate(s) By Provider

https://www.trec.texas.gov/education/education-provider-exam-passage-rates-sales-agents-and-brokers

Fingerprinting

https://www.identogo.com/services/live-scan-fingerprinting

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Matt Moreland
Matt Morelandhttps://www.mattmorelandrealtor.com/
Matt is a real estate agent, investor, and entrepreneur in Texas, where he lives with his wife and three children. When he is not working on The Agent's Archive, he is helping his clients acquire investment properties, guiding new agents as they enter the industry, farming wine grapes, or working on something for his winery. In his free time he enjoys homesteading with his family, hunting, swimming, and backpacking.
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