If you want to become a real estate agent in Tennessee, the process is very simple, compared to many other states in the US. Your legal title will be “affiliate broker” and you’ll just have to complete 90 hours of pre-licensing courses, pass the state exam, and select a brokerage to work with. We’re going to walk you through the entire process and help you get your Tennesee real estate license quickly so you can start your new career.
The Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) has a few requirements to become a real estate agent. You must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma (or equivalent), and pass a background check. If you meet the prerequisites, you can complete the following steps:
Once you decide to become a real estate agent in Tennessee, you’re probably excited and want to get started immediately. Before you leave your current position, it’s important to understand how long the process can take. Here is what an average timeline looks like:
While this timeline may seem a little daunting, there are a few ways to expedite things. First, taking an online course is the way to go. Instead of attending scheduled in-person classes, two to four times weekly, you can learn at your own pace online. We also highly recommend getting the process started with your background check as soon as you start your course. This is usually the biggest delay for many aspiring agents. We would also recommend interviewing brokerages while you are finishing up your real estate course, so you are ready to hang your license with a broker as soon you pass the state exam. All in all, it’s definitely possible to become a real estate agent in Tennessee in about 8 to 10 weeks.
There are several fees involved when working to become a real estate agent in Tennessee…
Getting a license is just the beginning! What many aspiring agents don’t always realize is that there are several other expenses to consider when you become a real estate agent in Tennessee. Whether you’re building a new business and opening a gift shop, restaurant, or your real estate empire, please keep in mind there are always start-up costs involved.
To follow are some of the most common expenses in Tennessee:
To get your real estate license, you’ll have to attend a school that’s approved by the Tennessee Real Estate Commission. There are at least a dozen approved real estate schools throughout the state. Some are online, others in person, and a few do a combination of the two.
Here are a few of the most popular:
When shopping for the best online real estate schools, you’ll want to compare pricing, but there are a few other things you will need to consider:
In Tennessee, you must affiliate with a real estate brokerage in order actively help home buyers and sellers. This is often referred to as the “sponsoring broker” or “principal broker.” Picking the right brokerage to work with can be key to your success as a newly licensed agent.
While many newly licensed agents are looking for the best commission splits when shopping for brokers, we would highly recommend that you make that #2 or #3 on your list. The most important thing you should look for in a brokerage is how they support brand new real estate agents. Do they have a formal training program? Will you have at least 3 people you can reach out to if you have questions? Are they available outside traditional business hours? Do they have mentors – and what exactly will the mentors do to assist you? All important things to consider when you are ready to become a real estate agent in Tennessee!
Most Tennessee agents will describe the real estate licensing exam as “not easy.” There are 120 questions on the exam and you’ll need to answer at least 70% of them correctly. You’ll have 160 minutes to complete the state exam.
It’s not uncommon for people not to pass the exam on the first try. There are two sections on the exam. If you pass one but not the other, you’ll be allowed two more attempts to pass the remaining section within six (6) months. The cost to retake the Tennessee real estate exam is $49.
Please note: If you don’t pass after two attempts, you’ll have to wait 30 days before retaking the exam.
Yes, it’s possible. If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony that involves the theft of money, services, or property, you are ineligible unless 2 years have passed from incarceration, probation, parole, or conviction, whichever is later in time. You may have to appear before the TN Real Estate Commission to be considered for licensure. Your new Principal Broker may also need to appear with you. Visit the TREC website to learn more.
According to Indeed.com, the average Tennessee agent makes about $85,000. To earn this much, an Affiliate Broker would need to sell at least 15 homes each year. Of course, what you earn can vary greatly based on the home prices in your area, so we looked at the earnings in the top TN cities:
PRO TIP: To calculate how many homes you’ll need to sell, look up the average home sales price in your city (just google it!). For example. the median sales price in Nashville is $420,000. If you earn 2.75% commission on a sale, your gross commission would be about $11,500 per sale. To earn the Nashville average of $105K annually, you’d have to sell about 10 homes.
Honestly, it depends on what your goals are. If you just want to sell a few homes each year to friends and family, you’ll have to crunch the numbers to see if the cost of getting and maintaining your real estate license is worth it.
If you plan to jump in and make a career in selling homes in Tennessee, then absolutely! The real estate market is booming. It can be a challenge moving from a salaried position to a commission-based business, so it’s important to have at least six months of savings in the bank. If you don’t have that yet, then you may want to keep your current job for a short period of time until you lay the foundation for your new real estate business.