The Lone Star state is probably the best place to start your new career, as the real estate markets from Austin to San Antonio, are some of the hottest in the country. This is an incredible opportunity for entrepreneurs, offering almost unlimited growth potential. So whether you are planning to do real estate part-time or are making it your new full-time career, we are going to share everything you need to know to become a real estate agent in Texas.
The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) requires that you be In order to become a licensed real estate agent in the state of Texas, you must be at least 18 years old, a US citizen or a lawfully admitted alien, and complete the following steps:
Once you decide to become a real estate agent in Texas, you’re probably excited and want to get started immediately. Before you leave your current position, it’s important to understand how long the licensing process can take in Texas. Often it’s 4 to 6 months. 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 would also recommend interviewing brokerages while you are waiting for TREC to process your application, so you are ready to hang your license with a broker as soon as the application is approved. All in all, it’s definitely possible to become a real estate agent in Texas in less than eight weeks.
There are several fees involved when working to become a real estate agent in Texas…
Getting licensed is just the beginning! Many aspiring agents don’t realize that there are several other expenses to consider when you are becoming a real estate agent in Texas. Keep in mind that you are building a brand new business and there are always costs associated, whether you are opening a daycare, coffee shop, or launching your real estate empire.
Here are some of the most common expenses:
If you add up the costs to get your license and the costs to officially become an agent, you will likely need to spend a total of $1,850 to $3,700 to launch your new career.
Learn more about costs to become a real estate agent in Texas:
To get your Texas real estate license, you’ll have to attend a school that’s approved by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). There are quite a few 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 in Texas, make sure that they offer additional support for exam prep and sample exams for practice. Some offer weekend cram courses or exam prep courses to ensure sure that you pass the real estate broker exam on the first try.
In Texas, 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.” Picking the right brokerage to work with can be critical to your success as a newly licensed agent.
We would recommend shopping for the best broker once you’ve completed the pre-licensing course and are waiting to take your state exam or while TREC is processing your application . There are a few ways to do this:
When researching and meeting with different brokerages, keep in mind that many are independently owned franchises. So one Century 21 or Keller Williams office could be completely different from another that’s just 10 minutes away. The culture, training, support team, and sometimes even the fees and commission splits can vary from franchise to franchise.
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?
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You made it through 180 hours of classes, passed the state exam and selected a great broker — congrats! The next step is getting you mentally prepared to build a successful, thriving new business in the Lone Star state!
Your Texas pre-licensing class is primarily focused on learning the common terms, ethics, and laws when practicing real estate. The courses don’t usually go into much detail (if any) on writing contracts, researching market statistics, or marketing your new business to find home buyers and sellers.
As a new real estate agent, you need to have a fire in your belly! Your motivation and desire to learn everything you can will be critical to your success – especially in your first year in real estate. Many of you may be used to working for someone and being told what to do at work each day, but that isn’t the case in real estate.
Kerry Lucasse and the Building Better Agents team talk with hundreds of newly licensed real estate agents each year. Most have no idea how challenging the first year or two can be and how much you need to learn to be successful. This business is not as easy as it looks on TV! Real estate can be a rewarding and profitable business if you are a self-starter who is 110% committed to being successful and you have the support of a great mentor and brokerage.
Most agents will describe the real estate licensing exam as “not easy.” There are 125 multiple choice questions for both the state and national portions of the exam and you must answer at least 70% of them correctly.
One item to note: The National and Texas real estate exams are graded independently of one another, so you need to get 70% or more on each of the sections. If you’re still not feeling confident, sign up for an exam-cram or exam prep course.
The Texas exam has 40 questions and the National exam has 85 questions. You’ll have 90 minutes for the Texas exam and another 150 minutes to complete the National exam.
It’s not uncommon for people not to pass the exam on the first try. They make it fairly simple for you to retake the exam, you just need to reschedule with Pearson VUE and pay the exam fee of $55 again. A few items to note:
If you aren’t ready to join a brokerage and officially activate your license, you may keep your Texas real estate license inactive for up to one year after you’ve completed your educational requirements. If you want to renew your license, you will have to take the Texas State Exam again.
In order to become a real estate broker in Texas, you have to have at least four years of active experience as a licensed real estate sales agent during the 60-month period preceding the filing of the application. You will also have to complete the Qualifying Experience Report wiith a total of 360 points as well as a list of transactions.
If you are a licensed agent in Florida or Michigan, for example, and would like to get your license in another state, many US states have a “reciprosity agreement” with one another. This means that you don’t have to attend any additional classes, you just have to pass the state portion of the exam to hold an active real estate license in that state.
In Texas, they do not have reciprosity with any other states in the US. If you’d like to become a real estate agent in Texas, you will have to take the pre-licensing course and pass the state exam.
TREC requires that newly licensed agents take 98 hours of SAE post-licensing courses. Every two years thereafter, real estate agents are required to complete 18 hours of Continuing Education (CE).
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 Texas real estate license is worth it.
If you plan to jump in and make a career in real estate, then absolutely! The Texas 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.