Overview: What to Know About Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Texas
Does the idea of a job where you can set your own hours, work out of your home, are your own boss, and have the potential to earn a six-figure income appeal to you? If so, becoming a real estate agent in Texas is a career you should consider!
Another reason to think about getting your Texas real estate license is that Texas is home to 5 of the 11 fastest-growing cities in the United States, according to the Houston Chronicle. More people means more business if you’re in the real estate industry.
Many people like the idea of working in real estate but get discouraged when they start looking into how to become a real estate agent in Texas. While it’s true that getting a Texas real estate license is not as easy as snapping your fingers and saying “one, two, three,” you shouldn’t let the process intimidate you.
This post will help you decide if a career in real estate is right for you by highlighting the major pros and cons of this profession. It then lists the requirements for obtaining your Texas real estate license and walks you through the steps you have to take to become a real estate agent in Texas.
Taking your Texas real estate exam is the most stressful part of the process of getting your Texas real estate license for many people, so this post provides helpful study tips. By following these suggestions, your Texas real estate exam prep will be simple and straightforward.
Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Texas: Pros and Cons
Before you make the commitment to obtain your Texas real estate license and start studying for your Texas real estate exam, you want to be certain that you really do want to become a real estate agent in Texas.
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Is a career as a real estate agent right for you? While some of the perks — like working flexible hours and being your own boss — are certainly tantalizing, being a real estate agent is not all sunshine and rainbows. You need to be committed to building your career, which means sometimes working long hours.
Many of the things that make a career as a real estate agent so great are also what make it challenging. Let’s look at some of the main things you can expect once you become a real estate agent in Texas:
- Flexible hours: Escaping that 9-to-5 grind sounds like a dream come true, right? And it is, for many people. But don’t forget that many of your “flexible hours” will likely occur on the weekend once you become a real estate agent in Texas, because that’s when most of your clients are available to view properties.
- Being your own boss: Now that you have your Texas real estate license, you don’t have to deal with some micromanaging boss breathing down your neck — what a relief! On the flipside, you’re your own boss now, which means you’re responsible for everything, both successes and failures.
- Huge earning potential: Once you obtain your Texas real estate license, the sky’s the limit as far as earnings go. On the other hand, getting your business off the ground can take time and lots of patience in the beginning, so make sure you’re prepared.
Still think a career as a real estate agent is right for you? Great! Next, let’s take a look at how to get a real estate license in Texas.
Applying for a Texas Real Estate License: What Are the Requirements?
Before you begin the process of applying for a Texas real estate license, you want to make sure you meet the basic Texas real estate license requirements. If for some reason you don’t, better to find out sooner rather than later so you don’t waste your time.
Luckily, you can find many tips about getting a Texas real estate license online. The first of the Texas real estate license requirements that you need to meet in order to become a real estate agent in Texas is age: you must be at least 18 years old to apply for your Texas real estate license.
Secondly, before you can apply for your Texas real estate license, you need to complete 180 hours of TREC-approved college-level real estate courses, which you can take through Kaplan (more on that below). Make sure you have the time and resources to commit to taking these courses before you sign up.
Third, you must be a United States citizen or lawfully admitted alien, and you must be a resident of Texas.
Finally, in addition to taking 180 hours of real estate courses, you also need to set aside time for your Texas real estate exam prep. Be prepared to spend up to $169 for a study guide to get your Texas real estate license online.
How to Get a Texas Real Estate License: 8 Steps
Now that you understand the Texas real estate license requirements, let’s look at the eight steps you’ll need to take in order to obtain your Texas real estate license:
1. Fulfill the education requirements
2. Complete your application
3. Provide fingerprints
4. Take the Texas real estate exam
5. Submit to a background check
6. Have your student loan repayment history checked
7. Obtain sponsorship from a real estate broker with an active Texas real estate license
8. Do not practice real estate before obtaining your real estate license in Texas
While eight steps may seem like a lot, most of them can be accomplished quickly and with very little hassle. It is also easy to obtain your Texas real estate license online. The sections below walk you through each step involved in getting your Texas real estate license. Follow these steps to find out how to get a real estate license in Texas.
1. Fulfill the Education Requirements
Learning how to become a real estate agent in Texas takes time. That’s why the state requires you to take 180 hours of real estate courses before you can even apply for your Texas real estate license.
Here’s how those 180 hours are broken up, according to the Texas Real Estate Commission:
- Principles of Real Estate I (30 classroom hours)
- Principles of Real Estate II (30 classroom hours)
- Law of Agency (30 classroom hours)
- Law of Contracts (30 classroom hours)
- Promulgated Contracts Forms (30 classroom hours)
- Real Estate Finance (30 classroom hours)
Multiple locations in cities throughout Texas offer the prerequisite courses for obtaining your Texas real estate license. Online courses for your real estate license in Texas are also available. Here is a list of companies that provide online courses on how to become a Texas real estate agent, along with pricing information:
- Champions School of Real Estate: $945-$1589
- Real Estate Express: $484-$649
- School Estate: $498-$698
- Allied Real Estate Schools: $388-$588
Fulfilling your Texas real estate license education requirement is the most time-consuming part of the process. Once you’ve completed your course hours, you can move onto the next step: filling out the application.
2. Complete Your Application
After completing your education courses, it’s time to complete and pay for your Application for Inactive Sales Agent License. Be sure to submit a copy of your transcripts from your education courses, as this is another one of the Texas real estate license requirements.
You can apply and pay online for your application to become a real estate agent in Texas at the Texas Real Estate Commission website. Be prepared to pay the following fees to complete your application:
- Original application: $200 (required for all applicants)
- Subsequent background check fee: $29.95 (required for applicants who were previously fingerprinted for the Texas Real Estate Commission)
- Paper processing fee: $20.00 (required for applications submitted through the mail that were available online)
Be certain to pay all the necessary fees and include your education documents when submitting your application for your Texas real estate license.
3. Provide Fingerprints
The next step in how to get a real estate license in Texas is fulfilling the fingerprint requirements. As stipulated in §1101.3521 of the Real Estate License Act, any individual applying for a real agent license in Texas must submit their fingerprints.
Even if you have fingerprints on file with another Texas government agency, you still have to submit new fingerprints to the Texas Real Estate Commission in order to fulfill this step of the Texas real estate license requirements.
To provide your fingerprint, visit the Texas Real Estate Commission website and enroll with Morphotrust. If you do not fulfill this requirement, you will not be able to become a real estate agent in Texas.
4. Take the Texas Real Estate Exam
After fulfilling the fingerprint requirement, the next step in the process of becoming a Texas real estate agent is taking the Texas real estate exam.
Once your application has been received and processed by the Texas Real Estate Commission, you will receive a notification that you are eligible to take the exam. This notification will contain instructions about how to register for the Texas real estate exam and how to get a copy of the Candidate Handbook.
Make sure to spend sufficient time in your Texas real estate exam prep (more on that below). When your test day arrives, bring two forms of identification to the testing site.
You must pass the exam within one year of the date you filed your Texas real estate license application with the Texas Real Estate Commission. Additionally, if you fail the Texas real estate exam more than three times consecutively, you must complete additional education courses before registering to take the exam again or submitting a new application to get a real estate license in Texas.
5. Background Check
When you submit your application to become a real estate agent in Texas, you must authorize the Texas Real Estate Commission to complete an investigation on your background if they deem it necessary.
While not always necessary, this background check is typically completed after you pass your Texas real estate exam. Even if you meet all the Texas real estate license requirements, your application for a license may be denied if your background check is not cleared.
6. Student Loan Repayment History
Texas state law forbids approving any applicant for a Texas real estate license who has defaulted on their student loan with the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation (TG).
If you’ve had trouble making payments to your student loans with the TG, you should contact the TG at (800) 252-9743 to discuss your options with them. If the TG agrees to enter into a repayment agreement with you, then you can reclaim your eligibility to apply to become a real estate agent in Texas.
7. Obtain Sponsorship
Before you can obtain your Texas real estate license and begin your career as a real estate agent in Texas, you need a Texas real estate broker who has an active license to agree to sponsor you.
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Here are some qualities you should look for when choosing a broker to sponsor you, according to Trulia:
- Willingness to train you: Look for someone who will provide you with substantial training in your initial two years in the field after you get your Texas real estate license.
- Ability to provide leads: You want to find a broker who will be able and willing give you leads as you begin establishing your own career after your first two years.
- Mentorship: Find someone who will mentor you in the craft of being a real estate agent.
Once you’ve secured a sponsor, you’re almost ready to get a real estate license in Texas.
8. No Practicing Before License
The final “step” in the process of fulfilling your Texas real estate license requirements is actually more of a strong warning: do not practice as a real estate agent before you have your license.
The Texas Real Estate Commission reminds applicants for a Texas real estate license: “You are not authorized to perform any act for which a real estate license is required until an ACTIVE Texas Real Estate Commission license is in the possession of your sponsoring broker.”
Failure to abide by this rule could result in denial of your application for a real estate license in Texas.
Studying for Your Texas Real Estate Exam: Tips and Advice
For many people who are looking into how to become a real estate agent in Texas, the most daunting part of the process is taking and passing the Texas real estate exam. Here are three simple tips to incorporate in your Texas real estate exam prep that will help you pass the test on your first try:
- Read the study material cover to cover: This should be a no-brainer, but many people think they can get away with just skimming the material. Reading it thoroughly greatly increases your chances of passing the Texas real estate exam.
- Learn how to manage test anxiety: There is no better strategy for coping with test anxiety than being well-prepared for your exam. Activities like breathing exercises, physical activity, and meditation can also help.
- Master the process of elimination: What is the best way to figure out the correct answer in a multiple-choice question? By eliminating all the wrong answers. If you don’t know the correct answer right away, focus on eliminating the ones you know are incorrect.
We hope this article helped you think about your decision to become a Texas real estate agent and the basic requirements you need to meet to be eligible to apply for a Texas real estate license.
Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, you can begin the process of applying for and obtaining your real estate license in Texas. This article showed you how to get a real estate license in Texas by explaining what’s involved in all eight steps you need to take to complete your application.
If you know you have what it takes to be a real estate agent, there’s no better place to do it than Texas, with its booming population. What are you waiting for? Sign up today to begin fulfilling your education requirements, the first step in becoming a real estate agent in Texas.
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