With the housing market in Texas nearly recovered from the recession in 2007 – 2009, there are more people buying homes, and looking to sell, than any time in recent history. It only makes sense that there is a need for qualified, knowledgeable real estate agents to serve the buyers and sellers in the state. However, while becoming a real estate agent in Texas is a great choice for many people, it is important that you know a bit more about what it means to be an agent in the state as well as how to begin the process of obtaining your Texas Real Estate License. With this information on your side, you will find that it is much easier to make an educated decision on how to become real estate agent in Texas.
What Do You Need to Know Before Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Texas?
First, it is important to realize that the real estate market, and thus the real estate industry, is different from one state to another. That’s why getting information written about the real estate in the state of Texas, rather than general data, is so important.
The State of Texas
Texas is the second largest and second most populated state in the U.S. With numerous large cities such as Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio, plus hundreds of small towns throughout the state, there is plenty of opportunity for those interested in pursuing a career in real estate in Texas.
How Many Real Estate Brokers are in Texas?
A real estate broker is someone who has obtained education beyond what is necessary to become an agent, and then passed the state broker’s examination. According to the 2012 stats published by the Texas Real Estate Commission (the latest stats currently available), there are just over 42,000 active real estate brokers in Texas.
How Many Real Estate Agents are in Texas?
Real estate agents in Texas work with customers throughout the state—providing assistance with buying and selling of both residential and commercial properties. The 2012 TREC stats for real estate agents state that there are over 69,000 active agents in Texas.
Real Estate Regulatory Board for Texas
The regulatory board for real estate agents in Texas is the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). This state-operated agency was created to protect consumers involved in real estate transactions and to regulate licensing and education for agents and brokers in the state. The website is a wealth of information for anyone interested in becoming an agent as well as consumers who want to understand more about Texas real estate regulations or keep up with the latest news.
What are the Texas Real Estate License Requirements?
General requirements for becoming a licensed agent in Texas are that you must be a legal resident of the state, you must be age 18 or older, and you must be a U.S. citizen or an alien who has been documented to be admitted lawfully. If you meet these requirements, you will be eligible to register for real estate classes and work to obtain your license. If you have any questions about the requirements, you should reach out to the Texas Real Estate Commission and make sure you qualify.
The state of Texas currently requires a total of 180 class hours of Texas real estate courses to apply for and attain licensure. These class hours are divided into certain specific class requirements. You can no longer substitute other classes for these courses. These required classes are:
- The Principles of Real Estate (60 class hours)
- The Law of Agency (30 class hours)
- The Law of Contracts (30 class hours)
- Promulgated Contracts Forms (30 class hours)
- Basics of Real Estate Finance (30 class hours)
Steps to Obtain a Real Estate License in Texas
While obtaining a real estate license in Texas is not always a linear process, it is important that you work through the following steps one by one to make sure you do not miss anything important. By doing this, you will meet all of the standards put in place by TREC and be well on your way to practicing real estate.
Complete the Required 180 Hours of Education
The first, and admittedly most time consuming, step in obtaining your license it to make sure you complete the required 180 hours of education. This curriculum teaches you the basics of working in the real estate industry and give you the background necessary to pass the exam when the time comes. While there are many ways you can complete these class hours, one of the easiest and best methods is to take the classes through 360training.com. The first option, and most popular method, for learning through 360training.com is a downloadable PDF textbook that allows you to follow the coursework from your computer, or you can download it onto your tablet or smartphone to access anywhere. A shippable textbook version is also available for those who prefer to work in a traditional method. Coursework completed through 360training.com is accepted by the Texas Real Estate Commission. Once you have finished the coursework, you will receive a printable certificate stating your completion date. You will also appreciate that 360training.com offers you 24/7 support, so you will never feel like you are working through the licensing process alone.
180 Hour Texas Prelicense Packages – PDF
- 180 hour Basic PDF Prelicense Package
- 180 Hour Premium PDF Prelicense Package
- 180 Hour Ultimate Success Prelicensing PDF Package
180 Hour Texas Prelicense Packages – Textbook
- 180 Hour Basic Textbook Prelicense Package
- 180 Hour Premium Textbook Prelicense Package
- 180 Hour Ultimate Success Prelicensing Textbook Package
Filing Your Application
Once you have finished with your 180 hours of education, you can file your “Application for Inactive Sales Agent License.” You will be required to pay a fee (which is currently $205) and you should include evidence of completion of education (your certificate). You do not want to include original transcripts or other documents, make sure you just send photocopies. You can file online or by mail; however, filing by mail may incur additional paper filing fees. This inactive license doesn’t allow you to practice real estate but is instead a necessary step in the application process.
The next step you will complete as you work towards attaining a Texas real estate license is to get fingerprinted for your background check. This is required by the state of Texas and registering for the fingerprinting gives permission for a background check to be completed. There is a fee (currently $29.75) for this fingerprinting and you must make an appointment for it to be completed through MorphoTrust or Pearson VUE.
Once the application is received and processed, you will be notified that you can sit for the real estate exam. Completing the exam must be done within one year of filing your application—otherwise you will need to begin the process again. The notification you receive about your exam will provide instructions for contacting the administrator (through Pearson VUE). At this time, you will also receive a copy of the Candidate Handbook. This handbook provides more information about the exam, details about obtaining study material and other important instructions that you will need to succeed on exam day. When the day of your exam arrives, make sure you bring two forms of signature identification with you to the exam facility.
Investigation May Be Needed
When you file an application, you are giving consent to issuing authorities to allow an investigation into your background. While it is not normally a problem, note that information that is found in this background check can possibly lead to your application being disapproved. This investigation, if required, is an important part of the licensing process
Checking of Your Student Loan History
Your history with student loans will also be checked. If you have gone into default on a loan backed by the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation, you will need to contact this agency and straighten the situation out before your application will be approved. Additionally, when you renew your license in the future, this will be checked again, so it is important to stay up to date with any outstanding loans.
A Texas real estate broker will need to sponsor you as a sales agent before you will be able to practice real estate. This must be a broker with an active license. Once all licensing materials are accepted and satisfied, you will be eligible to act as an agent for the broker.
Don’t Practice Prior to Licensure
It’s important to remember that you are not allowed to complete any actions that require a real estate license until the actual license is in possession of your sponsoring broker. Filing your application online instead of by mail can make the process much faster and will expedite the acceptance of your materials.
Now that you understand more about how to become a real estate agent in Texas, you may think the process seems complex. It is actually not that difficult when you have access to the right tools and information. The Texas Real Estate Commission website is always a great place to turn if you have questions or concerns. Additionally, if you are completing your licensing education through 360training.com, you can reach out to the support through that site as well. The steps may take a little time and effort, but it is well worth it. Once you have completed the licensing process, you will be on your way to pursuing a career in real estate in Texas.