Become a Realtor in Texas

Being a real estate agent can be a rewarding career choice offering schedule flexibility and the ability to work outside an office environment full-time. If you're interested in becoming a real estate agent in Texas, you must meet some basic requirements, including getting the required education. In addition, you must pass an exam and be sponsored by a broker to become a full agent.


Meeting the Basic Requirements

  1. Pick a school for you education. Most major cities in Texas have a school or multiple schools where you can complete your education. Community colleges or schools specifically for real estate are a good place to begin choosing your school, though the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) also provides a list of appropriate schools in each city.[1]
  2. Complete your education. Before you can take your Texas real estate license exam, you must successfully complete a set of required courses. Basically, these courses cover what you need to know to be a realtor, including information on the law.[2]
    • You'll need to complete 30 classroom hours in each of the following courses: Law of Agency, Law of Contracts Forms, and Real Estate Finance.[3]
    • You'll also need 60 classroom hours in the Principles of Real Estate.[3]
    • Have certification that you completed this courses on hand to file with your license application.[3]
  3. Have a clean record. To be a real estate agent, you must be of "moral character." Essentially, that means you don't have a criminal record, including misdemeanors, though traffic tickets do not count.[4]
    • If you're worried you may not be approved for this reason, you can file a Request for Moral Character Determination (MCD-5), a form found on the TREC website. You fill out this form ahead of your license application to see if you will be rejected based on this reason.[4]
    • Another issue that could disqualify you is if you have defaulted on a student loan.[3]
  4. Apply for an inactive license. You begin the process by completing the Application for Inactive Sales Agent License. You must pay a fee to accompany this form, which as of 2015 is $205 for the application, $29.75 for the background check, and an extra $20.00 if you file by mail rather than online.[3]
    • You must wait for the application to be accepted before proceeding to the next step.
    • Use one check to make the whole payment. Make the check out to the Texas Real Estate Commission.[3]
  5. Put your fingerprints on file. TREC requires that you have your fingerprints on file after receiving your TREC entity number.[5] You can use one of two agencies to take your fingerprints.[3]
    • Begin by downloading the FAST Fingerprint Pass on the TREC website. You must have this pass to make an appointment.[3]
    • Schedule an appointment. You can use either MorphoTrust or Psychological Services Incorporated (PSI), though you will schedule both through MorphoTrust. You can use their online appointment system[3] or call 1-888-467-2080 to book at one of 70 locations.[3]
    • Your fingerprints will be registered with the FBI through the Texas Department of Public Safety.[3]

Taking the Exam and Completing the Application

  1. Wait for your eligibility notification. You cannot take the exam until the state notifies you that your application has been accepted. The state will tell you whether you are eligible to take the exam or not.[3]
  2. Study for the exam. Though your classes will have prepared you for your exam, you'll need to review your notes and textbooks before taking it. In addition, you can purchase practice tests from the testing facility, Pearson Vue.[6]
    • Pearson Vue also provides outlines, study guides, and a candidate handbook to help you study for the test. You can find them for free on their website.[6]
  3. Register for the exam. Use your legal name. It must be the same as the one on your current driver's license or passport. You can register online or through the phone number 1-800-997-1248.[6]
    • Take the exam within a year. Once you've supplied your application, you must take the exam within a year.[3]
    • You will need two forms of signature ID on the exam day, ones that have your legal name. For instance, you could take your driver's license and your passport.[3] Your first ID must be a government-issued ID, such as a passport, driver's license, or military ID card. The second can be other forms of signature ID, such as a Social Security Card, a debit card, or another form of state-issued ID.[7]
    • You will also need to pay a fee for the test. As of 2015, the fee is $54.[7]
  4. Take the test. Show up with your two forms of ID. You can also take a calculator with you to help you on the test. Be sure to get there ahead of time; a half an hour is recommended. You will have 4 hours to take the exam.[7]
  5. Wait for the results. You will receive a score report at the end of the test. You will receive a pass or fail score. To pass, you must be correct on 56 questions of the national portion and 21 questions on the state portion.[7]
    • If you only pass one portion of the test, you may retake the other portion again to see if you can pass it.[7]
    • If you fail both parts of the test, you lose your application and must do it again.[7]
  6. Receive your inactive license. Once you pass the exam, you will receive your inactive license from the state. You do not need to fill out any other forms to receive it.[5]
  7. Find a sponsoring broker. Essentially, your sponsoring broker will be the firm you work with once you become a real estate agent. You should be ready with several questions when you go in search of a broker.[8]
    • For instance, you should make sure that the broker will provide you with training the first couple of years you are there.[8]
    • You should also ask about costs to you, as well as what commissions you will make and if they will increase over time.[8]
    • Finally, ask about advertising practices, as well as what kind of territory you can expect as an agent.[8]
  8. File your sponsorship. If you haven't already done so with your original application, you need to file the paperwork to show you have a broker sponsor. Your broker must also file paperwork to act as your sponsor. Your broker should already know how to file this paperwork, as she should do it on a regular basis. Once your sponsorship paperwork has been mailed and accepted, you will be licensed as a real estate agent in Texas.[3]



  • Don't practice as a real estate agent until you have your full license.

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