Texas Real Estate License Guide

Quick Facts

texas real estate commission logo

Texas Real Estate Governing Body:

Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC)

PreLicensing Requirements:

180 Hours

СЕ Requirements:

18 Hours

Read more below

How to Get a Texas Real Estate License

Are you Interested in becoming a real estate agent in the great state of Texas? Of course you are, real estate is booming here! Well, hold on tight  cause we’re gonna fire off the six steps you need to get your hands on a Texas real estate license.

You ready? Let’s break it down, step by step.

Step 1: Meet the TREC Criteria

Hello criteria, pleasure to meet you!

Let’s answer the most obvious question straight out of the gate. “What the heck is TREC and why do I need to impress them?!” Well, TREC is short for the Texas Real Estate Commission and it’s their job to make sure all agents in Texas are capable, qualified, and can lawfully work in the state. To do so, they have some basic criteria you must meet. Luckily, most of the requirements are pretty straightforward.

Let’s meet the criteria:

  1. You must be at least 18 years old.
  2. You must be a U.S. citizen or a lawfully admitted alien.
  3. You must meet TREC’s integrity, trustworthiness, and honesty standards. 🙋 ( Yes, we’ll answer your questions about this one in a moment. )

The first two are pretty cut and dry but the last one, not so much. The good news is that most of our visitors/users don’t need to worry about it. The only time you’d need to be concerned is if you have any criminal offenses, unpaid judgments, disciplinary actions taken against a professional or occupational license, or have performed unlicensed real estate activity.

Step 2: Take a Pre-Licensing Education Class

man studying for licensing examSchool’s Back in Session

You’re required to take a “pre-licensing” education class where you’ll study the principles of real estate, contracts, and finance. Not a fan of school? Well, these classes just might change how you feel about school. You have so many options! Some of them are even entirely online which has huge advantages! Online classes means you can do them at your own pace and work them in around your own schedule even if you have a full-time job. Also, the classes are only a total of 180 hours! That may seem like a big number, but to get started in a new career, that number is just a speck in time.

But what’s included in those 180 hours? Take a look at the curriculum and see for yourself:

  • Principles of Real Estate I
  • Principles of Real Estate II
  • Law of Agency
  • Law of Contracts
  • Promulgated Contract Forms
  • Real Estate Finance

“But what the heck’s a ‘Promulgated Contract’? That sounds scary and hard!” 

Don’t be scared off by the vocabulary. This is what the classes are designed for. They’ll defang any confusing topics by breaking them down. Still scared? Trust me, you can do this. The pass rates after taking these classes are sky-high, typically over a 95% pass rate and the support these classes offer is amazing. 

Students are always surprised how affordable these classes are. Take a look at the courses we offer and see for yourself. If you’re still looking for a way to save some dough, AgentAdvice offers a way to get yours for free. Check out how here.

Step 3: Apply for your Texas Sales Agent License

small group of students studyingApply Yourself!

You flew through the pre-licensing class and you’re building momentum! Well, now it’s time to apply for your license. Yes, there’s a few annoying forms and pesky fees but the process is relatively painless because it’s all online through TREC. Within a few days you’ll get a letter of eligibility back. This letter doesn’t mean you’re finished, but it does allow you to complete Step 4 and Step 5 ( submitting your fingerprints and taking the final exam). Once you get this letter the clock starts ticking and you have one year to pass that exam. Don’t panic, you’ve got this. With the pre-licensing course under your belt you’ll be well prepared.

Remember to keep that eligibility letter handy because it’ll have info on how to submit your fingerprints and schedule your exam.

Step 4: Submit your fingerprints

studying for licensing examOnce you get your eligibility letter you can submit your fingerprints. My fingerprints?  Yes, they need your fingerprints so that TREC can perform a background check. Remember it’s their job to make sure all agents in Texas are on the up-and-up. The eligibility letter will give you detailed information on exactly how to submit but we’ll give you a little sneak peek so it’s not a surprise. 

You’ll submit your fingerprints through everybody’s favorite agency, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) 🙄. They’ll also take your photo and there will be a small fee attached. This task is a little tedious but still an easy one to knock out.

Step 5: Pass the Texas real estate licensing exam

Happy woman studying and smilingYou got this!

The step you’ve all been waiting for … passing the exam. Don’t freak out, you got this! Don’t know what you need to study? Your exam eligibility letter will have a Candidate Handbook which has study material that will help you prep for the exam. There’s also plenty of cram courses that will help you brush up right before the exam. Rest assured that you don’t have to pass this on the first try. Remember that you have a full year from when you get your exam eligibility to pass this exam. We think you’ll pass it on your first go because we know you, you’re motivated.

Step 6: Find a Sponsoring Broker

women studying for licensing examNow a word from our sponsor

Finally, you’ll need to find a sponsoring broker. 🙋 Uhhh … should I know what a  ‘sponsoring broker’ is? Nope, we’ll tell you! So you’ve passed the exam but it doesn’t mean you’re ready just yet. When you first start out you’ll want an experienced organization to show you the ropes. Sponsoring brokers have been-there-done-that and they’re ready to show you how. Not only will they give you all the tools you need to start making sales but they’ll help you market yourself as an agent. 

You’ll get to choose a brokerage you like, that focuses on a niche you love, that has a company culture you love, and most importantly … has a good commission rate, so your paycheck is XL. Worried about finding a brokerage yourself? AgentAdvice helps with warm introductions to hiring brokerages if you sign-up for a class through us. Phew!

You have total freedom to choose your sponsoring broker. Here’s some things agents look at when choosing a brokerage:

  • Commission Rate
    • Look at each brokerage’s commission rate when you’re shopping around. If they’ve got a good rate, your commission checks will be larger than life. 💸
  • Niche
    • Maybe you want a brokerage that focuses on a niche on a location or a specific category of real estate like commercial retail, single family homes, or fixer-uppers. So if you have a specific interest you can find a broker who shares that interest.
  • Culture
    • Maybe the company’s culture is important to you. If so, get to know what they’re all about, how they work, and what’s important to them.

That’s all just to say that you have the freedom to choose a brokerage that fits you.


Mission Complete

sold signThose are the steps you need to get your Texas real estate license. Yes, you might have to trudge through paperwork, check boxes, file forms, burn the midnight oil, chug coffee … but after all that … you’ll have your license. We recommend printing it out on super-gloss and framing it. Leave some room next to it for your first commission check; A LOT of room!  

That’s all folks! Once you make it through these steps you’ll have a brand new career ahead of you. If there’s anything we can do to help you make it through these steps please let us know. We’ve got pre-licensing classes, cram courses, and all sorts of resources to help.

Compare Texas Real Estate Schools

aa-trophy-smallWant to see the full, in depth editor reviews for each school? Check out our 100% free guide to the best real estate schools in Texas (includes the latest 2021 pricing, reviews, pass rates, and more).


Here’s the quick take:

SchoolReviewsEditor's ScorePricing
The CE Shop
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star

based on 56 reviews

A $$
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star

based on 54 reviews

A $
aceableagent logo
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star

based on 47 reviews

B+ $$$
Champions School of Real Estate
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • half star

based on 48 reviews

B- $$$
kaplan logo
Kaplan Real Estate Education
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star

based on 36 reviews

B- $$$
Real Estate Express
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • half star
  • full star

based on 81 reviews

B- $$

Texas Real Estate Licensing FAQs

classroom setting with studentsAssuming you qualify for the requirements, earning a real estate license in Texas means you have to have completed 180 hours of accompanying real estate education. The courses below are required:

  • Principles of Real Estate I: 30-hour credit
  • Principles of Real Estate II: 30-hour credit
  • Law of Agency: 30-hour credit
  • Law of Contracts: 30-hour credit
  • Promulgated Contract Forms: 30-hour credit
  • Real Estate Finance: 30-hour credit

You can finish the courses in as little as 3-5 weeks, but they can be done at your own pace.

man studying for licensing examThere are some things on the test your courses may not have prepared you for. There may be tricky questions that you are not sure how to answer. You may become lost and stressed out which will set the tone for the entire test taking session.

So, we’ve made a list of the top Texas real estate exam prep providers:

  1. PrepAgent – Gives you access to live online group webinars, e-book