Tennessee Real Estate License Guide

Quick Facts

Tennessee Real Estate Governing Body:

Tennessee Real Estate Commission

PreLicensing Requirements:

90 Hours

СЕ Requirements:

16 Hours

Read more below

How to Get a Tennessee Real Estate License

The basic eligibility requirements to become a real estate agent in Tennessee are: 

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be a US citizen, a qualified alien, or a foreign national not physically present in the US
  • Be a resident of Tennessee for at least 45 days before applying for a license

If you meet these basic eligibility requirements, you will then be required to complete a 60-Hour Basic Principles of Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course. After you finish the prelicensing course, you need to go through the following steps: 

  • Submit fingerprint scans through IdentoGO 
  • Schedule to take the Tennessee real estate licensing exam
  • Pass the Tennessee real estate licensing exam 

Once you pass the real estate exam, the final steps towards obtaining a license are:

  • Find a principal broker to work under
  • Get Errors & Omissions insurance 

Successful completion of the real estate exam doesn’t mean that you will be issued a real estate license. On the day of the examination, you will be asked to answer five qualifying questions:

  1. Do you now hold, or have you ever held a real estate or timeshare license in Tennessee or any other state? 
  2. Have you ever been refused a license or had a license revoked, suspended, reprimanded, or fined by any federal, state, or local government? (Do not include motor vehicle license.) 
  3. Have you ever been refused or had a real estate or timeshare salesperson license revoked, suspended, reprimanded, or fined?
  4. Have you ever had a complaint filed against you with any regulatory agency or with any court?
  5. Have you been convicted of or pled nolo contendere or guilty to any felony or a misdemeanor involving the theft of services, money, or property within the last ten (10) years?​

The Tennessee Real Estate Commission will make a decision whether they will issue you a license based on your answers to these questions.

Compare Tennessee Real Estate Schools

We’ve listed the best schools in Tennessee based on reader’s reviews here. Looking for our editor’s picks? See the best real estate schools in Tennessee.

SchoolReviewsEditor's ScorePricing
Kaplan Real Estate Education
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star

based on 29 reviews

A- -
Real Estate Express
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star

based on 65 reviews

A- $150-$450
AceableAgent
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star

based on 35 reviews

B+ $82 and up
The CE Shop
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star

based on 41 reviews

A -
McKissock Learning
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • half star
  • full star

based on 5 reviews

B -
Tennessee Real Estate Education Systems (TREES)
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
B -

Tennessee Real Estate Licensing FAQs

The requirements to become a real estate agent in Tennessee are very straightforward. Everything is explained in detail on this page, and each step is designed to help you obtain a license easier and as relaxing as possible.   

The 60-hour pre-license education course will prepare you for the real estate exam and give you the knowledge you need to pass the final exam. If you pay attention to the classes and prepare well for the exam, you can easily pass it on the first try. The remaining requirements take little to no effort to complete and are generally directed towards your citizenship, good character, safety in your real estate operations. 

One of the most convenient things about applying for a real estate license in Tennessee is that everything can be done online. Registration, fingerprint scans, and all applications can be completed either through the Tennessee Real Estate Commission or the PSI website, which shortens the time needed to become a real estate agent.  

As the prelicensing course lasts for 60 hours and can be taken online through most providers, you can finish it for a short period of time. If you take 2 hours of classes every day from Monday to Sunday, you will complete the course within four weeks. 

The electronic fingerprint scan should be done through IdentoGo, which can last around two weeks at most. 

Scheduling and taking the exam depends on the seating capacity, PSI centers near you, and on which attempt you pass the exam. The results are valid for six months, so you should pass both portions of the exam within this time frame. 

If you’re a non-resident of Tennessee applying for a real estate license, the process will last 45 days extra, as this is the period required for a person to be a resident of Tennessee before being eligible for a real estate license.

Although Tennessee’s annual mean wage is $50,670, the top 10% of agents can earn $81,000 or higher. In addition to this, agents operating in Memphis earn $57,940 annually on average, with the annual 90th percentile wage being $82,940. 

Currently, Tennessee has no real estate reciprocity with any other state. If you’re licensed in another state and want to do real estate in Tennessee, you would have to meet the same educational criteria as licensed real estate agents in Tennessee. This means you have to be affiliated with a company that is licensed to do real estate in Tennessee and have a licensed principal broker to oversee you.

To get a real estate license as a non-resident in Tennessee, you will be required to provide the following documentation: 

  • Course completion certificates or transcripts documenting required real estate education
  • If you hold a license in another state, you must present a license certification from the licensing state
  • Proof of passing a written examination administered by a national testing company 

You should submit all required documents at trec.info@tn.gov, after which you will receive notification of your approval or rejection to take the exam.

The biggest portion of the costs to become a real estate agent in Tennessee is the prelicensing course. It can be as low as $200 and as high as $1,000, it depends on the course provider you choose. Keep in mind that different things like additional classes, videos, books, and materials are included in the price of the course, so make sure you’ve analyzed your options before deciding on which real estate school you will opt for. 

Besides the prelicensing education course, you will be met with the following costs: 

  • Initial License Application – $91
  • Initial Designated Agent – $90
  • Initial Timeshare Salesperson – $91
  • Initial Timeshare Acquisition Agent – $90
  • Licensee Renewal (every 2 years) – $75
  • Late Renewal – $50 per month for the first 120 days, $100 per month after 121-365 days

In order to work and act as a real estate agent or broker in Tennessee, you have to hold an Errors & Omissions insurance policy at all times. Not doing so may result in additional penalties or suspensions. The cost of the insurance policy depends on the holder of the policy (the real estate agent), but according to some unofficial sources, the median cost is $55 per month.   

 

Currently, you can apply for the following licenses in Tennessee:

  • Affiliate Broker
  • Broker 
  • Timeshare Salesperson
  • Acquisition Agent

Each of these has different eligibility and qualification requirements, so make sure you find out more details about the type of license you want before applying. 

Failing the real estate exam on your first try doesn’t disqualify you from taking it once again. You can reschedule it as soon as the following day. 

If you pass one section but fail the other, you need to retake only the section you failed. Your passing score is valid for two retakes of the failed section or for six months, whichever comes first. Affiliate broker and broker examinations candidates who fail the first attempt at the examination may retake it as soon as they want.

If you fail the exam after the second attempt, you would have to wait for at least 30 days before you can retake the exam for the third time.

The real estate examination in Tennessee tests the candidate’s knowledge of general US real estate laws and regulations as well as laws and regulations that apply in and are specific for Tennessee. These areas are in the exam and split into a national and state portion. 

The national portion covers the following areas:

  • Property ownership
  • Land use controls and regulations
  • Valuation and market analysis
  • Financing
  • General principles of agency
  • Property disclosures
  • Contracts
  • Leasing and Property management
  • Transfer of title
  • Practice of real estate
  • Real estate calculations

On the other hand, the state portion covers the following areas:

  • Duties and powers of the Department and the State Board of Real Estate
  • Licensing requirements
  • Advertising and Marketing
  • Broker/Affiliate Relationships
  • Handling of Documents and Record-Keeping
  • Handling of Trust/Escrow Funds 
  • Other Improper Activities and Consumer Protection
  • Agency and Disclosure Issues
  • Special Areas of Practice

Depending on which type of real estate license you’re applying for, you would need a different passing score. The number of questions and their passing scores are as follows: 

If you’re applying for an Affiliate Broker license, there are 80 questions in the national portion and 40 in the state portion. You need to answer 70% correctly, or 56 questions from the national and 28 questions from the state portion to pass the exam.

If you’re applying for a Broker license, there are 80 questions in the national portion and 35 in the state portion. You need to answer 75% correctly, or 60 questions from the national and 38 questions from the state portion to pass the exam.

If you’re applying for a Timeshare Salesperson license, there is only a national portion with 35 questions. You need to answer 70% correctly, or 25 questions to pass the exam.

If you’re applying for an Acquisition Agent license, there is only a national portion with 35 questions. You need to answer 70% correctly, or 25 questions to pass the exam.

The national portion of the exam and the state portion are designed to test your knowledge and readiness to become a Tennessee real estate agent. The national portion tests your knowledge of the general real estate laws, rules, and regulations, while the state portion tests your knowledge of laws, rules, and regulations that apply in the state of Tennessee. 

You should display knowledge of both areas to pass the exam and be eligible to receive a real estate license. 

All states require you to bring two forms of identification to the real estate exam, including Tennessee. One of the IDs you bring to the exam needs to be state-issued and contain your photo and signature, the same ones you’ve provided on the Examination Registration Form. The second form of ID has to have your signature and your name, the same name on your Examination Registration form.  

Any person that is on parole or probation will not be allowed to schedule an examination by The Tennessee Real Estate Commission unless two years have passed from the expiration date of conviction, probation, or release from incarceration, whichever one happened later.

You can find other information, laws, and regulations on the Tennessee Real Estate Commission’s official website