The Texas real estate market is hot. With median house prices rising just over 13% in the first quarter of 2021, now could be the time to get your real estate license. With the right knowledge and drive to succeed, you may be able to build a great career in Texas real estate.
Getting a real estate license in Texas takes time and study, but the process is accessible to many people in the state. Let’s take a closer look at how to get a real estate license in the Lone Star State.
Who can get a real estate license in Texas?
Any U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted alien who is 18 years or older may get a real estate license in Texas.
However, applicants must also meet the Texas Real Estate Commission’s (TREC) qualifications for “honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity.” This means that if you have criminal offenses, unpaid judgements, had discipline taken against a professional or occupational license, or performed certain activities without a license, you may not be issued a real estate license in the state.
If you are unsure whether you meet the TREC requirements, you can request a Fitness Determination to check. This is less expensive than going through the licensing process only to have your application rejected.
5 Steps to obtain a Texas real estate license
Obtaining a real estate license in Texas generally takes five steps.
1. Pass a background check
Texas law requires that your fingerprints must be on file with the Texas Department of Public Safety so they can run a background check.
2. Complete the required education
After you’ve passed your background check, you must complete 180 hours of approved classroom work. This includes courses in real estate principles, finance, contracts, and other relevant topics.
If you have already completed any or all of the required classes through an accredited college or university for academic credit, you may not need to retake these classes again. You can instead submit your transcripts for evaluation to determine if you already meet this requirement.
3. Apply for a license
Once you’ve passed your pre-licensing education, you can apply for a real estate license with the TREC. You will need to pay a fee when submitting your application.
4. Pass the state licensing exam
After your license application is approved, you can schedule a time to sit the state licensing exam. The test is 185 questions covering both state and national real estate information. You must get a score of 70% or higher to pass the exam.
If you fail the exam three times, you will need to complete additional education to continue through the application process.
5. Partner with a licensed broker
Once you’ve completed the steps above, you will be issued an inactive real estate license. In Texas, you must be sponsored by a licensed broker to work. After you’ve been paired with a broker, your real estate license will be activated, and you can begin working as a real estate sales agent.
Renewing your real estate license in Texas
A Texas real estate license is not valid forever. You will need to renew it periodically to continue working legally as a real estate agent.
Your initial real estate license lasts for two years. To maintain your license, you need to complete 270 hours of approved courses and two TREC Legal Update courses during that two-year period.
For each renewal after, you are required to complete 18 hours of continuing education courses before you submit a renewal application.
Complete renewal details, procedures, and deadlines can be found on the TREC website.
Professional Liability for real estate agents
Getting a real estate license in Texas means putting in hours of hard work and study. You may want to consider protecting your real estate business once it is up and running. Professional Liability insurance, while not required in Texas, may be an important part of managing the risks that come along with this career.
Professional Liability, otherwise known as E&O insurance, protects your business against claims of negligence, misrepresentation or mistake, as well as document or paperwork errors.
For real estate agents, this means that you will be protected should a client allege that your advice or services caused them to lose money. Even if their claim is without merit, it can still be expensive to defend yourself against these types of allegations. Professional Liability insurance will pay legal expenses associated with relevant claims, including settlements and judgements, so you are not left to pay them out of your own pocket.
BizInsure can help real estate agents in Texas find Professional Liability insurance to meet their small business needs. You can find, compare, and buy a policy online in just 10 minutes and receive your policy documents instantly by email.
Visit our website to learn more about Professional Liability insurance and find a policy that fits your needs as a real estate agent.