Preparing for Your Real Estate Courses
The first step to get a Texas Real Estate Sales Agent license is to contact Continuing Education for Licensing, Inc. (CELI) in Texas, and register for the required pre-licensing courses. Currently, the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) requires that the following courses be completed before you are eligible to take the state licensing exam:
- Principles of Real Estate (60 hours)
- Law of Agency (30 hours)
- Law of Contracts (30 hours)
- Promulgated Contracts Forms (30 hours)
- Real Estate Finance (30 hours)
You may register for your real estate licensing courses individually or as a package. Registering for a pre-licensing package, which includes all of the required courses offers a greater savings. The package also affords the option to receive exam prep material. When you register, you will have the option to sign up for online testing or proctored testing.
Most courses feature a quiz and an exam. If you choose online testing, then you will log in to the online testing system with the username and password provided by CELI. You have the option to print the course completion certificate at the end of each exam.
Real Estate Quizzes and Certificates
If you choose proctored testing, then you will submit your completed quizzes by fax or email to Continuing Education for Licensing, Inc. Once your quizzes have been graded and successfully passed, we will mail your exam to the proctor of your choosing. The proctor can be a broker with an active license, a library, or a notary. The proctor cannot be related to you by blood or marriage. Once you have successfully completed your final exams, we will mail a course completion certificate to you.
Real Estate Application
After you have completed the required courses, you may go to the Texas Real Estate Commission’s (TREC) website and complete an application for an inactive sales agent license. Once you have submitted the required information, the system will provide you with the contact information you need to submit your course completion certificates.
You will need to submit an application fee as well. As of 01/01/2017, the total fee required is $205.00 ($150.00 application fee, $10.00 recovery trust account, $5.00 Texas online fee, $40.00 Real Estate Center fee). Since all applicants must provide their fingerprints, information is provided during the application process.
When you submit your application, a background check will be performed. Information revealed in an investigation may be cause for disapproval of an application even though other requirements for a license are met. If an investigation is necessary, it may not be conducted until the applicant has passed the examination. Texas Guaranteed Student Loan repayment history will be checked. Unless you have entered into a repayment agreement, your application may be rejected if you have defaulted on a student loan.
Real Estate Exam
Once TREC processes your application, they will provide you with a Texas Real Estate Candidate handbook. The handbook provides instructions for making an appointment to take the licensing exam, study material, and licensing instructions. The licensing exam is divided into two sections — national and state.
The national section consists of 85 questions and the state portion consists of 40 questions. You will have 150 minutes (2½ hours) to complete the national section and 90 minutes (1½ hours) to complete the state section. Any candidate who fails either section of the examination will be allowed to retake only the section they failed. You must pass both sections of the exam within 12 months from the date when the application was filed.
Next Steps in Real Estate
If you successfully passed the state licensing exam, then you are probably excited to know what happens next. Before you can practice as a licensed Texas real estate sales agent, you must arrange for a Texas real estate broker with an active license to sponsor you as a salesperson. A sales agent sponsorship form will be included in the application materials, but you are not required to have a sponsoring broker to file your application for a license. You should file this form during the application process or after TREC notifies you that you have been issued an inactive license.
Once all of the requirements have been satisfied, TREC will send an active sales agent license to the broker, and you may begin working for the broker with your license. You are not authorized to perform any act for which a real estate license is required until your sponsoring broker has your active TREC license.