Let's say you’ve been a successful agent for some time now. You’re ready to take the next big step in your career and take things up a notch.
Here’s how to become licensed as a real estate broker.
- Make sure you meet the qualifications to become a real estate broker.
- Complete 3600 points of experience and 900 hours of qualifying education courses.
- Submit your application and fee to become a real estate broker to TREC.
- Submit your education completion certificates to TREC.
- Wait for your eligibility letter to come from TREC.
- Schedule and attend your fingerprinting appointment and pass your background check.
- Schedule your licensing exam with Pearson VUE.
- Take and pass your licensing exam!
- Receive your active license via email!
- FUTURE STEP: Continuing Education Requirements
Step 1. Make sure you meet the qualifications to become a real estate broker.
First, you need to make sure you meet these qualifications:
- You are a US citizen or lawfully admitted alien
- You are at least 18 years old
- You are a Texas resident
- You meet the Texas Real Estate Commission’s (TREC) qualifications for honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity (optional: you can request a Fitness Determination before applying)
Step 2. Complete 3600 points of experience and 900 hours of qualifying education courses.
Becoming a broker means having a good amount of experience and knowledge – you’re going to be seen as a specialist after all!
We’ll go over the experience and education requirements here.
The Experience Requirement
First, you need to have had an active real estate agent or broker license for the past 4 years during the 60-month (5-year) period that occurs before you file your broker license application.
Second, you need to make enough transactions to equal at least 3600 points. Different types of transactions have different point values. You’ll need to log your transactions on TREC’s Qualifying Experience Report for a Broker License (if you still haven’t reached 3600 points by the time you apply, no worries, there is an another Qualifying Experience Report for transactions made after you’ve filed your application).
The Education Requirement
900 hours sounds like a lot, but it’s actually quite easy to get it taken care of!
270 of the 900 hours consist of mandatory courses. Most of these hours are taken care of in your pre-license classes. The one remaining class is Real Estate Brokerage (30 hours). Don’t take Real Estate Brokerage too early though – TREC’s requirement is that you take that course within 2 years of your application date. If you took it too long ago, you’ll need to retake Real Estate Brokerage again for it to count. Below is a list of all mandatory classes that a broker candidate needs to take:
- Principles of Real Estate I (30 hours)
- Principles of Real Estate II (30 hours)
- Law of Agency (30 hours)
- Law of Contracts (30 hours)
- Promulgated Contract Forms (30 hours)
- Real Estate Finance (30 hours)
- Real Estate Brokerage (30 hours)
The remaining 630 hours are really easy to complete as well. Your 90-hour Salesperson Apprenticeship Education (SAE) and any continuing education courses that you have taken so far count toward this requirement. Even better, if you have a Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university, that will fulfill all 630 hours. You’ll just need to submit a college transcript showing proof that you received that degree.
If you do not have a Bachelor’s degree or higher, here is how you can complete your 900 classroom hours:
- Before getting your license:
- 180 hours of pre-license courses
- First 2 years of having an active sales agent license:
- 90 hours of SAE
- 8 hours for Legal Update I and II
- Every 2-year renewal period after that:
- 18 required hours of continuing education
- No later than 2 years before your broker application date:
- 30 hours for Real Estate Brokerage
But wait, that only adds up to 362 hours! Let’s say you’re a hustler and you’re a newly licensed agent. Your goal is to become a broker in the shortest amount of time possible. Roll your sleeves up because you’re going to need to take about 108 extra hours of continuing education across a 5-year period. Your brokerage might offer CE courses during lunch, so go to as many of those lunches as possible! You can also repeat CE courses in the same 2-year period as long as the courses are done with different schools. You cannot repeat CE courses in the same 2-year period if it is with the same school.
Step 3. Submit your application and fee to become a real estate broker to TREC.
Once you have met all of the qualifications as well as the experience and education requirements, you can head over to TREC’s website to file your application and pay a $305 fee to become a real estate broker. It is also possible to apply by mail, but it may take longer to process and comes with an additional $20 paper processing fee.
Step 4. Submit your education completion certificates to TREC.
Now that you’ve submitted your application, there is more to do! You’ll submit your the certificates that you received for completing each course to TREC. Even though your coursework shows up on your education history online, you’ll still need to submit this information to TREC at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll be able to send your college transcript showing proof of receiving your degree to email@example.com if that applies to you.
Step 5. Wait for your eligibility letter to come from TREC.
You’re almost there! This eligibility letter will include your TREC ID number and instructions for scheduling your licensing exam with Pearson VUE. Your TREC ID number will be used to get fingerprinted (if you haven’t done this previously for TREC) and to sign up for your licensing exam. Pearson VUE is the company that TREC has contracted to offer the licensing exam and they are the only ones to offer it.
Step 6. Schedule and attend your fingerprinting appointment and pass your background check.
NOTE: This is only if you have not previously done this with TREC.
Register online on TREC’s website here (it is not found in TREC’s Online Services). The fee for this process is $37. When you go to the appointment, bring the eligibility letter you received from TREC in Step 5.
At the appointment, you will also be photographed. The fingerprints will be filed with DPS so that the background check can be performed. According to TREC, fingerprints on file for other agencies will not be accepted.
If you do not pass the background check, TREC will not issue you a real estate sales agent license. In that case, you should expect a delay if you are notified of an investigation into your background history.
Step 7. Schedule your licensing exam with Pearson VUE.
Refer back to the eligibility letter TREC sent you! It contains instructions for signing up and scheduling your licensing exam.
Step 8. Take and pass your licensing exam!
Make sure to study hard for this exam. Pearson VUE offers practice tests that you can purchase. You can also download their Candidate Handbook for a sample test.
AceableAgent is committed to having the highest first-time passing rate among all future real estate brokers who take the licensing exam. Our courses are written by educators passionate about making sure you have all of the knowledge and skills to not only pass the licensing exam, but to be a successful broker.
As soon as you finish taking your exam, you will receive a score report marked “pass” or “fail” when you leave the testing site. As of January 1, 2016, any applicant who fails the licensing exam 3 times in a row cannot register for a retake or submit a license application until you complete an additional 30 classroom hours of qualifying real estate education for each failed section of the exam. Once you finish the additional coursework, you’ll need to submit your course completion certificates along with a copy of the third failed score report to TREC at firstname.lastname@example.org. It will take about 5-7 business days for TREC to process your documents and for you to be re-authorized to reschedule your exam with Pearson VUE.
Step 9. Receive your active license via email!
TREC will email you your broker license. You’ve made it!
What now? As a new broker, you can go down different paths:
- Start your own brokerage
- You can work alone and keep 100% of your commissions
- Or, you can recruit and hire other real estate agents or associate brokers to work under your license
- Work under a brokerage
- If you want to mentor and manage agents, you can be a managing broker.
- If you’re looking for greater commission splits, you can likely get one as an associate broker.
- Work under a brokerage
- Run a property management company
FUTURE STEP: Continuing Education Requirements
Every Texas broker has to complete their continuing education requirements every two years!
You’ll take 18 hours of continuing education courses – what AceableAgent currently offers! All are required to take Legal Update I and Legal Update II as well as elective courses to make up for the remaining hours. Brokers have an additional requirement of taking Broker Responsibility too.