How to Become a Broker in Texas
If you are ready to move up to a broker license in Texas, this article will walk you through all of the requirements you need.
TREC defines a licensed real estate broker as a person who provides real estate services to another person in exchange for a commission. Brokers can also sponsor and supervise real estate agents.
- Verify you satisfy the experience requirements
- Complete the pre-license education
- Submit your application
- Pass the state exam
- Wait for your license in the mail
The amount of time it takes to get a broker license will vary by individual, depending on your past experience and education. It could take as little as 1 month or as long as 4 years.
- Applicants will need to be 18 years or older.
- You must be a US citizen or lawfully admitted alien.
- Texas residency is required unless you are a licensed broker from another state, or you were previously licensed in Texas as a sales agent or broker within the past 2 years.
- There will be a criminal background check at the end.
If you have a felony or misdemeanor that you are concerned about and want to find out if this will disqualify you before going through all of the pre-licensing steps, you can complete the Moral Character Determination form and submit it to TREC, along with a $50 processing fee.
1. Verify that You Satisfy the Experience Requirements
TREC requires that you have at least 4 years of active real estate experience within the last 5 years prior to filling your broker application.
You must also have accumulated at least 3,600 total experience points. This is to show that you have actually been using your real estate license. You get points for each activity on a real estate transaction, such as closing a purchase or sale, posting a listing, managing property, etc…
You must document and certify your experience by filling out the Qualifying Experience Report for a Broker License worksheet.
2. Complete the Pre-License Education
You will need to have completed 900 total hours of qualifying real estate education. If you are a licensed sales agent in Texas, you will most likely have already completed 270 of these hours when you initially obtained your real estate license.
The following course topics are mandatory:
- 30 hours – 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 – Finance
- 30 hours- Brokerage – This course must be completed within the last two years of applying for the broker license.
The remaining 690 hours can be made up of real estate related qualifying education that has been approved by TREC.
If you have a bachelor’s degree or higher degree from an accredited college or university, it will satisfy all of the related education requirements for a broker license.
Otherwise, you will need to take additional real estate and/or academic college courses to get up to the 900 total required hours.
The following real estate course subjects are approved as qualifying education:
- 30 hour – Real Estate Appraisal
- 30 hour – Real Estate Law
- 30 hour – Real Estate Marketing
- 30 hour – Real Estate Math
- 30 hour – Property Management
- 30 hour – Real Estate Investments
- 30 hour – Residential Inspections for Real Estate Agents
The following academic course subjects are acceptable as qualifying education:
- Business or Management
- Real Estate
The Commission also accepts your Continuing Education (CE) courses as qualifying education.
3. Submit Your Application
I would recommend applying online. It is not only faster than snail mail, but the Commission will charge you a $20 paper processing fee for applications by mail.
TREC will review your work history and course certificates to make sure you have satisfied all of the experience and education requirements.
You will eventually have to get your fingerprints taken so they can run a criminal background check on you. You can either get this done now, or wait until after you pass the state exam.
You must have your fingerprints taken at an approved Live Scan location by IDEMIA (formerly known as MorphoTrust). They will electronically send your file directly to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), where they will run your background check through the FBI criminal database. The fingerprint fee is $38.25 and the background check fee is $28.25.
4. Pass the State Exam
TREC has contacted with Pearson VUE to conduct its broker state exam. There are locations readily available all over Texas, and you can schedule to take the exam in as little as 24 hours.
Pearson VUE also has test centers at some military bases around the world. So, if you are a military service member, dependent, or contractor with authorized access, you will be able to take the state exam there.
Simply make a reservation for an exam on their website. The examination fee is $54.
The Texas broker state exam consists of a total of 145 questions over 4 hours, broken up into two parts: the national and state portions.
National portion: You have 150 minutes to answer 85 questions with a score of 70% or higher.
State portion: You have 90 minutes to answer 60 questions with a score of 63.3% or higher.
You must pass both portions to pass the exam.
You will have 3 attempts to pass both the national and state portion on the exam. If you fail on the third attempt, you will have to take an additional 30 hours of qualifying real estate education for each failed portion. So, if you fail both the national and state portion, then that means you will have to re-take 60 hours of real estate courses.
5. Wait for Your License to Arrive in the Mail
If you haven’t gotten your fingerprints taken for the criminal background check by now, you will need to do that in order to complete your broker application and receive your license.
Once TREC finishes reviewing your broker application, they will send your broker license by mail.