Information About Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents handle either side (buyer or seller) of the real estate transaction and are paid a commission, which is a percentage of the sale price, from the transactions. Agents are also stationed in brokerage firms and are responsible for making sure transactions happen; this can include inspections, paperwork, and important dates such as the closing. Real estate agents acquire a license from the governing state after completing the requirements. For Texas, there are five requirements the applicant must follow before receiving the license, and several of them can be easily done online.
|Required Skills Nationwide*||Business Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Organizational Skills, Problem-Solving Skills|
|Job Growth Nationwide*||7% Growth 2018-2028|
|Average Salary in Texas (2018)*||$70,520 per year|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent in Texas Online
To become a real estate agent in Texas, there are five steps one needs to do before finding that first job and making that first sale. Three out of these five steps can be completed easily online. The other two have online components as well as in-person components, such as taking an exam or fingerprinting.
Step 1. Follow the General Requirements as Listed on the Texas Government Website
The first requirements outlined on the Texas Real Estate Commission's (TREC) website are to be at least 18 years or older and a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted immigrant. Applicants can research this information online. On top of these, the applicant needs to disclose any criminal history online or by regular mail as failure to do so will lead to a denied license. Applicants may submit via regular mail a Fitness Determination (FD) to see if any criminal history will affect the real estate agent licensing process before actually doing the process.
Step 2. File the Application and Pass the Background Check with Fingerprints
Individuals can submit the application online or by mail along with the required fees. On the TREC's website, the applicant can track the application more in-depth. In addition to a background check, applicants are required to have their fingerprints on file with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). The applicants can search for their account online using their information or the TREC ID and from there, make an appointment with a vendor that collects and submits fingerprints.
Step 3. Complete the Coursework
To complete these college-level courses total 180 classroom hours, the individual needs to have a high school diploma or a GED in order to take any applicable courses. Once completed, completion documents should be sent to TREC online or by mail and applicants are welcome to submit evaluations of the course and instructor as well.
These six courses can be taken online at any school that meets the state requirements:
- Principles of Real Estate I
- Principles of Real Estate II
- Law of Agency
- Law of Contracts
- Promulgated Contract Forms
- Real Estate Finance
Step 4. Take the Exam
The exam must be taken in-person at a testing site. Applicants will be sent instructions on scheduling the exam and how to receive a copy of the handbook, which details what to expect from the exam. Please note, failing the exam three times will lead to further education requirements.
Step 5. Find a Sponsorship and Start Working
Upon passing all the requirements above, the applicant will be issued an inactive license. Through the online service from TREC, the now inactive agent is required to find a broker to sponsor him or her. Once this sponsorship request has been accepted, the agent will receive an active license and is ready to work.