Written by Kacie Goff
If you’ve ever thought about working as a sales agent in the state of Texas, you’ve probably peeked at the process of getting a license. And we don’t blame you if you came away a little overwhelmed. The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) doesn’t mess around when it comes to their requirements for issuing new real estate licenses. If you’ve glanced at their requirements, you might be wondering, “How long does it take to get a Texas real estate license?”
We wish we could give you a set timeframe, but it really depends on how long it takes you to complete each step of the TREC’s application process. Fortunately, we can give you a ballpark idea of the timetable for each step. How long does it take to get a Texas real estate license? Let’s find out.
Ultimately, getting your Texas real estate license is a six-step process. Some steps might take you an hour or less, while others will require weeks of your time.
One thing you should know is that getting your real estate license should take no more than a year. From the time you submit your initial application (step 1 below), the TREC gives you one year to complete the remaining steps. If you haven’t finished them within a year, they won’t consider your application valid.
Will it be a sprint to the finish or is a year more than enough time to get your Texas real estate license? It depends on how long each step takes you. So let’s look at each.
Estimated time: ~2 hours
First up, it’s time to let the TREC know you’re interested in becoming a licensed sales agent. You do that by submitting your Application for Inactive Real Estate Sales Agent License (Form ID: ISL-9). You can print out, fill out, and send in that linked PDF.
But we recommend submitting your application through the TREC’s Online Licensing Service portal. That way, you can use their Application Tracker to see your progress. Plus, you’ll want to be a registered user in their online licensing portal for future steps in this process and license renewals down the road.
Setting up your online account and submitting your initial application shouldn’t take you more than a couple of hours.
Estimated time: ~1 hour
The TREC performs a background check on you using your fingerprints. Start the process by filling out the form on this page, which should take you about 5 minutes. Use the resulting ID number to schedule your appointment.
Fingerprinting is a quick process that takes just minutes. The appointment itself should only take about an hour.
Time: 180 hours
The TREC requires quite a bit of pre-license education — 180 hours, to be exact. But you can take the hours from your computer at your convenience. Just choose a TREC-approved online education provider with courses like those you can get here.
Estimated time: 0 hours
Some people choose to study for the required Texas real estate exam separately, but you can also use your 180 hours of pre-license education to get prepped for the test.
Time: 4 hours if you pass on your first try
The Texas real estate exam is a four-hour test proctored by PearsonVUE. They issue a candidate bulletin with info to help you prepare for the test so you can pass it on your first go.
Estimated time: 1-20 hours
Now, all that’s left is to find a broker who will sponsor your agent license. If you already have a broker who’s agreed to take you on, this is as simple as submitting the sponsorship request in the TREC’s Online Licensing Service portal. It can help to give your broker a phone call to let them know they’ll need to approve your request.
If you don’t have a broker, make time to take meetings with brokers until you find someone who will sponsor you.
Ultimately, how long will it take to get a Texas real estate license? Plan for:
2 hours for registration in the Online Licensing Service portal and the initial application
1 hour for fingerprinting
180 hours for pre-license education and exam prep
4 hours for the exam
1-20 hours to find a sponsor
You might be able to get your license in as little as 188 hours, or just shy of five workweeks. But it all depends on how long each step takes you.