If you want to be a real estate agent in the state of Texas, prepare to spend a significant amount of time studying the basics of real estate laws and processes before you can apply for your license. Real estate agents include anyone with a real estate license -- but don't confuse them with realtors, who are members of the National Association of Realtors, or real estate brokers, who have studied more extensively and have prior experience as real estate agents.
Becoming a licensed real estate agent in Texas first requires you to study topics related to real estate for a total of about 180 classroom hours, under the tutelage of an accredited teacher or program. The Texas Real Estate Commission's "Sources of Acceptable Qualifying Real Estate Education" web page provides information about finding a training program. Programs cover topics such as real estate finance, contract law, contract forms and the principles of real estate.
After paying the school's fees and successfully completing the program, you must fill out the real estate agent application and pay the fees on the TREC website. The fee includes a background check. At that time, you can also request a sponsor. In Texas, agents are required to work under a licensed real estate broker who "sponsors" the agent.
After you submit your application, the Commission contacts you to register and pay for the license exam, which is administered by a third-party service. You'll also get information for accessing a "candidate handbook" that serves as a study guide. The exam contains a national and state-specific section. To pass, you'll need to correctly answer 56 national questions and 21 state questions. Pass the exam and the background check that goes with it and you'll be issued your license.