Thinking About A Real Estate Career Heres Where You Start

Thinking About A Real Estate Career Heres Where You Start

So you are thinking about a career in real estate? The good news is that the path to becoming a real estate agent is quicker than most careers. Broadly speaking, there are 6 steps in the licensing process. 

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Research the real estate license requirements and eligibility for the state you live in

Real estate licensing law varies by state.  All states require pre-licensing education and a passing score on the state exam.  Each state has eligibility requirements as well.  Before proceeding, make sure you can meet the minimum qualifications for a real estate license in your state.  Below is a sample list of requirements and eligibility that may or may not be applicable in your state.  Again, this widely varies state by state, so make sure you do the research first:

  • Real estate pre-licensing education from an accredited school or a real estate degree from an accredited college or university

  • Pass the state exam

  • Fingerprinting

  • Criminal history background check

  • File and pay for license application

  • Minimum age (18 or 19)

  • U.S. citizenship or legal U.S. resident

  • State residency

  • High school/GED

  • Student loan default

Complete your pre-licensing education

Once you’ve done your research on state licensing requirements, you will know what the education requirements are.  The required number of hours and the subject matter is vastly different in each state, so it’s vitally important that you choose an accredited school, licensed in your state.  You don’t want to spend the time and money on education that doesn’t meet the state’s real estate education requirements. If you have a degree in real estate, are a licensed attorney, or have a real estate license in another state, your education requirements may be different. For everyone else though, here’s what you can expect:

  • Enroll in an accredited school, licensed in your state.

  • Complete the required number of hours of real estate education. 

  • Complete an exam prep course, if available in your state.  This will prepare you for the state exam so you can pass the first time.

  • Obtain official transcripts or a certificate of completion from the school, which will be required for your license application.

Application and fees

You must complete Texas state’s real estate license application and pay applicable fees.  Forms and fee information will be found on Texas real estate commission website. Be sure to check for filing deadlines, be diligent about this process: pass the exam, complete the background check, fingerprinting, and have a sponsoring/managing broker in mind before you submit the application. 

Pass the exam

Now you get to sit for the real estate state exam and pass it.  Here’s where your pre-license education and exam prep come in. Make sure you check the real estate school’s exam pass rate in your state – you want to make sure the education you receive will actually help you pass the exam! The exam prep really does help too.  Some states require you to complete the license application before taking the exam, but here’s generally what will happen:

  • Texas administers the exam through a 3rd party testing service company, such as PSI. 

  • If required to submit an application before testing, you will receive notification from the state that you are eligible to register for the exam.

  • Register with the exam vendor and schedule a date to take the exam.

  • Bring a valid photo ID to the testing site.

  • Pass each portion of the exam.  You will have to pass both the national and the state portions of the exam, which can be taken together or separately in some states.


Complete a criminal background check and fingerprinting

Most states will require a criminal background check and fingerprinting. After all, you are handling financial transactions. There are required fees to be paid for these services and processing time is involved, so plan accordingly.  You will be able to find information on satisfying these requirements on your state’s real estate commission website.

Select a sponsoring or managing broker

You are required to work with a sponsoring or managing broker for the first 2 (or more) years of your real estate career.  Although you technically work for yourself, you cannot work independently when you are first starting off.  You will need to work on the behalf of a real estate broker who is licensed to sponsor or manage those working for his/her brokerage firm. 

Blog submitted by: Ron Cooks (Investor Friendly Realtor) of The Real Estate Market Place – Servicing the Greater Fort Hood area which includes: Killeen, Harker Heights, Temple, Belton, Copperas Cove and Nolanville. Feel free to call Ron at (254) 702-0064 if you have any questions regarding Central Texas Real Estate.

For Real Estate Listings in Central Texas visit my website at: or if you’re on the go text  'Ron' to 254-227-5799

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Phone: 254-702-0064
Dated: January 4th 2016
Views: 340
About Ron: I’m a retired Army Warrant Officer that served our nation for 25 years. I was born and reared in ...

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