A career in real estate provides you great control over your personal growth, especially once you become a broker. A real estate agent cannot work independently and must always sign up with a licensed brokerage to jumpstart their career. With an ever-growing real estate market in Texas, creating your own brokerage is naturally an attractive proposition. And why not? When you have the required experience and will to take charge of your career as well as the desire to help others establish theirs, you must strongly consider taking the next step in your real estate career.
What is a Real Estate Broker?
A real estate broker is one step up from an agent in the industry. They continue their education and obtain after initally receiving their real estate license and can operate either independently or decide to hire their own agents. Real estate brokers are primarily responsible for guiding clients in property-related transactions, being a seller’s agent for listing and advertising their properties, and conducting open houses for them. While a broker can operate as an agent, an agent cannot work as a broker without passing the brokerage exam and obtaining an additional license.
Pre-Requisites to Get a Texas Real Estate Broker License
To qualify for a broker’s license exam, you must fulfill the following requirements. You have to:
- Be a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien
- Be at least 18 years of age or older
- Be a Texas resident, unless:
- You were licensed in Texas as sales agent or broker in the last two years, or
- Are a licensed broker in another state
- Must meet the Texas Real Estate Commission’s (TREC) requirements of honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity
- Consider requesting a Moral Character Determination before applying for the license
How Much Do Real Estate Brokers in Texas Make?
On average, a real estate broker in Texas makes around $72,460.00 in salary annually. This is 21% higher than the national average salary for brokers.
Steps to Become a Real Estate Broker in Texas
In addition to the requirements listed above, a person interested in obtaining the broker’s license in the state of Texas has to take a TREC designed course and clear the final exam. To be eligible, you must have at least four year’s active experience as a licensed real estate agent or broker during the sixty-month period preceding the application. Once you meet all those requirements, you can follow the steps below to obtain your license.
1. Complete 270 Hours of Required Pre-License Education
A total of 270 credit hours are required to complete your pre-licensing education. The courses included at this stage are:
- Principles of Real Estate I (30 credit hours)
- Principles of Real Estate II (30 credit hours)
- Law of Agency (30 credit hours)
- Law of Contracts (30 credit hours)
- Promulgated Contracts Forms (30 credit hours)
- Real Estate Finance (30 credit hours)
- Real Estate Brokerage (30 credit hours)
The additional courses to meet the required hours include:
- Real Estate Marketing I: Building a Real Estate Practice (30 credit hours)
- Real Estate Property Management (30 credit hours)
TREC requires all the candidates to take these courses. The educational requirements don’t end here. To be eligible for your broker’s license, an additional 630 credit hours in related qualifying education courses acceptable to the commission or approved Continuing Education (CE) courses are a requirement as well. The approved courses include:
- Real Estate Appraisal
- Real Estate Law
- Real Estate Marketing
- Real Estate Math
- Property Management
- Real Estate Investments
- Residential Inspections for Real Estate Agents
A bachelor’s degree or higher could satisfy this requirement if you completed your education from an accredited college or university. In this case, submit the copy of your college transcript awarding the degree to TREC after applying online or with the paper application as evidence.
The following topics are accepted by TREC for qualifying education course credit if completed for academic credit through a college or university.
- Income Tax
- Public Relations
- Intro to Business
- Business Communications
- Business Math
- Business Principles
- Business Writing
- Business Ethics
- Basic Design
- Environmental Design
- Financial Institutions
- Money and Banking
- Mortgage Lending/Loan Processing
- Investment Analysis
- Institutions and Management
- Legal Environment
- Oil and Gas
- Business Organizations
- Farm and Ranch
- Public Administration
- Occupational Administration
- Agricultural Marketing
- Marketing Management
- Real Estate
- Law, Finance, Contracts
- Farm and Ranch Properties
- Real Estate Trends
- Title and Closings
- Staging (Interior Design)
Source: TREC (Texas Real Estate Commission)
2. Meet the Experience Requirements
As discussed earlier, there are certain experience requirements you must meet to obtain your broker license. There are primarily two requirements for candidates:
- You must have at least four years’ experience as a licensed sales agent or broker in real estate that precedes a period no more than 60 months to the filing of the application
- The experience must total 3600 points and must be recorded on the Qualifying Experience Report for a Broker License. This must also have a transaction identification list for all the transactions claimed on the report.
3. Apply to Become a Texas Real Estate Broker
Once you meet the educational and experience requirements, you can apply online for the license and submit the required fee. You can use your registered username with TREC or Texas Appraiser Licensing and Application Board (TALCB) to log in and submit your application. You can easily register on the same link if you don’t already have an account. The application can also be submitted by mail. However, do not forget to provide basic instructions.
4. Pass a Background Check
Not everyone can become a real estate broker, especially if they don’t pass the background check. The law requires you to have fingerprints on your file with the Texas Department of Public Safety for the same purpose. You can expect a delay in your application process if there is an ongoing investigation into your background. Prior notification is sent to the candidate if that’s the case.
5. Pass the Texas Real Estate Broker Exam
This is the final stage of obtaining your license. You must study hard and prepare for your real estate broker license exam well as you only get three attempts. If you fail the exam thrice, you are required to take additional education. Once your exam is set, you will receive a notice with instructions for the exam schedule and for the process of obtaining your copy of the exam Candidate Handbook.
After Becoming a Real Estate Broker
Once you have passed your exam and received your Texas Real Estate Broker license, you may now start your journey as a broker. You can now choose to work on your own, or employ a sales agent and expand your business to take full advantage of the wide open real estate market in Texas.
You must remember that while you can employ an agent to deal with clients as you manage the administrative aspect of the business, the ultimate responsibility of all transactions and legal elements fall on you as a broker. You will still be earning big commissions, and if you have a real estate agent, you will have to pass on some of that amount to them as well. Nevertheless, a broker gets to have a more significant share in the sales proceeds and also enjoys an authority on the business that no agent can match.
Written and Published by: VanEd