To become a real estate agent in Texas, you must take qualifying education (QE) courses, submit an application to TREC, take the state exam, and do a background check. The steps are simple enough, but the cost varies depending on the program you choose.

There are pre-licensing costs, as well as variable costs once you start working (which we'll get to later). Let's break down the pre-licensing costs:

Requirement Cost
1. QE Courses $980 – $1624
2. TREC application fee $205
3. Exam prep course Free with every program, $120 by itself
4. State exam $43
5. Fingerprinting and background check $38.25
TOTAL $1246.25 – $1890.25

Your pre-licensing costs will land between $1246.25 and $1890.25, depending on the course program you choose. But what do these costs cover? Let's take a look.

QE courses price

Texas requires six QE courses, each of which consists of 30 hours. Totaling 180 hours, the courses make up the biggest up-front cost of the licensing process.

When it comes to pricing, you will pay between $980 and $1624, depending on the courses and additional features you want. The price is the same for every delivery method.

The qualifying education courses — Principles 1, Principles 2, Law of Agency, Law of Contracts, Promulgated Contract Forms, and Real Estate Finance — cost $980 when purchased in the 6-Course Licensing Program bundle. If you want, you can add on the Business Etiquette course for an extra $100.

You can also purchase your SAE renewal courses along with your QE courses, which costs a bit more up front but saves you money — and the headache — in the long run. This program, the 9-Course Licensing and Renewal Program, costs $1445.

Finally, you can opt for the 11-Course program, which costs $1624. It includes QE courses, SAE courses, the Business Etiquette course, coaching videos, a copy of Successful Tendencies of Real Estate Champions, and more.

What if I can't afford that right now?

If the cost of a whole program is not currently in your budget, you may pay for each class separately. You will end up paying more than if you bought the 6-course program, but this is an option if it's more feasible. Each QE class costs $165 by itself.

TREC application fee

Once your classes are complete, you can apply for an inactive sales agent license with the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). It costs $205. This cost covers the verification of your course completion certificates and college transcripts, if applicable.

Exam prep course cost

The Texas Real Estate Exam Prep course is included in every QE program. It's $120 when purchased alone but free with every licensing program.

Though not required by the state of Texas, this course is highly recommended. Students who take this course perform much better on the exam.

Exam fee

Once you receive your exam eligibility notification from TREC, you may register for the state exam at Pearson VUE. The $43 fee covers testing materials and exam proctoring.

Background check fee

You may have your fingerprints taken at any time while studying for the exam. It's best to do it sooner rather than later.

The $38.25 fingerprinting fee covers a background check and a criminal history report, which get submitted to TREC for your license approval.

Other costs to consider

As a real estate agent, you will be self-employed. This gives you a lot of freedom, but some costs come with it. Some self-employment costs you might incur as a real estate agent are:

  • Self-employment taxes — Although you will work for a brokerage as a new real estate agent, you will be considered a statutory nonemployee by the IRS. You will be responsible for paying all federal self-employment taxes.
  • Marketing costs — Some brokerages provide marketing services, but agents are usually responsible for the bulk of their own advertising. Agents often pay for billboards, online ads, and promotional videos.
  • Business expenses — Many agents are available to clients outside typical 9–5 business hours and foot their own phone bills. On top of that, you may need to buy office supplies and pay for fuel to drive around town, visiting properties and clients. You also might cover the development and maintenance of a professional website.
  • Benefits — As a self-employed person, you will be responsible for health insurance, a vision plan, and dental coverage.
  • Networking costs — You will need to invest in social engagements to maintain relationships with old clients and to entertain potential new clients. Meals, sporting events, and travel may factor into your networking budget.

An investment in your future

Getting your real estate license is the best investment you'll ever make. Within your first year as a Texas real estate agent, you'll make back the money you spent on licensing and getting your business going. The benefits far outweigh the costs in the long run.

If you're thinking about a career in real estate, begin with Champions. With us, you aren't just paying for classes — you're getting a lifelong career resource.

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