Professional Development FAQ
Who should I call - the Texas Association of REALTORS® or the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC)?
We often get calls from members inquiring about licensing issues or questions. Although we do what we can to answer any questions you might have, TREC is the state agency that governs real estate licensing in the state of Texas. As such, they oversee all official records for license holders. TREC also sets the rules regarding education requirements to apply for and maintain a real estate license.
The Texas Association of REALTORS® is your volunteer trade association at the state level, dedicated to enhancing professionalism and educating Texas REALTORS® throughout the state. We provide a wealth of resources and opportunities, including access to transaction forms and zipForm, a free legal hotline, mediation and arbitration services, discounted products and services through our member benefits program, networking opportunities at our annual Winter Meeting and Conference, as well as numerous educational opportunities. While TREC is in charge of issuing and maintaining licenses, the Texas Association of REALTORS® helps ensure licensees uphold the highest professional standards through the Code of Ethics, as well as protect private property rights for the consumers we serve.
Who is a Texas REALTOR®?
Texas REALTORS® are volunteer members who have committed to adhere to and abide by a strict Code of Ethics, as set forth by the National Association of REALTORS®, that governs all of their actions and services to and on behalf of their clients.
What is Qualifying Education and Sales Apprentice Education (SAE)?
Those applying to obtain their real estate license must complete 180 hours of qualifying education. Once you receive your license, you must complete an additional 90 hours within your first two years of licensure. Courses are generally offered in 30-hour increments, and Texas REALTORS® University SAE courses each offer 30 SAE hours. Unlike CE reporting that’s done for you, you submit certificates of completion for all of your SAE requirements, before your first license renewal.
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What is CE?
Continuing Education (CE) is required for all real estate license holders after they complete qualifying course requirements.
How many CE hours do I need to renew my license?
As of January 1, 2016, you need 18 hours of CE credit every two years to renew your license. Eight (8) of these 18 hours must be the required TREC Legal I / Legal II Updates, which offer 4 CE hours each. The remaining 10 hours are considered elective credit. You can select from many elective CE courses, but cannot take the same course twice in any two-year license renewal period.
Look up your education under “My education”
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Can I renew my license even if my CE isn’t showing up yet?
Upon receipt, TREC has 10 days to process and post credit to each licensee’s record. TREC will renew your license if you apply for license renewal by your license expiration deadline. Upon discovering (after the fact) that you did not have enough CE for license renewal, TREC will inactivate your license.
Why aren’t the courses I’ve taken showing up on my education record?
When you take a qualifying course, remember it is your responsibility to submit the certificate of completion to TREC. You must do this for the course to appear on your education record and to obtain credit.
When you take a CE course, the course provider will submit required documentation to TREC on your behalf. All providers have 10 days to submit CE documentation to TREC. If you’ve taken a course offered by Texas REALTORS® University that is not appearing on your TREC record, please contact us.
I know that the National Association of REALTORS® requires that Code of Ethics training be completed every four years. What classes can I take to fulfill this requirement?
If you’ve successfully completed the Legal I/Legal II course in the past four years, you’ve satisfied the National Association of REALTORS® requirement. However, taking NAR’s quadrennial Code of Ethics training, either online or through your local association, does not satisfy the mandated 8 hours of continuing education credit in Texas. CE-exempt Texas REALTORS® may satisfy the Code of Ethics requirement online through Realtor.org or by taking the TREC Legal Update II course.
How often must I take Ethics?
REALTORS® are required to complete ethics training of not less than 2 hours, 30 minutes of instructional time within four-year cycles. The training must meet specific learning objectives and criteria established by the National Association of REALTORS®. The TREC Legal Update II course, which must be taken every two years to satisfy your TREC required CE, will also satisfy NAR’s requirement. If you have took the TREC Ethics course within your current license period, it will also satisfy the NAR’s requirement.
Can I take the TREC CE course online?
Are brokers who received a CE exemption required to take the TREC Legal Update I & II courses?
No. But as Texas REALTORS®, brokers must still meet the National Association of REALTORS® quadrennial ethics requirement.
How can I determine how much credit a course offers?
Courses typically advertise the amount of CE credit offered.
How do I register for a course I found on your website?
Most of our courses are delivered through local associations across the state. Usually you can find registration information under each course on our Find a course page. Or, you can contact your local association about course availability and registration. When no contact information is given, contact our Professional Development department.
I want my local association to offer a particular course, but I don’t see it listed. Why not?
Each local association determines which courses to offer and at what price, and schedule courses at their discretion. Your best approach is to contact your local association, inquire about the course, and make your request known. Encourage your colleagues to call too. The more demand an association hears for a particular course, the more likely they are to offer it.
How do I earn credit for a GRI course?
GRI courses are approved for SAE credit. You must complete and pass the course with a 70 and then submit your completion certificate to TREC. If you miss one day of a GRI you have 90 days from the last class day to make up the missed portion and take the exam. Make-up fees typically apply. Since these courses are SAE courses, you cannot miss more than one day and still earn credit. TAR sends exam result notices via email, usually within a week of the course completion date.
How do I attain the GRI designation?
You must attend all three GRI courses (in no particular order) and pass each exam with a 70. There is no fee to become a GRI designee. Shortly after you’ve completed all three courses, you’ll receive your GRI. The designation credentials will automatically appear on your TexasRealEstate.com profile. Once you receive the designation you can begin using it in all of your marketing and professional materials. To maintain the designation you must maintain active status as a Texas REALTOR®.
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How do I earn the TAHS?
The Texas Affordable Housing Specialist is a TAR-developed certification consisting of 12 CE hours pertaining to affordable-housing issues. Four of those 12 hours must be the United Texas course. The other eight hours of coursework may change periodically as the market and industry change.
What are the ABR requirements?
The Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) is a nationally-recognized designation that acknowledges REALTOR® dedication to successfully representing buyer clients in real estate transactions. The requirements include transaction experience in addition to coursework.
When are arbitration courses and where are they hosted?
Homeowners who disagree with their property-tax appraisals can submit to binding arbitration rather than challenging it in court. The Texas Association of REALTORS® partners with local associations to offer the 30-hour Arbitration of Appraisal Review Board Determinations course, which was developed by the American Arbitration Association. Upon approval by the State Comptroller to mediate binding arbitration, arbitrators must attend eight hours of continuing education (called Advanced Arbitrator Training: Arbitration of Appraisal Review Board Determinations) within every real estate license renewal period. You can search for both courses on our website.
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Why aren’t my designations showing up on my TexasRealEstate.com profile?
The list of credentials after your name derives from the National Association and Texas Association of REALTORS®. If you do not see a designation or program you attended from either of these entities, please contact the TAR Professional Development Department at 800-873-9155.
While we are unable to insert any credentials from other education institutions or brokerages after your name, you may include information of this nature in the Experience or About me fields.
Are there education courses offered at the TAR Winter Meeting and Conference? What is the cost?
There are lots of educational opportunities – many with CE – offered at both Winter Meeting (in Austin) and the TAR Annual Conference (location varies). With small exception, the cost for courses is included in your registration fee and there is no additional fee for the courses at these meetings. Just remember that space is limited.