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QUESTIONS

How Much Does It Cost to Get Your Real Estate License in Tennessee?

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This article tackles the cost of a real estate license in Tennessee. Knowing up front what you’ll be expected to pay can help you plan ahead financially.

We’ve estimated totals every step of the way to properly answer the question, “How much is a real estate license in TN?”

Read on to know the budget you need to prepare when getting licensed in the state.

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QUESTION

Obtaining Your License

Pre-Licensing Education: $300-$400+

In getting a real estate license in TN, the cost you will first incur is your education. This requirement totals up 90 hours, broken into two courses, for an affiliate broker license.

Sixty hours are taken in real estate principles and fundamentals. Thirty hours are taken in a course designed specifically for those getting a license for the first time.

For those going for a broker license, you must complete 120 hours of pre-licensing education, of which 30 must be in an office/broker management course.

All pre-licensing education must get completed at a school approved by the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC).

Costs for this requirement will vary based on the format you take your classes in and whether you package them together or not.

On average, though, plan to pay between $300-$400 to complete all hours. Most schools offer packages that price out closer to $400.

You may pay more for your broker pre-license education hours, although the individual 30-hour course typically costs less.

There may also be extra expenses for textbooks and other resources.

 

Fingerprints: $35

You’re required to submit fingerprints to TREC in order to complete the application process.

These are used to run a background check which gets reviewed with your application.

You must schedule fingerprinting through IdentoGo who then sends them directly to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and FBI for processing.

Read our article explaining what you need to know when getting a Tennessee real estate license with violations.

 

Exam Fee: $39

Once you complete your pre-licensing education, your provider submits an online application to PSI who then sends you instructions for scheduling your exam.

You can go online and create an account to set this up or call 855-340-3710. PSI is the company that proctors the exam, so everything related to the test goes through them.

For the affiliate broker exam, you’ll answer 120 total questions.

You’ll have 160 minutes to answer the 80 questions in the national section, and 80 minutes to answer the 40 questions in the state section. You need at least a 70 percent to pass.

For the broker exam, you’ll answer 125 questions.

You’ll have 150 minutes to answer 75 questions in the national section, and 90 minutes to answer the 50 questions in the state section. Passing requires a minimum score of 75 percent.

The exam fee is the same regardless of license type.

Refer to our article on what to study for the Tennessee real estate exam to know the topics covered in the test.

 

Exam Retake: $39

Should you need to retake the entire real estate license exam, you have an unlimited number of attempts to pass.

If you only need to retake one section, you have six months, or two retake attempts (whichever comes first) to pass. After that, you’ll need to retake the entire exam.

Each time you try, whether you’re retaking one or both sections of the exam, you’ll have to pay the $39 fee.

Avoid exam retakes by reading our tips on how to pass the real estate exam the first time.

 

Errors & Omissions Insurance: $250 or Less

In Tennessee, real estate license costs include securing Error & Omissions insurance. You are required to get one before submitting your license application.

You’re able to get coverage from an insurance provider of your choice, and the cost will vary based on the length of your term of coverage.

If buying in at the start of a policy term, expect to pay a few hundred dollars. If buying in toward the end, your initial payment could be under $100.

You will have to renew this policy, so this will be a recurring expense. TREC charges a $200 fee, at minimum, for an E&O insurance lapse.

 

License Application: $91

The best way to submit your real estate application, when you’re ready, is do it online at core.tn.gov. Here, you’ll create an account and monitor the progress of your application.

You have six months after you pass the real estate license exam to submit a completed application.

The fee is $91 regardless of license type.

As part of the application, you are required to get a sponsoring broker. You can complete this step before or after you submit your license application.

You will have to research real estate brokerages in Tennessee to choose the one that can be a best fit for your career goals.

Know what to look for in a sponsoring broker by reading our article on choosing the right real estate brokerage to work for.

 

Survey of Experts

In your opinion, was the cost of getting your real estate license reasonable?

Approximately how much did it cost you to get your real estate license? Including school fees, study materials, and other related expenses.

Expert Insight

What were your ‘surprise costs’?

Jessica Lewis Realtor

Just minor things like the fingerprints. I did research before, so I knew about the fees to get started with a broker already and all the fees for NAR and my local association.

The whole process was fairly easy and self-explanatory.

— Jessica Lewis, Century 21 Prestige, Realtor
Andrew McGranaghan Realtor

Fingerprinting, application fees.

— Andrew McGranaghan, Wallace Real Estate, Chief Development Officer/Partner
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QUESTION

Maintaining Your License

Continuing Education: $85-$150

All real estate agents in Tennessee must complete 16 hours of continuing education every two years.

Six of those total hours must be taken in an approved course, while the rest are completed as electives.

Costs will vary depending on whether you purchase all your hours as a single package, or buy each class individually.

 

License Renewal: $75

In TN, real estate license renewal fee will come up in your expenses every two years. You’ll receive notification when it’s time to renew through your online account.

The renewal fee, regardless of license type, is $75. However if you’re late in renewing, there are penalties.

You’ll pay $50 per month in penalties from 1-121 days past your renewal date, and $100 per month between 121-365 days late.

 

Expert Insight

What were your ‘surprise costs’ after getting your license?

Joe Hafner Realtor

I don’t remember any surprises, but as each expense (licensing, cost of exam, NAR dues, E&O insurance, lock box expenses, etc.) stacks up, it can get very expensive for new agents to get established.

Joe Hafner, Hafner Real Estate, Broker/Owner
John Sullivan Realtor

None for licensing, but I was surprised by all the “options” available for a charge with my first broker RE/MAX.

John Sullivan, Fridrich And Clark Realty and Nashville Realtor Team, Realtor
Andrew McGranaghan Realtor

MLS dues.

— Andrew McGranaghan, Wallace Real Estate, Chief Development Officer/Partner
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QUESTION

How to Reduce Real Estate License Education Costs

Now that you’re able to see what the cost of a real estate license in TN can add up to, it’s good to know there may be ways to reduce your total.

Most fees are fixed, but when it comes to education costs, you do have some flexibility.

Since there are a variety of Tennessee real estate agent schools that offer pre-licensing and continuing education courses, the best thing to do first is shop around and compare prices.

Check the difference in costs between virtual classes and those in person, but also look at package options. These may have a slightly higher price tag, but offer up good extras.

Better read our article on the pros and cons of real estate classes online vs classroom courses to know which method can give you the best advantages.

It’s also worthwhile to note a school’s pass rate in relation to the exam. Having to test fewer times because you’re better prepared can also save you some money.

Being able to explore your options will help ensure that your journey to a career in Tennessee real estate stays within your budget.

 

Expert Insight

What costs could have been avoided and how?

Joe Hafner Realtor

Some companies and real estate teams will offer to pay some of your pre-licensing expenses if you align with them before getting licensed.

It’s definitely worth interviewing companies and/or teams before starting the process and asking them what — if any — assistance they offer to new agents.

— Joe Hafner, Hafner Real Estate, Broker/Owner
Jessica Lewis Realtor

I didn’t have any costs that could have been avoided. The process is easy. You just need to dedicate yourself and study!

— Jessica Lewis, Century 21 Prestige, Realtor
Andrew McGranaghan Realtor

None to my knowledge. I could have saved money by taking the classes online instead of in person.

— Andrew McGranaghan, Wallace Real Estate, Chief Development Officer/Partner

 

Knowing the expenses to keep in mind, you can now budget properly when getting a real estate license in Tennessee.

Learning how long it takes to get a Tennessee real estate license can also help you schedule appropriately when going through the licensing process.

When you get your license, know that your career will not be without challenges. Learn the pros and cons of being a real estate agent to be a step ahead as you start your career.

It also helps to prepare an action plan that walks you through the next step after passing the real estate exam. This will keep you on track as you build your real estate business in the state.

Don’t forget to join a real estate team to be around experienced agents who can help guide your career.

To help you build and grow your real estate career quickly, we at Real Estate Bees created a directory for real estate professionals.

It’s designed to help you get more exposure for your business, including receiving leads. Create a free profile by signing up here.

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If you want to contribute your expert advice on a topic of your expertise, feel free to apply to our Expert Contributor Program.

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About the Author

Kristina Morales is a REALTOR® with over 20 years of professional experience. She actively practices real estate in Ohio but also has practiced real estate in California and Texas. Conducting her real estate business in three states has allowed her to gain unique experiences that make her a well-rounded realtor. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and her MBA with a concentration in Banking and Finance. Prior to real estate, Kristina had an extensive corporate career in banking and treasury. She ended her finance career as an Assistant Treasurer at a publicly traded oil & gas company in Houston, TX.

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