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How to Get a Real Estate License in Tennessee 2022: All Requirements for Taking the Exam

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Taking some of the most popular questions into account, we’ve pulled together all the important, and most helpful, information related to getting a Tennessee real estate license. This includes how to qualify, what prerequisites are required, and what to expect on the exam.

If you’re ready to learn how to obtain a real estate license in TN, read on to fully prepare yourself.

How to Get a Real Estate License in Tennessee

Tennessee Real Estate License Requirements for Affiliate Broker

Real estate agents in Tennessee who are just entering the field typically apply to become an Affiliate Broker. Basic eligibility requirements are that you’re a U.S. citizen, or qualified alien, and have a high school diploma, or its equivalent.

Additional TN real estate license requirements, to get things started, are to complete a real estate license application, submit a picture, and provide electronic fingerprints.

You’ll also need proof of an errors and omissions insurance policy in order to complete the licensing process. This type of insurance, also known as professional liability insurance, helps protect you from the full cost of defending yourself should a negligence claim get made by a future client.

Finally, you’ll need to complete the required pre-licensing education and pay the $91 fee in order to qualify to move on to the exam. There are 90 total hours of coursework you must complete in any of the realty schools in Tennessee. This is broken down into two courses — a 60-hour course in real estate principles and fundamentals, and then 30 hours in a course specifically for new affiliates.

Once all the requirements are met, you’re able to schedule your exam with PSI Services. A leading private administrator of state licensing exams, PSI provides a Tennessee-specific contact number to call when you’re ready for your exam: (855) 340-3710.

The exam consists of 120 total questions, broken down into 80 within a national portion, and 40 within a state-specific portion. You have 160 minutes to finish the national section and 80 to complete the state piece. The cost to take the exam is $39.

You are also required to work for a brokerage firm as part of your license application. It is important to choose the right broker to work for when starting as a new agent to help you build a lasting career in real estate.

Upon knowing the qualities you want in a broker, you can browse through our directory of the best real estate brokerages in Tennessee and pick the one that’s near your location.


Tennessee Real Estate License Requirements for Brokers

For those who already have a real estate license, a secondary option in Tennessee is to apply for your broker’s license. To do this, you must be actively licensed as an affiliate broker for at least 36 months if licensed after May 12, 1988, or for 24 months if licensed on or before May 12, 1988. If you have a bachelor’s degree in a real estate major, no matter what year you got your license, you only have to have had it for 24 months.

As with the affiliate broker license, there is also an educational component, if you were licensed after 2001. You must complete 120 hours of real estate education approved by the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC). Thirty hours of this pre-licensing coursework must be within an Office/Broker Management course, taken at a TREC-approved school.

Once that’s complete, you must submit an examination application and get commission approval before you can make your examination appointment. This process takes around four weeks to complete.

Other eligibility requirements align with what the affiliate broker licensing process and include:

  • Being a U.S. citizen
  • Having a high school diploma or its equivalent
  • Providing proof of an error and omissions insurance policy
  • Paying the $91 application fee

Reciprocal States

What Is Real Estate License Reciprocity?

As a licensed real estate agent, when you move from one state to another you may potentially be able to take advantage of reciprocity. This is where some, or all, of your existing credentials and experience allow you to skip some, or all, of the requirements needed in your new state to continue on as a licensed agent.

While Tennessee does offer reciprocity for agents coming from a few states, others moving in have the option to submit their professional history for review. You may still qualify to have your real estate education, the national portion of the license exam, and/or your experience substitute for the same category within the Tennessee real estate licensing process.

To establish whether you qualify, you’ll need to send TREC Worksheet A, and a Certified License History from all the states where you hold, or have held a real estate license. From there, your information gets reviewed, and you’re notified if any requirements are waived based on your current status as a real estate licensee.


US States Having a Reciprocal Agreement with Tennessee

The states that offer reciprocity are always subject to change, but according to current information, Tennessee offers it to agents moving from:

  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

For those leaving the state of Tennessee, the following states offer reciprocity to real estate agents who’ve decided to relocate:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington

How to Study for a Real Estate License Exam in Tennessee

Pre-Licensing Classroom Courses

While the educational, pre-licensing requirements vary based on the type of license you’re applying for, each one has specific courses you must take. They both also require you to provide proof of completion before registering for your license exam.

A certificate of completion must be submitted to both PSI and TREC.

While there are plenty of options for where you take your pre-licensing coursework across the state, you’ll have to decide what kind of format works best for you. Some prefer learning in an actual classroom, where you work through a set schedule to stay on track.

In-class learning can also provide you with more opportunities to meet future colleagues, network, and even form helpful study groups.


Pre-Licensing Online Courses

For those who prefer an online format for their Tennessee pre-licensing coursework, most virtual schools offer a single package, and sometimes even a pass guarantee.

You can gain more flexibility when studying virtually since you’re able to set your own pace, and your own schedule. Often, those going through the coursework solely online finish faster than those learning in-person as a result. It may take as little as two weeks.

However, since you may have other commitments that make it hard to work that quickly, it’s best to weigh the pros and cons of online real estate courses compared to in-person classes.


Where to Take the Real Estate Exam in Tennessee

There are locations across Tennessee that offer the real estate license exam. Administered by PSI, you must make a reservation by calling (855) 340-3710.

PSI has Tennessee testing center locations in:

  • Chattanooga
  • Cookeville
  • Dyersburg
  • Jackson
  • Johnson City
  • Knoxville
  • Memphis (4 locations)
  • Nashville (2 locations)

The minimum passing score is 70%, and the cost for the test is $39.

To pass the test, read our article providing in-depth information on how to pass the Tennessee real estate exam the first time. Additionally, we have tips on studying for the real estate exam from one of our experts, Kristina Morales.


How to File for Your License After the Exam in Tennessee

You have six months after you pass the affiliate broker exam to submit your completed application. You can submit everything online, or email items directly to [email protected]

The required set of items include proof of passing the pre-licensing coursework, the passing score on your exam, submission of your electronic fingerprints, proof of insurance, and proof of eligibility.


How to Receive Your Real Estate License in Tennessee

Once you’ve passed the test score and the complete application is in, you’re eligible to receive your real estate license in Tennessee.

After everything is complete and you’ve received notification of your active license, there are a few more steps to prepare yourself for your career. Make sure you know what to do next after getting your real estate license. And, don’t forget to join a real estate team to get a good start on your real estate career.

To maintain your real estate license in Tennessee, you must complete 16 hours of state-approved courses every two years. Six hours of this block must consist of mandatory core courses, while the remaining time can be filled with electives.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get a Tennessee real estate license when studying in the class?

The time it takes to complete the pre-licensing coursework depends on what format you take the classes in, and which license you’re applying for. Based on your schedule, and the number of hours you can devote to classes each week, you will most likely complete the coursework in a few months.


How long does it take to get a Tennessee real estate license online?

Working online enables you to devote more time to your pre-licensing coursework, potentially getting it done faster than if you were taking in-person classes. This is all dependent on your schedule, and the number of hours you need for completion. For some, the requirements can get done in just a few weeks.


Is there a background check for a Tennessee real estate license?

Yes. Applicants are required to submit their fingerprints electronically for a background check.


How much does it cost to get your real estate license in Tennessee?

Total costs will vary based on the expense of your pre-licensing classes, but you will pay $165 for sure in fees. This includes $35 for fingerprinting, $91 for the application fee, and $39 to take the real estate license exam.


How long do you have to wait to retake the real estate exam in Tennessee?

You must wait 24 hours before retaking all or part of the real estate exam in Tennessee. After a second failed attempt, you must wait 30 days before retaking any part of the exam.


How many times can you retake the Tennessee real estate exam?

If you fail only one part of the exam, your passing score stays valid for up to two retakes of the failed section, or six months, whichever comes first. After that, you have to retake the entire exam, but there is no limit on attempts.


Do you have to pay to retake the real estate exam in Tennessee?

Yes. You must pay each time you retake the real estate license exam in Tennessee.


How much does it cost to retake the real estate exam in Tennessee?

The fee is $39 whether taking one or both parts.


Can you get a real estate license with a felony in Tennessee?

Yes, but having this charge on your record can decrease your ability to get a real estate license in Tennessee. You must submit a certified copy of your conviction record, in addition to an affidavit that goes into detail about the charge to the Tennessee Real Estate Commission.

You may preemptively submit the above documentation and petition the Tennessee Real Estate Commission before taking or completing your pre-licensing coursework as well, using this form: Application for Decision Regarding Prior Criminal Conviction(s) and/or Disciplinary Sanctions(s).


Can you get a real estate license with a misdemeanor in Tennessee?

If you are on parole or probation, you must wait two years after that period has passed to be eligible for a real estate license in Tennessee. Once you reach that time period, you must appear in front of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission for licensure consideration.

If you’re denied, you must wait six months, from the date of denial, to have your eligibility reconsidered.


Will a DUI prevent you from getting a real estate license in Tennessee?

DUI convictions in Tennessee are slightly different than in other states since all require mandatory jail time. Getting a real estate license if you have a DUI on your record is possible, but you may have to wait the aforementioned two years if you end up on parole or probation.


Can I get a real estate license without a high school diploma in Tennessee?

No, you cannot get a real estate license in Tennessee without a high school diploma or its equivalent.


Once getting your real estate license in Tennessee, prepare to have a busy career ahead. Our article on the pros and cons of being a real estate agent walks you through the ups and downs of choosing a real estate agent job as a 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.


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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