Obtaining a Real Estate License in Tennessee

Home to beautiful natural landscapes and an impressive blend of cultural heritage, Tennessee offers realtors the chance to grow a successful business in this exciting Southern state. Those considering how to get a real estate license in this state might wonder where to begin. Each state has its own rules and regulations concerning realty licensing. Tennessee’s realty regulation comes from the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC), which is managed under the larger governing authority of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. Unlike most other states, Tennessee does not have a real estate salesperson license; rather, entry-level realtors are referred to as affiliate brokers. For educational purposes of those unfamiliar to the real estate profession, this article will discuss the licensing requirements and other pertinent information for affiliate brokers in the state of Tennessee.

Basic Prerequisites

The TREC requires applicants for an affiliate broker license to meet certain prerequisites for licensure. Applicants in Tennessee must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Complete 60 hours of prelicensure coursework
  • Submit an application and the appropriate fees
  • Disclose previously held licenses in other states or jurisdictions
  • Disclose previous criminal convictions and other indictments
  • Obtain Errors & Omission insurance

The TREC requires disclosure of previous criminal convictions, but this does not automatically bar anyone from becoming a licensed realtor. The TREC makes a determination carefully based on several factors; disclosure of certain criminal activity and previous licenses held may delay the application process but is mandatory for application.

Training & Education

Tennessee applicants must complete 60 hours of prelicensure coursework from an approved school prior to taking the licensing exam. In addition, new affiliate broker licensees must complete a 30-hour “Course for New Affiliates” before they can be licensed. Affiliate brokers do not need to complete post-licensing coursework, but they do need to adhere to the continuing education requirements outlined below.

PSI, Inc. administers the licensing exam for Tennessee applicants. Applicants must pay and register for the exam on the testing service website, which they can do at any time provided they have completed the required prelicensure coursework. Specific information regarding testing procedures and scoring can be found in the PSI handbook for realty candidates. The nonrefundable fee for one or both portions of the exam is $55.

The TREC requires realtors to renew their licenses every two years. Affiliate brokers must complete 16 hours of continuing education each licensing period, and the “TREC Core Course” is a mandatory portion of the CE requirement.

Additional Information

Tennessee has reciprocal agreements with some states. Nonresidents and realtors from other states may find detailed information regarding eligibility requirements by perusing the state website and filling out the form for non-residents.

Tennessee also grants more advanced broker licenses and other real estate professional licenses. The purpose of this article is to inform those without prior knowledge of the realty profession regarding the qualifications for an entry-level realtor position. Those interested in finding out about more advanced licenses should check with the TREC to get detailed information on supplemental qualifications.

The Tennessee Real Estate Commission governs the application and licensing process for realtors in the state of Tennessee. On a national and international level, two organizations monitor the real estate profession on a broader scale. The National Association of Realtors and the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) develop and regulate realty commissions and agents around the world, ensuring that those involved adhere to a standardized code of ethics and professional behavior.

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