This article is part of a larger series on How to Become a Real Estate Agent.
In the Volunteer State, your official title as a real estate agent is an affiliate broker. The Tennessee real estate license requirements are fairly simple. You start by completing 90 hours of prelicensing courses, taking the real estate exam, and choosing a brokerage before submitting your application. Grab some sweet tea and dive into this guide to getting a Tennessee real estate license.
1. Meet the Legal Requirements for Your Tennessee Real Estate License
Getting a real estate license in Tennessee is rather easy compared to other states but, still, you need to meet several legal requirements to be eligible for a license. For example, you must be at least 18 years of age or older, have a high school diploma or GED, and be a United States citizen or lawfully admitted resident.
Did you know? Tennessee is not a reciprocal state, which means it has no reciprocity agreements with any other states. However, if you hold or have held a real estate license in another state, you may still qualify to have your exam or experience substitute for Tennessee’s license requirements.
Also, Tennessee is a cooperative state in terms of portability. It allows out-of-state real estate agents or brokers to enter the state to conduct real estate business physically. However, for out-of-state agents to work on a real estate transaction, they must have a co-brokerage agreement with a licensee of that state. To learn more about real estate license portability in Tennessee, check out our guide on real estate license reciprocity and portability.
2. Complete Required Prelicensing Courses
All aspiring real estate professionals in the Volunteer State have to complete 90 hours of coursework, including a 60-hour real estate fundamentals course and a 30-hour course for new affiliate brokers, before they can apply for their license. Courses can be taken online and in-person, ranging from $188 to $629, depending on the provider. All Tennessee real estate prelicensing courses will cover:
- Property ownership
- Land use controls and regulations
- Valuation and market analysis
- Property disclosures
- Leasing and property management
- General principles of agency
- Practice of real estate
- Real estate calculations
- Handling of trust/escrow funds
- Other improper activities and consumer protection
- Agency and disclosure issues
- Special areas of practice
Many Tennessee online real estate schools offer approved prelicensing courses, so you should search for a school that fits your learning needs, budget, and schedule. Colibri Real Estate offers one of the most affordable packages for aspiring Tennessee affiliate brokers, along with additional resources like exam prep, coaching, instructor Q&A sessions, and a real estate dictionary. Plus, it has helped hundreds of thousands of real estate agents across the country get their licenses with raving reviews. Plus, it has helped hundreds of thousands of real estate agents across the country get their licenses with raving reviews. Use promo code FSB25 for 25% off your courses.
3. Take the Tennessee Real Estate Exam
After you’ve completed your prelicensing courses, it’s time to take the Tennessee real estate exam. The affiliate broker exam has an overall pass rate of only 47%, so be sure to study. Luckily, if you don’t pass on the first try, you only need to wait 24 hours to schedule a second attempt.
In addition, if you pass one section of the exam, you are not required to retake it. You can then reattempt the failed portion two more times within six months to get a passing score. If you fail the exam twice, you must wait 30 days to reschedule.
Tennessee Real Estate Exam Details
1 hour, 20 minutes
Items to Bring to Exam
70% to pass the Tennessee Real Estate Salesperson Exam (at least 56/80 on the national portion and 28/40 on the State portion)
Schedule Your Exam
Before you can schedule your exam, your accredited real estate school must submit a certificate of completion to PSI, the testing company. This process takes up to four weeks to complete. You will receive a postcard once you’ve been approved, and you can create an account, schedule your exam, and pay the $39 exam fee on the PSI website.
PSI offers two options to take your exam; by appointment at a local testing center or using the PSI online proctoring solution to take the exam online.
If you want to be fully prepared for the exam and overcome the low pass rates, your best choice would be to consider taking an exam prep course in addition to the prelicensing requirements. We recommend PrepAgent because it offers top-notch exam prep for an affordable price. Even better, it offers a money-back guarantee if you don’t pass on the first try.
For extra guidance on passing your real estate exam, download our Exam Prep e-book. We include a pre-assessment to test your knowledge as well as helpful information about what’s included in the exam, the length and structure of the exam, study tips, and sample questions from PrepAgent.
4. Pick a Sponsoring Brokerage to Work for
To hold an active license and practice real estate in Tennessee, you must select a sponsoring brokerage to work with. To make your choice a little bit easier, check out our in-depth guide on choosing the right real estate company to work for. Although there are many successful brokerages in Tennessee, below you’ll find the top five brokerages reported for 2022.
The Rhodes Team
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty Texas
Mark Dimas Team
Mark Dimas Properties
Levi Rodgers Team
Levi Rodgers Real Estate Group
THE LOKEN GROUP, INC
Keller Williams Platinum Houston
The Heyl Group
Keller Williams Austin SW
(Data from Real Trends)
5. Apply for Your Tennessee License
Once you have your Tennessee real estate exam results, you can apply for your real estate license on the Comprehensive Online Regulatory & Enforcement System (CORE) website. You’ll have to create an account, input your contact information, pay the $91 license fee, and submit proof of eligibility through:
- Identification with photo
- Proof of high school graduation
- Proof of completion of prelicense education
- Proof of errors and omissions insurance policy
- Eligibility form
- Electronic fingerprinting
Applicants who have an existing criminal record may still apply for a real estate license. It would be best if applicants were to include their criminal history along with the necessary documents related to the conviction, if any, on their application. After submitting your fingerprints, your application will be forwarded to the Division of Criminal Justice Information Systems and the FBI. Upon investigation, each applicant will be considered on their own merits.
6. Start Your Real Estate Career
Now that you’ve learned how to become a real estate agent in Tennessee, you’re ready to start your professional real estate journey. For more information, here are some of our articles with content that is perfect for new real estate agents:
- Our article with 14 real estate agent tips covers the basics that every agent should know when they are starting out, including how to write a real estate business plan.
- Learn how to generate real estate buyer leads.
- Get nine strategies to help with real estate seller lead generation.
- Jump-start your career with the top new real estate agent tips from the pros.
- Get the tools you need to build a strong real estate business out of the gate using the best real estate software and tools.