Unit 2  Real Estate License Law


Table Of Contents
2.11
Fees 
2.20
Hours
2.45
Hours

History and Objectives of Real Estate License Laws – Unit 2 

 

History of Florida’s real estate license law

In the 1920s Florida was the focus of one of the greatest economic and social phenomena in American history as hundreds of thousands of Americans of all types of financial strata poured into the Sunshine State and forever changed the global image of Florida.  So there was a need for the Florida Legislature to Pass Real Estate Law.  In 1923, the Florida Legislature passed the Real Estate License Law, Chapter 475 of the Florida Statutes.  (source)

Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR)

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation is the agency charged with licensing and regulating businesses and professionals in the State of Florida, such as cosmetologists, veterinarians, real estate agents and pari-mutuel wagering facilities. The Department is under the executive branch of the Governor and is governed by Chapter 120, F.S. The Department is structured according to the requirements of Section 20.165, F.S. (source)

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation houses many divisions that oversee a number of professions and businesses throughout the state of Florida.

Operating a legal business and providing services within Florida Starts with the DBPR. For Real Estate Professionals, Registering with the DBPR has to happen before you are allowed to take your Real Estate Exam.  You need to start and complete a profile to become eligible for your State Exam.      

Division of Real Estate

The Division of Real Estate protects the public by regulation of real estate and appraisal licensees pursuant to Chapter 475, Florida Statutes. The Division is responsible for the examination, licensing and regulation of over a quarter of a million individuals, corporations, real estate schools and instructors.

This division is part of the DBPR and deals with Real Estate and Appraisal Licensee.  

Florida Real Estate Commission

The Real Estate Commission (FREC) administers and enforces the real estate license law, Chapter 475, Part I, Florida Statutes. The Commission is also empowered to pass rules that enable it to implement its statutorily authorize duties and responsibilities.

Go Here to Start Your Application Online! 

Download your printable Application to Mail-In. 

Access Your DBPR FACT SHEET

Need for regulation

Earlier we mentioned Florida had a Real Estate Boom in the 1920s, however, there was a Real Estate bust by 1925. Because Real Estate was bought and sold via Caveat emptor. Leaving the buyer alone responsible for checking the quality and suitability of the Real Estate Being purchased. This set the stage for the Bust of 1925.  Something had to be done to protect the public interest.   

Caveat emptor – the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made. Buying without a warranty.  

Purpose of regulation 

Today it seems silly to buy without some assurance and professional regulations, but the DBPR wasn’t always here to protect Florida.  As mentioned above, the need for such an agency dates back to the 1920s.  However, the Department of Business Regulations wasn’t established until 1969.  Read all about the history of the DBPR. 

The Legislature deems it necessary in the interest of the public welfare to regulate real estate brokers, sales associates, and schools in this state.(Source)

Consumer protection 

After visiting your Department of Business and Professional Regulation Website, you quickly learn how vast this Agency is.  Our Focus is Real Estate. However, the DBPR makes it clear that their mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. While licensing procedures can do a pretty good job at keeping businesses in check, it is the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General that enforce violations of deceit under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. 

The Division protects consumers by pursuing individuals and entities that engage in unfair methods of competition or unconscionable, deceptive and unfair practices in trade or commerce. The Division also partners with other state attorneys general as well as state and federal agencies in joint enforcement efforts. (Source )

 Important real estate statutes and rules 

Executive Branch of Florida Laws  – Chapter 20, F.S.  

Pertains to Real Estate Brokers, Associates & Schools – Chapter 475, F.S.  

Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) – Chapter 455, F.S. 

Florida State Constitution – Procedures and Process within the State – Chapter 120, F.S.  

Florida Administrative Code – Rules of FREC – Chapter 61J2, F.A.C 

Licensing Categories

 There are three Licencing Categories in Florida: Broker, Sales Associate, and Broker Associate.

Sales Associate–This is what you will become when you obtain your license.  You will work under a Broker to whom you will have loyalty to. This is a fiduciary relationship.

A sales associate is a person who, for another, and for compensation or in anticipation of compensation, appraises, auctions, sells, exchanges buy, rents or offers, attempts or agrees to appraise, auction, or negotiate any sale, exchange, purchase, or rental of business enterprises or any real property or any interest in or concerning the same or who advertises the same, but who performs such act under the direction, control, or management of a broker or owner/developer. (source)

Broker – Is the Business Owner who is responsible for Transactions and Real Estate Services. Broker” means a person who, for another, and for a compensation or valuable consideration directly or indirectly paid or promised, expressly or impliedly, or with an intent to collect or receive a compensation or valuable consideration therefor, appraises, auctions, sells, exchanges, buys, rents, or offers, attempts or agrees to appraise, auction, or negotiate the sale, exchange, purchase, or rental of business enterprises or business opportunities or any real property or any interest in or concerning the same, including mineral rights or leases, and advertises.

Where the term “appraise” or “appraising” appears in the term’s definition “broker,” it specifically excludes those appraisal services which must be performed only by a state-licensed or state-certified appraiser, and those appraisal services which may be performed by a registered trainee appraiser as defined in part II. 

The term “broker” also includes any person who is a general partner, officer, or director of a partnership or corporation which acts as a broker. 

The term “broker” also includes any person or entity who undertakes to list or sell one or more time-share periods per year in one or more time-share plans on behalf of any number of persons, except as provided in ss. 475.011 and 721.20.

Broker Associates – Licensed Brokers who choose to work under another Broker, or an owner-developer

General Licensure Provisions

The state has guidelines to follow when it comes to licensure. Candidates must follow these guidelines to qualify for a Florida Real Estate License. These general licensure provisions are as follows: 

  • Age – Must be 18 years or older 
  • Must have a High school diploma or its equivalent is required. 
  • Must be Honest, trustworthy
  • Must Disclose if convicted of a crime or ever entered a plea of nolo contendere
  • Must Disclose if ever declared mentally incompetent
  • Must disclose Aliases−A/K/A
  • Must Disclose if denied, or had a license suspended or revoked in another state or Denied license or registration to practice a regulated profession
  • Must disclose if guilty of any conduct or practice that would have been grounds for suspension or revocation under F.S. 475
  • Must be a U.S. citizen in accordance with (F.S. 455.10)
  • Qualification of immigrants for examination (F.S. 455.11)

Application Requirements

Application form 

To Access the Application for Licensure, use this link.  This will provide online Access.  

To use the printable form, use this link.  This will allow you to download, print.  Complete the application and mail it in.  

Mail Applications to: 

Department of Business and Professional Regulation

2601 Blair Stone Road

Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783

Responding to question 9 on the application completely, and honest.  

Fees 

The DBPR charges approximately $84 for the Real Estate Application.  Use this link to view the current Application.  Notice All Fees Associated with this Application. 

See the Candidate Handbook.  

Background check procedure 

Next, You must get and submit your fingerprints to the DBPR. This is for a criminal history check. Beware: If you are untruthful on your application and your criminal history reflects that. Then you become at risk of automatically being denied.

There will be questions regarding your Background. Be prepared for that. One of the main priorities of the DBPR is to keep Public Safe. Just because you have a criminal history does not mean you will be automatically denied. However, they will inspect and your ability to be truthful during this process is crucial.

Take time now to get prepared by checking your criminal history before submitting your application. Even if you believe your record has been expunged. Meaning you paid a lawyer to have your record destroyed or Sealed. It is a good idea to check. All things should be disclosed. Including withhold adjudications(no sentencing, but probation) and nolo contendere (plea of no contest) misdemeanors, felonies, is required to be disclosed.

REQUEST A COPY OF MY CRIMINAL HISTORY

 

Photographs – At the time of the exam and during background checks, a photo ID is needed. Locate your current State ID to present for your Background check and State Examination Admission. 

Fingerprinting – As part of your background check you will need to complete a Level II Background check. For Real Estate, your ORI number (Industry ID) is FL920010Z. You will need this number whenever you schedule your Live Scan Appointment.

See a list of Authorized Live Scan Vendors, and stick with this list to complete your Fingerprints for Background Checks. 

Live Scan Vendor Link https://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Criminal-History-Records/Documents/InternetDoc_ServiceProviders.aspx 

Checking for Errors and Omissions 

The DBPR reserves up to 30 days to check your application for any errors and omissions. However the DBPR has 90 days to inform applicants of an approval or denial of the application. Online applicants may log in to check for any updates & communication with the DBPR during this time.  

If there are findings on your application to cause a denial, the DBPR will notify you within 90 days. Likewise, you will be notified of approvals within 90 days.  

Right to a hearing  

Once the DBPR completes your application, they will send you a copy of a denial detailing the reason. If they deny you, you may request a hearing. You have 21 days to request a hearing after you receive notice of denial.

Application expires two years from date received by DRE

There are various steps to obtaining your license with the DRE.  Once you submit your license, the DRE leaves it open for two years to complete all requirements.    

Nonresident application requirements 

A licensed real estate sales associate or broker, who has at least 24 active months of real estate experience during the preceding five years in another state, may apply the experience toward a Florida broker’s license.

Experience

Must show proof of one of the following: Has been registered as an active sales associate for at least 24 months during the preceding 5 years under one or more brokers; has held a current and valid real estate sales associate’s license for at least 24 months during the preceding 5 years in the employ of a governmental agency for a salary and performing the duties authorized in Chapter 475, F.S.; or has held a current and valid real estate broker’s license for at least 24 months during the preceding 5 years in any other state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States, or in any foreign national jurisdiction.

  • CERTIFICATION OF LICENSE HISTORY: A current certification of license history from the state you are claiming experience from is required. The history must contain your initial license exam type, current license status, disciplinary information, and how many valid months within the preceding five years.
  • EDUCATION: Prior to sitting for the state exam you must show proof of course completion of Florida approved 72 hour pre-license education for brokers. The course is good for two (2) years from the date of completion. An expired course will not be accepted at the exam site and you will not be able to sit for your exam without proof of a valid course completion slip. The course is not required at the time of application submission. You may submit application for state exam approval prior to taking the pre-license education. (Source)

Regulations pertaining to pre-license courses

Candidates with a 4-year degree or Higher in Real Estate are exempt from all Courses except Continuing Education. This means they do not need to Course I, Course II, or Post License education. Do not confuse this with an exemption from the State License Examination. However, they must always complete the 14 Hours Continuing Education Courses.

Licensed Attorneys are exempt from Course I (Pre License) and 14 Hour Continuing Education. However, they are not exempt from Course II and Post License Education.

Salesperson License Requirements 

Salesperson pre-license course

Hours

You should know of the Educational Requirements for Pre – Licensure  You are in the 63 Hour Course.  60 Hours of Coursework and 3 Hours for the End of Test Exam, for a total of 63 hours.  FREC also calls this Course I, for Sales Associates. 

Content

Content for this course is outlined in the student syllabus.  

Please View your syllabus. Available online and Downloadable to print

End of course exam 

All students must take a 100 question end of course exam.  To successfully complete this course a score of 70% or greater is required.  

Failing this exam requires you to repeat another version of the exam after 30 days.  This means if you fail the end of the course exam, you will wait 30 days before retaking another version of 100 questions.  

Regulations regarding pre-license courses 

(Section 475.17, F.S.) You may not miss over 8 Instructional Hours.  50 minutes equals an hour.

(61J2-3.008, F.A.C) Makeup classes are allowed if absences were because of student or family illness, however, it must be done within 30 days of the regularly scheduled exam time, or later with Commission approval.

(Section 475.175, F.S) You will receive a grade report of successful completion of the course.

(61J2-3.008,F.A.C) The student must pass the school-administered end of course exam with a grade of 70 or higher.

(61J2-3.008, F.A.C) If a student fails the end of course exam, there is a 30 day waiting period from the date of the original examination.  One retake is allowed. The retake exam must be different from the original End of Course Exam.  If the student fails the end of course exam again, the course must be repeated.

(Section 475.181(2), F.S) Failure to pass the State License Exam within two years, after the course completion date, the course completion expires and the applicant must again complete the pre-license education course.

(Section 475.17, F.S.) Distance learning courses are allowed.  They must be timed.

State licensure examination for salespersons

You should know of the Educational Requirements for Pre – Licensure  You are in the 63 Hour Course.  60 Hours of Coursework and 3 Hours for the End of Test Exam, for a total of 63 hours.  FREC also calls this Course I, for Sales Associates. 

Content

Content for this course is outlined in the student syllabus.  

Please View your syllabus.  Available online and Downloadable to print. 

End of course exam 

All students must take a 100 question end of course exam.  To successfully complete this course a score of 70% or greater is required.  

Failing this exam requires you to repeat another version of the exam after 30 days.  This means if you fail the end of the course exam, you will wait 30 days before retaking another version of 100 questions.  

Regulations regarding pre-license courses – 

(Section 475.17, F.S.) You may not miss more than 8 Instructional Hours.  50 minutes equals an hour.

(61J2-3.008, F.A.C) Makeup classes are allowed if absences were due to student or family illness, however, it must be done within 30 days of the regularly scheduled exam time, or later with Commission approval.

(Section 475.175, F.S) You will receive a grade report of successful completion of the course.

(61J2-3.008,F.A.C)  The student must pass the school-administered end of course exam with a grade of 70 or higher.

(61J2-3.008, F.A.C) If a student fails the end of course exam, there is a 30 day waiting period from the date of the original examination.  One retake is allowed. The retake exam must be different from the original End of Course Exam.  If the student fails the end of course exam again, the course must be repeated.

(Section 475.181(2), F.S) Failure to pass the State License Exam within two years, after the course completion date, the course completion expires and the applicant must again complete the pre-license education course.

(Section 475.17, F.S.) Distance learning courses are allowed.  They must be timed.


Computer-based testing procedure

This Candidate Information Booklet (CIB) is designed to introduce Computer-Based Testing and provide candidate information for this examination.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation has retained the services of Pearson VUE to schedule, administer, score and report the results for computer-based testing. Pearson VUE is a leading provider of assessment services to regulatory agencies and national associations and offers license and credentialing support services to associations, state agencies, and private industry.

Your examination(s) will be administered on an electronic testing system. The testing system eliminates the use of paper, pencil and answer sheets. Candidates input their responses by entering the answer of their choice

(A, B, C or D). Before you begin the examination, you will have an opportunity to go through a tutorial on the computer. The computer is very simple to operate; it should only take you a few minutes to learn to use it. (Source) See Candidate Handbook

Pass/Fail notice

You will be notified immediately with written results of your exam.  After you are done taking your computerized exam, someone from the exam center will give you your results. When you pass, your results will state Pass.  No other details about the exam and your performance are reported whenever you pass.  If you Fail, your exam results will read Fail.  Performance results are reported when you fail.  

Failure Notice

If a failure notice is received, don’t freak out. It happens more often than we wish.  But the good news is that you can take this exam as many times as you need to achieve passing status.  

Review of most recent exam

Candidates who fail an examination are entitled to review the questions they answered incorrectly, under such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Candidates are entitled to review only their most recent examination. The candidate shall be permitted to review only those questions the candidate answered incorrectly.

The request to review must be made within 21 days from the date of the examination and can be scheduled by going online to: http://www.PearsonVUE.com or by calling 1.888.204.6230.

The same security requirements observed at the examination will be followed during the review session. Reviews will be held at a Pearson VUE testing center.

Post-license course

All applicants for licensure who pass a broker or sales associate licensure examination must satisfactorily complete a Commission-prescribed post-licensing course prior to the first renewal following initial licensure. The licensee must take the post-licensing course or courses at an accredited university, college, community college, area technical center in this state, real estate school registered, pursuant to Section 475.451, F.S., or Commission-approved sponsor (“provider”). 

(a) For a licensed sales associate, the post-licensing education requirement shall consist of one or more Commission-approved courses which shall not exceed 45 hours of 50 minutes each, inclusive of examination, in subjects as provided for in Section 475.17(3)(a), F.S. Post-licensing courses shall consist of a minimum of 15 hours of instruction of 50 minutes each inclusive of examination, in subjects as provided for in Section 475.17(3)(a), F.S (Source)

Post License Hours

Sales Associates are required to complete a 45 hour Post License Course.  Failure to complete the Post License Course will result in an Active License becoming null and void. Please. Please. Please. Avoid this scenario.

The 45 Hour Course consists of 45 hours of Coursework and an End of Course Exam.  If you fail the end of course exam, you must wait at least 30 days to retake the exam.  Another choice is to retake the course, instead of waiting for 30 days.

When it comes to post-license education, do not wait until the last minute.  You want to allow enough time should you need it for hardships and retakes. Be Proactive, because you don’t want to have to retake the Sales Associate course, and the State License Exam all over again. (Source for Educational Requirements)

Content

Content for the 45 hour post license course will vary based on the FREC approved school of choice for this course.  When inspecting a school of choice, new Sales Associates should expect to gain great insight about operating as a Florida Sales Associate.  This course will focus on Real Estate skills that a real estate licensee needs to be successful. One can expect to learn more about advertising, qualifying prospects, loans, agency disclosure forms, and performing a competitive market analysis. 

Post License End of course exam

There is an end of course exam comprising 100 questions with 3 hours allotted to complete the exam. A score of 75% or higher is acceptable.  Failure to achieve 75% or greater results in failure of the exam. Failing the end of course exam leaves the student two options.  

  1. Students may wait 30 days and take another version of the end of course exam.
  2. Students may choose to retake the entire course, including the end of course exam if they choose not to wait the 30 days.  

Post Licensing 

Post Licensing Education must be completed prior to the expiration of a Sales Associate’s initial license. After completing your application requirements with the DBPR, passing your state exam and registering with an active broker allows you to become a Sales Associate.   

Failure to complete post-licensing course 

All Sales Associates must complete Post License Education. Failure to complete post-licensing course renders a Sales Associate License Null and Void. This means the Sales Associate has to retake Course I, including the end of course exam, and the State Licensing Exam. In other words, you will have to start your all over again. 

Hardship Consideration: Rule 61J2-3.020 (9), Florida Administrative Code, “The Commission may allow up to an additional 6-month period after the first renewal following initial licensure for brokers and sales associates, who cannot, due to individual physical hardship, complete the course within the required time.  Individual physical hardship shall be defined in rule 61J2-3.013 (1).”

Rule 61J2-3.013 (1), Florida Administrative Code, “A hardship case is defined as a case wherein a person desiring to take the Commission prescribed courses cannot, by reason of a physical disability, attend the place where the classes are conducted.

The Florida Real Estate Commission requires that your request be in writing supported by statements of doctors and other persons having knowledge of the facts. These requests should be sent to:

 Division of Real Estate

Attn: Hardship Extension

400 West Robinson Street, Suite N-801

Orlando, FL 32801 (Source)

Broker License Requirements

Florida licensed salespersons must first complete the Florida salesperson post-license course before the expiration of the initial sales associate’s license or before applying for a broker’s license.

Broker’s Experience requirement (active license status) 

To become a broker, an active sales associate must show proof of one of the following: 

  1. Has been registered as an active sales associate for at least 24 months during the preceding 5 years under one or more brokers; 
  2. Has held a current and valid real estate sales associate’s license for at least 24 months during the preceding 5 years in the employ of a governmental agency for a salary and performing the duties authorized in Chapter 475, F.S.; or has held a current and valid real estate broker’s license for at least 24 months during the preceding 5 years in any other state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States, or in any foreign national jurisdiction. (Source) 

Broker pre-license Education Course

Broker Candidates must complete 72 hour pre-license education for brokers. The course is good for two (2) years from the date of completion. An expired course will not be accepted at the exam site and you will not be able to sit for your exam without proof of a valid course completion slip. The course is not required at the time of application submission. You may submit an application for state exam approval prior to taking the pre-license education. (Source)

If you hold a 4 year degree, or higher, in real estate you may be exempt from the pre-license education requirement. 

Broker Education Content 

Brokers Educational requirements are found in the course Syllabus. Topics include: The Real Estate Brokerage Business, Valuing Real Property, Listing & Selling Real Property, and other Specialties. (Source)

End of course exam

A grade of 70% or higher on the Commission-prescribed end-of-course examination constitutes satisfactory course completion. The school shall administer the examination upon completion of the instruction, provided the student has not missed in excess of 8 hours of instruction.

 End-of-course examinations shall not include aids such as, but not limited to, hint, back, or retry functionalities. The school must demonstrate that there is a reasonable method in place to prevent duplication of the end-of-course examination. Students shall not take the end-of-course examination without satisfactorily completing all sessions of the syllabus.

State licensure examination for brokers

See Candidate handbook for Brokers License Exam. (Source) 

The Broker’s licensure examination consists of 100 multiple choice questions. Candidates are given a total of three and half hours to complete the examination. The examination consists of questions covering twelve content areas. In addition, candidates must be familiar with the Closing Disclosure Documents (HUD1), in order to answer closing related questions. The content areas, descriptions of each content area, and the percentage of the examination that covers each of these content areas are in the candidate handbook. 

Content

See Candidate Handbook for Brokers Content (Source)

Pass/Fail notice

All questions are equally weighted. The grading process includes a statistical analysis of each question on the examinations. Questions found to be statistically deficient are subject to further review. If this review leads to a change in the answer key that affects your score, you will be sent an amended grade report 2-3 weeks after the examination. The Real Estate Broker Licensure examination shall be graded on the basis of 100 points for a perfect examination. A candidate who receives a grade of 75 points or higher will have successfully completed the examination.

NOTIFICATION OF RESULTS All candidates will receive an official photo-bearing exam result report immediately following completion of their examination. Please verify that all information is correct on your exam result report prior to leaving the testing Center. (Source)

Broker post-license course  

Brokers are required to complete 60 hour post license education by their initial expiration date that is displayed on their initial license. 

Hours

Brokers are required to complete 60 hours post license education by their initial expiration date displayed on their initial license with a 3 hour end of course exam; totalling 63 hours post license education. 

Post License Content

The 60 hour Broker Post License course is divided into two 30 hour segments plus a 3 hour end of course exam. 

  • 30-hours of Brokerage Office Management, covering policy and procedures needed to run a successful real estate office. There is a 50 question end of course exam.
  • 30-hours of Real Estate Investment Analysis, covering real estate from an investor’s point of view. There is a 50 question end of course exam
  • 3 – hour End of course exam. There are 2 exams, one for each of the  30 Hour Broker Post-Licensing Education Courses, each exam is 50 questions each.  To successfully complete the course a passing score of 75% (38 correct answers) is mandated.   

Post License Education must be completed prior to the expiration of the broker’s initial license Brokers are required to complete 60 hours post license education by their initial expiration date displayed on their initial license. Source  

The Brokers Post License must be completed prior to the brokers initial License renewal date. 

Failure to complete post-licensing course 

Failure to complete the Brokers Post- Licensing Education will render the Brokers License Null and Void.  The broker has a downgrade option, if they wish to continue Practicing as a Sales Associate.  

A broker has the option within six months after the expiration date to revert the license from broker to sales associate. They will need to complete a 14 hour continuing education course after the expiration date on their broker license and pay the $64 renewal fee.  (Source)

This transaction is used when a broker fails to complete post-licensing education by first renewal. It downgrades the null and void broker’s license to a sales license.

Brokers Continuing Education 

In each subsequent renewal period brokers must complete 8- hours of specialty continuing education, 3-hours of Florida law update and 3-hours of Ethics and Business Practices. (source)

Satisfactory completion of the post licensure education requirement is demonstrated by successfully meeting all standards established for the commission-prescribed or commission-approved institution or school. However, notice of satisfactory completion shall not be issued if the student has absences in excess of 10 percent of the required classroom hours or has not satisfactorily completed a timed distance learning course examination. (same source as above)

Mutual Recognition Agreements with Other States

Mutual Recognition is a way for experienced individuals from 8 States to get a Real Estate License in Florida.  

Florida maintains mutual recognition with several states.  Mutual recognition is not an automatic approval to gain a license within Florida. Candidates from other states will need to demonstrate proficiency by completing a 40 question Florida Law Exam. 

See Florida Mutual Recognition States. 

Applicants with experience from the 8 States qualify to take a 40 question Florida Law Exam. Successful Completion of this exam is a score of 75% or better. One must get 30 questions right. 

Florida Resident

A person who has lived in Florida for 4 months is considered a Florida Resident.  

The Real Estate License

Prima facia evidence that holder of a real estate license possesses current and valid licensure.

Registration vs Licensure

Registration refers to submitting documents and information to the DBPR for record keeping.  License refers to the card issued by the DBPR upon successful completion of all requirements to become licensed, including passing the state exam.  

Review Qualifications of Licensure! 

Your license is Prima Facie Evidence of your approval to practice real estate in Florida.  

Continuing Education Requirement

Continuing Education is required after the first initial licensing period. 14 hours of Continuing Education must be met with 3 hours in core law.  

You may receive 3 hours of specialty continuing education credit once per renewal cycle for attending the legal agenda session of the Florida Real Estate Commission meeting. To obtain credit, you are required to notify the Division of Real Estate – Education Section either by phone at (850) 487 1395, or by fax to (407) 317-7245, or by completing the online registration form located on the education page of the Florida Real Estate Commission on the following link: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/real-estate-commission/education/  and clicking on Attendance to FREC Meetings for Continuing Education Credit – at least 7 days in advance of the meeting you wish to attend for continuing education credit. *(Source)

 In each subsequent renewal period brokers must complete 8- hours of specialty continuing education, 3-hours of Florida law update and 3-hours of Ethics and Business Practices. 

Any active member who is in good standing with the Florida Bar is exempt from 14 hours of continuing education. To receive this exemption we will need to either have a copy of your Bar card or the Bar card membership number provided to the Department, upon your initial application or 1st renewal after becoming a Florida Bar member, so a modifier can be added to your license.

Real Estate Services:

Services of real estate include, appraisals, auctions, selling, exchanges, buys, rents, or offers, attempts or agrees to appraise, auction, or negotiate the sale, exchange, purchase, or rental of business enterprises or business opportunities or any real property or any interest in or concerning the same, including mineral rights or leases, or who advertises or holds out to the public by any oral or printed solicitation. (source: 475.01)

  • Advertise
  • Buy
  • Appraise
  • Rent
  • Sell
  • Auction
  • Lease
  • Exchange

Individuals who are required to be licensed

A person may not operate as a broker or sales associate without being the holder of a valid and current active license. Any person who violates this paragraph commits a felony of the third degree.  

Compensation

Compensation is defined as or valuable consideration directly or indirectly paid or promised, expressly or impliedly, or with an intent to collect or receive compensation, or valuable consideration. (475.01a)

A sales associate may not collect any money in connection with any real estate brokerage transaction, whether as a commission, deposit, payment, rental, or otherwise, except in the name of the employer and with the express consent of the employer; and no real estate sales associate, whether the holder of a valid and current license or not, shall commence or maintain any action for a commission or compensation in connection with a real estate brokerage transaction against any person except a person registered as her or his employer at the time the sales associate performed the act or rendered the service for which the commission or compensation is due. 475.42 Violations and penalties

Individuals who are exempt from licensure

475.011 

(1) Any person acting as an attorney in fact for the purpose of the execution of contracts or

conveyances only; as an attorney at law within the scope of her or his duties as such; as a certified public accountant, as defined in chapter 473, within the scope of her or his duties. 

(2) Any individual, corporation, partnership, trust, joint venture, or other entity which sells, exchanges, or leases its own real property; however, this exemption shall not be available if and to the extent that an agent, employee, or independent contractor paid a commission or other compensation strictly on a transactional basis is employed to make sales, exchanges, or leases to or with customers in the ordinary course of an owner’s business of selling, exchanging, or leasing real property to the public.

(3) Any employee of a public utility, a rural electric cooperative, a railroad, or a state or local governmental agency who acts within the scope of her or his employment, for which no compensation in addition to the employee’s salary is paid, to buy, sell, appraise, exchange, rent, auction, or lease any real property or any interest in real property for the use of her or his employer.

(4) Any salaried employee of an owner, or of a registered broker for an owner, of an apartment community who works in an onsite rental office of the apartment community in a leasing capacity.

(5) Any person employed for a salary as a manager of a condominium or cooperative apartment complex as a result of any activities or duties which the person may have in relation to the renting of individual units within such condominium or cooperative apartment complex if rentals arranged by the person are for periods no greater than 1 year.

(6) Any person, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity which, for another and for compensation or other valuable consideration, sells, offers to sell, advertises for sale, buys, offers to buy, or negotiate the sale or purchase of radio, television, or cable enterprises licensed and regulated by the Federal Communications Commission pursuant to the Communications Act of 1934. However, if the sale or purchase of the radio, television, or cable enterprise involves the sale or lease of land, buildings, fixtures, and all other improvements to the land, a broker or sales associate licensed under this chapter shall be retained for the portion of the transaction which includes the land, buildings, fixtures, and all other improvements to the land.

(7) Any full-time graduate student who is enrolled in a commission-approved degree program in appraising at a college or university in this state, if the student is acting under the direct supervision of a licensed broker or a licensed or certified appraiser and is engaged only in appraisal activities related to the approved degree program. Any appraisal report by the student must be issued in the name of the supervising individual.

(8)(a) An owner of one or part of one or more timeshare periods for the owner’s own use and occupancy who later offers one or more of such periods for resale.

(b) An exchange company, as that term is defined by s. 721.05(15), but only to the extent that the exchange company is engaged in exchange program activities as described in and is in compliance with s. 721.18.

(9) Any person registered, licensed, or certified by the department under part II as an appraiser or trainee appraiser performing appraisals in accordance with that part.

(10) Any person who appraises under the unit-rule method of valuation a railroad or railroad terminal company assessed for ad valorem tax purposes pursuant to s. 193.085.

(11) Any person, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity which, for another and for compensation or other valuable consideration, rents or advertises for rent, for transient occupancy, any public lodging establishment licensed under chapter 509.

(12) Any dealer registered under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or any federally insured depository institution and any parent, subsidiary, or affiliate thereof, in connection with the sale, exchange, purchase, or rental of a business enterprise to or by a person who is an accredited investor as defined by 15 U.S.C. s. 77b, the Securities Act of 1933, or any regulation adopted thereunder. 

(13) Any property management firm or any owner of an apartment complex for the act of paying a finder’s fee or referral fee to an unlicensed person who is a tenant in such apartment complex provided the value of the fee does not exceed $50 per transaction. “finder’s fee” or “referral fee” means a fee paid, credit towards rent, or some other thing of value provided to a person for introducing or arranging an introduction between parties to a transaction involving the rental or lease of an apartment unit. It is a violation of s. 475.25(1)(h) and punishable under s. 475.42 for a property management firm or any owner of an apartment complex to pay a finder’s fee or a referral fee to an unlicensed person unless expressly authorized by this subsection. (Source)

Vocabulary

Broker – a person who, for another, and for a compensation or valuable consideration directly or indirectly paid or promised, expressly or impliedly, or with an intent to collect or receive a compensation or valuable consideration therefor, appraises, auctions, sells, exchanges, buys, rents, or offers, attempts or agrees to appraise, auction, or negotiate the sale, exchange, purchase, or rental of business enterprises or business opportunities or any real property or any interest in or concerning the same, including mineral rights or leases, or who advertises or holds out to the public by any oral or printed solicitation or representation that she or he is engaged in the business of appraising, auctioning, buying, selling, exchanging, leasing, or renting business enterprises or business opportunities or real property of others or interests therein, including mineral rights, or who takes any part in the procuring of sellers, purchasers, lessors, or lessees of business enterprises or business opportunities or the real property of another, or leases, or interest therein, including mineral rights, or who directs or assists in the procuring of prospects or in the negotiation or closing of any transaction which does, or is calculated to, result in a sale, exchange, or leasing thereof, and who receives, expects, or is promised any compensation or valuable consideration, directly or indirectly therefor; and all persons who advertise rental property information or lists. A broker renders a professional service and is a professional within the meaning of s. 95.11(4)(a). Where the term “appraise” or “appraising” appears in the definition of the term “broker,” it specifically excludes those appraisal services which must be performed only by a state-licensed or state-certified appraiser, and those appraisal services which may be performed by a registered trainee appraiser as defined in part II. The term “broker” also includes any person who is a general partner, officer, or director of a partnership or corporation which acts as a broker. The term “broker” also includes any person or entity who undertakes to list or sell one or more timeshare periods per year in one or more timeshare plans on behalf of any number of persons, except as provided in ss. 475.011 and 721.20.

Broker Associate – a person who is qualified to be issued a license as a broker but who operates as a sales associate in the employ of another.

Compensation – Compensation is defined as or valuable consideration directly or indirectly paid or promised, expressly or impliedly, or with an intent to collect or receive compensation, or valuable consideration. (475.01a)

Expungement – A process by which the record of a criminal conviction is destroyed or sealed after expiration of time. 

Florida Resident – A candidate for who has lived in Florida for four calendar months or more within the preceding year. 

License – Prima Face evidence that the state of Florida has given a real estate broker, broker associate, or sales associate to perform Real Estate Services under F.S.

Mutual Recognition Agreement – An agreement between Florida and other states that recognizes Real Estate professional experience. By passing a 40 question Florida Law examination candidates from mutual recognition states may avoid pre license education. 

Nolo contendere/no contest – not admitting guilt or innocence in a criminal action. 

Owner developer – An unlicensed business that sells, exchanges, or leases its own property. 

Prima Facie Evidence – Taken at face value. Requiring no further proof. In Florida a licensee is given a license that has prima facie evidence that they are indeed a licensed real estate professional.  

Real Estate Services – Performing Real Estate duties for another for compensation. 

Reciprocity – Like for like permission to operate within another state with another state license. Florida does not offer this permission.  It is illegal. 

Registration – Authorization by the state to place an applicant on the register of official businesses and individuals. 

Sales Associate – A licensed individual who performs real estate services under a broker or an employer. 

Sealed – A criminal record not available to the general public.  May only be viewed with a court order. 

Withhold Adjudication – When the court decides a defendant is not likely to threaten the safety and welfare of society, the court may stop a defendant from serving an imposed sentence, and place the defendant on probation.  

Key Points

  • “Commission” means the Florida Real Estate Commission.
  • “Customer” means a member of the public who is or may be a buyer or seller of real property and may or may not be represented by a real estate licensee in an authorized brokerage relationship.
  •  “Department” means the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
  • “Fiduciary” means a broker in a relationship of trust and confidence between that broker as agent and the seller or buyer as principal. The duties of the broker as a fiduciary are loyalty, confidentiality, obedience, full disclosure, and accounting and the duty to use skill, care, and diligence.
  • Involuntarily inactive status” means the licensure status that results when a license is not renewed at the end of the license period prescribed by the department.
  • “Principal” means the party with whom a real estate licensee has entered into a single agent relationship.
  • “Real property” or “real estate” means any interest or estate in land and any interest in business enterprises or business opportunities, including any assignment, leasehold, sub-leasehold, or mineral right; however, the term does not include any cemetery lot or right of burial in any cemetery; nor does the term include the renting of a mobile home lot or recreational vehicle lot in a mobile home park or travel park.
  • “Sales associate” means a person who performs any act specified in the definition of “broker,” but who performs such act under the direction, control, or management of another person. A sales associate renders a professional service and is a professional within the meaning of s. 95.11(4)(a).
  • Single agent” means a broker who represents, as a fiduciary, either the buyer or seller but not both in the same transaction.
  • Transaction broker” means a broker who provides limited representation to a buyer, a seller, or both, in a real estate transaction, but does not represent either in a fiduciary capacity or as a single agent. In a transaction broker relationship, a buyer or seller is not responsible for the acts of a licensee. Additionally, the parties to a real estate transaction are giving up their rights to the undivided loyalty of a licensee. This aspect of limited representation allows a licensee to facilitate a real estate transaction by assisting both the buyer and the seller, but a licensee will not work to represent one party to the detriment of the other party when acting as a transaction broker to both parties.
  • “Voluntarily inactive status” means the licensure status that results when a licensee has applied to the department to be placed on inactive status and has paid the fee prescribed by rule.
  • The terms “employ,” “employment,” “employer,” and “employee,” when used in this chapter and in rules adopted pursuant thereto to describe the relationship between a broker and a sales associate, include an independent contractor relationship when such relationship is intended by and established between a broker and a sales associate. The existence of such relationship shall not relieve either the broker or the sales associate of her or his duties, obligations, or responsibilities under this chapter.
  • Wherever the word “operate” or “operating” as a broker, broker associate, or sales associate appears in this chapter; in any order, rule, or regulation of the commission; in any pleading, indictment, or information under this chapter; in any court action or proceeding; or in any order or judgment of a court, it shall be deemed to mean the commission of one or more acts described in this chapter as constituting or defining a broker, broker associate, or sales associate, not including, however, any of the exceptions stated therein. 

A single such act is sufficient to bring a person within the meaning of this chapter, and each act, if prohibited herein, constitutes a separate offense.

A broker acting as a trustee of a trust created under chapter 689 is subject to the provisions of this chapter unless the trustee is a bank, state or federal association, or trust company possessing trust powers as defined in s. 658.12(23).‘);”

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