Becoming a real estate agent is very trendy right now. It seems like the thing to do in most states. It can also be a very good career choice so if you’re in Florida, you might want to learn how to get a real estate license in Florida.
Living in Florida and working with the local market would be a great career move. Or at least that is what you have been told. But what are the steps to make it happen?
Now that you are ready to look into this career path you might want to know how to become a real estate agent in Florida. That is why we have put together this simple guide to help you get started.
We have outlined step by step what you will need to do to get a real estate license in Florida. We also included the minimum real estate license requirements in Florida to even qualify.
We are also going to talk about the requirements for renewal once you receive your license.
Let’s dive in and find out how to become a real estate agent in Florida.
When starting off in training for a new career it is important to know what the minimum requirements are. Starting something that you won’t be able to finish because you don’t qualify is not ideal.
Each state has its own minimum requirements. Some are the same while others will vary slightly. These are Florida’s requirements.
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have a high school diploma or equivalent
- You must have a United States social security number
If you do not have one of these three minimum requirements to get a real estate license in Florida then finish these requirements first.
This will save you time and disappointment later. Besides these requirements, there are others that you must complete.
Most states do not vary on these three minimum requirements. In order to be able to legally execute contracts, you have to be 18 years of age or older.
Having a high school diploma or equivalent is a standard requirement for most licensing, certificate programs, and higher education.
To get your fingerprinting and background check done a social security number is required.
Once you have met the very basic requirements it is time to take your pre-licensure courses. This will be different depending on the state you want to be licensed in.
To get a real estate license in Florida you are required to 63 hours in pre-licensure courses. The topics that these classes focus on are broken down into four sections.
- Real Estate Laws
- Real Estate Math
It is up to your personal preference and schedule how you will take the courses. There are two ways to do this. You can take the courses in person at a Florida real estate school or you can take the courses online.
The pre-licensure courses can be expensive. Depending on where you take the courses you can bundle them for one price or pay for each course individually.
You will typically pay anywhere from $100-$500 for the course or classes.
As a side note, if you are a lawyer licensed to practice law how you get a real estate license in Florida is different. You don’t have to take any pre-licensure courses. Simply attach a current copy of your Florida bar card to the application
Taking your pre-licensure courses will be the most time-consuming thing you do to get your real estate license in Florida. Once that is done you can start doing steps in faster succession.
After finishing the courses you need to take you will need to get fingerprinted. This is a fairly standard requirement in most states and is one of the real estate license requirements in Florida.
There are different places that will do fingerprinting for this reason. These are called Livescan Service Providers. You will need to find a service provider closest to you.
If you skip this step you will stop your progress to become a real estate agent in Florida. You have to have a background check to get your real estate license in Florida. If you don’t get your fingerprinting done then you won’t get a background check.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulations must have your fingerprints to obtain your background check.
There is one final piece of information that you need to know about fingerprinting. This needs to be done at least five days before you fill out your application and send it in.
The fee is also anywhere between $50-$80 depending on the provider. Each provider can decide how much they want to charge so just keep that in mind as you look for a Livescan Provider.
Apply to Take Your Exam
To take the exam to get your real estate license it is more complicated than just signing up to take the exam. You actually have to apply to take this test.
After you have had your fingerprints taken and have waited the five days required, you can not put in your application for the exam.
This is not a short application. However, it can be taken one of two ways depending on your personal preference.
You can apply with a paper application that you print offline and submit with a check for the exam fee. You can also apply online, which is faster because they will have the application immediately, and pay with a bank or credit card.
There is an application fee associated with this requirement to become a real estate agent in Florida. The application fee is $89 and can be paid by check or card.
Once you have applied to take the exam to become a real estate agent in Florida you will wait for the answer.
All of the applications are reviewed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulations but they are not who emails with the answer.
Anywhere from 10-30 days after you submit your application you will receive an email from Pearson Vue to tell you if you are approved or denied.
The background check is run after the application is received. This is why it takes so long to receive the results of the application.
While this may seem excessive, it is necessary to become a real estate agent in Florida. When you are going to be handling contracts you need to have a background check.
At the time you become a real estate agent in Florida, you become the steward of your clients’ personal documents and information. Much of this information is sensitive.
In order for the broker you will work with and the state of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulations to be free of liability, they have to know you don’t have a criminal past.
If you do not pass this requirement for how to get a real estate license in Florida then you will not get your application approved.
Depending on what is on your background check you may be able to get it removed. But that will take time if it happens at all.
Take the Florida State Real Estate Exam
Provided you have passed your background check and have an approved exam application. Passing this exam is how to get a real estate license in Florida.
After you submit your application you are going to be waiting for an email from Pearson Vue. Pearson Vue is the company that administers your Florida real estate exam.
The reason you get an email from them and not from the Department of Business and Professional Regulations is that Pearson is giving you exam authorization.
When you see an email in your inbox that says “Authorization to Test” you are one step closer to your real estate license. This is the final step to become a real estate agent in Florida.
In this email that you receive, you will get a nine-digit number. This is your candidate identification number.
You will use this number to schedule your test. There are two ways to schedule.
The first way you can schedule is over the phone. You will need your candidate number readily available when you call.
The second way you can schedule is online. The Pearson Vue website makes it easy to schedule the exam. You will also need your candidate identification number for this as well.
There is a fee associated with taking this test. When you call or log on to schedule the exam you will be required to pay the $36.75 testing fee.
You will have to pay this fee every time you take the exam.
The minimum passing score to get your license is 75 out of 100 points. If you fail, you can retake the test up to three times before you have to take more courses.
However, if you pass you can go ahead and print off and activate your real estate license. It will be good for 18 or 24 months.
The length of the license depends on when you take the exam. Now you are a real estate agent in Florida. But there are a few more steps to start selling houses.
Find a Broker to Work Under
When you are a licensed real estate agent in the state of Florida, you are not free to just go out and start selling houses. That would not be good for your career.
You will still be very inexperienced and very likely will have no on the ground experience in real estate at all. Because of this, you will have to have a sponsor.
A sponsor is simply a broker that you will complete all of your sales under. They have done additional course work and have taken a broker’s exam to do this job.
The broker is typically the owner of the real estate company. The point of this system is to make sure new real estate agents have someone to teach them and make sure everything is smooth and legal.
The best part of this is that you get to choose your broker. This part of the real estate licensure process is in your control.
The only caveat is that the broker has to agree to be your sponsor. Most of the time they say yes because that builds their business.
However, there are a few things that you should consider when looking for a broker. The first is what area you want to work in.
You need to gauge the markets in your area and decide what market you want to target. Once you know where you want to work, start looking for sponsors in that area.
This will serve you in an important way. You will learn the market you want to work in from someone that has already been doing it.
The broker you choose has to have an active license. Which means they have stayed current on continuing education and renewals.
Join the Local Realtors Association
While this is not something that is required to become a real estate agent in Florida or stay active, it would be good for your career.
This is where a lot of networking will happen. There are local associations all over Florida. Ask your broker which local association they are a member of.
You can choose to join that local board or choose a different one. Most new real estate agents joining the board their broker is a member of. However, that is not always the case.
There are local dues that must be paid to the association to become a full member. Once this happens you are actually a Realtor not just a real estate agent.
This simply means that you are a member of the National Association of Realtors. This also makes you a member of the Florida Realtors state association.
You don’t have to join an association like I already said, but it can help in another way besides networking. This next benefit will help build your client base.
When potential clients see that you are a Realtor and part of a local, state, and national association it builds confidence. Because members have to adhere to certain standards and ethics they are viewed as more trustworthy.
There are plenty of excellent real estate agents that are not Realtors though.
Now that you are a full-fledged real estate agent in the state of Florida you will need to think about renewal requirements.
You may think this is fast but before you renew for the first time you will have to take around half the number of course hours you took in the beginning.
That means you need to be learning and taking courses the whole 18-24 months before your renewal.
First-time renewals required to take and complete a 46-hour renewal course. This course must be approved.
You do not have to take this many hours for every renewal, just the first year. After that, you only have to take a 14-hour approved course to renew your real estate license.
If your real estate license is inactive for more than two years without any effort or attempts to renew, you will have to start the process all over.
If you want to take a break from selling houses it might be wise to still do all of your continuing education and renewals.
This is because if you ever want to get back into real estate and your license has lapsed you will have to go through the process all over again. It is easier and cheaper to keep your license active.
Just know that if you don’t choose to keep up with your renewals and continuing education you will have to start over to get your license back after two inactive years.
Making your way through this list of requirements, background checks, and exams may seem daunting. It is to some degree.
We hope this guide to how to become a real estate agent in Florida will help take some of the guesswork out.
Now that you know what the state of Florida requires to become licensed you can get started on your way to your new career.
There are a few things to keep in mind. It is important to know going in which market you want to work in. This will help you choose a sponsor that will be a true mentor in that area.
Choosing to become a real estate agent in Florida can be a rewarding choice if you complete the requirements and work hard for your clients.