How to Get a Real Estate License in Florida
Getting a real estate license in Florida, which is called the Sales Associates license, is a great career option. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) has made the requirements very simple. That means, you don’t have to worry about a bunch of government red tape and can focus on doing what you love—buying and selling real estate!
As a bonus, Florida has a lot of reciprocity agreements with many other states. That means you’ll be exempt from the education requirements in those states, giving you a shortcut to getting licensed and working there.
- Meet basic eligibility requirements
- Meet education requirements
- Pass the state exam
From start to finish, the process will take about 2 months.
Meet Basic Eligibility Requirements
You need to be 18 years or older and have a high school diploma or GED.
Applicants must also provide a valid social security number.
Fulfill Education Requirements
This is easy. You’re just required to take a single 63 hour pre-licensing course. This is a pretty basic course that covers the ABC’s of real estate. You should be able to knock this out in no time.
If you want to get your license processed faster, I recommend submitting your application before you start the courses. However, this also means, you’ll have to pay all the fees upfront.
You have 2 years to apply for the state exam after you complete the course, otherwise the state won’t accept the certificate and you’ll have to re-take the course again.
If you’re a member of the Florida State Bar, then you are exempt from taking the 63 hour pre-licensing course. However, you will still have to take the 45 hour post-licensing course.
If you have a Bachelors or Masters degree in real estate, then you are exempt from all education requirements (both pre-license and post-license).
Florida currently has reciprocity agreements with the following 7 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, and Nebraska.
If you currently hold an active license and are in good standing in any of these states, you are exempt from taking the 63 hour pre-licensing course.
However, you will still need to pass the Florida-specific, real estate law written exam.
The exam will consist of 40 questions of 1 point in value per question. You’ll need to score 30 points or higher to pass the exam.
How Much Does It Cost?
You can find online real estate programs ranging from $59 to $300.
Choosing a School
There are a lot of real estate schools out there with very competitive programs. The main difference seems to be the packages that contain the renewal courses for post-licensing and continuing education.
One school that caught my eye is Real Estate Express. Their Competitive Edge and Advanced Pro packages both have free continuing education courses FOR LIFE! I haven’t seen any other school that offers that. (If you do see one, let me know in the comments section below) Plus, they seem to have promotions every week. Right now, as I’m writing this, they have a 30% off promotion on all their packages.
Once the state has finished reviewing your application, they will notify you of your approval to take the state exam by mail.
The DBPR has contracted with a testing company called Pearson Vue to conduct their state exams. They are a national company, so it’s extremely easy to schedule a time and find a location that will be convenient for you. You can simply go to their website to make an appointment.
The state exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. You are allotted 3.5 hours to score a 75% or better. The fee to take the exam is $36.75
If you don’t pass the exam, you’re allowed to review the questions that you missed. You must submit this request within 21 days of your test date to Pearson Vue through their website or by calling (888) 204-6289. This has a Review Fee of $35.
If you’re a military veteran, part of the Florida National Guard or a spouse of one, you may be eligible for a fee waiver or reimbursement. You can check here to find out.
If you want more detailed information on the exam, you can read their official handbook.
Choosing a Broker
After you successfully pass the state exam, you’ll receive your real estate license in the mail!
The next step is to find broker who will activate it for you, so you can actually use it for work.
Because it’s so easy to obtain a Florida real estate license, it’s important to find a broker who will be a good mentor and show you the ropes.
This position is typically commission-based; so, many brokers are actively seeking to recruit more agents. Keep this in mind, and don’t sign on with the first broker that agrees to take you on.
You can expect them to take a part of your commission, and in return, they should be helping you build a successful real estate career.
Renewing Your License
After you get your Sales Associate license, you are required to take 45 hours of Post-License education within your second year of being licensed. This is for your first renewal.
Beginning with your second renewal and beyond, you’ll only need to complete 14 hours of continuing education, including 3 hours of Core Law, 3 hours of Business Ethics, and 9 hours of specialty education.