It’s no surprise that Florida boasts one of the strongest housing markets in the country. The number of new construction homes is increasing, and existing properties are selling because homes are affordable.
Why not take advantage of the booming housing market and learn how to become a real estate agent in Florida yourself? We’ll walk you through the steps to earn your license, and within just a few months, you can help families buy and sell homes in Miami, Orlando, or Destin.
Here are the steps you need to follow to earn your sales associate license in Florida:
- Find a Real Estate School
- Complete 63 Hours of Prelicensing Classes
- Submit Your Fingerprints to a Livescan Service Provider
- Fill Out the License Application
- Schedule Your Exam
- Study for the Exam
- Take the Florida Real Estate Exam
- Find a Principal Broker to Hire You
Ready to get started on your new career today? The first step is as simple as doing a bit of research on real estate schools.
1. Find a Real Estate School
The first step to becoming a real estate agent in Florida is to choose a real estate school and complete 63 hours of prelicensing classes. There’s a list of approved real estate schools on the licensing website. But since the list is rather difficult to sort, we recommend checking out this guide of the best online real estate schools in Florida.
Should I Take Online or In-person Prelicensing Courses?
Some people choose to take in-person courses because they enjoy the give and take of a traditional classroom. While enrolling in an in-person school may help some people get through the content easier, most people like the flexible schedule and affordability that comes with taking online classes.
If online classes are the way to go for you, check out Real Estate Express. It’s our top pick for the best overall value for online real estate courses in Florida. They offer four packages ranging from $117 to $399, and every package includes three real estate textbooks and state-approved instructor support.
2. Complete 63 Hours of Prelicensing Classes
Before you can sit for your licensing exam, you must finish the 63 hours of prelicensing classes. You can skip these classes if you have a four-year degree in a real estate-related field or by being a member of the Florida Bar Association.
Your classes will cover the legal and financial aspects of buying and selling property. You’ll learn about the following topics:
- The real estate business
- License law and qualifications for licensure
- Real estate license law and commission rules
- Authorized relationships, duties, and disclosures
- Real estate brokerage activities and procedures
- Violations of license law, penalties, and procedures
- Federal and state laws pertaining to real estate
- Property rights: estates, tenancies, condominiums, cooperatives, community development districts, homeowner associations, and time-sharing
- Titles, deeds, and ownership restrictions
- Legal descriptions
- Real estate contracts
- Residential mortgages
- Types of mortgages and sources of financing
- Real estate related computations and closing of transactions
- Real estate markets and analysis
- Real estate appraisal
- Real estate investments and business opportunity brokerage
- Taxes affecting real estate
- Planning and zoning
We know this is a heavy-hitting list of topics, but your real estate school will help you get through the material. Before you know it, you’ll be able to assist your clients with one of the most important financial decisions of their lives.
3. Submit Your Fingerprints to a Livescan Service Provider
At least five days before submitting your application, submit your fingerprints to a Livescan service provider. The state provides a list of Livescan service providers, which includes the phone number and email address of approved sites across the state.
You must provide the Livescan provider with the correct code (Real Estate Sales and Brokers—FL920010Z) when submitting your fingerprints. Otherwise, the application process will be delayed.
The charge for fingerprinting varies with each location, but expect to pay around $50. You need to bring two forms of ID when fingerprinted.
4. Fill Out the License Application
Before you can take your licensing exam, you must create an account with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation or apply with a printable application. The application fee is $83.75. Military members and their spouses may be eligible for a fee waiver. Check out this website for more information.
Besides providing your Social Security number and legal name, you’ll also have to answer a series of background questions regarding your criminal history, legal investigations, and previous licensures. You may be required to provide supporting legal documents with your application.
5. Schedule Your Exam
Once your application has been approved by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and you’ve completed your coursework, you’ll receive an official authorization letter from Pearson VUE. Pearson oversees the testing process, and the letter will give you further instructions on how to schedule your exam.
You can schedule the test over the phone at (888) 204-6289 or complete the process online through Pearson’s website. No walk-ins are welcome, and the exam fee is $36.75.
Where Are the Pearson Testing Locations in Florida?
- Boynton Beach
- Coral Gables
- Ft. Lauderdale
- Fort Myers
- Lake Mary
- Oakland Park
- Ormond Beach
- St. Petersburg
6. Study for the Exam
Even though Real Estate Express offers exam prep materials for three of the four packages, you may want additional study opportunities.
Our guide to Florida Real Estate Schools recommends Gold Coast School’s weekend cram review course. There are six locations in Florida, offered in both English and Spanish. The $199 session can also be livestreamed.
7. Take the Florida Real Estate Exam
Arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled exam. You’ll have 3½ hours to complete the 100-question, computer-based test. The 100 questions are equally weighted, and you’re required to get 75 questions correct to pass the test.
Bring the following items to the Pearson VUE testing site:
- Two forms of valid signature identification
Your name and address on the ID must match the one submitted on your license application. One of the IDs must be government-issued (such as a driver’s license, state identification card, passport, or military identification card).
- Florida Division of Real Estate Authorization Notice, a copy of your Certificate of Prelicensing Education Completion, Florida Bar Card, or Letter of Equivalency from Division of Real Estate.
You’ll not be allowed to take the exam before proving that you have completed the necessary educational requirements.
- A silent, hand-held, battery-powered, non-printing calculator without alphabetical buttons.
Leave every other item (phones, purses, wallets, snacks, and drinks) in your car or a locker provided by Pearson.
You’ll receive your test results immediately upon the completion of the test. If you fail the exam, you can schedule a review session with Pearson within 21 days to review the questions you answered incorrectly (there’s a charge for this review).
8. Find a Principal Broker to Hire You
Congratulations! If you reached step eight, you’ve jumped through all the hoops to obtain your real estate salesperson license. The only thing you need to do now is to get hired by a brokerage in Florida.
As a real estate salesperson, you’ll be required to work under a broker to assist clients in buying or selling real estate. To earn a broker license in Florida, a salesperson must be active in the profession for 24 months out of the last five years. He or she also needs to complete a 72-hour course and pass the brokerage exam.
How Do I Find the Right Broker?
You may need to knock on doors and introduce yourself to find a brokerage to oversee your work. Here are some of the best real estate companies to work for in 2020 to help you with your decision.
You should also ask the brokerage what kind of assistance they provide to beginning salespeople. Some larger agencies may have programs to assist new salespeople in promoting their business.
In the course of your conversation with each broker, make sure you understand the terms offered by each company, including:
Your “split” is how you’ll share the commissions you earn to help clients buy and sell real estate. Traditionally, real estate agents receive 3% of the amount of the sale. Some brokerages will ask for 50% of that commission.
Some brokerages will give you a higher percentage for your split, but they may charge you a monthly desk fee. The desk fee covers some of the office overhead, such as copiers, office equipment, and administrative staff. The fee is collected whether or not the agent makes a sale that month.
A cap is the top amount that the agency will take from the commissions that you’ve earned within the year.
How to Get a Real Estate License in Florida: FAQs
Is your head spinning with all the information you’ve learned about becoming a real estate agent in Florida? We know we’ve given you a lot to consider, but all your hard work will pay off when you start your new professional life.
Here’s some additional information that’ll help you establish your new career:
How much do real estate agents in Florida make?
According to Indeed, real estate salespeople make an average of $84,722 per year in Florida. Real estate agents are only paid when they earn a commission after a sale.
How long does it take to become a licensed real estate agent in Florida?
It takes about three months to become a real estate agent in Florida. The most time-consuming part of the process is taking the 63 hours of prelicensing courses.
How much does it cost to get a real estate license in Florida?
It costs around $486 to get your Florida real estate license. Some of these costs are set, such as the application fee and exam fee. The prelicensing courses, exam prep materials, and fingerprinting costs will vary depending upon the company you choose.
Florida Real Estate License Costs
|Prelicensing Classes (63 hours)||$117.00 (Real Estate Express)|
|Exam Cram Session||$199.00 (Gold Coast School)|
|Florida Real Estate License Exam Fee||$36.75|
Should I be a full-time or part-time real estate salesperson?
Since real estate agents are paid solely on commission, some people hesitate to quit their day job and jump with both feet into their new careers. To help you decide whether you should work full time or part time, check out our guide on how to become a successful part-time real estate agent.
Look for helpful resources that will assist you as you begin your real estate career. Learn more with our ultimate guide on how to get a real estate license and join our Real Estate Agent’s Mastermind Group to get advice from fellow agents.