Unit 2: Key Points >

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These are the most important points in this unit.

History and Purpose of Real Estate License Laws

  • Caveat Emptor means “buyer beware,” which was the public’s impression of real estate brokers early in the 1900s.
  • The Florida Real Estate Commission is a consumer protection agency. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation administers the license law.
  • There are four parts to Chapter 475:
  • Part I establishes the Florida Real Estate Commission, which regulates real estate brokers and sales associates.
  • Part II establishes the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board, which regulates appraisers.
  • Part III is the Commercial Real Estate Sales Commission Lien Act. This applies only to commercial property and gives a broker a lien against the owner’s proceeds from a sale up to the amount of the broker’s earned commission. It is not a lien against the property itself.
  • Part IV is the Commercial Real Estate Leasing Commission Act. It gives a broker lien rights for commissions earned from leasing real property.

License Categories

  • Brokers are the only licensees that can receive commissions directly from the public. Brokers can hold multiple licenses.
  • Broker associates are qualified to be a broker, but work under a broker.
  • Sales associates are employed by, and can be paid only by a broker or owner/employer. Sales associates and broker associates can hold only one license.
  • An individual who works for an owner-developer is exempt from needing a real estate license if paid by salary only.

General Licensure Provisions

  • The applicant must respond accurately and completely to the background information by disclosing if convicted of a crime or ever entered a plea of nolo contendere; aliases; if denied or had a license suspended or revoked in another state or if not current on child-support payments: denied license or registration to practice a regulated profession; and whether found guilty of any conduct or practice that would have been grounds for suspension or revocation under F.S. 475.
  • The applicant need not be citizens of the United States.
  • The applicant need not be residents of Florida.
  • The applicant must have a United States Social Security number.

Application Requirements

The DBPR must waive the initial licensing fee for

  • Low-income applicants who can show that their household income is at or below 130% of federal poverty guidelines.
  • Military personnel and their spouses including surviving spouses of an active-duty member.
  • Military veterans and their spouses who apply for a real estate license within 60 months after an honorable discharge. The veteran and the spouse are also exempt from the application fee and the unlicensed activity fee.

Sales Associate License Requirements

  • Members of the Florida Bar and persons who have a four-year degree (or higher) in real estate from an institution of higher learning are exempt from prelicensing education.
  • The applicant has 3 ½ hours to complete the state exam. The state examination has 100 multiple-choice questions. 75 percent correct is passing.
  • Candidates who pass the exam can print their licenses by going to their account at www.myfloridalicense.com. The initial license will be inactive. Before operating in real estate, the sales associate must
    • affiliate with a broker or owner-employer, 
    • put the license in active status, and
    • see the change reflected in the DBPR web site.

Sales Associate Post-License Course

  • A sales associate’s first license is on probation. The license will be void when the first license expires unless the sales associate completes a 45-hour sales associate post-licensing course and renews.
  • Graduates with 4 years or higher with a real estate major are exempt from the post-licensing requirements.

Broker License Requirements

  • Broker applicants must have held an active sales associate license for at least two of the past five years working for either a broker (in any state), or for a governmental agency performing the duties of a sales associate.
  • A broker candidate who holds a Florida sales associate license must have completed the sales associate post-license course, and include the completion certificate with the broker application.
  • Broker candidates must successfully complete the 72-hour broker prelicense course by correctly answering 70 of the 100 questions on the end-of-course exam.
  • A broker’s first license is on probation. The license will be void when the initial license expires unless the broker completes 60 hours of broker post-licensing and renews.
  • Graduates with 4 years or higher with a real estate major are exempt from the broker post-licensing requirements.

Nonresident Licensees and Mutual Recognition

  • A person need not live in Florida before getting a Florida real estate license.
  • With a mutual recognition agreement, a resident of a state that holds a real estate license can become a Florida licensee by passing a 40-question exam on Florida law.
  • A real estate license is prima facie evidence that holder of a real estate license possesses current and valid licensure.
  • Only individual brokers, broker associates, or sales associates can receive a license. Corporations and partnerships are registered with the DBPR.
  • After the first renewal, licensees must complete a 14-hour continuing education course every two years to maintain their license. Members of the Florida Bar are exempt from the continuing education requirement.

Real Estate Services

  • A person who performs one of the eight services of real estate for another person for compensation must be licensed.
  • Unlicensed activity is a third-degree felony.
  • Brokers may not pay a fee to an unlicensed person.
  • The maximum fine that DBPR can levy against a person is $5,000 per violation.

Other Information About Real Estate Licenses

  • A real estate license is prima facie evidence that the holder of a real estate license possesses current and valid licensure.
  • Only individual brokers, broker associates, or sales associates can receive a license. Corporations and partnerships are registered with the DBPR.
  • After the first renewal, licensees must complete a 14-hour continuing education course every two years to maintain their license. Members of the Florida Bar are exempt from the continuing education requirement.