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How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Florida

Forida real estate agents showing a house to clients after getting their license

To work as a real estate agent in Florida (and any other state), you must first get your real estate license. The process will take a few months – and a moderate financial investment. But as soon as you are fully licensed, you will be able to start earning commissions as a buyer’s or seller’s agent. 

We want to help you with the process of earning your Florida real estate license. Here’s what we learned from Florida’s Division of Real Estate about the licensing process.

Prerequisites to get your real estate license in Florida:

  1. You must be at least 18 years old.
  2. You must have a social security number.
  3. You must have a high school diploma (or equivalent).

Here’s the step-by-step process.

5 Steps To Get Your Real Estate License in Florida

Steps to getting your Florida real estate license

Step 1: Enroll in a Florida real estate school

The first step to get your Florida real estate license is to complete a 63-hour pre-licensing course. The course needs to be ARELLO-approved. (ARELLO stands for Association of Real Estate License Law Officials.)

Most people find it easier to complete their coursework online during their spare time – especially if they are working and have family commitments. Online courses make it easier to review complicated materials. Students also like being able to study at their own pace. In addition, online real estate schools are typically more affordable.

You’ll learn about real estate law, financing, and ethics during your courses. You must thoroughly understand these subjects to pass your real estate exam (more on that later) – and to guide your future clients through one of the most significant financial decisions of their lives.

So, choosing a high-quality real estate school is vital. Select a school that presents the material in a compelling, easy-to-understand format. Otherwise, the 63 hours of coursework may take months to complete.

(If you have a bachelor’s degree in a real estate-related field or are a member of the Florida Bar Association, you may be eligible to skip the pre-licensing coursework.)

Step 2: Pass the course final exam

When you have completed the 63-Hour Florida Pre-licensing Course, you must pass a course final exam that will help prepare you to pass the licensing exam.

Step 3: Complete the background check

The next step in getting your license in Florida is to complete a background check.

This step is completed partly when you provide background information on your license application. The next phase of this process requires you to be fingerprinted.

Expect to pay around $50 to a Livescan vendor approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to facilitate the fingerprinting process. You need to bring two forms of ID when fingerprinted, and you may need to make an appointment.

Please note that a real estate agent needs to be of good moral character. However, having a criminal history does not necessarily limit your opportunity to become a real estate agent. It depends on the type and severity of the crime.

Step 4: Apply for a Florida real estate license

Create an account with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to get started with your online application. There are printable applications if you prefer.

The Florida real estate sales associate license application fee is $83.75. Military members and their spouses may be eligible to have this fee waived.

You’ll be asked to provide your Social Security number and legal name shown on your government-issued IDs. There will be a series of questions to answer regarding your criminal history, legal investigations, and previous licensures.

You’ll also need to submit your course completion paperwork. The course completion certificate expires after two years.

Step 5: Pass the state license exam.

Once your application is approved by Florida’s DBPR, you’ll receive an official authorization letter from Pearson VUE with instructions on how to schedule your exam.

Pearson Vue administers the real estate exam in Florida—review Pearson Vue’s Candidate Information Booklet to understand ID and test-taking requirements. The test costs $36.75 and is three and ½ hours long. You can take the test in person or online.

Your pre-licensing coursework will prepare you (in part) to take the Florida real estate license exam. However, most people spend time studying for the test.

Some real estate schools include test prep materials with pre-licensing packages. Otherwise, you may have to buy exam prep materials with practice exams to ensure you are prepared for your test.

Related: Florida real estate license exam prep

Additional Steps

For New License Holders: Find a Sponsoring Broker

Beginning real estate agents in Florida must have a broker oversee all their transactions. In fact, this is a requirement for all real estate agents unless or until they become a broker themselves.

Once you have found a broker to work under, you can begin your career as a real estate agent!

For First-Time License Renewal: Complete your Florida post-licensing course.

Within 18 to 24 months of obtaining your Florida license, you must complete a 45-hour Florida post-licensing course, pass a course test, and submit your completion records to the Florida DBPR.

This initial renewal must be completed, or you will lose your license. Subsequent renewals will still require that you take continuing education classes.

How long does It take to become a real estate agent in Florida?

It can take four to six months to become a real estate agent in Florida. This includes the time required to finish your Florida pre-licensing course, undergo the background check, take the licensing exam, and receive a license. However, this may vary from person to person.

What is the duration of a real estate license course in Florida?

The initial 63-hour pre-licensing course is the foundation of your real estate education. For most people, this takes between 2.5 days to 6 months to complete. However, remember that the duration may vary depending on your personal schedule and how quickly you grasp the material.

How long does it take to complete the real estate License Application in Florida?

After completing the pre-licensing course, you’ll need to submit your real estate sales associate license application. This process typically takes a few weeks to a month, accounting for the time it takes to gather the necessary documents and complete the application forms.

How long does it take to complete the Florida real estate license Background Check?

The background check phase can vary in duration, but it usually doesn’t take more than a couple of weeks. It’s essential to provide accurate information on your application to expedite this process.

How long does it take to complete the Florida Real Estate Exam Prep?

Preparing for the Florida real estate license exam is a crucial step. While your pre-licensing coursework will provide a foundation, you’ll want to dedicate additional time to study specifically for the exam. This study period can range from a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on your familiarity with the material.

How long does it take to complete the Florida post-licensing course?

As mentioned earlier, within 18 to 24 months of obtaining your license, you’ll need to complete a 45-hour post-licensing course. This course typically takes a few weeks to complete within that time frame. 

How long does it take to complete the real estate continuing education in Florida?

Florida Real Estate agents need to complete 14 hours of state-approved continuing education every 2 years by either March 31st or September 30th, based on the expiration date of their license.

What Should You Do After You Get Your Florida Real Estate License?

Once you’ve successfully earned your Florida real estate license, you may be wondering what to do next. Here are the two most common options to consider:

Become a Sales Agent and Join an Agency

Becoming a real estate sales agent is a fantastic way to kickstart your career. By joining a reputable real estate agency, you can gain valuable experience, access resources, and benefit from mentorship from seasoned professionals. Here’s what to do:

  • Start networking with local real estate agencies to explore potential opportunities.
  • Attend open houses and industry events to build relationships and learn from experienced agents.
  • Work closely with your agency’s broker and colleagues to develop your skills and build a strong client base.
  • Consider specializing in a niche market, such as luxury properties, commercial real estate, or residential sales, to differentiate yourself and target specific clients.

Pursue a Broker Certification

If you aspire to take your real estate career to the next level and have the ambition to manage your own brokerage or team, pursuing a broker certification is a wise choice. Here’s how to proceed:

  • Accumulate a few years of experience as a real estate salesperson to meet the prerequisites for broker certification.
  • Enroll in a Florida-approved broker pre-licensing course, which typically involves 72 hours of coursework.
  • Pass the Florida broker’s licensing exam.
  • Consider specializing in a specific area, such as property management, real estate investment, or commercial brokerage, to broaden your expertise and attract clients.

Ultimately, the decision between becoming a salesperson or pursuing broker certification depends on your career goals and aspirations. Both paths offer exciting opportunities in the dynamic world of real estate.

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