A Complete Guide to Become a Real Estate Agent in Florida


How to become a real estate agent in Florida

(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our website, JCHQ Publishing will get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, but at no additional cost to you.

To engage in the real estate practice in Florida, all individuals must obtain a salesperson or broker license from the Florida Real Estate Commission. This is the regulatory body that grants licenses to real estate agents and brokers, handles the real estate license renewal and regulate the industry.

To become a real estate agent in Florida, you must be at least 18 years old, complete 63 hours of pre-licensing courses, pass the Florida Real Estate Sales Associates Exam, and work with a broker who would sponsor your sales agent license. You also need to submit an application and a fee of $83.75 to the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC).

As a real estate agent in Florida, your role is to work with clients to buy or sell the property according to their needs. You would be responsible for showing the property, bringing potential buyers to house tours, and handling the purchase and sale agreement.

Some agents may also help clients in searching for a rental property or lease out their units.

Since you are reading this guide, then you should have some interest in knowing about being a real estate agent in Florida.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the steps to obtain a real estate salesperson license in Florida, income updates, career outlook and FAQ about this profession.

But before we start, I want to give a brief disclaimer. This post is not intended as legal advice or state/federal real estate training. It is for general information only. Please always follow your State laws and best practices.

When choosing a real estate school, I prefer one where you could take the courses online. This way, you could study at your own pace whenever and wherever. RealEstateExpress is a trustworthy real estate education provider. You may click here to see whether they offer pre-licensing course in your state. (**)

8 Steps to Real Estate Agent in Florida

Steps to become a real estate agent in Florida

Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Hold a high school diploma or equivalent

Step 2: Complete the pre-Licensing education

You need to take 63 hours of pre-license sales associates courses from an approved provider.

Here’s a table with the required pre-licensing courses.

Courses TitleCourse Length (Hours)
The Real Estate Business5
Real Estate License Law2.5
Real Estate License Law and Commission Rules1.5
Authorized Relationships, Duties and Disclosure4.5
Real Estate Brokerage Activities: Guides for Salespersons4
Violations of License Law, Penalties and Procedures3.5
Federal and State Laws Pertaining to Real Estate4
Property Rights: Estates and Tenancies; Condo's, Cooperatives and Timesharing6.5
Title, Deeds and Ownership Restrictions4
Legal Descriptions1.5
Real Estate Contracts4
Real Estate Finance2.5
Financing3.5
Computations and Closing of Transactions3.5
Real Estate Appraisal3
Investments and Business Brokerage1
Taxes Affecting the Real Estate Market2
The Real Estate Market1.5
Planning and Zoning2
End-of-Course Final Examination3
Total63 Hours

Keep in mind that these courses are only valid for two years after you complete them.

Step 3: Go through background check

Florida real estate license background check

Since the FREC needs to protect the public interest, they will conduct a background check on all real estate license applicants.

To do so, you must submit fingerprints through the approved Livescan Service Provider. They will ask for the ORI number, which is FL920010Z, for real estate sales and brokers.

It would be best if you do so at least five days before submitting the application. Then they would send the results to the Florida Department.

Although the fee varies among different vendors, I checked with several of them. It is usually around $50. 

Step 4: Submit an application to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation

Filling out Florida real estate sales association application

You need to complete the Application for Sales Associate License Form # DBPR RE 1.

In addition to the application, you also need to provide.

  • Application fee of $83.75
    • Cheque payable to Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
    • If you or your spouse is a military veteran or a Florida National Guard member, then you may be eligible for a fee waiver/ reimbursement/fee discount. For more info, please visit DBPR Military Services
  • Electronic fingerprints
  • Supporting legal documents
  • Proof that you have fulfilled the pre-licensing education requirement

After you have prepared all the necessary documentation, you could mail them to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation 2601 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783.

Alternatively, you could apply through the online services on their website.

If you need any help on the registration, you could contact the DBPR’s Customer Contact Center at 850.487.1395 or through their contact form.

Step 5: Pass the Real Estate Sales Associate Examination

Writing Florida real estate exam

This examination is to test your knowledge and understanding of real estate law, principle and practices, and mathematics.

The Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions, and you’ll have 3.5 hours to write it. The required passing score is 75 points. This is a computerized exam administered by Pearson-Vue. The exam fee is $36.75.

Here are the Florida real estate exam content outline and the weighting of each topic.

Exam ContentWeighted Percentage
The Real Estate Business1%
License Law and Qualifications for Licensure6%
Real Estate License Law and Commission Rules2%
Authorized Relationships, Duties and Disclosures7%
Real Estate Brokerage Activities and Procedures12%
Violations of License Law, Penalties and Prcedures2%
Federal and State Laws Pertaining to Real Estate4%
Property Rights: Estates, Tenancies; Condominiums, Cooperatives, Community Development Districts, Homeowner Associations, and Time-Sharing8%
Titles, Deeds, and Ownership Restrictions7%
Legal Descriptions5%
Real Estate Contracts12%
Residential Mortgages9%
Types of Mortgages and Sources of Financing4%
Real Estate Related Computations and Closing of Transactions6%
Real Estate Markets and Analysis1%
Real Estate Appraisal8%
Real Estate Investments and Business Opportunity Brokerage2%
Taxes Affecting Real Estate3%
Planning and Zoning1%

Upon Passing the Real Estate Sales Associates Examination

After you pass the exam, the exam administrator will send your grade information to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). Within 48 hours, your license number should be ready.

The Florida Real Estate Commission will provide you with further instruction to process your real estate sale associates license.

Keep in mind that they no longer mail out licenses. You just have to log in to their online access and print it out yourself.

RealEstateExpress is an online school that I like. They offer pre-licensing courses and also have excellent exam prep materials. Their programs have a “Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee” in most of the states. That’s how confident they are. You may click here to view their courses. (**)

Step 6: Get Sponsorship by a Licensed FL Real Estate Broker

Join a Florida real estate brokerage

Although now you have a certificate of licensure, your license status is still “inactive.”

You must work for a qualified broker, where the broker may activate your license through the form, DBPR RE 11 or their broker’s online portal.

When choosing a real estate brokerage, many people only focus on the commission split. But they neglect other essential factors in building a solid fundamental to their real estate business.

I will include some tips and a list of Top Real Estate Brokerages in Florida later in this post.

Step 7: Complete the Real Estate Sales Associate Post-Licensing Courses

Taking Florida real estate sales associate post-licensing courses

After you obtain the real estate license, you are required to complete 45 hours Florida Salesperson post-license course within 24 months.

This course is for you to enhance your knowledge on new real estate rules, regulations and law. To give you a better idea, below is the list of topics that would be covered in the course.

  • Real Estate License Law and Commission Rules
  • Managing Your Business and Your Time
  • Prospecting and Listing Appointments
  • Determining the List Price
  • The Listing Appointment and Presentation
  • Misrepresentation and Agency
  • Listing Contracts
  • Being a Buyer’s Agent
  • Types of Sales Contracts
  • The Offer Presentation
  • Mortgage Options
  • The Mortgage Process
  • The Closing Process
  • Real Estate Investment and the Economy
  • Specializing in Property Management
  • Professional Code and Ethics
  • End-of-Course Final Examination

Step 8: Maintain the Real Estate License

Maintain Florida real estate license

All Florida real estate license holders must renew their license once every 24 months. The best is to do so through the FL Department online services.

During each renewal period, it is mandatory to take at least 14 hours of Continuing Education. The courses must include:

  • Florida Real Estate Ethics and Business Practices (3 hours)
  • Florida Real Estate Law (3 hours)

Then you could fulfill the remaining 8 hours of CE with elective classes. Here is the list of elective courses:

  • Real Estate Safety: Protect Yourself and Your Clients (3 hours)
  • Millennials Are Changing Real Estate: Are You Ready? (4 hours)
  • The End of the Paper Trail: How to Conduct Paperless Transactions (3 hours)
  • Know the Code: Your Guide to the Code of Ethics (3 hours)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act ADA (3 hours)
  • Navigating a Hot Sellers’ Market (4 hours)
  • Short Sales and Foreclosures (3 hours)
  • The Doctor is In: Diagnosing Your Risk Management (3 hours)
  • Using Retirement Assets to Purchase Real Estate (3 hours)
  • Video Is the Bomb (3 hours)
  • Wildfire Risk in Real Estate (3 hours)
  • Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate (4 hours)

Note that you only need to take the CE after the first renewal. As you would be taking the post-licensing classes before the first renewal. 

To avoid interruption to your real estate practice, don’t leave the renewal until the last minute.

A Quick Table Summary of Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Florida

EligibilityEducationExamFees
Citizen of the United States or lawfully admitted alien

At least 18 years of age

Have a valid Social Security Number

Hold a high school diploma
63 hours of pre-licensing course

45 hours of post-licensing course within 24 months of obtaining license

14 credit hours of continuing education every 24 months
3.5 hours

100 multiple-choice questions

Required passing score is 75
Pre-licensing courses around $307

Exam fee $36.75

Application fee $83.75

How long does it take to get a real estate license in Florida?

How long does it take to get a real estate license in Florida?

It takes approximately four months to get a real estate license in Florida. But it also depends on the time it takes you to complete the required pre-licensing education, exam, background check, application, and get sponsorship by an actively licensed Florida real estate broker.

If you are taking online courses, you’ll have the flexibility to study at your own pace and speed up the studying in a matter of weeks.

How much does it cost to become a real estate agent in Florida?

How much does it cost to become a real estate agent in Florida?

It costs approximately $477.5 to get a real estate license in Florida. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 63 hours of pre-licensing courses with exam prep – $307
  • Exam fee – $36.75
  • Application fee – $83.75
  • Fingerprinting fee – $50

Although the exam prep not mandatory, you may want to invest in it. It can increase your chance of passing the exam on the first try so that you don’t need to waste time and money in retaking it. 

Once you obtain the real estate license, there would be other business expenses to account for—for instance, E&O, MLS subscription, laptop, travel expenses, advertising, and marketing.

Is there any pre-licensing education exemption?

Exemption to Florida real estate pre-licensing courses

You could be exempt from taking the Florida pre-licensing real estate classes if you are a Florida attorney, or you are holding a Bachelors or Master’s degree in real estate.

However, this exemption only applies to pre-licensing courses, and not the post-licensing ones.

To find out whether you are eligible for this exemption, you may submit the transcript along with a cover letter to the Division of Real Estate, Attention: Education Section, 400 West Robinson Street, Suite N801 Orlando, Florida 32801.

What happen if I already have a real estate license outside of Florida?

What happen if I already have a real estate license outside of Florida?

If you are a non-resident of Florida, but you already obtained a real estate license in one of the eight states that have a mutual agreement with the Florida Real Estate Commission, then you might be able to waive some of the licensing requirement.

The 8 states that have the mutual agreements are Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Rhode Island.

When you are submitting the mutual recognition application, you must provide information about the history and status of your current license, any disciplinary action, and the number of months where your license has been active in the preceding 5 years.

Can you become a real estate agent with a felony in Florida?

An applicant with a felony may not obtain a real estate salesperson license if the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) determines that the offense is too severe. They would typically be more alarmed on incidents that impact the applicant’s honesty, trustworthiness, character, and integrity.

What is the nature of the crime? Does it have anything to do with the honesty, truthfulness, and reputation of the applicant? Is the applicant currently under probation or parole? All these are factors that may affect a real estate license application.

The FREC will evaluate each case independently. They may also require you to provide further documents and explanation about the incident.

But don’t get discouraged as everyone has a past. The most important is that you can demonstrate that you will serve the public in a fair, honest, and open manner.

Here’s an article that covers how to apply for a real estate license with a felony record. In there, you’ll find practical ideas which could help your application.

Whom should I contact if I have more questions about the Florida real estate license?

You could contact the Florida Real Estate Commission:

  • Division of Real Estate, 400 West Robinson Street, N801, Orlando, Florida 32801
  • Telephone: 850.487.1395
  • Facsimile: 850.488.8040

How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make in Florida?

How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make in Florida?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, real estate agents in Florida earn an average yearly income of $62,790. It typically ranges from $31,430 and $73,710. Some high earning real estate agents are making $125,200. (*)

At the beginning phase in your real estate career, you could have a lower income. It indeed take time to build up the client base and established trust with the prospects. But as you continue to gain experience and sharpen your business skills, you should be able to notice a significant improvement to your earning.

Your earning potential as a real estate agent would depend on the price range of the properties that you work with, the number of transactions you could complete, the commission splitting schedule with the real estate brokerage and other factors.

Here’s another post that covers the important variables that could significantly affect your income.

(*) Bureau of Labor Statistic – May 2019

Is there a demand for real estate agents in Florida?

Is there a demand for real estate agents in Florida?

Florida has a population of 21 million people, with Jacksonville as the most populous city, followed by Miami, Tampa, and Orlando.

There are 19,240 real estate agents in Florida. It works out there are 2.188 real estate agents per 1000 of workers. (*)

As long as people are looking for services in buying, selling, or renting properties, there will be a demand for real estate agents in Florida.

Practical ideas to build a real estate career in Florida

Tip#1: Choose the right real estate mentor

Finding a real estate mentor in Florida

When choosing a real estate brokerage, many people only focus on the commission split, but there are many other factors you also need to consider.

For example, what type of training will they provide? Will they equip you with the skills in finding qualify prospects and closing a sale? Is there a shared office space you could use? Can the brokerage provide you with adequate administrative and marketing support? Will they provide you with leads to work on? Do they utilize up-to-date technology (i.e.: CRM, software subscription) to streamline the daily workflow.

All these would be extremely important especially at the beginning phase of your career.

Below are the top real estate brokerage in Florida based on their sales volume in 2018. The figures are obtained from RealTrends.com.

CompanyLocationSales Volume in 2018
The Keyes Company/Illustrated PropertiesMiami$4,546,193,585
Premier Sotheby’s International RealtyNaples$4,041,944,817
Watson Realty CorpJacksonville$3,445,980,681
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida RealtySunrise$2,970,820,000
Michael Saunders & CompanySarasota$2,635,680,787
Keller Williams Realty – Chadwick GroupTampa$2,369,240,092
John R. Wood PropertiesNaples$2,232,080,811
Keller Williams Realty Jupiter/Palm Beaches/Treasure Coast/PSLJupiter$1,557,173,885
Keller Williams Realty of Central Florida LLCLakeland$1,512,024,137
ONE Sotheby’s International RealtyCoral Gables$1,509,106,297
Downing-Frye Realty, IncNaples$1,414,261,159
Keller Williams Realty – Ubaldini GroupPalm Harbor$1,400,284,050
Keller Williams Realty Emerald CoastDestin$1,358,421,230
RE/MAX Alliance GroupSarasota$1,264,217,874
Smith & Associates Real EstateTampa$1,177,272,722
Keller Williams North FloridaTallahassee$1,150,265,512
Keller Williams Realty – Tyrrell Enterprise IncOviedo$1,056,210,005
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties GroupTrinity$1,034,048,712
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty, Inc.Orange Park$930,604,946
Keller Williams Heritage RealtyAltamonte Springs$926,092,038
Keller Williams Classic/Homestead RealtyOrlando$832,758,851
Charles Rutenberg RealtyFort Lauderdale$790,006,187
CENTURY 21 Beggins EnterprisesApollo Beach$688,986,402
RE/MAX MetroSt. Petersburg$676,365,671
Keller Williams Realty Partners SW LLCPembroke Pines$662,597,804
Scenic Sotheby’s International RealtySanta Rosa Beach$658,375,866
Dale Sorensen Real Estate IncVero Beach$643,072,922
RE/MAX Anchor RealtyPunta Gorda$600,275,933
RE/MAX Realtec GroupPalm Harbor$596,570,067
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of FloridaSanta Rosa Beach$588,442,706
Keller Williams Sarasota Lakewood RanchLakewood Ranch$583,418,959
Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate Co.Marathon$573,821,425

Tip#2: Select an area with demand for sales agents

When you are selecting the neighborhoods to conduct your real estate business, you should consider areas that have a high population. After all, transactions can only occur when there are people.

Also, consider working on properties that have decent value, as this is one of the major factors when calculating your commission.

Median Home Prices of the Top 10 Highest Population Cities in Florida

Cities in FloridaPopulation Median Home Price (+)
Jacksonville920,984$152,300
Miami491,724$300,500
Tampa403,178$184,200
Orlando297,243$167,100
St. Petersburg273,968$181,100
Hialeah234,428$234,700
Cape Coral 194,570$230,100
Tallahassee194,170$166,900
Port St. Lucie202,769$220,400
Fort Lauderdale181,995$317,900

Overall speaking, the median value of homes in Florida is $231,000, with a listing price per square foot of $167. The median monthly rent in Florida is $1,800. (+)

Source: (*) Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2019); (+) Data as of Dec 2018 on Zillow.com

Tip#3: Network with real estate professionals

Join real estate associations in Florida

You may consider joining the Florida REALTORS. This allows you to connect with other real estate sales agents and brokers, thus learn from their valuable experience and share ideas with one another. 

In addition, you should build a referral network with other real estate professionals. such as mortgage agents, lenders, notary loan signing agents, and appraisers.

Here’s a list real estate professional groups on our resource page. Hope this will be useful to you.

Tip#4: Become a real estate broker in Florida

Get a real estate broker license in Florida

Once you have established a solid client base and develop the necessary skills, then you could consider expanding your business to become a real estate broker.

This allows you to build a team of real estate agents, where your brokerage could be providing training, marketing, administrative support, office space, and a subscription to industry software.

In return, you would get a share of the commission from the transactions that your real estate sales associates handle. Thus, lead to a scalable business model. 

Here’s a post on how to become a real estate broker in Florida.

Tip#5: Just enjoy it!

Becoming a real estate agent could be a rewarding career. Not only in terms of financial sense, but you also get the chance of meeting many people and working on different properties every day.

It is very fulfilling when you can help out your clients in finding their dream home or locate the right buyers for their property.

Honesty, hard work, and always putting your client’s interest first are the key components to your long-term success.

That’s all I have to share for now. I hope you will find this guide helpful.

If you are reading up to this point, I bet you must be interested in getting a real estate license. Your first step is to complete the pre-licensing courses. You should select one that has an excellent reputation and long-term track record of satisfying students. RealEstateExpress is exactly that! You may click here to check it out yourself. (**)

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information only, and not intend to provide any advice. They are subjected to change any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. For full and exact details, please contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. 

(**) Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. Our website, RealEstateCareerHQ.com, will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking on the link. Please understand that we include them based on our experience or the research on these companies or products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through the links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Reference:

  • Candidate Information Booklet for the Real Estate Sales Associate Examination (source)
  • Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) (source)
    • Electronic Fingerprint (source)
    • Florida Statutes Chapter 475 – Part I (source)
    • Florida Administrative Code Chapter 61J2 (source)
  • Real Trends: Real Trends 500 by Volume (source)
  • Zillow.com (source)
  • World Population Review – Population of Cities in Florida (2019) (source)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
    • Occupational Employment and Wages- Real Estate Agents (source)
    • Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Florida (source)

Jacob Coleman

Jacob is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors.) In order to build a career you love, Jacob believes not only you need a thorough understanding about the profession, but you also have to find out what type of jobs could match your personality, lifestyle and expectation.

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