How to Become a Realtor in Florida and Associated Costs of Becoming a Realtor

Basic Licensing Requirements

  1. Application: Visit the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation – Here you will need to apply for your real estate license. Select the appropriate option, then Real Estate and the license you are applying for; if this is your first time select Sales Associates and then the Application for Sales Associate License. Verify that you meet the minimum requirements of holding a high school diploma or its equivalent and being 18 years of age or older. A background check is part of the licensing process. You can apply online or with a paper application.
  2. Fingerprints: You will need to visit the local Pearson VUE testing center to have your fingerprints taken electronically. This can be scheduled at your convenience. Be sure to bring 2 forms of ID! View the Fingerprint FAQ.
  3. Pre-Licensing Course: After you have submitted your application, you should complete a Florida Real Estate Commission approved 63-hour Sales Associate pre-licensing course. We recommend the Bob Hogue School of Real Estate and the Cooke Real Estate School. The course can be taken in a live classroom setting which usually lasts about 2 weeks or it can be taken online at your own pace. After you have completed the pre-licensing course, you will have to pass an end-of-course exam which usually consists of 100 questions covering the course material. If you do not pass the exam, you will need to wait 30 days before you can take it again.
  4. State Licensing Exam: Shortly after passing the end-of-course exam, the State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation will send you a username and password that you will need to schedule your state exam with the Pearson VUE testing center. You are usually allowed 3 hours to complete the exam and the results are printed out instantly. If you do not pass the exam, you can schedule a new test almost immediately.

Current Fees for Licensure Application and Examination:

  • DBPR Application $105.00
  • Electronic Fingerprinting $57.25
  • Pre-Licensing Course $200-$300
  • State License Exam $31.50
  • Post Licensing/Continuing Ed $100-$200 / year

Choose a Local Real Estate Broker

As soon as you pass the state licensing exam, you are allowed to legally practice as a real estate sales associate. You will need to “hang” your new license with a local real estate broker or office. When selecting an office, consider the value that the broker brings to the relationship and what support you will receive. Some brokers charge transaction fees, administrative fees, desk fees, website fees, advertising recovery fees, insurance fees, telephone fees, printing/copying, etc.

At a minimum, the new office will ask you to sign an Independent Contractor Agreement and fill out an Agent Information Sheet. You should be given a copy of the Office Policy and Procedures Manual, door keys and a username and password for the office software and email.

REALTORĀ® Membership

Not all real estate licensees are Realtors. According to the Florida Realtors, Realtor is a registered collective membership mark that indicates the licensee is a member of the National Association of Realtors and the Florida Association of Realtors, through a local association of Realtors. Realtors must pledge to adhere to strict, enforceable standards set forth in the Realtor Code of Ethics. These are the only licensees who may proudly display the Realtor trademark “R” logo and refer to themselves as a “Realtor.”Below is an example of Joining for the Alachua County Association of Realtors. Although the fees vary slightly by local board, the process and fee structure is similar throughout State of Florida. Your state and national Realtor dues will be collected by the local board.

  1. Florida DBPR RE 10: Your new broker will need to sign this form activating your license under the company. Bring this form to the Gainesville and Alachua County Association of Realtors along with a copy of your real estate license or license number.
  2. Application: You will need to fill out the Realtor Application and return the Application to the GACAR office which is located at 1750 NW 80th Blvd, Gainesville, Florida 32606. GACAR staff can be reached by phone at 352-332-8850. You can obtain an application from GACAR or from your Broker.
  3. Board Fees and MLS Dues: When you join GACAR, you will also join the state and national associations FAR and NAR. The dues for these memberships are billed annually. You will pay a one-time application fee and a pro-rated amount of the annual dues depending on when you join. MLS or Multiple Listing Service Dues are also billed annually. These dues are necessary for you to gain access to the listings in the MLS. You will also need to purchase an MLS token to access the Gainesville MLS website.
  4. Supra Lockbox Keys: The board has several options for Supra electronic lockbox access. In order to show properties, you will need to have one of these keys. We recommend the Active Key because it is simple and easy to use. There are other versions that work through your cell phone but we have found them to be slower and less reliable than having a dedicated key. There is a one-time activation fee and the annual fees are pro-rated depending on when you join.

Current Fees for REALTOR Membership and MLS Access:

  • Realtor Membership Application $300.00 one time charge
  • Realtor Membership Dues $496.00 billed annually
  • MLS Dues $432.00 billed annually
  • MLS Token $37.36 one time charge
  • Supra Key Activation $50.00 one time charge
  • Supra Key Fees $184.92 billed annually

This means (using our example above) that your first year would cost approximately $1,900 in membership and licensing fees. Excluding one-time fees, subsequent years would cost around $1,300.

This information was compiled by Allison Ables, a licensed Gainesville FL Real Estate Broker. It originated from first hand knowledge as well as information freely available on government and board websites. Allison is an expert Realtor and loves hunting for deals on Gainesville FL foreclosures in her spare time.

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