7
STEPS

How Long Does It Take to Get a Real Estate License in Florida?

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Before you start the process to become a real estate agent, you most likely want to know how quickly you can get your license. The good news is that it doesn’t take very long in Florida. If you push hard on your studies and application processing is swift, you can be a new licensee in two months or even less.

Below, we share the steps for getting your sales associate license in The Sunshine State. We also offer helpful hints on how to move the process along faster.

That being said, here are the steps and about how long each one could take.

1
STEP

Complete the Pre-Licensing Course: 1-2 Weeks Minimum

You will be required to take a 63-hour pre-licensing course as a prerequisite to getting a real estate license. Check out our database of the top-rated real estate schools in Florida to choose where you want to complete this course.

The course is available in multiple formats and on compressed schedules. So, you can finish it quickly if studying full time. You’ll complete it in one week if you can participate in traditional or virtual classes all day for seven consecutive days. If you go to class on weekdays only, you can still be done in as little as two weeks.

Those with work obligations that dictate night or weekend classes can fulfill the education requirement in a few weeks as well. The average is four to five weeks. If you need to spread classes out a bit more, your completion time will double.

When taking the course online, you can pretty much set your targeted completion date as you study at your own speed. If you set the pace similar to a work week, the course will be behind you in a couple of weeks.

If you can’t choose which format will suit you best, better read our guide discussing the pros and cons of real estate classes online vs. classroom courses.

There are two instances in which completing the pre-licensing course wouldn’t factor into the timeline at all. If you are an attorney in good standing with the Florida Bar, you’re exempt from the pre-licensing education requirement. It may also be waived if you have a four-year degree in real estate or higher. You must submit an original transcript with your application for review.

2
STEP

Submit Fingerprints and a Background Check: 5+ Days

A background check is a condition of licensure in Florida. It’s a fingerprint-based records search, which means that your prints are cross-referenced against state and federal criminal databases.

Getting fingerprinted only takes 10 minutes. However, you’ll need to make an appointment. As recommended by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), you must use a Livescan Service Provider approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

It generally takes at least five days for the DBPR to get the results of your background check. Note that your application isn’t considered complete until the Department receives the results. So, you’ll want to have your fingerprints taken early on in the process and certainly no less than five days before submitting your application to avoid processing delays.

You can find a Frequently Asked Questions sheet on the DBPR website. It covers details of the fingerprinting process from start to finish and can help you expediently navigate the process.

3
STEP

Apply for the Exam and Wait for Approval: 2-4 Weeks

Once you’ve completed the background check, you’re ready to apply and get authorization to take the exam. You can apply online or submit a paper application. If you go the hard copy route, be sure to provide all the required documents to ensure faster processing.

It will likely take less than a day to do the application if you don’t have to fill out any background information. If you have a criminal or professional disciplinary history, you’ll need to spend time documenting that. You may need additional days if you have to pull together official paperwork (court documents and the like) that the DBPR requires for documentation.

If none of that applies, you simply need to complete the personal information, indicate any testing considerations or special accommodations, and pay the fee, currently $83.75. You can then wait for your application to be processed. The average time ranges from 10-30 days.

Here’s a tip on shaving some time off the process: You can submit your application before you finish the pre-licensing course. That way, you can shorten the wait time to get approval for taking the exam. The DBPR can start processing your application while you’re completing classes.

4
STEP

Do Some Exam Prep: 1-2 Weeks

It’s a good idea not to wait too long to take the exam after finishing the pre-licensing course. You’ll want the material to be fresh in your mind. However, you’ll also want to be confident that you’re ready. So, it can help to get in some extra studying before your test date.

How long, then, should you study for the real estate exam?

The amount of time depends on what you’re comfortable with. However, a general strategy is to give yourself a week or two before the test to review everything you’ve learned.

Your approach can be as simple as studying a set number of hours a night and incorporating as many practice tests into your study routine as you can. Most pre-licensing course textbooks include practice tests, and providers often offer them as part of a pre-licensing course package.

To help focus your study efforts and make the most of your time, set aside at least a couple of hours to develop a plan. The Candidate Information Bulletin published by the DBPR outlines the content areas covered on the test. It also describes those areas and lists the percentage of the exam that covers each one. You can use this information to map out topics and study time.

You can also enroll in a separate exam prep course to supplement what you do on your own or to serve as a primary crash course. These programs offer lessons by topic and practice exams. They are available online and in the classroom. Classroom courses are typically a day or two in length. Online programs offer varying durations of access.

You’ll need less post-course prep time if you make it a learning habit to spend an hour or two after each class going back over the material and your notes. Use any study tools provided in class, including practice questions, and complete any optional exercises from your textbook.

Read our article on how to pass the Florida real estate exam to learn exactly what to do when preparing for this test. Our tips on how to study for the real estate exam can also guide you to passing the exam on your first attempt.

5
STEP

Take the Licensing Exam: 1 Day

As soon as you receive the email authorizing you to take the test, you can make a reservation with Pearson VUE, the company that provides assessment services for the real estate exam. Appointments are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Note that Pearson VUE recommends you contact them at least five business days before the exam date that you prefer.

The total amount of time you’ll need on exam day will vary depending on the method of delivery you select for the test. You can go to a test center or take the exam remotely as an online proctored test. If you take it in person, you’ll need to add on travel time.

The exam has 100 multiple-choice questions, and you have three and a half hours to complete it. So, the test can take up to a half day, including the 30-minute check-in process. Since it’s administered by computer, you don’t have any wait time to get the results. You’ll know whether you passed or failed immediately after you finish.

Just for your information, you need a score of 75 points or higher to pass the exam.

6
STEP

Scout Out a Sponsoring Broker: 1-2 Weeks

Upon passing the exam, you’re now among the licensed real estate agents in Florida. However, you’ll be issued an inactive license. You must affiliate with a broker before you can actively practice real estate in the state.

You don’t have to wait until you’ve passed the exam to shop around for a brokerage. You can tackle this throughout the overall process as you have time. It’s up to you.

You may or may not need two full weeks to choose a broker. It’s a big decision, though, and it’s to your benefit not to rush it. Your sponsoring broker will play a critical role in helping you get your career off to a productive start. They should be available to guide you as a new agent. Hence, the company’s structure, culture, and support all need to be a good fit for you.

So, you’ll want to do your homework. First, compare the best real estate brokerage firms in Florida. Then, allocate a week to interview the ones that make the cut. If you’re unsure what to look for and where to start, our guide on choosing the right real estate brokerage to work for can help with your research.

7
STEP

Activate Your License: 1-3 Days

When you have signed up with a licensed broker of your choice, you can take the final step in the process: activating your license. There are two ways to accomplish that.

You can complete a Sales Associate – Become Active Form and file it with the DBPR. In addition to your signature, you’ll need to have your sponsoring broker sign it as well.

As an alternative to filing a paper application, your broker can handle activation through their online account with the DBPR. They would add you to their license.

Once your license is active, you’re set to work in the business.

 

Best wishes as you pursue your real estate license in Florida. As you build your career once you’re licensed, we have informative resources to help keep you on track.

Know your next steps after passing the real estate exam. Prepare for a busy life ahead as you take on a real estate agent role as a career. Learn how to join a real estate team where you can meet experienced agents to guide you.

To help you build and grow your real estate career quickly, we at Real Estate Bees created a directory for real estate professionals. It’s designed to help you get more exposure for your business, including receiving leads. Create a free profile by signing up here.

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