Meredith Caruso, an attorney at Florida Realtors, wrote an excellent article that answers some frequently asked questions about who can and who cannot perform certain duties associated with real estate transactions. Below is a brief summary of her article and some resources you can use if you need more information. We hope you find it useful!
What constitutes a practice of real estate?
In Florida, certain services related to real estate transactions can only be performed by someone with a Florida real estate license.
The activities that constitute a “practice of real estate” are listed Chapter 475.01 of the Florida Statutes. Anyone performing the activities listed in that code for compensation must have Florida real estate license.
An important part of the due diligence process when searching for a home is making sure that anyone who offers you their services, whether at an open house or showing, is licensed to perform those services.
To find out if the person you’re working with has this license, you can check the license status here via the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) website.
What if the individual doesn’t show up?
If the individual you’re working with doesn’t show up in the DBPR site, they may fall into one of the 13 exemptions listed in the Florida Statutes under 475.011.
The exemptions that most commonly confuse people are:
- An attorney at law within the scope of his or her duties as such
The seller’s attorney may negotiate the terms of the sales contract or the terms of a lease agreement for their client and receive compensation for it. These fall “within the scope “ of their duties as an attorney.
They may not, however, receive a commission (a negotiated portion of the sales price) unless they hold a real estate license.
- Any individual, corporation, partnership, trust, joint venture, or other entity which sells, exchanges, or leases its own real property.
If an individual, corporation, partnership, etc.. own property, they may sell it or rent it to a tenant without needing a real estate license. That means sometimes you’re not working with the licensed representative of the seller, but the seller themselves.
- Any person, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity which, for another and for compensation or other valuable consideration, rents or advertises for rent, for transient occupancy, any public lodging establishment licensed under chapter 509.
This is a long way of saying that a Florida real estate license is not required if the building being rented is licensed with the DBPR as a “public lodging establishment,” also known as hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, etc. See more kinds of properties that meet the requirements of this exemption in Statute 509.542.
To see the rest of the exemptions and important definitions, check out the complete statute here: REAL ESTATE BROKERS, SALES ASSOCIATES, SCHOOLS, AND APPRAISERS
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***This article has been prepared for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
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