Are your agents — or even you — practicing real estate without a license?
Thursday, April 7, 2011
By Sally Stanton Brown
ORRA Risk Management Committee
Licensure. Agents often don't give much through to their licensure renewal until it's time to think about it. But they, and we, should. Practicing real estate without a valid license not only places an agent in jeopardy, but also a broker who pays out monies to an agent without a valid license.
There are three components of license renewal for both brokers and agents:
Expiration Date - All real estate licensees are on a two-year cycle with renewal deadlines of either March 31 or September 30. To verify a renewal date go to the DBPR website and click on the "Verify a License" tab at the top. At the next screen, you can search for a license by name or license number and after clicking the "Search" tab at the bottom right, information will appear that reflects license status and expiration date.
Continuing Education – All real estate licensees are required to earn 14 continuing education credits prior to renewal deadline. Before first renewal, brokers must complete 60 hours of post licensure education; sales associates must complete 45 hours of post license education.
Licensees must have three credits of core law in a two-year period.
Renewal Fee – Brokers must pay a $95 a license-renewal fee, and sales agents are required to pay $85.
What happens if a licensee forgets or ignores any of the three components of license renewal? What happens is that the licensee will be practicing real estate without a valid license.
The Florida Real Estate Council does not look kindly upon the practice of real estate without a license, and exerts harsh action on failure to renew licensure. In one instance recently ruled on, an agent licensee took all of his continuing education but did not send in his licensure renewal fee. His past broker refused (rightfully) to pay his earned commissions during his "no valid license" period, and now the broker is suing the associate for monies erroneously paid during another period when there was no valid license. A very costly lapse!
Check the renewal status of your license and your agents' licenses now! And when you or they go to pay your renewal fee, please do not go to the front desk at ORRA on the last day of the renewal period. ORRA does not collect monies on behalf of the DBPR. Either send a check to the DBPR or, better yet, pay online via the DBPR website.
Need more information? Read the license renewal information available in a Frequently Asked Questions document on the DBPR website.
Written by Sarah "Sally" Stanton Brown, RE/MAX Properties SW, for the September/October 2010 issue of Orlando REALTOR® magazine. Sally is a member of the ORRA Risk Management Subcommittee and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.