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Florida Real Estate Contract Explained

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Edited by MLS Campus Administrator, Friday, 6 April 2018, 1:22 PM


If you are looking to become a real estate agent in Florida, it is imperative that you understand the fundamentals of a Florida Real Estate Contract. 

What is a Real Estate Contract?

A real estate contract, by definition, is a legally binding document between parties, that states the terms and conditions of the purchase and sale of real property.  A real estate contract is also known as a real estate purchase and sale agreement, and standardized documents that have been approved by the Florida Association of Realtors and the Florida Bar, are generally used. 

A Florida Real Estate Contract must be in writing and contain the following, in order to be legally binding;

  • The parties to the contract - Buyers and Sellers identification
  • Identification of the Real Property by means of a legal description and street address
  • Identification of Personal Property, which could include “white goods”
  • Purchasing Price of the Property
  • Effective Date - Time for accepting offers and counter offers
  • Closing Date when the money will be paid and the title of the property will be transferred to the buyer.
  • The Signatures of the parties involved in the real estate transaction.

As-Is Contract in Florida 

An “As-Is” contract, means the seller is not obligated to make any repairs to damages, or defects to the property. The responsibility then lies on the buyer to carry out due diligence when deciding on the purchase, and to organize the necessary inspections, to fully ascertain the condition of the property before the purchase of real property is concluded. 

Marketable Title in Florida 

Marketable Title means that is the seller's responsibility to provide evidence that the property that they are selling is clear of any liens or title defects. Liens and defects that could affect the properties marketable title include 

  • Inaccurate recording of ownership
  • Undiscovered encumbrances
  • Unsatisfied judgments
  • Boundary, Easements or Survey Disputes

Marketable Title Act Florida 

Florida State Legislature passed the Marketable Records Titles Act (MRTA) in 1963. The purpose of passing the Act was to abolish old recorded claims on property that have no relevance or effectiveness in today’s laws and legislation. All claims on the title of the property that were 30 years or older were abolished. This is enacted by establishing the “root title” or the date the earliest deed was recorded on the property. MRTA laws and exemptions are contained in CHAPTER 712 Florida State Statute.

Real Estate Inspection Contingency 

A buyer of real property should always order a home inspection to ascertain the condition of the property they are looking to purchase, and any defects or repairs that need to be carried out prior to closing the real estate transaction. If a buyer fails to notify a seller of the inspection results and any repairs that need to be made, they will waive their rights to the seller to be obligated to mend any damages. When the home inspection has been completed any repairs or defects should be disclosed to the seller, whereby the seller is then obligated to follow the terms and conditions of the contract and complete the necessary work. 

Real Estate Inspection Period Florida

Under a regular real estate contract in Florida, unless otherwise stated in the contract, a buyer has 15 days inspection period from the date the contract was signed to order the home inspection and notify the seller of the results. The seller then is obligated to follow the terms and conditions of a purchase and sale agreement and carry out necessary repairs.  It is also extremely important that the buyer orders a home inspection when entering into an “As-Is” contract to clearly understand the condition of the property they are looking to purchase, and the repairs that the buyer will need to carry out. The buyer then has the right to terminate the as-is contract agreement, within the inspection period. 

Real Estate Financing 

“Cash-Closing” is where a buyer purchases a property in full, without the need for any loan or mortgage.

3rd Party Lenders - Applying for a loan or mortgage through 3rd party lenders, such as banks, is the most common financing option to buyers in Florida.

Certain buyers will also have other financing options, depending on the type of property they are purchasing such as;

VA Loans (Veterans Association) – for members of the military and veterans, and spouses of members, who have died while on active duty

FHA (Federal Housing Administration) Loans, for buyers with low-to-moderate income, or low credit scores that would make eligibility for a 3rd party loan difficult or unachievable. 

Closing Costs in Florida Explained

When the real estate contract is concluded by both parties, fees must be paid by both buyer and seller. The title to the property is then passed to the buyer. 

Buyer Closing Costs Florida

Closing costs due from the buyer can include – 

  • Stamp and Intangible Tax on Mortgage
  • Survey, Inspection and Appraisal Fees
  • Mortgage and Lender Origination Fee
  • Recording Fees including fees for recording Deed;
  • Buyer's Broker/Attorneys' Fees 

Seller Closing Costs Florida

Sellers will also be due to pay certain fees at the closing of a real estate transaction which includes;

  • Recording and Title Search Charges and Fees
  • Deed Stamp Taxes 
  • Seller's Broker/Attorneys' Fees and Commissions. 

Further Reading

Legally Breaking a Florida Real Estate Contract 

“AS IS” Residential Contract For Sale And Purchase

Residential Contract For Sale And Purchase

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How to Create A Real Estate Business Plan

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Creating a real estate business plan may seem like a daunting task, but it does not need to be complicated, or overly time-consuming. You can create your own real estate business plan in just a few simple steps.

Why do you need a real estate business plan?

Creating a strong real estate business plan will help you identify areas of business that you can improve upon, and opportunities that you can take advantage of, in order to grow your real estate business. By developing your plan, you can keep yourself motivated and focused on achieving your goals and developing a successful career in real estate. 

Create a Mission Statement for your Real Estate Business

The first step to creating a real estate business plan is to define exactly what your business does. What services and benefits do you provide your customers? 

For example, you may be looking to provide first time home buyers with the most cost competitive real estate services, while providing expert advice and guidance, so that your customers can achieve their dream of purchasing their very own home. Your real estate business aims to deliver excellent customer service that exceeds expectations.  

Keep your mission statement short and focused on clearly defining the purpose of your real estate business. 

Identify and Research your Target Real Estate Market

The next step to your plan is identifying your target market. Maybe you are targeting a particular age-group of buyers in a specific location, or buyers looking for investment opportunities. Perhaps your business is focused on sellers of retirement age, looking to sell their property in order to downsize and free up some extra cash. 

Once you have defined your target market, dedicate some time to carrying out research. How profitable is your target market? Is the specific real estate market growing or declining? And what is the most effective method of reaching out to your target consumer?

Carry out a SWOT Analysis of your Current Real Estate Business Activities. 

Once you have identified your target market and reviewed your current business activities, it is then time to carry out a SWOT Analysis of your business – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Identify four strengths that you possess, that can help your business excel. Are you an expert negotiator?  Or maybe you have in-depth knowledge of your local real estate market?

Then, a task a little trickier to perform is to identify your weaknesses. What are four weaknesses holding you back in your real estate career? Maybe you lack the technical knowledge to market your business online, or you struggle to make contacts at networking events?

Identifying where your weaknesses are, will help you to work on improving upon them.

Opportunities, that your business may benefit from, could include factors such as your target market is expanding, there may be an influx of first-time homebuyers to your area or an increase in investment opportunities. These are all factors that you can focus your business activities and goals on, in order to push your real estate business forward.  

Threats can include a high level of competition in your local area or a decline in your target market. Once you have identified the threats to your real estate business, you can then establish a plan to overcome or minimize the threats. 

For example, if you are facing a high level of competition in your area, you may consider offering additional services that your competitors do not, that will entice customers to choose your real estate business over that of your competitors. Maybe you need to improve your follow up services, to ensure you are delivering better customer service, than that of your competitors. Identifying threats to your real estate business will highlight areas you need to work on. 

Create a list of your Personal and Financial Goals

When creating your personal and financial goals, ensure to have your accounts in order. How financially stable is your real estate business currently? Do you have a clear view of your income and expenses?

There may be areas of your business where the ROI is low, where you may consider investing your time and money in an alternative business activity. e.g. altering marketing campaigns. Taking these factors into consideration will help you to identify your financial goals.

Creating a list of your personal and financial goals will help you stay focused and motivated in growing your real estate business. Create a list of 4 personal and financial goals. This task will be made easier by looking back at your SWOT Analysis, as well as your current finances, to identify which areas to concentrate on.

Create small goals to start, to give yourself the best chance of achieving them. Keep your goals realistic. You could create a personal goal, to improve your networking skills by attending a certain number of events in a year or furthering your education in a certain real estate specialism. Financial goals could include achieving a certain percentage of profit in a quarter or generating a larger return on investment from your marketing activities. 

Create an Action Plan 

Once you have completed the above 4 steps in creating your real estate business plan, it is now time to develop your action plan. 

What actions can you take to grow your business, based on your strengths? How are you going to improve on your weaknesses? What actions can you take to grow your business based on your opportunities, and minimize your threats?

And finally, what actions can you take to achieve the personal and financial goals you have set for yourself and your real estate business?

Your action plan will keep you focused and on track, in achieving your goals and growing your business.

Review your Real Estate Business Plan on a Regular Basis. 

It is extremely important that you review your business plan on a regular basis. Ensure you are sticking to your plan, and you are progressing with your goals. Make sure that your goals are still in line with your SWOT Analysis. 

It is also important to check your real estate business plan as there are many external factors affecting opportunities and threats, in the fast-paced industry of real estate. These factors may change your business plan over time. You may need to alter your plan slightly to stay aligned with industry changes. 

Creating a real estate business plan, need not be complicated or time-consuming, but an effective method of growing your real estate business. So, don’t delay, and start planning for the future of your business!


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How to Kick-Start your Real Estate Career in Florida

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Edited by Joanne Show, Thursday, 22 March 2018, 8:18 AM


6 Simple Steps to Kick Start your Florida Real Estate Career

You have tirelessly worked through your Florida real estate course, passed your state exam, and received approval for your Florida Real Estate License. Phew! 

So, what are the next steps to becoming a successful Florida Real Estate Agent?

Starting out in a new profession is daunting for everyone, so concentrate on your desire to succeed in your new Real Estate Profession and hit the ground running!

Step 1. Choose a Real Estate Brokerage

There are many considerations to take into account when deciding which brokerage to work for. Your primary objective of being your own boss is to generate a healthy income.  Choosing a successful real estate brokerage will help you achieve your objective. 

Finding a Real Estate Brokerage with an excellent reputation within the local community is imperative. As you will be affiliated with the brokerage brand, choose wisely. The more benefits and support a brokerage is willing to give you the better!

If you are new to the Florida real estate industry and have little in the way of connections, some real estate brokerages will supply you with leads to get you started. It is also important to find a brokerage who will support and guide you in your first few years of working as a real estate agent, to help you on a successful career path. Meeting with as many employing brokerages as you can, and discussing the benefits, and support that they can give you, is your first step in kick-starting your real estate career.

Step 2. Join the National Association of Realtors and your Local Realtors Association.

Joining the National Association of Realtors offers real estate professionals a variety of opportunities, to grow their real estate network, complete further real estate and licensing education, and provides access to events and seminars.

You will also be able to call yourself a Realtor and present yourself as a highly trained real estate professional!

Joining your Local Florida Realtors Association will also give you access to networking opportunities in your local area. Attending your local association events will provide you with valuable opportunities, to meet suppliers to the real estate industry, connect with other sales agents and brokers, and meet experienced professionals who have worked in the industry for a long time. Meeting experienced professionals that you can call on for advice, will help you greatly in establishing a rewarding career in real estate. (And may help you in completing Step 3!)

Step 3. Find a Real Estate Mentor  

Finding an experienced Real Estate Professional to mentor you throughout your first few years of working as a real estate agent, could help you tremendously in building your real estate career. 

You may meet like-minded professionals at local real estate events and seminars. Don’t rush to find a professional mentor. Remember, a mentor isn’t just someone who is successful in the real estate industry, but also a person that you share common values, and similar opinions with. 

Finding a real estate mentor that you can build a strong long-term relationship with, should be able to help you build upon your strengths and skills, as well as help you to work on your weaknesses. It is important to understand that critical feedback from a mentor is always a positive thing. They are helping you to improve your career and build upon your real estate expertise and professionalism.

Step 4. Get Networking

How successful you are at building a real estate network will effectively define how successful you are as a real estate agent. Working in the real estate industry is all about meeting new people and building relationships. Joining your Local Florida Realtors Association and attending local industry events is a great place to start, and meet industry professionals, but how do you build a successful real estate network of potential customers? 

Engage with your local community. Join in, on local fundraisers, community projects, and events. By doing so, you will have ample opportunity to get to know the local residents in your area, as well as showing people you are a person who cares about your local community. 

Get online and build your social real estate network. If you already have a Facebook account, promote your real estate services. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ are all popular social media platforms that you should be using when promoting yourself and your services. One point to make is that you are now a professional! And your image is everything! Remember to update your profile picture to reflect how you wish to be perceived by your potential customers, and other real estate industry professionals!

Step 5. Create Your Very Own Real Estate Business Plan

As you are now a professional real estate entrepreneur it is time to create your very own business plan. You do not need to create a complex corporate plan, that takes you tremendous amounts of time, research, and a lot of head scratching. 

Keep your plan simple. Write down your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your opportunities for growth. Establish what you need to do, in order to improve on your weaknesses, and how to best use your strengths. Set yourself goals each month, whether it be a number of new potential customers to contact or a commission goal. Goals help keep you motivated and focused on your career progression. They can also build on your sense of achievement.

Step 6. Don’t Give Up

Working in sales means there will always be good days and bad days. It is how you learn and recover from the bad days that will help you to grow within the real estate profession. The time you invest in learning the real estate industry, building on your skills and real estate networking abilities, and honing your negotiation skills to perfection, will convert into a flourishing career as Florida real estate agent, and may lead you on a path to opening your very own brokerage!

Are you looking to start a career in Florida real estate, and need more information on real estate licensing requirements in Florida?

Read our helpful guide on How to Get A Florida Real Estate License

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Real Estate Agent Income Florida

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Edited by Joanne Show, Friday, 16 March 2018, 1:39 PM

How much money do Real Estate Agents make in Florida?

Real Estate Agent Income Florida

Florida home prices grew by 7.3% in 2017, based on the previous year, and is predicted to continue its success throughout 2018 and beyond. Now is a perfect time to consider a career in Florida Real Estate.

There are many factors to consider when deciding to change your career path. One of the main factors to consider when entering into a new profession, is what income can you expect to earn?

So, what is the average real estate agent income in Florida? 

According to Glassdoor.com, and other popular real estate recruitment sites, the average real estate base income in Florida is currently around $48,883, for an experienced real estate sales agent, where a newly employed real estate sales associate can earn around $38,000 base income per year.

 A registered Realtor can expect to earn a real estate income of around $52,000, while progressing to a real estate broker can earn you an average base income of around $72,500.

Your income greatly depends on the number hours you work. The more time you invest in your career, the more you will reap the benefits. Being knowledgeable about the local real estate market, and finding a successful brokerage to work for, who will mentor you through your first few years of working as a sales agent, will greatly improve your chances of success. Choose your employing brokerage wisely and do some research on your potential employer. Find out their reputation in the local area, and the length of time their employees have worked at the brokerage for. If a brokerage has employed people that have worked in the business for a reasonable length of time, it is a good sign that the business looks after their sales agents and broker associates. Remember it is not just a case of the brokerage choosing qualified employees, you also have the opportunity to choose your employing broker! 

There is also the very important factor of commission earnings.

How is a real estate agent commission calculated?

 In Florida, real estate sales associates are only permitted to receive a commission payment from their employing broker. It is unlawful to receive or even negotiate commissions directly from clients or customers.

The fee that a brokerage receives from a seller can vary from 3-7% in regards to residential property transactions. The agent will then receive a percentage of the fee, from their employing broker. The average commission split in Florida, between a broker and their sales agents is around 30/70.

For example, if you sell a house on behalf of your employing broker, for $650,000, and the broker has negotiated a commission with the seller, of 6%, then the commission the brokerage will receive will equal $39,000. But what if there is another agent involved in the transaction? If another agency has also been involved in the transaction the buyer’s brokerage will receive half of the commission. (3% of $650,000) meaning both brokerages receive a 50/50 split of $39,000, which equals $19,500.

Your agents commission from your employing broker will then calculated. So, if you receive 70% commission from your employing broker, it would equal 70% of $19,500, meaning you would earn a commission of $13,650 for your hard work. As you can see, a career in real estate can be financially rewarding!

Florida Real Estate Agent Commission Example


Factors to consider when building a successful career in Florida Real Estate 

Your success and financial rewards in your career as real estate sales professional will heavily rely on your networking ability! Real Estate career progression is based on how well you can create and maintain relationships with buyers and sellers, and members of your local community. Frequent networking will help achieve your goals of becoming a successful real estate agent and increase your potential of earning a rewarding real estate income!

There are many other factors, that can affect your income and commission. Be sure to research the average salaries in your local area, as the average base income for Florida Real Estate Agents fluctuates from city to city.

Florida’s Economy is growing which, therefore, should have a positive impact on your real estate income. More employment growth, and more opportunities for businesses to grow and flourish results in home buyers being attracted to Florida state.

Are you looking to find out more about becoming a real estate agent in Florida?

Read our Blog on How to get a Florida Real Estate License



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Frequently Asked Questions – MLS Campus Real Estate School

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Edited by MLS Campus Administrator, Friday, 9 March 2018, 11:02 AM

MLS Campus - FAQs

FAQ

Q. Is MLS Campus Real Estate School licensed?

A. MLS Campus is owned and operated by MLS CAMPUS Inc. Our Real Estate School is APPROVED by FREC (Florida Real Estate Commission) (Approval #ZH1002474). We are licensed and permitted by the Florida Real Estate Commission, to teach Florida real estate license courses. MLS Campus has a Florida real estate school permit issued by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. 

Q. Which real estate license do I need?

A. An individual typically begins a real estate career in Florida as a licensed real estate sales associate. Applicants who are starting out in a career in real estate, are required to take the 63 Hour Sales Associate Pre License Course and pass the Florida state license exam.

If you have 2 years’ experience of working as a sales associate, in the last 5 years, and you are looking to progress to a broker license, you are required to pass a 72 Hour Broker Pre License Course, and pass the Florida state license exam.

If you have been practicing as a broker in another state, and have held an active license for 2 years, out of the last 5 years, you can take the 72 Hour Broker Pre License Course, and pass the state license exam, in order to obtain your broker’s license in the state of Florida.

For more information please read our step by step guide on How to get a Florida Real Estate License

Q. I live out of state, can I take this class and take the state license exam?

A. Absolutely. As with all students, you will need to purchase the relevant course and apply for your state license. 

Q. What are the differences between pre and post license courses?

A. To become a licensed real estate sales associate in the state of Florida., you are required to pass a pre-license course and pass the final state exam. You must renew your license between 18 months and 2 years, from the date you first received your license. In order to renew your license, you must pass the 45 Hour Post License Sales Associate Course and pay a license renewal fee to the DBPR.

If you are progressing to a broker license, after working as a sales associate, you will need to take a pre-license course and pass the final state exam. You must renew your license between 18 months and 2 years, from the date you first received your license. In order to renew your license, you must pass the 60 Hour Post License Broker Course and pay a license renewal fee to the DBPR. 

You only are required to take the post license course once, prior to the initial renewal of your real estate license. Every renewal period after, licensees will be required to take continuing education courses.

For more information read our blog on Real Estate Sales Associate Post License Requirements

Q. Why are the prices of your real estate courses so much lower than other schools?

A. Many people wonder how we are able to keep our prices so low. All of our real estate courses are available exclusively over the Internet. MLS Campus has almost 10 years experience in providing approved real estate courses to students. We provide quality courses to a high volume of students, and the majority of our students return to us, to take further education. The end result of this is that MLSCampus.com, is a highly-efficient operation, with fantastic courses, FREC accreditation and a commitment to customer service excellence. It is value-conscious customers like you that will keep us in business for years to come. Thank you!

To read our student reviews, and to keep up to date with MLS Campus new courses, and news, visit our page and follow us on Facebook

Q. What are the advantages of taking online real estate classes?

A. Students who take an online real estate course pass the Florida Licensing Exam the first time at a higher rate (70%) than classroom-based classes (35%). 

MLS Campus Real Estate Courses are exclusively online. You can access your course from your PC, Mac, Tablet, or Smartphone from the comfort of your own home, or your favorite coffee shop! You can study at your own pace, whenever, and wherever you choose 24/7

Q. How long do I have to finish my real estate course?

A. MLS Campus provides students with a full 1-year access to their course, from the date of purchase, unlike other online course providers that offer 3 to 6 months. 

In special circumstances, your course can be extended. Please contact MLS Student support for more information. Call : (877-331-6235) or Email: support@mlscampus.com

Q. What device/s can I use to access my course, and is there anything I need to download, flash, videos etc?

A. No with our courses there is nothing you need to download, we do not use flash or video players. If you can get on the internet with your device you can access your course. Just choose your favorite platform; PC, iPad, Tablet, Mac, Smartphone and even Nooks/Kindles and your favorite browser, IE, Chrome, Firefox, Mozilla or Safari and you will have access to your class.

Q. I am having trouble registering; it says my email is already in use or my courses are not showing up when I login. What should I do?

A. If you need any assistance, or if you have issues registering, please give us a call. (877-331-6235) Usually, the email was registered, but you did not get the activation email. If you purchased a course and it is not showing up, there has been an issue with the processing of the payment.

Q. I have purchased the real estate pre-license sales associates package, what else do I need?

A. We advise you to start your application with the state of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). 

Please read our step by step guide on How to get Florida Real Estate License

Q. I purchased the basic package and I have decided I want to add the exam prep and/or math prep what are my options?

A. You can purchase them separately on our website.

Florida Real Estate State Exam Prep For Sales Associates & Brokers

Florida Real Estate Math Cram Course For Sales Associates & Brokers

Q. I finished the course reading assignments, how many times can I take the practice exam?

A. There is no limit to the number of times you can take the practice exam. Our statistics show that students who take the practice exam, two or more times, receive a passing grade, and are passing the course exam on the first attempt.

*MLS Campus offers a free practice exam, with all our online courses.

Q. How can I be better prepared to pass the course exam on my first try?

A. Practice. Practice. Practice. Students who take the practice exam two or more times, receive a passing grade of 70% or higher, and are passing all of our course exams on their first try. In addition, make sure that you are receiving 100% on all your chapter comprehensive test and quizzes. Review the course material on the questions you are answering incorrectly.  To be better prepared for the state exam, try to get in the mid to upper 80's and 90% on all your practice exams, and also when taking the practice exams, in the Florida Real Estate State Exam Prep

Q. I failed the course exam what are my options?

A. If you do not pass the final exam on your first attempt, you will be given a link to a second final exam. The second exam cannot be taken until thirty days after the first exam according to Florida real estate regulations. The other option will be to retake the whole course without waiting 30 days. 

*MLS Campus offers students both options for free.

Q. How long is my course certification of completion valid for?

A. Your course certification is valid for two years. If you were approved for your state license, your approval is also valid for two years.

Q. How long does it take to become a licensed real estate agent?

A.The course itself takes about 4 weeks to complete for most students, since the majority are working full time jobs. Students must also submit their license application to the DBPR and be approved for the state exam. The application usually takes four-six weeks, from the day you submit your state license application, to the day you pass your state exam. The online course is a great option to fit a variety of schedules for working students.

Q. What if I finish the course in under the designated amount of hours?

A. We do not track how long you are logged into your course and system. While working through your real estate course online, you will learn and complete the assignments at your own pace, whenever it's convenient for you. The courses are set up, so that it takes the average student approximately the number of hours designated on the course, to complete all the learning assignments. 

Q. When do I have to renew my Florida real estate license?

A. All newly licensed sales associate and broker licensees must take required post-licensing education before the end of the first license renewal period. Your license will become null and void if you fail to take the post-licensure education within the initial licensure renewal period, as mandated by Florida statute.

Sales Associates who fail to complete the 45 Hour Post License Sales Associate Course must re-qualify for licensure by meeting all current licensing criteria.  Broker and broker associates who fail to complete post-licensing education may request to revert to sales associate status within 6 months following their license expiration but must have complied with the applicable continuing education requirements, before their new sales associate license can be activated.

Q. What do I need to do, to renew my Florida real estate license?

A. To maintain your real estate license, all licensees must comply with post-licensing or continuing education requirements and pay necessary renewal fees.  This also applies to those licensees with a suspended license. If your required education is not complete and/or reported, you will NOT be able to renew your license.

License Renewal Periods

The initial effective date of a real estate license is the date the applicant passed the license exam. All real estate licenses are issued with an expiration date of either March 31 or September 30. The expiration date (March 31 or September 30) that is assigned to a particular license is the date that will give the licensee as close to 24 months of licensure as possible, without exceeding 24 months. License law mandates that the initial license period must provide the licensee at least 18 months of licensure but not more than 24 months. For example, assume the initial effective date of a sales associate license is July 25, 2013.

Example Question

What expiration date will give the licensee at least 18 months of licensure but not more than a 24-month license period? Hint: 24 months from the initial effective date is July 25, 2015. License Renewal Periods To answer this question, ask yourself which expiration date in 2015 is closest to July 25, 2015, but not after July 25, 2015? March comes before July so the expiration date closest to July 25, 2015, but not past July 25 must be March 31, 2015. (September 30, 2015, is after July 25, 2015.) March is four months prior to July so this licensee will have approximately 20 months of licensure (24 months minus 4 months). Thereafter, this license will always expire every two years (biennially) on March 31.

To check your license expiration date, please click here

Notification Information

Sixty days before the end of the license period, the DBPR mails a renewal notice to the licensee's last known address. If a real estate sales associate later decides to become a broker, the broker license will have a new initial effective date, and that new effective date is the date the person passed the broker license exam. Because the broker's license is issued with a new effective date, it is possible that the broker license will have a different expiration date. For example, assume the sales associate's license expired biennially on March 31. Depending on when the sales associate passes the broker license exam, the new broker's license may have a September 30 expiration date.

Q. Do you offer classroom instructor-based classes?

A. No. All MLS Campus Courses are only available online. 

We do, however, offer full support to our students. Our student support team can be reached by calling (877) 331-6235. We are available 7 days a week, from 9am-7pm (EST)

You can also contact us by email: support@mlscampus.com

Q. Does Florida have real estate licensing mutual recognition with any states?

A. Florida has mutual recognition with 7 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. You will need to apply for your Florida Real Estate License and take a Core Law Course, which MLS Campus does not offer it at this time.

Please visit the DBPR for more information on Florida’s Mutual Recognition agreement

Useful Links - Becoming a Licensed Florida Real Estate Agent?

Read More – 

How to get a Florida Real Estate License

Real Estate Sales Associate Post License Requirements

Florida Real Estate Career

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR)

Apply For A Florida Real Estate License

Renew Your license

License Application Status

Verify Your License and Check License Expiration Date 

END OF FAQs

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FOUR_TIPS_FOR_BUILDING_INVENTORY

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Making the Most of Your Market Opportunities

It's certainly a different market than we saw a year or two ago isn't it? The buyers are out in force and agents are now fast and furiously competing to both find and market new listing inventory. If EVER there's been a time where listings are the name of the game? It's right now.

Let's look at four tips and tools you can use to position yourself as the go-to agent for listings in your market.


1. Systematically work For Sale By Owners and Expired listings.

Send them something. Get voice-to-voice. Go see them. Since they're already motivated sellers-make sure they know how motivated you are to help them achieve the results you want! Call us at 866.405.3638 to see how we can help you market to FSBOs and Expireds.

2. Include a PDF.

Another strategy came from one of our top agent customers who, before every listing appointment, creates a pdf version of a Just Listed postcard with a picture of the potential seller's house and all listing details and includes it in every listing presentation as an example of the marketing that she will get started immediately upon getting their signature! (Very clever!) Click here to see a selection of Just Listed Postcards you can download.

3. Host an Open House to generate listing leads.

Especially in areas where homes are just starting to turn over, you'll more than likely shake out the 3-4 (or more) other homeowners in the neighborhood who have been thinking about selling. Be sure to do your homework though -- canvas the neighborhood well in advance of your open house. Advertise it well. Send open house cards or flyers to your existing sphere of influence or farm areas as well. Some agents create an open house field day -- where they'll advertise 3-6 open houses all on the same day, one right after the other. While it makes for a long day, it does showcase you as an agent who has a lot going on and knows how to get things done. I always recommend having powerful collateral pieces at your open houses as well. Like 6 Pitfalls to Overpricing Your Home, Saving for a Down Payment and the Cash Buyer Checklist. When you have more creative collateral than just the home listing flyer you present yourself at a higher level of service and resource.

4. Saturate Your Target Neighborhood.

Working an area or areas where you know turnover is starting to happen? Blanket those areas with a powerful inventory needed campaign that speaks to the mindset of potential sellers and spotlights you as the agent to call when they are thinking of selling now or in the near future. We've got a terrific series of postcards that are getting tremendous results across the nation. Then be sure to follow up on that saturation mailing and make the most of your marketing efforts.


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FLORIDA REAL ESTATE LICENSE REQUIREMENTS

Mail all applications to:
DBPR Central Intake Unit
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783

For initial application or supporting documents for your application, please fax them to 850-488-8040.

Any active member in good standing with the Florida Bar who is otherwise qualified under the real estate license law is exempt from the FREC prescribed prerequisite educational course for licensure as a real estate sales associate. An applicant must be at least 18 years old, hold a high school diploma (more detailed information is available in Chapter 475.17, Florida Statutes) and fulfill the following:

Real Estate Associate

  1. Successfully complete a FREC-approved pre-licensing course for sales associates consisting of 63 classroom-hours and covering the topics required by the FREC. The course is valid for licensure purposes for two years after the course completion date. Licensees with a permanent physical disability as defined by FREC may qualify for a correspondence pre-licensing course if unable, due to a permanent physical disability, to attend the site where the course is conducted.
  2. Submit a completed application, electronic fingerprints, and appropriate fee.
  3. Pass the Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Examination (external link) with a grade of at least 75 or pass the Florida Real Estate Law Exam with a grade of at least 30.
  4. Activate the license, otherwise the license is issued in an inactive status. This can be doneusing the DBPR RE 10-Sales Associate, Broker Sales Associate Transactions form. Alternatively, once the new license number is issued, the broker can activate the sales associate using the broker's online account.
  5. Whether holding an active or inactive license, successfully complete a FREC-approved post-licensing course for sales associate consisting of at least 45 classroom-hours, prior to the expiration of the initial sales associate license.

Real Estate Broker

  1. Hold an active real estate sales associate license and complete 24 months (effective 7/1/08) real estate experience during the 5 year period preceding becoming licensed as a broker or a licensed real estate sales associate or broker who has real estate experience in another state may apply the experience toward a Florida real estate broker license if the applicant has held an active sales associate or a valid broker license for at least 24 months during the preceding 5 years. If the applicant is claiming experience from a jurisdiction other than Florida, attach to the application a current certification of real estate license history (not more than 30 days old) from the licensing agency of that jurisdiction. The real estate license must have been obtained from the real estate licensing authority by completing its education and examination requirements. NOTE: If the applicant holds a Florida real estate sales associate license (s)he must fulfill the sales associate post-licensing education requirement before being eligible to obtain a broker license. This method does not exempt a sales associate who holds a Florida sales associate license from successfully completing the sales associate post-licensing course.
  2. Successfully complete a FREC approved pre-licensing course for brokers consisting of 72 classroom hours and covering the topics required by the FREC. The course is valid for licensure purposes for two years after the course completion date. Applicants with a permanent physical disability as defined by FREC Rule 61J2-3.013(2) may qualify for a correspondence pre-licensing course if unable, due to a permanent physical disability, to attend the site where the course is conducted.
  3. Submit a completed application, electronic fingerprints, and appropriate fee.
  4. Pass the FloridaReal Estate Broker Examination (external link) with a grade of at least 75.
  5. Submit a completed DBPR RE 11-Broker Transactions form to activate the license, otherwise the license is issued in an inactive status. Alternatively, the broker can activate the license using the broker's online account .
  6. Successfully complete a FREC-approved post-licensing course for brokers consisting of at least 60 classroom hours prior to the expiration of the initial broker license.

Real Estate School Instructor

"School instructor" means an individual who instructs persons in the classroom in noncredit college courses in a college, university, or community college, or courses in an area technical center or proprietary real estate school. Where the course or courses to be taught are prescribed by the FREC precedent to licensure or renewal as a real estate sales associate or broker, the applicant must certify their competency and obtain an instructor permit by meeting one of the following requirements:

  1. Hold a bachelor's degree in a business-related subject (such as real estate, finance, accounting, business administration, or its equivalent) and hold a valid broker's license in this state.

  2. Hold a bachelor's degree, have extensive real estate expe​rience (as defined by rule) and hold a valid broker's license in this state.

  3. Pass an Instructor Examination (external link) approved by the FREC.
  4. Submit a completed DBPR RE 13-Instructor Transactions form to register as a Real Estate Instructor for a real estate school.
  5. The continuing education requirement for a real estate instructor is a minimum of 7 classroom hours of instruction in real estate subjects or instructional techniques as prescribed by the FREC.

Mutual Recognition Agreements

Florida has mutual recognition agreements with 8 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Nebraska and Oklahoma. If you reside in one of the states you are required to take Florida Core Law Exam at a Pearson Vue testing center. Currently MLS Campus does not offer a Core Law Prep Course, however the Exam Prep Master is great tool to help you prepare for the exam.


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TITLE (PROPERTY)

Title is a legal term for a bundle of rights in a piece of property in which a party may own either a legal interest or an equitable interest . [1] The rights in the bundle may be separated and held by different parties. It may also refer to a formal document that serves as evidence of ownership . Conveyance of the document may be required in order to transfer ownership in the property to another person. Title is distinct from possession , a right that often accompanies ownership but is not necessarily sufficient to prove it. In many cases, both possession and title may be transferred independently of each other. 
The main rights in the title bundle are usually:

The rights in real property may be separated further, examples including:

Possession is the actual holding of a thing, whether or not one has any right to do so. The right of possession is the legitimacy of possession (with or without actual possession), the evidence for which is such that the law will uphold it unless a better claim is proven. The right of property is that right which, if all relevant facts were known (and allowed), would defeat all other claims. Each of these may be in a different person.

For example, suppose A steals from B, what B had previously bought in good faith from C, which C had earlier stolen from D, which had been an heirloom of D's family for generations, but had originally been stolen centuries earlier (though this fact is now forgotten by all) from E. Here A has the possession, B has an apparent right of possession (as evidenced by the purchase), D has the absolute right of possession (being the best claim that can be proven), and the heirs of E, if they knew it, have the right of property, which they cannot prove. Good title consists in uniting these three (possession, right of possession, and right of property) in the same person(s).

The extinguishing of ancient, forgotten, or unasserted claims, such as E's in the example above, was the original purpose of statutes of limitations . Otherwise, title to property would always be uncertain.

Equitable versus legal title

The equitable title refers to the actual enjoyment and use of a property , whereas a legal title implies actual ownership. An example of such is a trust . In a trust, one person may own the legal title, such as the trustees . Another may own the equitable title such as the beneficiary .

Applications

In countries with a sophisticated private property system, documents of title are commonly used for real estate , motor vehicles , and some types of intangible property. When such documents are used, they are often part of a registration system whereby ownership of such property can be verified. In some cases, a title can also serve as a permanent legal record of condemnation of property, such as in the case of an automobile junk or salvage title . In the case of real estate , the legal instrument used to transfer title is the deed . A famous rule is that a thief cannot convey good title, so title searches are routine (or highly recommended) for purchases of many types of expensive property (especially real estate). In several counties and municipalities in the US a standard title search (generally accompanied by title insurance ) is required under the law as a part of ownership transfer.

Paramount title is the best title in Fee simple available for the true owner. The person who is owner of real property with paramount title has the higher (or better, or "superior") right in an action to Quiet title . The concept is inherently a relative one. Technically, paramount title is not always the best (or highest) title, since it is necessarily based on some other person's title. [3] [4] 
Quiet title action is a lawsuit to settle competing claims or rights to real property, for example, missing heirs , tenants , reverters , remainders and lien holders all competing to get ownership to the house or land. [5] [6] Each of the United States have different procedures for a quiet title action . [7]

However, most personal property items do not have a formal document of title. For such items, possession is the simplest indication of title, unless the circumstances give rise to suspicion about the possessor's ownership of the item. Proof of legal acquisition, such as a bill of sale or purchase receipt, is contributory. Transfer of possession to a good faith purchaser will normally convey title if no document is required.

Political issues

California prevented aliens (mainly Asians ) from holding title to land until the law was declared unconstitutional in 1952. Currently there are no restrictions on foreign ownership of land in the United States, although sales of real estate by non-resident aliens are subject to certain special taxation rules.

DEED

deed is a signed and, in some jurisdictions, usually sealed legal instrument in writing used to grant a right . Deeds have historically been part of the broader category of instruments under seal , requiring only the affixing of a common seal to render them valid. Today, however, deeds are instruments in solemn form which require the author's signature and, depending upon the jurisdiction, either notarization or a number of attesting witnesses. In some places (but usually not in the United States), deeds are also referred to as agreements under seal , contracts by deed , or specialties . A specialty is a contract under seal (bond, legal mortgage, debt secured by writing under seal) and formerly ranked in priority above a simple contract in the administration of a decedent's estate for paying off liabilities, especially since specialties have a 12 year limitation period, twice that of a simple contract.They are often used by lawyers when a very formal document is required. 
Deeds can be described as contract-like as they require the mutual agreement of more than one person. Deeds can therefore be distinguished from covenants , which, being also under seal, are unilateral promises. However, a deed differs from a simple contract in that it is enforceable without consideration , in some jurisdictions has a liability limitation period of double that of a contract, and allows for a third party beneficiary to enforce an undertaking in the deed, thereby overcoming the doctrine of privity . In its narrowest sense, a deed is any formal document that confirms or transfers interest or right of ownership ( title ) to an asset from one person to another, often using a description of its metes and bounds , e.g., conveyances , transfers, mortgages , charges, or leases ; these are known as deeds of title (title-deeds). However, by the general definition, powers of attorney , commissions , patents , and even diplomas conferring academic degrees are also deeds. 
Traditionally and under common law , to be valid and enforceable, a deed must fulfill several requirements:

  • It must state on its face it is a deed, using wording like "This Deed..." or "executed as a deed".
  • It must indicate that the instrument itself conveys some privilege or thing to someone. This is indicated by using the word hereby or the phrase by these presents in the clause indicating the gift.
  • The grantor must have the legal ability to grant the thing or privilege.
  • The grantee must have the legal capacity to receive it.
  • It must be executed by the grantor in presence of the prescribed number of witnesses, known as instrumentary witnesses (this is known as being in solemn form ) or be notarized.
  • seal must be affixed to it. Originally, affixing seals made persons parties to the deed and signatures were optional, but most jurisdictions made seals outdated, and now the grantor and either witnesses signatures or notarization are primary.
  • It must be delivered to ( delivery ) and accepted by the grantee ( acceptance ).
  • It should be properly acknowledged before a competent officer, most often a notary public .

Conditions attached to the acceptance of a deed are known as covenants . A deed indented or indenture is one executed in two or more parts according to the number of parties, which were formerly separated by cutting in a curved or indented line known as the chirograph. A deed poll is one executed in one part, by one party, having the edge polled or cut even, and includes simple grants and appointments.

Deed types

General and special warranty

In the transfer of real estate, a deed conveys ownership from the old owner (the grantor) to the new owner (the grantee), and can include various warranties . The precise name and nature of these warranties differ by jurisdiction. Often, however, the basic differences between them is the degree to which the grantor warrants the title. The grantor may give a general warranty of title against any claims, or the warranty may be limited only to claims which occurred after the grantor obtained the real estate. The latter type of deed is usually known as a special warranty deed . While a general warranty deed was normally used for residential real estate sales and transfers, special warranty deeds are becoming more common and are more commonly used in commercial transactions.

Bargain and sale deed

A third type of deed, known as a bargain and sale deed , implies that the grantor has the right to convey title but makes no warranties against encumbrances. This type of deed is most commonly used by court officials or fiduciaries that hold the property by force of law rather than title, such as properties seized for unpaid taxes and sold at sheriff's sale , or an executor .

Quitclaim deed

A so-called quitclaim deed is (in most states) actually not a deed at all—it is actually an estoppel disclaiming rights of the person signing it to property.

Deed of trust

In some jurisdictions, a deed of trust is used as an alternative to a mortgage . A deed of trust is not used to transfer property directly. It is commonly used in some states, California, for example, to transfer title to land to a “trustee”, usually a trust or title company, which holds the title as security ("in escrow ") for a loan. When the loan is paid off, title is transferred to the borrower by recording a release of the obligation, and the trustee's contingent ownership is extinguished. Otherwise, upon default, the trustee will liquidate the property with a new deed and offset the lender's loss with the proceeds.

Deeds as alternatives to bankruptcy

  • -Deed of arrangement - document setting out an arrangement for a debtor to pay part or all outstanding debts, as an alternative to bankruptcy; (Australian law).
  • -Deed of assignment - document in which a debtor appoints a trustee to take charge of property to pay debts, partly or wholly, as an alternative to bankruptcy; (Australian law).

Recording

Usually the transfer of ownership of real estate is registered at a cadastre in the United Kingdom . In most parts of the United States, deeds must be submitted to the Recorder of deeds , who acts as a cadastre, to be registered. An unrecorded deed may be valid proof of ownership between the parties, but may have no effect upon third-party claims until disclosed or recorded. A local statute may prescribe a period beyond which unrecorded deeds become void as to third-parties, at least as to intervening acts.

Joint ownership

Ownership transfer may also be crafted within deeds to pass by demise, as where a property is held in concurrent estate such as "joint tenants with right of survivorship" (JTWROS) or "tenants by the entirety". In each case, the title to the property immediately and automatically vests in the named survivor(s) upon the death of the other tenant(s).

In most states joint tenancy with the right of survivorship require all owners to have equal interests in the property, meaning upon sale or partition of the property all owners would receive an equal distribution of the proceeds.

Joint ownership may also be by tenants in common (TIC). In some states, joint ownership is presumed to be as tenants in common unless the parties are married and the deed so states or the deed sets for joint tenants with right of survivorship. Upon death, the decedent's share passes to his or her estate.

life estate is the right to use, possess and enjoy the property for a period of time measured by the natural life of a person or persons. When all life tenants are dead, the remainderman holds full title.

Joint tenants with rights of survivorship vs. joints tenants in common

When deeds are taken as joint tenants with rights of survivorship (JTWROS) or joint tenants in common (TIC), any co-owner can file a petition for partition to dissolve the tenancy relationship. JTWROS deed holders always take the property in equal shares; therefore, if the partnership is dissolved through partition, the proceeds must be equally distributed between all of the co-owners without regard to how much each co-owner contributed to the purchase price of the property. No credits would be allowed for any excess contributions to the purchase price. For example, if A and B co-own property as JTWROS and A contributed 80% of the purchase price, A and B would still receive equal distributions upon partition. On the other hand, TIC deed holders may be granted at partition a credit for unequal contributions to purchase price. During either partition, credits may be awarded to any co-owner who may have contributed in excess of his share to the property expenses after taking deed to the property. Credits may be allowed for utilities and maintenance; however, credits for improvements may not be allowed unless the improvements actually added substantial value to the property.
In the United States , a pardon of the President was once considered to be a deed and thus needed to be accepted by the recipient. This made it impossible to grant a pardon posthumously. However, in the case of Henry Ossian Flipper , this view was altered when President Bill Clinton pardoned him in 1999.

Title deed

In the United Kingdom, England and Wales operate a 'property register'. Title deeds are documents showing ownership, as well as rights, obligations, or mortgages on the property. Since around 2000, compulsory registration has been required for all properties mortgaged or transferred. The details of rights, obligations, and covenants referred to in deeds will be transferred to the register, a contract describing the property ownership.

Difference between deed and an agreement

The main difference between Deed and an agreement is that the deed is generally signed by only one person / party. Examples of the Deed are Deed of Hypothecation for creating charge on movable properties in favour of the banks / financial institutions etc. 
Agreement by it names suggests that there should be at least two parties signing / approving the same. Examples of the agreement are Agreement to sale, Loan Agreement etc. 
At common law, ownership was proven via an unbroken chain of title deeds. The Torrens title system is an alternative way of proving ownership. First introduced in South Australia in 1858 by Sir Robert Torrens and adopted later by the other Australian states and other countries, ownership under Torrens title is proven by possession of a certificate of title and the corresponding entry in the property register. This system removes risks associated with unregistered deeds and fraudulent or otherwise incorrect transactions. It is much easier and cheaper to administer, lowering transaction costs. Some Australian properties are still conveyed using a chain of title deeds - usually properties that have been owned by the same family since the nineteenth century - and these are often referred to as 'Old System' deeds.

Wild deeds

A deed that is recorded, but is not connected to the chain of title of the property, is called a wild deed . A wild deed does not provide constructive notice to later purchasers of the property, because subsequent bona fide purchasers can not reasonably be expected to locate the deed while investigating the chain of title to the property.

Property Restrictions

When purchasing property, buyers should be aware of any possible property restrictions that will impact their intended use. Property owner’s rights generally allow them to use their property freely, however, there are restrictions on real property from real property laws that owners need to know. Property restrictions can come from the government or from private agreements with surrounding property owners. Government restrictions come from real property law, and can include zoning statutes, environmental regulations, restrictive covenant, or anti-nuisance laws designed to ensure the use of one property does not negatively affect surrounding property owners’ rights. Private agreements regulating use create what is known as a restrictive covenant. A restrictive covenant is a signed contract between property owners of adjacent or nearby properties that can enforce a variety of property restrictions such as: listing allowable structures and improvements, restricting the height of structures on the property, and specifying what type of building can go on a property. A restrictive covenant is commonly found in residential development neighborhoods to promote uniformity in appearance and use throughout. Buyers should be aware of any restrictive covenants prior to a real estate purchase. For assistance understanding property restrictions, consult a real estate attorney.

What are some typical restrictions imposed by law on owning real property?

There is a myriad of federal, state, county and local laws which restrict what you can do with the real property that you own. Enforcement of these laws typically resides with various governmental agencies which are responsible for keeping you in compliance with these laws. The three most common restrictions ...

What non-government restrictions are there on the use of my property?

In addition to laws established by the government, there may also be private party agreements and other restrictions controlling what you can do with your real property. For example, a real estate developer may sell homes in a subdivision or condominiums subject to restrictive covenants in the purchase contract (typically ...


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Florida taxes are complex, just as they are in any other state. The real estate taxes that you pay on a home can vary widely depending on what city and what county you are buying the home in.However, in this article, we take a look at how residents of the Sunshine State are affected by income tax, sales tax, property tax, intangible tax and other government levies. 
Why the difference in Florida Real Estate taxes? There are several factors which affect the size of your property tax bill, but the main thing is that the taxes will usually be higher in areas that are experiencing rapid population and housing growth. When rapid growth happens some local governments cannot provide the level of services expected of them without raising taxes. This usually happens because city governments didn’t anticipate the rapid growth and must then play catch-up. Had they foreseen the growth, it might be a different story. They could have used the expanding tax base from more people moving into the area to increase the amount and level of services that would be needed such as building new roads and infrastructure, providing adequate schools, police, medical, and fire services, and hiring more public servants to oversee and run them.

Income Tax

The strength of Florida’s low tax burden comes from its lack of an income tax, making them one of seven such states in the U.S. The state constitution prohibits such a tax, though Floridians still have to pay federal income taxes.

Sales Tax

Florida law mandates a minimum sales tax rate of 6%, collected by the state government to provide services to all Floridians. However, the law also provides for a local option sales tax that lets each county set its own local tax that is collected on top of the general state rate. This means that you'll pay a different sales tax rate in each Florida county. For the current rates in each county in the state.

Property Tax

IThough the state government does not collect any property taxes, local governments receive much of their funding through these taxes. These rates are assessed at the local level and can vary by county, and they are based on the value of the property. Property taxes in Florida are some of the highest in the country, although there are several exemptions to try to lighten the load on some Floridians.

Florida's Intangible Tax

At one time, Florida assessed an annual intangible tax on investment assets held by individuals. This tax was repealed in 2007.

Property Tax Exemptions

• Homestead Exemptions of up to $50,000 are available to Florida residents on their primary residence. The first $25,000 of this exemption applies to all property taxes. The second $25,000, which applies to asses values between $50,000 and $75,000, applies to non-school taxes only.

  • • Widow(er)’s Exemptions of $500 are available to non-remarried widows and widowers.
  • • Senior Citizen’s Exemptions of up to $50,000 are available in certain counties and cities to citizens aged 65 and older who have gross income below $20,000 (in 2001 dollars, adjusted for inflation).

 

Disability Exemptions

Additional exemptions are available for citizens who have various types of disability, ranging from a $500 exemption to complete relief from property taxes. These exemptions include:

• Disability Exemptions of $500 are available to Florida residents who are totally and permanently disabled.

  •  Blindness Exemptions of $500 are available to legally blind residents.
  •  Quadriplegic Exemptions are available on real estate owned and used as a homestead by a quadriplegic. Such homesteads are completely exempt from property tax.
  • • Total Disability Exemptions are available to real estate owned and used as a homestead by a totally and permanently disabled person who must use a wheelchair for mobility or is legally blind and has gross income below $14,500 (in 1991 dollars, adjusted for inflation). This exemption provides complete relief from property taxes
  • Veteran’s Exemptions exist in a number of different forms.
  • • A veteran documented as disabled by 10% or more in war or service-connected events can earn an additional exemption of $5,000 on any owned property.
  • • An honorably discharged veteran who is totally and permanently disabled or requires a wheelchair for mobility due to their service can be exempt from all property taxes. In some circumstances, this benefit can be transferred to a surviving spouse.
  • • An honorably discharged and disabled veteran who is 65 or older who was a Florida resident when they entered military service may be eligible for an additional exemption. The disability must be permanent and must have been acquired as a result of the military service. The property tax will be discounted based on the percent of the disability.
  •  Members of the military deployed during the last calendar year can receive exemptions based on the percent of time during the year they were deployed.

 

Other Taxes

Corporate Income Tax While individuals do not have to pay income taxes, the same is not true for all types of businesses in Florida. Corporations and artificial entities that conduct business, or earn or receive income in Florida, including out-of-state corporations, must file a Florida corporate income tax return unless exempt. They must file a return even if no tax is due. Sole proprietorships, individuals, estates of decedents, and testamentary trusts are exempted and do not have to file a return. S Corporations are usually exempt as well, unless federal income tax is owed. The Florida Corporate Income Tax rate is 5.5%.
Reemployment Tax (formerly Unemployment Tax) Eligible businesses must also pay the Reemployment Tax. Formerly called the Unemployment Tax before being renamed in 2012, this tax is used to give partial, temporary income to workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, and who are able and available to work.


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Our online courses are the most comprehensive in the State of Florida! You are free to access these courses at anytime 24/7 from any internet connected computer. These courses combine lessons that students can review at their own pace and exams that measure student understanding of the material.

  • Easiest and Fastest way to complete the course
  • Access the course at anytime via any internet connected computer, tablet or smartphone
  • No Shipping and nothing will be downloaded to your computer
  • Works on both PC and Mac Systems
  • Instant feedback on assignments
  • Work at your own Pace

Choose from:
PRE LICENSE COURSES
Florida Sales Associate Pre License Course
Florida Broker Pre License Course

POST LICENSE COURSES
Florida Sales Associate Post License Course
Florida Broker Post License Course

CE & REACTIVATION
Florida Continuing Education Course
Florida Reactivation Course

EXAM PREP COURSES
Exam Prep Master
Exam Math Prep


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Property management is the operation, control, and oversight of real estate .It encompasses all aspects of running an income property, from finding and screening tenants to maintaining the property, collecting rent, and handling any issues that arise.

Property Manager in Florida

A property manager or estate manager is a person or firm charged with operating a real estate property for a fee, when the owner is unable to personally attend to such details, or is not interested in doing so. The property may be individual title owned or it may be owned under sectional title, share block company owned and may be registered for residential, commercial office and retail or industrial use. Florida state requires property management companies to be licensed real estate brokers if they are collecting rent, listing properties for rent or helping negotiate leases. A property manager may be a licensed real estate salesperson but generally they must be working under a licensed real estate broker. Most states in the United States have a public license check system on-line for anyone holding a real estate salesperson or real estate broker's license. Owners who manage their own property are exempt from the requirement of having a real estate license. However, owners who do not live near the rental property may be required, by local government, to hire the services of a property management company.

MANAGEMENT ROLE AND SERVICES

One important role of a "Property Manager" is that of liaison between the ownership or asset manager and the actual tenant/leasee tenant, providing a buffer for those owners who are desiring to distance themselves from their tenant constituency. Duties of property management generally will include a minimum of these basic primary tasks:

  • • Leasing / Advertising / Computerized Accounting
  • • On-site Interior Inspections Credit / Criminal Tenant Screening
  • • Website / Email Move Out Inspections
  • • Cost Effective Maintenance
  • • Our Specialties
  • • Single-family Homes
  • • Multi-family Apartments
  • • Condominiums
  • • Duplexes
  • • House Sitting
  • • Investment Sales

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Edited by MLS Campus Instructor I, Thursday, 27 April 2017, 10:59 AM


Don’t procrastinate and put your Florida real estate license at risk!

To maintain your real estate license, all licensees must comply with post-licensing requirements or continuing education requirements and pay the necessary renewal fees.  This also applies to those licensees with a suspended license. If your required education is not complete and/or reported, you will NOT be able to renew your license.

The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) rules require anyone with a Sale Associate license or a Broker License to complete Post-License training prior to their first renewal deadline. There is no grace period.

Sales Associates Requirements

Complete 45 Hours of Sales Associate Post License Training

Complete 45 Hours of Sales Associate Post License Test

MLS Campus’s Post-License Sales Associate course is designed to go beyond the principles of Real Estate that were taught in your Pre-License course, and give you the real-world application skills that will enhance your ability to be successful out in the market. The sooner you acquire these skills which include marketing techniques, listing acquisition, and helpful tips for buyers and sellers, the faster you will be able to build a solid base and experience greater success.

If you do not complete your 45 Hours of Post License Training your license becomes void, and you have to retake the pre-license course, pass its exam, and retake the state exam.  In effect, you have to start from scratch.

Broker Requirements

Complete 60 Hours of Broker Post License - 30 Hours Investment & 30 Hours Management Training

The Florida Real Estate Commission rules require anyone with a Broker’s license to complete 60 hours of Post-License training prior to their first renewal deadline. MLS Campus’s Broker Post-License course is designed to go beyond the material taught in your Pre-License course, and enhance your skills in office management and investment analysis. The sooner you acquire these skills, the faster you will be able to put them to use and successfully build your business.

If you do not complete your 60 Hours of Post License Training your license reverts to a sales associate’s license. 

In an earlier article we discussed how to manage your license at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) Post and Continuing Education Monitoring Database.


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Which_Repairs_Should_You_Make?

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If you're preparing to place your home on the market, it's inevitable that you'll need a couple of minor repairs and slight improvements before your broker can drive a "For Sale" sign into your front yard.
Practical and aesthetic projects like a fresh coat of paint drain neither time nor money and can make your home more attractive while perhaps speeding your sale.
But what if a larger item needs repair, something which doesn't jeopardize anyone's health or safety—a problem of the "out of sight, out of mind" variety. Should you simply disclose it and leave the buyer to deal with the problem? Or should you fix it before placing your home on the market?
 
Before you make any decisions, consider that repairing the problem yourself could result in a potentially higher sales price for you. What sweet music it is to any buyer's ears to hear the terms "new" or "just replaced" as they walk through a home.
Neal Hribar with Coldwell Banker in San Diego says, "If your house is in move-in condition, it will appeal to a wider group of prospective home buyers. First-time home buyers, and buyers with busy lifestyles, often will not consider buying a home that needs a lot of work. That is because they do not have the time or the experience to deal with the problems.
 
"The listings that command the most attention are those that are in the best condition," Hribar explains. "If homes look sharp and are priced right, more than one buyer may make an offer. When multiple offers occur, the price may get bid up. Even if there are not multiple offers, experience has shown that a house that is in good condition will sell more quickly than one that needs work. A quick sale often means that the sales price will be close to the list price."
Another point to consider: Many if not most home sales today include the use of a home inspection clause. Depending on how it's written, this clause can allow buyers to terminate a contract if the inspection is not "satisfactory" to them or if certain repairs are not completed.
 
According to the online legal resource Nolo.com, buyers often have the opportunity with a proper inspection clause to effectively re-open negotiations by either asking the owner to undertake repairs.
Another result of an unhappy inspection works like this: The buyer asks for a discount—sometimes a very ambitious discount based on an inflated view of repair costs.
When considering minor aesthetic improvements, your decision should depend on local market conditions. Your broker can suggest what's needed to be competitive and perhaps what's not. In a hot market you may need to do nothing, while in a buyer's market your list of repairs and upgrades may be extensive.
 
While not fixing up is a problem, fixing up too much—over-improving—is also an issue. The usual rule for buyers is that they purchase the least expensive home in the most expensive neighborhood they can afford. The result is that a house with too many improvements may be priced at the top of the local market, not the best place to be from a selling standpoint.
The moral of the story: You have an obligation to repair or at least inform buyers regarding health and safety hazards. For their protection—and to guard against unwarranted future claims against you—buyers should get a home inspection.
No less important, the longer a home languishes in the marketplace, the more likely it is to fetch a lower price. Thus fixing up is not only good for buyers, it also may lead to a quicker sale—something beneficial for owners.

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WHERE_YOU_WORK_SHOULD_HELP_YOU_DECIDE_WHERE_TO_BUY

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If you're entering into the real estate market for the first time, you'll hear the old adage: location, location, location. That's three of the key factors... I'm kidding but, location is, indeed, a very important concern.

However, many buyers think location is most important because of the surrounding area. So, if the neighborhood is nice, with parks, good schools, retail stores nearby, and somewhat close to freeways, it's a good location. But what also makes it a good location is how close it is to your work.

These days many people are telecommuting, which allows them to work from home and save gas. If that's the case, a 45-minute or hour-plus drive, one-way to the office, might not be too intimidating because you're not going to have to do it every day. But your long commute could still become a key factor when it comes to getting a mortgage.

Some lenders may factor in your long commute as part of your overall debt-to-income ratio, (DTI) which will directly impact how much money you can borrow. Regardless of whether the lender takes your extended commute into consideration, buyers should. With rising gas prices and increasing traffic, an extra long commute to the office can hurt your pocketbook.

A study from the Center for Housing Policy and the Center for Neighborhood Technology reported that transportation expenses for households in the largest metro areas increased 44 percent from 2000 to 2010. And about 600,000 full-time workers have a huge commute of at least 90 minutes and 50 miles to get to the office, according to U.S. Census data.

Sometimes the allure of rural areas with typically less expensive housing prices is so strong that buyers forget to consider how long they'll be on the road before they're home at night. They also don't factor in the gas costs that add up fast and can amount to hundreds of dollars in expenses each month.

If you do purchase a home with a long commute, talk to your company about possible commuting subsidies, arrange a carpool, or try to work remotely more frequently to reduce the back and forth commute. Craigslist.com and eRideShare.com help connect people with others who live and work nearby. Some cities even have their own sponsored program for free online matching services for carpooling. You can also ask your work to adjust your hours so that you can come in and leave at times when you'll miss rush hours. This way you're not just burning gas while sitting in tight, slow-moving traffic.

Cities with good mass transit are attracting buyers and providing options that help avoid putting extra unwanted miles on their vehicles. It makes sense. Sometimes the commute, if they don't have to drive, is a welcome break giving workers time to catch up on a good book, movie, or extra work. Plus, some cities have waterway ferries that make it a beautiful and enjoyable commute.

If you're shopping for a home and considering the long commute, spend a little time weighing the pros and cons. Also, do a little research. You can visit commutesolutions.org to use their online calculator to determine the true cost of your driving commute. Having a road map that shows your expected expenses will help you accurately budget for them.


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WHEN_IT_COMES_TO_FAIR_HOUSING,_WHAT_CAN_YOU_SAY?

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Some myths take on a life of their own. Not only do they refuse to die, but also they grow and expand. Recently, it has come to our attention that this seems to be true of what we might call the real estate myth of prohibited language. Like most myths, it began in a truth. The truth was, and is, that Section 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act "prohibits the making, printing, and publishing of advertisements which state a preference, limitation or discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin." The prohibition applies both to publishers, such as newspapers and Internet sites, and to individuals and entities who place real estate advertisements.

What is the myth? It is the belief that the Fair Housing Act prohibits the use of any words or phrases that could conceivably offend someone or that could in any way, shape, or form suggest that the style or configuration of a residence or dwelling unit might be derived from or suitable for one type of living arrangement rather than another. Thus, for example, according to the myth, the phrase "family room" ought not to appear in an advertisement describing a residence, because it is possible that such a phrase might suggest a preference for one type of life style rather than another.

It has been almost twenty years since the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a memorandum, HUD Guidance Regarding Advertisements Under Section 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act, which was designed to put the myth to rest. Alas, the myth seems to have had greater staying power. While the memorandum is still official HUD policy, many people in the real estate community -- including those who police the MLS -- seem to be oblivious to it. Fortunately, the memo is readily available as an appendix in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) publication, Fair Housing Handbook.

The memorandum addresses wording issues as they arise with respect to the various (seven) protected classes under the Fair Housing Act. What is said will no doubt come as a surprise to some. And a relief to others. Some samples:

1. Race, color, or national origin: "Use of words describing the housing, the current or potential residents or the neighbors or neighborhood in racial or ethnic terms (i.e., white family home, no Irish) will create liability under this section. However, advertisements which are facially [apparently] neutral will not create liability. Thus, complaints over use of phrases such as master bedroom, rare find, or desirable neighborhood should not be filed."

2. Religion: "Advertisements should not contain an explicit preference, limitation or discrimination on account of religion (i.e. no Jews, Christian home)… Advertisements containing descriptions of properties (apartment complex with chapel), or services (kosher meals available) do not on their face state a preference for persons likely to make use of those facilities, and are not violations of the Act."

3. Sex: "… Use of the term master bedroom does not constitute a violation of either the sex discrimination provisions or the race discrimination provisions. Terms such as "mother-in-law suite" and "bachelor apartment" are commonly used as physical descriptions of housing units and do not violate the Act."

4. Handicap: "…Advertisements containing descriptions of properties (great view, fourth floor walkup, walk-in closets), services or facilities (jogging trails) or neighborhoods (walk to bus stop) do not violate the Act…"

5. Familial status: "…Advertisements describing the properties (two bedroom, cozy, family room), services and facilities (no bicycles allowed) or neighborhoods (quiet streets) are not facially discriminatory and do not violate the Act."

So there you have it. Straight from your government. Something sensible. Savor it and pass the word. Myth busters, unite.


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What's_Got_Gurus_Buzzing_about_Every_Door_Direct_Mail?

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And Why Agents are Using it to Create Strong Market Positions

I don't know if you're tapped into the chatter or if you've heard the buzz both offline and online these days - but many of the top marketing gurus, mega-agent teams and real estate coaches are sharing their pearls of wisdom with audiences and clients that Every Door Direct is the way to go to jump start a big shift in market share.

Hey - I'm with them. As a big fan of common sense marketing - you can't beat the price or the deliverability. Two factors that usually are quick to stop agents in their tracks from consistently and effectively marketing themselves and their listings. Add in the fact that agents don't even have to have a LIST - and you've got a trifecta of marketing savvy! Every Door Direct Mail or EDDM is just smart for today's budget-conscious agents. You take a postage rate of just 16 cents and you can get in literally EVERY door in a geographic area with your message, your brand and a great call to action - do that consistently over the course of six months - you've got yourself name recognition, top of mind awareness - and as the gurus will tell you - listing leads pouring in. (Which again, makes sense - choose an area where there is good turnover or one right on the verge of some change and you've got a recipe for a listing inventory windfall!)

If you're not familiar yet with EDDM- it's a relatively new service produced by the post office that allows you to choose a carrier route (fairly simple to map out with a handy tool), and deliver your marketing piece to every single mailbox on that route for as low as 16 cents postage per piece. There are some size restrictions (though you can send a larger piece for the same price) and you do have to choose the entirety of the route. (So say a route has 600 homes - you don't have the flexibility of sending to just 400 of them for example.) But for agents eager to break into a new area and establish themselves as a neighborhood specialist - this really is as good as it gets price factor wise.

I love that there is so much buzz about this product. Just a word of warning when you're getting caught up in the hype. You don't need a fancy, tricked-out, six-week, 32-CD course to use this product. It's pretty simple and it works. Will you have questions? Absolutely. It's new and it's got some twists and tricks that can make it easier or harder depending on your knowledge of it. But that's what we do. Walk people through the twists and tricks. We did a webinar not long ago and had some great customer feedback and questions - you can watch it on demand if you'd like - just click here.

We also gathered some GREAT insights from agents who are rocking this program and we featured them in a recent article 3 Do's and Don'ts of Every Door Direct Mail. If this is something you'd like to explore - check that out and see what's working for agents just like you.

Honestly? If you're ready to break out and create a real presence in your market area with higher exposure for less marketing dollars, this really is a great tool to do the job. And you don't have to have a guru to do it. Just call our team at 866-405-3638 and they'll be happy to walk you through it, find your carrier routes, choose a template that works for you and get you off and running in no time. You can also walk through a little 'tour' of what it is, what it isn't, how it works, how it doesn't right online at prospectsplus.com/eddm2 . You can even call and have one of our team members on the line when you do so if you have questions you can say, "Hey - how do I...?" and they're happy to help you find the answers you need. We're kind of fun like that (in a non-guru kind of way!)

Have fun with it. Get creative. Be sure to have some great direct response offers on your marketing piece so people will be compelled to raise their hands and contact you. (We've got some cool free reports you can offer if you need some backup collateral.) Like any other marketing tool out there though - be consistent! If you're going to send just one mailing - don't expect the phone to ring off the hook. A smarter choice is to pick a smaller carrier route and send every month or every other month for the next six months to a year - THAT'S a brand builder. Go for it! Call us today at 866-405-3638 and good luck!


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What_You_Should_Look_for_When_House_Hunting

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Keep your eye on these big-ticket items when shopping for a home
 
By Diana Lundin
 
If you’re shopping for a home and can afford to buy one, you couldn’t be in a better position right now. In many parts of the country, housing inventory is high and both home prices and interest rates are low and as a buyer, you can take advantage of that.
With so many properties on the market, you can probably take a more leisurely approach to house hunting without getting into a fast-paced bidding war. There is a caveat, however. The best homes priced properly for the market conditions will always be in higher demand.
 
As you begin your search for the right home for you, it pays to keep in mind things you need to check carefully so that they don’t cost you big bucks in the long run.
 
Kitchen
If kitchens matter to you, you might want to be fairly selective about them when looking for a new home. The2009 average price for a minor kitchen remodel for a midrange home is more than $21,000 and the cost for a major remodel is more than $57,000 and the costs are substantially more for higher-end homes.
Look carefully at the appliances, cabinetry, counters and floor. Those are the elements that cost more to replace. If possible, you want newer appliances to save money on repairs and energy costs; solid-wood cabinets; and solid-surface counters, such as granite, stainless steel, butcher block or engineered stone. Your floor choices include wood, cork, laminates and tile and it’s a matter of what’s comfortable and durable for your lifestyle.
 
Bathrooms
Following kitchens, bathrooms are also expensive rooms to remodel at a 2009 national average of more than $16,000 because of the fixtures and plumbing. Make sure you see no leaks or evidence of leaks in tubs, toilets and flooring. Sharing bathrooms can be one of those pain points for families so make sure you get what you need.
 
Roof
A roof is a big-ticket item with an average 2009 replacement cost of more than $19,000 although adding a second layer to a roof is not nearly as expensive as replacing the entire thing. Inside the house, you can check the attic, ceilings and skylights for signs of water damage, look for places where the roof deck is sagging, and see if you can detect any light coming through. If you do see light coming through, it is likely not a problem if the roof is made of shake shingles. Outside, inspect for cracked, ripped, curling or missing shingles and damaged flashing.  Also look for rotting, buckling, blistering or algae growth, which could also be signs of trouble.
 
HVAC
An old heater can be hard to repair and eats up energy at a pace faster than newer units. Furnaces can start at about $5,000 to replace and if you buy a combined unit with the air conditioner, add on several thousand dollars. You may need to replace the heat pump or air conditioner if it’s older than 10 years and a furnace or boiler if it’s more than 15 years old.
 
Basement
The extra room you gain may be a huge headache if the basement floods. Look for water marks and find out if the house has a system for removing water.
Other areas of concern that might cost money down the line are the driveways and sidewalks, chimneys, insulation and windows.
If you find a house and your offer is accepted, you’ll be dealing with a home inspector who can fill in the gaps with a professional’s eye. The thing is, if you really want the home, you don’t have to let problems deter you. You are in position to negotiate a price reduction with the seller or insist repairs be made to the property before your offer is finalized.
 
If you can afford a house, you can afford the luxury of taking your time to find the right one for you.

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What_To_Look_For_When_Buying_Real_Estate

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The first thing that most of us think of is the adage... "location, location, location". While that is certainly very critical, there are many other things to consider when buying real estate. Here are some universal guidelines.

  • How long you intend to stay in a home.This is an important question to consider because moving is quite expensive. If you're in a temporary job and may soon be relocating to another city or even state, renting rather than owning might be a better option.
     
    While none of us entirely knows how our future will play out, understanding how long you expect to stay in your home allows you the chance to decide how large a home you want. If you're a young couple, a home that is able to grow with you might be appealing.

    Whether you're buying a home to live in or as a rental, the next series of tips can help in either circumstance. What makes a home more comfortable to its owners can also make it more attractive to renters.

  • Job market. It's always a good idea to check the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to see how the employment is in an area that you are considering purchasing a home. Areas with lower unemployment, of course, are most attractive. The greater the demand for jobs in an area, the more likely home prices are to go up.
  • Check area vacancies. This may not seem that important if you're planning to live in the home but actually this is a good thing to know even if you don't rent your home. If there are lots of vacancies compared to surrounding areas, there could be a slowing in the market. If you're planning to rent the home, you'll want to make sure that you have enough savings to cover expenses any time when your home sits vacant. If the market is slowing, there could be a period of several months before you get a quality tenant in place. Being prepared will ease the stress.
  • Visit the local police. Crime in an area isn't always detectable right away from a few visits to your potential home. Do a little digging. Ask questions. Investigate the neighborhood. Some areas may look okay but may have a high crime rate. It's best to understand the neighborhood you might soon call home.
  • Natural disasters.Believe it or not, some people like a home so much that they disregard the natural disasters in the area. This isn't to say that buyers should say, "Well, I can't buy a home in California because they have occasional earthquakes." Rather, some buyers are willing to gamble big time. For instance, they are willing to buy homes that are located on unstable cliffs where the cliffs are eroding year after year. Insurance... if you can get it... will certainly be higher. Natural disaster-prone areas such as flood zones may require additional insurance and a strong stomach to endure the stress.

    Ultimately, what to look for when buying real estate is about considering the things that will matter not just in this moment but in the years to come. Having a good strong foundation beneath your home and a safe neighborhood are key components to creating a happy homeownership and good investment.

    Written by Phoebe Chongchua

 


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What_is_the_Florida_Real_Estate_Recovery_Fund?

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What is the Florida Real Estate Recovery Fund? 

This is a short summary of what the Real Estate Recovery Fund (“RF”) is and how it works. It is not an exact restatement of the law. Any specific questions concerning eligibility or discussion of a specific claim should be directed to a licensed Florida attorney. 

The Real Estate Recovery Fund is an account created by the Florida Real Estate Commission (“FREC”) to reimburse any person, partnership, or corporation adjudged by a court of competent civil jurisdiction in this state to have suffered monetary damages by reason of any act committed, as a part of any real estate brokerage transaction involving real property in this state, by any broker or sales associate.

 

The RF is funded by a fee of $3.50 added to the license fee of new and renewal broker's licenses, as well as a fee of $1.50 added to the license fee of new and renewal sales associate licenses. In addition, all moneys collected from fines imposed and collected by FREC are transferred to the RF.

 

Q: What Does This Mean for Brokers?

A: It is important to know about the process if a brokerage intends to hold escrow because the RF provides the protection for the broker if the broker receives an escrow disbursement order issued by the FREC. A brokerage should make sure they take the requisite steps when dealing with an escrow claim so that they can preserve their right to claim on the RF.

Be aware that the process of claiming on the RF is a legal one. A person must have a license to practice law to assist a third party in the filing of a claim. If a customer believes that they have been damaged by the actions of another licensee in Florida, the licensee should recommend they speak with an attorney concerning their claim.

Q: What Circumstances Allow Someone to Claim on the Recovery Fund?

 A: Florida Statutes provides for two separate circumstances in which the FREC will allow recovery from the RF:


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What_Does_Properly_Priced_Mean?

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In a market where demand is strong and it has become more difficult to figure out how much buyers are willing to spend, how do real estate agents determine the right asking price for a house?
It has never been an exact science. These days, agents often find themselves starting at a higher price than is borne out by the facts and go from there.
Supply and demand, of course, dictate asking price. Obviously, if the supply is low, the asking price will have to be adjusted upward to meet it. In general, though, the asking price is a balance obtained by considering a neighborhood and the sale prices of comparable houses within the context of market conditions.
 
Demand in some areas of the country is so strong that agents put up a number and someone pays it because the buyer fears that the asking price will be higher next week. Out-of-town investors often help to further inflate prices.
Some current markets have shades of the late 1980s, when property appreciation and inflation made proper pricing beyond real estate agents' control.
 
Comps still count in hot market

In a normal market, agents should be able to take comparable sales and come up with something that looks almost like an appraisal, with all the pluses and minuses.
Now, many agents look at the comparables and the competition to see how the house stacks up against the others on the market. Then they will tell the seller that they'll look at the price again after two weeks of good marketing and re-evaluate it.
 
If there are no second showings or offers after two weeks, the asking price is probably too high.
 
How the property looks, its size and location are major factors in determining asking price. Sometimes, though, the house has features that are so special that agents adjust the asking price upward after looking at comparable sales over the last six months to a year.
 
Builder sets new home prices

Determining prices for new construction is totally different, because the seller is the builder, and the ones who are the most savvy about the market are the most successful.
First, the builder determines the construction costs and keeps that number to the side. Then the builder checks out what the competition is doing. This means considering the features that the builder offers and the competition doesn't, the square footage and the builder's specifications.
 
Different houses are priced based on type versus square footage and features. After coming up with a sale price, construction costs are factored in to make sure the builder is making the profit he expects.
Marketing a model home is a snap compared with marketing an existing home, because the builder is in control of the situation.
With existing homes, the houses reflect the tastes of the sellers, which may not be what most buyers are interested in.
A seller's "taste" can be a plus or a minus. If a buyer wants hardwood floors and sees that the seller has replaced them with a less appropriate and too personal a choice, then there is a problem.
Curb appeal and amenities all contribute to pricing. Buyers shop in price increments based on what they think they should be getting. If the asking price is outside the increment, the house will sit. If a buyer knows that he will get a three-car garage in the $300,000 price range and sees a house at $275,000 with the three-car garage, he'll buy it.

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