If you're looking to get into real estate in the Tampa metro area, it can be a lucrative career. According to Indeed, the average base salary in Tampa, Florida is $93,303 as of 2022. But how do you get started? Here's a quick guide with everything you need to know, whether you live in Brandon or Sarasota.
6 Steps to Get Your Real Estate License in the Tampa Metro Area
You can go from where you are now to being licensed and selling homes in Tampa by following these six steps.
1. Ensure You're Qualified
First things first, you can't be a minor and get your real estate license. You will need to be at least 18 years old. Additionally, you'll need to have a high school diploma or the equivalent.
2. Learn the Basics
As long as you're 18 with a high school diploma, you're ready to start on the path to becoming a real estate agent. The first real step is taking the state-required course. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (FDPR) requires all aspiring agents to complete a state-approved 63-hour pre-license course for sales associates.
In the course, you'll learn what you need to know to get your license and start your business. You'll also need to pass a course exam with a score of 70% or higher. Once you complete the course and pass the exam, you'll receive a certificate of completion that you'll need for your application. That said, if you happen to have earned a bachelor's degree in real estate, it may satisfy this education requirement.
3. Pass a Background Check
Next, to become a real estate agent, you have to pass a criminal background check. The check involves visiting a provider to have your fingerprints scanned. Your fingerprints will then be sent to the Federal Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for the background check.
To expedite the process, it's recommended that you go to an FDLE-approved Livescan Service Provider. Here are a few in the 813 area code:
Brandi Morrison at Direct Fingerprinting (813) 930-5450
Betsy Velez at Agency for Community Treatment Services (813) 246-4899
Barbara Armstrong at BioWhorl Fingerprinting Service (813) 244-4236
You'll want to do this at least five days before sending in your license application to ensure that there's enough time for the FDPR to receive your background check results.
4. Apply and Pay the Fee
With your pre-license course and fingerprints done, you are ready to apply for your license. You can do so via the paper application (Form DBPR RE 1) or using the digital system. Along with the application, you'll need to pay the $83.75 fee. Once submitted, the FDPR will contact you to let you know if your application was approved. If approved, you'll move to the next step. If not, they will let you know what else you need to do.
5. Take the State Real Estate Exam
You're almost there! In this step, you'll need to schedule your official real estate exam with Pearson VUE. On your exam date, you'll go to the testing location, take the exam, and will need to pass with a minimum score of 70% to get your license. Pearson VUE test locations in your area include:
Pearson VUE Test Center-Tampa FL: 4012 Gunn Highway, Suite 110, Tampa, Florida 33618
University of South Florida: 3220 USF Banyan Circle, Tampa, Florida 33613
Pearson VUE Test Center-St. Petersburg FL: 9400 4th Street North, Suite 211, St. Petersburg, Florida 33702
Pearson Professional Centers-Lakeland FL: 212 E Highland Dr, Suite 101, Lakeland, Florida 33813
Florida Southern College: 915 Frank Lloyd Wright Way, Ordway Building, Lakeland, Florida 33801
Pearson VUE Test Center-Sarasota FL: 2201 Cantu Court, Suite 210, Sarasota, Florida 34232
6. Choose a Sponsoring Broker
Lastly, you'll need to find a sponsoring broker, as real estate associates can't buy or sell on their own in Florida. You'll split your commissions with your broker and, in return, they should help you get your business going. If you aren't sure which broker to choose, you can ask other agents for advice. A great way to find other agents and grow your network is by joining theGreater Tampa Realtors organization. It has over 15,000 members and is the largest association of real estate sales associates and brokers in Tampa.
Get Your Real Estate License in Tampa!
That's it! Now you know the six main steps to getting your real estate license in the Tampa area. If you're ready to get started, Aceable provides an online 63- hour state-approved pre-licensing course. You can sign up online and complete the course modules from a smartphone or computer. No stuffy classrooms or strict schedules. Complete the education requirement at your own pace when it works best for you.