Florida is one of the most affordable states in which to get a real estate license. You don’t need an expensive college degree, the state-required real estate courses are affordable, and the licensing fees cost less than in many other states.
Let’s look at the costs of getting a Florida real estate license and how those costs add up. Then we’ll look at the income potential to see if a Florida real estate license is worth the expense.
Cost #1: Pre-License Real Estate Course - $80–$425+
To prepare you for your role as a Florida real estate professional, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) requires you to complete a 63-hour pre-license course. This course covers the basic principles and practices you’ll use every day as you advise buyers and sellers in their real estate transactions.
You can take your course through any state-approved real estate school. It’s worth spending a little time comparing schools because the prices and student experience vary widely from school to school.
The cost of your Florida real estate course will likely fall somewhere between $80 and $425, but some educators may cost even more. If you take your courses through a college or university, for example, you’ll pay the credit hour rates for that institution, which can cost several hundred dollars.
To get the best price, consider an online real estate school. Not only are online options more affordable, but they are also much more convenient and flexible than classroom courses.
In addition to cost, you compare the following factors when deciding on a real estate school:
- Course materials. Will you only get a PDF version of a textbook? Or will you get innovative, interactive lessons?
- Exam prep. Does the cost of your course package cover practice tests to help you prepare for the real estate exam?
- Access to the coursework. Do you need to be on your home computer, or can you access your coursework from your phone and tablet?
- Student support. Can you contact an instructor or real estate professional if you have questions about the material?
Cost #2: Testing, Application, and Processing Fees - $170–$245
Administering your real estate exam and processing your real estate license application requires a team of professionals. Naturally, there are some fees associated with these services.
The following fees will be part of the cost of your Florida real estate license:
- Exam fee: $36.75 per attempt (don’t be discouraged if it takes more than one try to pass; many agents need two or three tries)
- License application fee: $83.75
- Fingerprint and background check fee: Around $50 (fees vary slightly by provider)
If you’re able to pass the exam on your first try, your total testing, application, and processing fees will come to around $170. If it takes three tries to pass the exam, the fees will come to around $245.
The Total Cost of Your Real Estate License in Florida - $250–$670+
Yes, you’re reading this correctly; you could get a Florida real estate license for as little as $250! With a more expensive real estate course and a few attempts to pass the real estate exam, you could be looking at $670 or more, which is still a bargain compared to most other states.
Are There Any Additional Costs for Florida Real Estate Agents?
Getting your real estate license allows you to legally represent buyers and sellers in their real estate transactions. But real estate agents are not employees; they’re independent contractors, which means they’re essentially small business owners. And as a small business owner, you should prepare for a few additional expenses.
Start-Up Business Expenses
To establish yourself as a real estate professional, you may want to invest in:
- Joining the recognizable National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Joining NAR gives you instant credibility because REALTORS are held to a strict Code of Ethics. You’ll also gain access to training and networking opportunities through your state and local NAR chapters. Be prepared to spend around $150 on national dues, plus similar fees for both your local and your state chapters.
- Promoting your new business by investing in marketing materials. You could spend as much or as little as you’d like on marketing, but it’s smart to start with at least $100–$500. This could cover social media ads, business cards, brochures, flyers, and/or mailers.
Living Expenses for Two or Three Months
Unlike employees, who only have to wait a week or two for their first paycheck, real estate agents only earn a commission check when they complete a sale. It can take time to find your first clients and get a home under contract. Then, you’ll have a 30–60 day escrow period before the deal closes and you receive your commission.
You may want to save enough money to cover two or three months of living expenses. Or you may decide to keep your day job and work real estate on evenings and weekends until you have a few deals in the pipeline. You could also diversify your real estate income by offering services like property management, credit repair, or property tax appeals to area property owners and prospective buyers.
Is a Florida Real Estate License Worth the Cost?
The annual mean wage for real estate sales agents in 2019 (the most recent year for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics has data) was $62,790. This amount has likely increased, as we’ve seen property values in Florida grow since 2019. And some Florida real estate agents were earning over $147,000 in 2019!
Most careers that pay this well require an expensive college degree. But to be a Florida real estate agent, you just need to complete your 63-hour real estate course and pay a few comparatively small administrative fees.
If you’re ready to launch a flexible and lucrative career in real estate, take the first step by enrolling in your Florida real estate course today!