SERVICES OF REAL ESTATE
CONDITIONS WHEN A REAL ESTATE LICENSE IS REQUIRED
A real estate broker’s or sales associate’s license is required of anyone who performs:
- any service of real estate
- in Florida
- for another
- for compensation
Compensation is anything or any service of value paid, received, or expected to be paid or received. A real estate license is required if all 4 of the above conditions are present unless the party performing the service is exempt from licensing.
MEMORY AID: FICA*
Any service of real estate
*This aid is not intended to define FICA, but to help you remember the 4 conditions.
STATUTORY SERVICES OF REAL ESTATE
Services of real estate as defined in Chapter 475, F.S. (the real estate license law):
- appraising (valuation services)
- business enterprise or business opportunity brokerage
- buying (purchasing)
- property management
- providing, offering, or advertising rental information or lists
- timeshare ownership unit sales (interval ownership unit sales)
These services include soliciting such business, assisting in the service, or attempting performance, such as showing property or providing leads or referrals (Chapter 475.01 F.S.).
MEMORY AID: A BARSALE*
Rent or provide rental lists
*This term is intended to help you remember the services of real estate.
EXEMPTIONS FROM LICENSING
Real estate license law provides for specific exemptions. Exempt persons can perform a service of real estate in Florida for another and be compensated without holding a real estate license (Chapter 475.011, F.S.).
Owners of Property
- Individual owners are exempt when dealing for themselves.
- Partnership owners are exempt provided each partner shares only in the profits of the partnership consistent with his pro rata share of ownership.
- Corporation owners are exempt when they are dealing with the corporation’s property.
- The employees of an owner of real property are exempt when dealing with the owner’s property IT the employees are not paid commission or other compensation strictly on a transactional basis. Owners include individuals, partnerships, corporations, trusts, and joint ventures.
Personal Property Transactions
Persons dealing only in personal property, such as mortgage brokers, are exempt.
Cemetery Lot Transactions
Persons dealing in cemetery lots are exempt.
Transient Lodging Transactions
Persons soliciting patrons for places of lodging (e.g., managers and desk clerks at hotels, motels, and rooming houses) are exempt.
Salaried employees of an apartment community owner (or of a registered broker for an owner) are exempt if they work in an on-site rental office in a leasing capacity. Anyone other than an owner who performs leasing services in commercial or industrial properties must be licensed.
Condominium or Cooperative Building Managers
Salaried managers of condominium or cooperative apartment buildings are exempt when performing any duties they may have in relation to renting or leasing of individual units within such condominium or cooperative buildings. Rentals and leases of said units cannot exceed one year.
Rental of Mobile Home Lots or Recreational Vehicle Lots
Persons renting mobile home lots or recreational vehicle lots in mobile home or travel parks are exempt.
Public Relations and Advertising
Persons engaged in public relations and advertising, such as radio and television announcers, are exempt when performing services incidental to their employment.
Attorneys-in-fact are exempt only when executing (signing) legal documents, contracts, deeds, or conveyances for another as may be authorized by their power of attorney.
Attorneys-at-law are exempt when acting within the scope of their legal duties. An attorney cannot be paid a referral fee or share in a commission unless he or she holds an active real estate license.
Certified Public Accountants
Certified public accountants are exempt when acting within the scope of their duties.
Court, Legal, or Statutory Activities Persons acting within the limitations of their court, legal, or statutory duties are exempt. This includes:
- court-appointed appraisers
- personal representatives
- general and special masters in chancery
State-Registered Trainee, Licensed, or Certified Appraisers
State-registered trainee, licensed, or certified appraisers qualified to appraise real property under Chapter 475, Part II, are exempt. Such persons are limited to those appraisal services that their status allows and may not be paid for any other service of real estate.
Employees of Specialty Owners
The employees of the specialty owners in the list that follows are exempt when acting within the scope of their employment for which no compensation in addition to the employee’s salary is paid to buy, sell, appraise, exchange, rent, auction, or lease any real property or any interest in real property on behalf of their employer:
- public utility
- rural electric cooperative
- state or local government agency
Sale of Radio, Television, or Cable Enterprises
Persons or other legal entities engaged in the negotiations and sale or leasing of radio, television, or cable enterprises regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are exempt, except that a sales associate or broker must be retained for that portion of a transaction that includes real property.
Any full-time graduate student who is enrolled in an approved degree program in a Florida university or college is exempt if the student is acting under the direct supervision of a broker and is engaged only in appraisal activities related to the approved degree program.
Timeshare Exchange Companies
Timeshare exchange companies are exempt to the extent that the exchange company is engaged in exchange program activities pursuant to Chapter 721 (Florida Timeshare Act).
Appraisers Using Unit-Rule or Railroad Companies
Any person is exempt who appraises under the unit-rule method of valuation or a railroad or railroad terminal company assessed for ad valorem tax purposes pursuant to Chapter 193.085, is exempt.
Transient Occupancy of Public Lodging Establishments Licensed Under Chapter 509
Any person, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity that rents property for transient (defined as temporary) occupancy is exempt if it is a public lodging establishment licensed under Chapter 509, F.S.