Florida Real Estate Law – Fundamental Principles



Florida real estate law has three primary purposes:

  1. Protect the general public.
  2. Provide clear standards for real estate professionals, so they understand what is required, and what is forbidden.
  3. Provide guidelines to professionals, so they can meet all required standards of practice.

Real estate law is covered in Florida Statute Chapter 475. The chapter is divided into 4 Parts:

Part I covers Real Estate Brokers, Sales Associates, and Schools.

Part II is for Property Appraisers.

Part III addresses commercial real estate commission lien law, and Part IV deals with commercial leasing lien law.

The statute has a system for ensuring standards are maintained by all licensees. That system is the responsibility of the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) and is a committee of people, based in Orlando.

In order to protect the general public when they buy, sell or lease property, whether it is vacant land or improved property, the law demands that a real estate professional holds a current and valid license. Anyone can, of course, sell or lease their own property without holding a license.

License Requirements

Anyone who wants to begin their real estate career must satisfy age and general education qualifications, and they must be considered honest. They must then pass the appropriate state exam. Qualifying to take the exam demands satisfactory completion of a pre-license course. To maintain licensed status, licensees must satisfactorily complete a post-license course, and then take the state approved continuing education classes every two years. Licenses may be renewed on proof of completing the required continuing education.

Sales Associates must work under the authority of a Broker.

Working with the General Public

Florida Relationship Disclosure Act says there are three forms of representation a licensee may offer. These are:

  • Transaction Broker, when the licensee offers limited representation to either or both parties (buyer, seller, etc.)
  • Single Agent, when they establish a fiduciary responsibility with their principal and represent that person in a transaction.
  • No Brokerage relationship.

Licensees must disclose how they will work with a buyer or seller at the earliest, practicable time. There are occasions and situations when the relationship does not have to be disclosed. Those details are covered in pre-license classes.

Violating The Statute

If a licensee were to break the law, they would be subject to a penalty. The penalties may include the need to take further training, fines, or losing their license.


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