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New Florida Broker License Exam in Effect

Spring Hill FL Real Estate SchoolFor those Florida Real Estate professionals who are upgrading their licenses to become a Real Estate Broker, there are important changes that went into effect December 1, 2015.

The new TILA/RESPA Integrated Mortgage Disclosure Rule (TRID) was effective for loan applications made after October 3, 2015. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) began testing the  new Closing Disclosure, which replaced the HUD-1 Settlement Statement on December 1, 2015. The Broker state exam will have eight questions that may include calculation of documentary stamp taxes and intangible taxes as well as tax and rent prorations. Candidates must also know on which page and where the expenses, prorations, sales price, and mortgage balances are shown on the Closing Disclosure. These are basic calculations that are part of the Real Estate Broker pre-licensing curriculum.pile of books

Candidates have to be familiar with pages 2 and 3 of the new five-page Closing Disclosure. Here is a link to the new Closing Disclosure to familiarize students with the changes. 

Broker Candidates are urged by the DBPR to download and utilize the Candidate Information Booklets they provide.  The Broker Candidate Information Booklet was updated in December 2015.  This is a great resource to guide the student though the process and contains valuable information, especially with regard to the weight of each section of the textbook on the State Licensing exam.  The Broker CIB has sample closing scenario questions to familiarize the candidate with the expected online learningformat of the closing questions.
Additionally, FREC Rule 5.018, Vacancies of Office, was revised to allow a temporary broker to be appointed in the event a brokerage has only one active broker and that broker dies, resigns, or is unexpectedly unable to remain in the position as active broker. Refer to the attached strikeout version of the rule that became effective February 1, 2016.There was much confusion as to when the 14 day period to replace a broker began and this rule seeks to clarify and make the transition easier. The vacancy may now be filled with a temporary broker, who may be registered for up to 60 days with the DBPR without the need to comply with the Secretary of State corporate registration requirements. Until the Broker manual is updated, the candidate should be given a handout with the new changes as this new material is now tested. 
Nature Coast Real Estate School offers LIVE CLASSROOM and ONLINE INSTRUCTION for pre and post licensing classes for Sales Associates and Brokers, as well as Weekend Exam Prep Courses.  We have four convenient locations in Pasco and Hernando Counties to serve the Real Estate Licensing needs of the North Tampa Bay area.
 
For more information on the location and class preparation, call Jeanne Gavish at 352-650-029 or email me at jmgavish@aol.com
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Tips for New Real Estate Licensees to Build A Personal Brand

Spring Hill FL Real Estate SchoolAfter the excitement of attaining a Florida Real Estate License winds down, an inevitable sense of panic sets in for a new licensee because now the task of attracting potential homesellers and buyers becomes a reality.

“What do I do now?” is a frequent question I get from my newly licensed former real estate students.  In today’s technology based society one of the simplest and inexpensive way to let the world know who you are and what to do is to build your online brand.  Most people already have a Facebook account so adding a business page is easy.  Finding the right name for your business page is vital.  Very few people are going to be attracted to follow a site that is “your name, Realtor”.  Why not have a relevant page named for the community you intend to farm?  You are the administrator of the page and you can go throughout your community announcing the new community page, invite them to like and follow it and to post anything of interest to the community.  Yard Sales, items for sale, community events, and events can be promoted as well, and you can go to the local businesses nearby and ask if they would like you to promote their business on your page and maybe they will post coupons just for the group.  You can post the real estate market activity stats on the community, house_market_graph_400_wht_12473new listings and sales, even inviting the For Sale By Owners to post their properties. Take photos, interview and write a post to introduce new neighbors who have moved into your farm area. This will get your name out into the community as the expert and you will have ready access to your farm area.  None of that will cost you anything more than time and it will be well spent.

The real estate sites like Realtor.com, Zillow.com, Trulia.com, Homes.com and others offer free profiles for real estate professionals.  Avail yourself to the free advertising and let the world know who you are.  You never know what will attract the buyers and sellers to contact you and ask for help with the sale or purchase.  I have acquired listings because the reader liked my community involvement. Others like the experience level.  I make sure I write about my background, interests, education and experience so that someone searching the sites will know more about me.  Many buyers moblie_real_estate_400_wht_8828and sellers are searching on the sites for a professional to represent them and not just looking at properties.  Let them know your background, and have it work for you.  This is especially true for military veterans and former law enforcement retirees.  You want people to find the common ground and they will feel more comfortable doing business with you. 

Have a relevant website and keep it current and interesting.  if you are working in a franchise, professional websites are already prepared.  Some larger independent companies have the same benefit.  If you don’t have one, my personal favorite is point2agent.com which can be customized and has the longevity to give you instant ranking on the search sites. They offer a free trial period before you need to purchase.  You can acquire the Internet Data Exchange (IDX) link from your local Realtor Association and that enables all of the listings in the entire Multiple Listing Service to be scrolling on your website and you can even create specified searches using the same link.

Since you are going to be an ambassador for your market area to the public, make sure you know your market area and what makes it unique. How far to the beaches? Golf Courses? Theme Parks?  Are the Many buyers are not sure what area of Florida they want to be and you may first have to sell your community before you sell a home.  Go to the local Tourism Department, Business Development Department and Chamber of Commerce and learn about your particular area so that you can inform your potential buyers of the benefits of living and working there.  Get out on the road and preview the different lifestyle options.  Gated Communities, Age Restricted Communities, Subdivisions and rural areas all need to be explored.  Know your market area so you can describe it with enthusiasm to new buyers.

It takes time and effort to build your brand, but how well and how fast you become established in your business depends on how hard you worked to build that name recognition that leads to success.  To all my newly licensed students, Welcome to the business!  

For information on obtaining a real estate license or are considering a career in Real Estate and live in the Tampa Bay area, Contact Nature Coast Real Estate School’s website for our schedule of classes..

Nature Coast Real Estate School offers LIVE CLASSROOM and ONLINE INSTRUCTION for Pre and Post Licensing Classes for Sales Associates and Brokers, as well as Weekend Exam Prep Courses.  It has four locations in Pasco and Hernando counties to serve the Real Estate Licensing needs of the north Tampa Bay area.

For more information on the location and class preparation, call Jeanne Gavish at 352-650-1029 or email me at jmgavish@aol.com.  

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Florida Real Estate Legislation Effective July 1 2016

florida_sealFlorida Real Estate laws are modified, enhanced, updated and new legislation created each year. It is the responsibility of Real Estate practioners to stay current with local, state and federal laws in order to best represent homeowner and homebuyers in Florida.  This year there is significant legislation and legislative updates that take effect July 1, 2016.

Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater’s bill, SB 1274 especially affects the counties in the Tampa Bay area most affected by sinkhole claims.  Many homeowners in the past took the insurance money that was earmarked for remediation and either paid off their mortgage or pocketed the money instead of repairing the home.  When the homeowner would attempt to sell the home at a later date, they were dismayed to discover that the home was uninsurable and the only interested parties were investors looking to pay pennies on the dollar or sinkhole repair companies who could repair at a fraction of the value had the home been repaired.  As a result of this abuse the insurance companies scaled back their coverage, leaving homeowners with few options for sinkhole coverage.  The new legislation allows insurance companies to offer a new line of sinkhole insurance that covers more moderate damage, such as sunken floors and cracked walls. Under the bill, policyholders would have to document the fact that they made the repairs. They would not be allowed to collect insurance money and pocket it or spend it elsewhere

Rep. Bryan Avila, R-Hialeah’s bill, HB 499 affects challenges to property assessments.  If a property owner disagrees with the value placed on their property that is sent in August in the Truth In Millage (TRIM) notice, they may challenge the assessment before their county’s Value Adjustment Board (VAB).The Value Adjustment Board consists of two County Commission members, one School Board member and two citizen members. Currently, only an attorney or “agent” may represent the owner. However, the new law expands that list of representatives to include a real estate appraiser or broker. To learn more about how to protest a proposed assessment go to the link below.

Okeechobee0WaterwaySen. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness bill, SB 552  was one of the first bills passed by the Florida Legislature, offers a statewide water policy. It lays the foundation for a comprehensive water management program for the state. The focus is how to preserve one of Florida’s greatest natural assets: (1) protect and restore fresh water springs; (2) give the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) oversight for scientifically-based water research programs; and (3) allow the DEP to oversee pollution control measures for Lake Okeechobee, the Caloosahatchee Estuary, and the St. Lucie River and Estuary.

Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Jacksonville’s bill, SB 184 offers protection for active military who are looking to rent by offering faster lease approvals from landlords and condo/homeowner associations. Under the new law they are required to approve or deny a rental application submitted by active duty service personnel within seven days. If the application is denied, the prospective tenant must be given the reason. If the application is not processed within the seven-day period, the landlord and condo/homeowners’ association must lease the unit to the service member. Real Estate professionals who are Property Managers screening tenants for landlords, it is important to be aware of the tenant’s service member status so they don’t inadvertently violate this new law. This is one of the many reasons for a potential home renter to use a licensed professional in their home search.  Private owners who attempt to become landlords are frequently unaware of Florida laws regarding a tenants rights, as are the prospective tenants.  A Real Estate licensees job entails rigorous continuing education.

For information on obtaining a real estate license or are considering a career in Real Estate and live in the Tampa Bay area, Contact Nature Coast Real Estate School’s website for our schedule of classes..

Nature Coast Real Estate School offers LIVE CLASSROOM and ONLINE INSTRUCTION for Pre and Post Licensing Classes for Sales Associates and Brokers, as well as Weekend Exam Prep Courses.  It has four locations in Pasco and Hernando counties to serve the Real Estate Licensing needs of the north Tampa Bay area.

For more information on the location and class preparation, call Jeanne Gavish at 352-650-1029 or email me at jmgavish@aol.com.  


 

 

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How to Schedule your Florida Real Estate Licensing Exam

Nature Coast Real Estate SchoolIf you have submitted your Real Estate Sales Associate or Broker License Application and have been tracking the progress of your application, you will eventually notice the status “EXAM ELIGIBLE”. Congratulations!  You have been approved to the the exam, but may not know how to proceed. 

The good news is, you do not have to wait to hear from Pearson VUE, although you should receive an email (if you have an email address) or an authorization letter in the mail.  If you have been anxiously awaiting to hear that you are eligible to take the state exam, you may contact Pearson VUE directly through their website or by phone at 888.204.6289.

You will be required to submit a valid email address and pay at the time the exam is scheduled. You will not be able to pay at the test site on the day of the exam.  

If you wish to take the exam in Spanish, you must make your language preference known when scheduling your exam. If you do not make the request at reservation time, your exam will be in English.

Make sure you bring proper identification to the test site!  Two forms of signature identification are required.  One must bear your photo.  Your name and address must match the application submitted to the DBPR.  Government issued identification such as driver’s license, state identification card, passport and military identification card are acceptable. YOU MUST BE PREPARED TO SHOW PROPER I.D. TO GAIN ADMISSION TO THE TEST SITE. Student, employment I.D. cards and photo bearing credit cards are not acceptable as a picture bearing identification.

If the name on one or both forms of identification does not match the name listed in the vendor registration system, you must present an official document detailing why your name was changed. Examples of permissible documents accepted at the test center for this purpose include divorce papers, marriage licenses, and/or permanent resident certificates.

Remember to bring your Completion Certificate from the accredited Real Estate Licensing School to the Test Site.  Keep a copy for your records in case you need to retake the exam. You will need to provide the Completion Certificate if you retake the exam.

For information on obtaining a real estate license or are considering a career in Real Estate and live in the Tampa Bay area, Contact Nature Coast Real Estate School’s website for our schedule of classes..

Nature Coast Real Estate School offers LIVE CLASSROOM and ONLINE INSTRUCTION for Pre and Post Licensing Classes for Sales Associates and Brokers, as well as Weekend Exam Prep Courses.  It is conveniently located to serve the Real Estate Licensing needs of Pasco and Hernando Counties in the UHL Plaza at the Pasco and Hernando Line on US 19. 

For more information on the location and class preparation, call Jeanne Gavish at 352-650-1029 or email me at jmgavish@aol.com.  

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Florida Real Estate Course Classroom vs Distance Learning

Nature Coast Real Estate SchoolShould you take the Florida Real Estate Licensing Course Online at your pace and schedule or should you take the course with Live Classroom Instruction?  Does the value of having a State Licensed Real Estate Instructor outweigh the effort involved in adjusting to a classroom schedule?

The Florida Bureau of Education and Testing for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation began tracking the pass rates for both formats in the Spring of 2013.  A total of 6,422 candidates responded to the question of how they completed the required education.  The results were separated into First Time Testers and Retakers of the State Exams for the period from April 1-June 4, 2013.

Of the First Time Testers who responded, 2076 received classroom instruction and 646 took the course online.  The Pass Rate for classroom attendees was 35% vs the online candidates’ pass rate of 51.9%.

For Retakers who responded, 2,541 received classroom instruction and 650 took the course online.  The Pass Rate for Classroom Attendees was 31.7% and for Online Candidates was 40.5%.

This was shocking to the Real Estate Instructors who attended the Continuing Education Seminar where this information was released. 

Some points to consider involving this information:

  • Not all students are suited to the online format, so those who did choose this option were comfortable with the self taught format of an online class.  This may not make them representative of the overall student body polled.
  • Without the advantage of an instructor to lecture and explain concepts, the online candidates may have a greater tendency to read the entire text very carefully, rather than rely on the instructor for information.
  • There is no evidence to determine whether any additional resources were utilized, such as an Exam Preparation and Review Course for either segment.

At Nature Coast Real Estate School, I caution the students to read each chapter in advance of the class to maximize the classroom experience, to read the entire text before attempting to sit for the State Licensing Exam, and to download and read the Candidates Information Booklet for Sales Associates prepared by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.  The Florida Real Estate Exam Manual is a great resource for Candidates for both the Sales Associate and Broker Licenses, and is the manual used for Nature Coast Real Estates Weekend Exam Prep Course.

Read my Blog Post for Tips on How to Pass Your Real Estate Exam to maximize your chances of passing the State License Exam on the first try, no matter which format you choose to do your licensing course.  

Nature Coast Real Estate School offers Live Classroom Instruction for Sales Associate and Broker Courses and is conveniently located at the corner of County Line Road and US 19 to serve the Real Estate Licensing needs of Hernando and Pasco Counties.  You may call me at 352.650.1029 or email me at jmgavish@aol.com for more information regarding the licensing process.

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Renewing your Florida Real Estate License Online

NC_RE_SchoolEvery Florida Real Estate license has an expiration date of March 31 or September 30, regardless of the issue date.  This applies to Brokers and Sales Associates.

As renewal time approaches, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) has compiled some tips to make the online renewal process go smoothly.

Establish your Online Account: This is a one time setup and is easy to accomplish.

  • Go to the DBPR website and look for the tab on the left “Licensee Login”.  This brings you to the DBPR Onine Services Main Menu page.  
  • Select “Create My Account” link below under “Create a New Online Profile” to complete your initial registration.  If you are not tech savvy there is a step by step tutorial you can follow.
  • MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS PRIOR TO THE LAST DAY OF RENEWAL.  YOU MAY RECEIVE DELAYS DUE TO THE HIGH VOLUME OF INDIVIDUALS ATTEMPTING TO RENEW ON THE LAST DAY.

Verify your Address: You are required to update your mailing address with the DBPR within 10 days of any change of address.  A renewal notice is sent to you well in advance of your renewal date.  If you did not receive it, the cause may be that the Department does not have your correct address on file.

Verify your Status: You can verify your license status (Active, Voluntary Inactive, Involuntary Inactive) using your Online Account and show the Brokerage with whom your license is being held.  If your information does not show the correct Broker/Employer, notify the Broker so that they can correct this by adding you through their online account.  This will add you in real time correcting the issue immediately.

Verify your Education Requirements:  Prior to renewing, you must complete the required education.

  • Initial renewal: Sales Associates must successfully complete the required 45 hour Post Licensing course before renewing their licenses.  Brokers must successfully complete the required 60 hours of Post Licensing.  The only exemption is a licensee with a 4 year degree in Real Estate.
  • Subsequent renewals: Sales Associates and Brokers must complete 14 hours of Continuing Education prior to renewing their licenses.
  • Involuntary Inactive Licenses: Licensees may have to compete a 28 hour reactivation course.  Contact the Department at 850-487-1395.  An Involuntary Inactive license automatically becomes Null and Void if this is not completed and renewal received by midnight of the expiration date (March 31 or September 30).
  • Hardship Request: This is available for Post Licensing education only.  If you have a hardship and need an extension you may submit a written request with supporting documentation to request an extension of your renewal.  You may mail the request to: Division of Real Estate-Licensing Section – 400 West Robinson Street, Ste N801 – Orlando Florida 32801. You may also fax to 407-317-7245 Attn: Licensing Section.  THERE ARE NO EXTENSIONS DUE TO CONTINUING EDUCATION OR REACTIVATION EDUCATION.

Renewals must be received no later than midnight Eastern Standard Time (March 31 or September 30).  If the expiration date falls on a holiday or weekend the renewal is extended to midnight the next business day.

If you would like more information on applying for a Florida Real Estate License or upcoming Real Estate Courses, visit my website or call 352-650-1029.

Nature Coast Real Estate School has begun offering Sales Associate & Broker Exam Prep course.  Please call 352-650-1029 for more information regarding upcoming classes. We are located four miles north of the Pasco County line in Spring Hill on US 19 and offer live classroom instruction.
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Florida Real Estate License Exam Changes

NC_RE_SchoolThe Florida Real Estate Sales Associate State Licensing Exam was updated in February this year.  This had an immediate impact on the pass rate of Florida Real Estate Licensing Candidates.  In February, the pass rate for first time test takers fell below the 50% mark.

In March and April, the first time test takers pass rate fell below 40%, the lowest in the years since I have been receiving them.  When the Performance Summary was received by State Approved Licensing Schools, we received in the email a message from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.  Based on their review of the Sales Associate examination performance, it was determined that Candidates would benefit from reviewing the following area prior to taking the state exam:

  • Escrow Deposits Florida Administrative Code 61J2-14.008 2(b)
  • Types of Mortgages familiarize, including Reverse Mortgages
  • Types of Agency Relationships FL Statute 475.278- Presumption of Transaction Brokerage and which relationships owe fiduciary duties
  • Types of Listings including Net Listings
  • Landlord Tenant Act Florida Statute 83 Part II
  • Advertising – Florida Administrative Code 61J2-10.025 Including Internet Advertising
  • Florida Statutes (475 Part I, 455, 120 & 720) and Administrative Rules (61J2)  Know what each one governs
  • Homeowner Association Disclosures Florida Statute 720
  • FHA & VA know which insures and which guarantees

The Department has always promoted reading the statutes referenced above, as well as reading the Candidates Information Booklet for Sales Associates  or Brokers as a prerequisite to taking the State Licensing Exam.  Both were updated May 2013 and have important information for Candidates.

If you would like more information on applying for a Florida Real Estate License or upcoming Real Estate Courses, visit my website or call 352-650-1029.

Nature Coast Real Estate School has begun offering Sales Associate & Broker Exam Prep course.  Please call 352-650-1029 for more information regarding upcoming classes. We are located at the Hernando/Pasco County line in Spring Hill in the UHL Plaza at County Line Rd and US 19 and offer live classroom instruction.
Florida Accredited Real Estate School