Before we go into the various aspects of becoming a real estate agent in Tampa, Florida, a quick look at the real estate market here is necessary. This will help us understand whether it is worth the effort to become a real estate agent in Tampa.
The Tampa Real Estate Market
According to a survey conducted by Florida Atlantic University, Tampa is among the top 10 cities that have the most overpriced housing market in the USA. That buyers are willing to pay more for houses than what they are worth makes Tampa the ideal seller’s market.
Zillow notes that recently, Florida has crossed New York as the nation’s second most valuable housing market. This trend has been possible for the exponential growth of four cities in the state with Tampa topping the list with an incredible 88.9% increase.
Chief economist Brad O’Connor of Florida Realtors says that the state of Florida draws in hordes of remote workers since it offers lower-priced housing options as compared to the West Coast and the Northeast. However, it is projected that inventory will increase in the Tampa Bay cities, leading to a slight fall in median home prices in 2024.
All these make Tampa, FL, a hot spot for real estate agents to launch a very lucrative career.
This post will go into the details of what it takes to become a real estate agent in Tampa, FL, including the steps to get a real estate license in the state.
- Role of a Real Estate Agent
- Why Should You Hire a Real Estate Agent
- Choosing a Real Estate Agent in Tampa, FL
- Researching Local Real Estate Agents
- Checking Credentials and Experience
- Interviewing Potential Agents
- How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Tampa, FL
- Requirements for Real Estate Licensing
- Completing Pre-Licensing Education
- Scheduling and Passing the Real Estate Licensure Exam
- Obtaining a Real Estate License in Tampa, FL
- Real Estate License in Tampa, FL
- Types of Real Estate Licenses
- Renewing a Real Estate License
- Continuing Education Requirements
Role of a Real Estate Agent
The main role and responsibility of a real estate agent is to assist buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. This includes ensuring that clients get their dream properties at the best prices and terms. Further, it is the responsibility of the agent to determine the clients’ financial abilities and deliver the right solutions to them.
A key role played by real estate agents is to inform clients of prevailing market conditions, mortgages, and all legal requirements of real estate deals. This not only gives clients a fair deal but also helps in the preparation of all documents such as leases, deeds, contracts, and closing statements.
Finally, to provide the best services, real estate agents must promote sales through online digital marketing and remain updated about the current best practices in the industry.
Why Should You Hire A Real Estate Agent
Many first-time buyers or sellers bypass real estate agents and try to seal the deal directly to avoid paying agent commissions. This of course is not the ideal thing to do as you are missing out on the expertise and market knowledge of real estate agents.
Here are a few benefits that come your way when you hire a real estate agent for buying or selling property.
- Agents get the right property for you: Buyers generally have specific needs like the number of bedrooms, swimming pool, size of the garage, and more. Searching the market with all these things in mind can be a tough job. An agent, on the other hand, keeps a tab on all properties in your preferred area and will easily guide you to what you are looking for.
- Agents have in-depth market knowledge: Real estate agents understand the market like the back of their hands. They have knowledge about the prevailing mortgage rates and how they affect home prices. Moreover, they are aware of the house type market median prices and have more information about them than found on the MLS.
- Agents have access to professional networks: Agents network closely with other industry professionals, not only for referrals but also to have access to trusted service providers. Instead of working on your own, you can tap into the agent’s network of contractors, inspectors, real estate lawyers, lenders, plumbers, and more.
- Agents have a trained eye to spot potential flaws: Problems that are not easily seen by potential buyers are easily spotted by agents. These include furnace issues, leaks, molds, and termite infections. The agent will guide you on how to have these rectified and even get the right contractors to help you out.
- Agents know about off-market listings: Sometimes, sellers do not want to widely publicize that their properties are on the market for sale. Hence, as a buyer, if you search MLS listings only, you might miss out on the ideal property. Agents though keep a tab on all properties on the market and will get you one that matches all your needs.
These are some of the benefits that you get by hiring a real estate agent when you are dealing with properties to buy or sell.
Choosing A Real Estate Agent in Tampa, FL
Researching Local Real Estate Agents
In today’s online environment, researching real estate agents is not a complex task. It is a great way for both buyers and sellers to transact real estate business at the right price.
The first thing to look for during research is the reviews as it shows the experience of others with the agent. Keywords to look for are service, communication, negotiation skills, and responsiveness.
Look for listings sold by the agent over the last several years. It will indicate the experience of the agent in getting deals through. Also, the properties sold by the agent should be near the price band that you are settling for either, as a buyer or seller.
Checking Credentials and Experience
The first thing that you should ensure is that the person has a real estate license in Tampa, FL. Only then can you be sure that you will get the best services required from a real estate agent. Further, contact an agent through a reputed real estate agency in Tampa, FL as they have only experienced agents working for them.
To be sure that a real estate agent is right for you, go for a real estate license in Tampa, FL lookup. You will know when a real estate agent in Tampa, FL has been issued a license and whether any adverse comments have been marked on the license.
Interviewing Potential Agents
Before entrusting the job of selling your home or finding one for you as a buyer, interview agents to learn more about their capabilities. The most important one here is whether they have experience selling or buying properties in your neighborhood. This is because each location has its exclusive characteristics and an agent must have in-depth knowledge about them.
If you are a seller of property, find out the strategy that an agent will employ to quickly get the house off your hands. Ask questions from interviewed agents like which marketing channels will be used, or who do they think will be the ideal buyer. Will their marketing plan include taking professional photos of the property, designing brochures, and staging?
Select an agent only after you have received satisfactory answers to all your questions.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Tampa, FL, and The Steps to Follow?
Requirements for Real Estate Licensing in Tampa, FL
To apply for a real estate license in Tampa, FL, the minimum requirement is to be at least 18 years old. You must also be a citizen of the USA. Migrants are also allowed to be real estate agents in Tampa, FL, provided they are legally allowed to work in the country. On the educational qualification front, you must have a high school diploma at least.
Completing pre-licensing education
To get your license in the real estate field, you must go through the real estate course in Tampa. The number of hours of this pre-licensing course is not standardized and each state has its requirements. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations (FDPR) stipulates that all aspiring real estate agents must go through 63 hours of coursework.
The course can be completed online or in a classroom environment. Online courses are preferred as it has the flexibility to be studied from anywhere and anytime. The selected course must be approved by the regulatory body.
Among the best course providers in Florida is RealEstateU with high-quality online courses. Our study materials are designed by experienced real estate professionals in an easy-to-understand format. The course takes you through real estate principles and best practices and the laws that govern the industry.
Scheduling and Passing the Real Estate Licensure Exam
After completing the real estate course in Tampa, there are a couple of steps to follow before you can schedule and appear for the licensing exam.
The first is to go through a background check where you will have to submit your fingerprints. It is to verify that you do not have any past criminal records. Next, apply for a real estate license by paying a fee of $83.75.
With these steps out of the way, schedule and appear for the real estate exam. On the testing day, go to the center and take the exam. You must score at least 70% to pass the exam. The results will be conveyed to you soon after at the center itself since the test is held online.
Obtaining a Real Estate License in Tampa, FL
After you pass the real estate exam, you must find a broker willing to mentor you in the initial stages of your career. Now, inform the real estate regulatory body that all the steps have been completed to be awarded your real estate license in Florida. With the license in hand, be on your way to a successful and rewarding career in the real estate industry.
Real Estate License in Tampa FL
Types of Real Estate Licenses
- Listing Agent Licenses: A listing agent acts on behalf of a seller and lists and markets a property. The agent takes care of the entire sales process.
- Buyer’s Agent License: With this license, an agent handles the entire property acquisition process on behalf of a buyer.
- Dual Agent Licenses: Here, an agent handles a property transaction on behalf of both a buyer and seller. In this case, it is necessary to balance and look after the interests of both the buyer and the seller simultaneously.
- Brokers Licenses: This type of license is awarded to brokers who have the knowledge and experience to manage real estate agents. They should also be able to handle various agents working in their brokerage.
- Salesperson Licenses: A salesperson is engaged in real estate transactions and is trained to offer the best service to buyers and sellers in real estate transactions.
Renewing Real Estate Licenses and Continuing Education Requirements
A real estate license in Tampa, FL, must be renewed every two years. This is subject to a real estate agent completing 45 hours of post-licensing education within the first two years after issuance of a license. For every subsequent two years of license renewal, it is 14 hours of coursework. For brokers, the course requirement is 60 hours within the first two years.
The renewal date for a real estate license in Tampa, FL falls within 18 months and 24 months of the first license issue date.