Looking up your real estate license can be tricky, especially if you are not familiar with how state boards of Realtors work. There are actually several different ways to do this depending on what level you currently have and what level you would like to achieve.
Some states require that you disclose your license when you tell people about yourself or your business, while other states don’t. Some ask for it during an application process, while others aren’t as thorough.
In this article we will talk about some easy ways to check whether someone is licensed before you meet them!
This article contains no recommendations to illegally conduct business under another person’s name – only things that can help you determine if someone is legitimately working in the field. It is also important to remember that just because someone has their license doesn’t mean they are any good at their job, but coming across as very knowledgeable definitely helps build their credibility.
Why should I care?
A lot of people care enough to ensure that everyone who represents themselves as being professional within the housing market is legally qualified. This includes brokers, agents, and property managers. Even if you plan to work independently as a house flipper, it is still worth checking out whether anyone else involved is legit so you aren’t wasting your time or theirs.
Check your local government website
Finding out what real estate license you need can be tricky, especially if you are just starting to explore that career path! There is no standard way to find this information, so make sure you do not assume every city has it posted.
Most major cities in America have their respective departments that handle real estate licensing, including all of its various parts- brokers, agents, salespeople, etc. Some may even have more than one title for an agent.
That makes finding information very difficult as people often use different terms for the same job. Make sure you check both the department’s homepage and the individual pages for each agent to see if they list their licenses.
Check the Florida Division of Real Estate website
Looking up your real estate license in Florida is not difficult, but it can be tricky if you do not know how! There are several ways to check whether or not you have a license, and most of them will work, just make sure you are aware of what information you find and what restrictions apply when you see that information.
The first way to determine this is by going onto the Florida Department of Business and Professional Services (DBPS) website. On their “Find A Provider” page, there is an option to search for agents and brokers. If you put in your name as a broker or agent, it will go through all possible listings for you and show if you have a license under either part 607 or 608.
There is one small difference between the two sections, though- 5% salespersons must belong to both parts. Part 607 only requires being a member, while 608 requires having active membership. This makes sense because they require you to actually sell properties, so they require someone who has sold at least three homes before requiring a full license.
Contact your local real estate board
Looking up your state’s real estate license requires going through your local board of Realtors or NAR (National Association of REALTORS). There are two main ways to do this. You can search their site directly, or you can use one of the many free source sites that connect with these professional organizations.
A great way to find out who represents you in a sale or purchase is by looking at each organization’s website. If there isn’t one, you may be able to find contact information for an individual agent within the office on their website or via their social media accounts!
The National Association of REALTOR®(NAR) and its affiliated State Associations run a “Find A Broker” program where members list themselves as brokers. This allows you to easily look them up and compare prices, services, etc. It also gives you the opportunity to read reviews and talk to other people about them.
General rules apply when using such sites. Make sure to verify that the person writing the review is actually part of the community being reviewed! Also make sure to go into enough detail to determine whether the reviewer has no affiliation with the seller or buyer mentioned.
Contact the Florida Division of Real Estate
Looking up your real estate license can be done in two ways. You can go through an agency or you can do it yourself via state regulations. Both are great options, but what is best for you will depend on how much business you want to bring in and whether you have time to invest in educating yourself.
Agencies usually get paid per transaction made so they tend to keep up with the latest changes to their licenses more thoroughly than individuals who may not receive that same incentive.
However, being able to look up your own license easily is one of the most valuable things you can do as a Realtor because you will have to update this information several times throughout your career!
So before deciding which route is better, consider both alternatives and see which ones make the most sense for you.
Examine your agent’s license
As mentioned before, being represented by an experienced real estate professional is key to having a successful transaction! Unfortunately, not every seller hires their own agents and you will have to look out for yourself here.
It’s important to do some research to determine if the person that they send you to handle all of your money is really there to take care of it. You can check into their licenses, qualifications and experience via state boards or other sources so that you know what to expect.
Make sure to compare notes with others who you are working with as well. An easy way to do this is to go onto Google and do a search “my current agency X reviews” where X is whatever agency you are looking at.
Check their references
It is your responsibility as an interested party to do research about someone before you work with them. If they don’t have any licenses, it should put you on notice that they are not trustworthy!
By doing your own background check, you will know if there are ever complaints filed against them or if they have been banned for bad behavior in the past. You can also look up public records like criminal backgrounds, lawsuits, and disciplinary action.
These things aren’t always proof of guilt, but they can be significant clues.
Check their reputation
As mentioned earlier, before you can work as an agent, you need to be licensed. Each state has its own licensing requirements for real estate agents so make sure you are familiar with them!
Some states require that you have at least one year of experience working as an agent before they will issue you a license, while others do not. Some even require that you have training or certification in order to obtain a license.
The best way to find out if someone is qualified to do something is by looking into their qualifications. You can look up individuals’ profiles on sites like LinkedIn and Google+, but you should also check out their professional websites and anything published about them.
Their profile pictures, cover photos and logos help paint a picture of who these people are, so take some time to research this information as well.
Is the agent a homeowner?
As mentioned earlier, before you can become an agent, you need to make sure that you are legally allowed to work in real estate. If this is not clear, then you cannot represent any seller or buyer as an agent!
A lot of people believe that anyone who has a house can be an agent, but this is definitely not true. Only individuals with residential real estate licenses can officially represent sellers or buyers in residential property transactions. This includes being able to act as a listing agent (representing a home for sale) and as a sales agent (representing a purchased home).
People with business licenses can also sometimes serve as agents, but only if they have formal training as an agent first. This means going through real estate school or certification programs like those we talk about here at A1 Realty.