Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Exam Study Guide
The Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Exam is a professional exam required for an individual to earn their real estate license in Florida. The test consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, with questions roughly divided between addressing national topics and state-specific topics. The questions are divided into 16 content categories of knowledge related to real estate practice and regulations in the industry. These topics include real estate law, disclosures, brokerage activities, property valuation, contracts, deeds, and more. The Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Exam Study Guide covers these and other topics related to Florida's real estate industry.
|Topic||% of Questions|
|The Real Estate Business||1% (≈ 1 question)|
|License Law and Qualifications for Licensure||6% (≈ 6 questions)|
|Real Estate License Law and Commission Rules||2% (≈ 2 questions)|
|Authorized Relationships, Duties and Disclosures||7% (≈ 7 questions)|
|Real Estate Brokerage Activities and Procedures||12% (≈ 12 questions)|
|Violations of License Law, Penalties and Procedures||3% (≈ 3 questions)|
|Federal and State Laws Pertaining to Real Estate||3% (≈ 3 questions)|
|Property Rights: Estates, Tenancies; Condominiums, Homeowner Associations, and Time-Sharing||85 (≈ 8 questions)|
|Titles, Deeds, and Ownership Restrictions||7% (≈ 7 questions)|
|Legal Descriptions||5% (≈ 5 questions)|
|Real Estate Contracts||12% (≈ 12 questions)|
|Residential Mortgages||9% (≈ 9 questions)|
|Types of Mortgages and Sources of Financing||4% (≈ 4 questions)|
|Real Estate Related Computations and Closing of Transactions||6% (≈ 6 questions)|
|Real Estate Markets and Analysis||1% (≈ 1 question)|
|Real Estate Appraisal||8% (≈ 8 questions)|
|Real Estate Investments and Business Opportunity Brokerage||2% (≈ 2 questions)|
|Taxes Affecting Real Estate||3% (≈ 3 questions)|
|Planning and Zoning||1% (≈ 1 question)|
The Real Estate Business (1%)
The Real Estate Business section of the exam explores the basic details of the real estate industry, the people within it, and the interaction of the real estate industry with other organizations. Although this section only has one question, that question may address any of a variety of topics. This can include introductory information about the real estate industry, the interaction of the real estate industry and real estate professionals with government organizations or professional real estate organizations, the role of the real estate industry in development and construction projects, and the activities of a real estate brokerage.
License Law and Qualifications for Licensure (6%)
The second topic section of the Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Exam is the License Law and Qualifications for Licensure section. This section explores the legislation and requirements for an individual to gain real estate licensure in the state. The six questions in this section may explore the development of licensure law in Florida, the different types of real estate licenses in the state, the requirements for a person to earn each type of license, and the educational requirements for a person to maintain or renew their license. Additionally, questions may address the registration and licensure process, activities that require a real estate license, and activities or individuals exempt from needing a real estate license.
Real Estate License Law and Commission Rules (2%)
The third section of the exam is the Real Estate License Law and Commission Rules. This topic addresses the Florida Real Estate Commission and how it oversees the real estate industry in the set. This includes the duties of the commission and its powers to set many of the common regulations, investigate transgressions, provide real estate licenses to those who qualify, and impose penalties for transgressions. Other questions may address regulations from the Department of Business and Regulations (DBPR) and the Florida Real Estate Commission and how these regulations relate.
Authorized Relationships, Duties and Disclosures (7%)
The Authorized Relationships, Duties and Disclosures section of the exam explore the concept of agency, the duties of an agent, professional ethics, brokerage relationships, and the process of a sales associate becoming a real estate broker. Questions in this section may examine the candidate's knowledge of the laws surrounding agency relationships, types of brokers and agents, the duty to disclose agent or brokerage status during a real estate transaction, and a variety of conditions classified as misrepresentation or fraud in the eyes of the law or the eyes of professional ethics standards for real estate.
Real Estate Brokerage Activities and Procedures (12%)
The Real Estate Brokerage Activities and Procedures section of the exam explores common or daily practices in the real estate industry that apply to brokerages, which are business entities that employ brokers and agents, often with brokers overseeing and supervising the work of sales associates. For example, questions in this category explore regulations surrounding the advertising or properties and real estate companies, rules involving the creation and handling of trust accounts, regulations for the establishment of brokerage offices and the display of licenses, commissions that brokers can earn, compliance with anti-trust laws, and activities permitted to unlicensed assistants.
Violations of License Law, Penalties and Procedures (3%)
The Violations of License Law, Penalties and Procedures section explores the process of investigating and punishing real estate transgressions by the state's real estate commission. While some violations may be criminal transgressions, the commission specifically deals with professional penalties but may provide evidence to law enforcement to handle the criminal prosecution of transgressors. Questions in this section explore the seven steps in the complaint submission and investigation process, the types of violations that may occur, how penalties are determined, and the types of penalties imposed. Additional questions may explore common legal terms surrounding license law for real estate and the establishment of the Real Estate Recovery Fund.
Federal and State Laws Pertaining to Real Estate (3%)
Although there are only three questions in the Federal and State Laws Pertaining to Real Estate, real estate sales associate candidates must know each of the highlighted laws in-depth to avoid committing transgressions during their career. These laws include both state and federal Fair Housing laws meant to avoid housing discrimination and to comply with some sections of the Americans with Disabilities Act regarding reasonable accommodations. Other questions may address environmental regulations, restrictions on land development, federal regulations on mortgage lending, and Florida's regulations for rental properties.
Property Rights: Estates, Tenancies; Condominiums, Homeowner Associations, and Time-Sharing (8%)
The Property Rights: Estates, Tenancies; Condominiums, Homeowner Associations, and Time-Sharing section of the exam explores what defines property and differentiates real property from personal property. Questions in this section also explore property rights, types of property ownership, types of estates and tenancies, homestead laws, and joint-interest ownership. Types of estates and tenancies that may be addressed by questions in this section include life estates, tenancy in common, joint tenancy, tenancy at will, and others. Joint-interest ownerships that may appear on the exam include cooperatives (co-ops), condominiums (condos), and timeshares.
Titles, Deeds, and Ownership Restrictions (7%)
The Title, Deeds, and Ownership Restrictions section of the exam explores the characteristics of title and deeds, how the two types of documents relate to each other, the title transfer process, and ownership restrictions that may be incorporated into a deed. Questions in this section may discuss the characteristics of a title and what that grants the title holder, the process of acquiring a title through a real estate transaction and the issues involved in the title search, types of deeds, the purpose of deeds, and clauses incorporated in deeds. Finally, questions may explore encumbrances set on the ownership of a property, such as easements, liens, and deed restrictions.
Legal Descriptions (5%)
The Legal Descriptions section of the exam explores how property is legally described based on physical descriptions and uses. There are approximately five questions in this section and they address both the purposes of legal descriptions for a property and the types of descriptions one may encounter. The types of legal descriptions include metes and bounds that set the boundaries of a parcel, lot and block for residential parcel locations, and government survey systems used to determine the boundaries of a parcel if the boundaries are unknown, unclear, or contested. Finally, there may be mathematical questions related to legal descriptions, such as those asking a candidate to calculate the measurements of the lot or structures.
Real Estate Contracts (12%)
The Real Estate Contracts section is one of the larger sections of the exam, including 12 of the 100 exam questions. Questions in this section explore the required elements of a contract to be included during contract preparation, different categories of contracts and the types of contracts commonly encountered in real estate, and the contract negotiation process. Questions also explore fraud legislation, property transfers, and the mandatory disclosures about a property that may be incorporated in the listing contract, the sales contract, or as a contingency allowing the buyer to void the contract if an adverse condition is encountered. Disclosures typically address material defects in a structure, building codes and taxes, changes to the surrounding area through community development, and the presence of hazardous substances like radon, lead paint, or asbestos.
Residential Mortgages (9%)
The Residential Mortgages section of the exam explores the type of real estate financing only used for home purchases rather than commercial or industrial properties. The nine questions in this section explore several types of mortgages, such as those backed by the Veterans Administration (VA) or Federal Housing Authority (FHA). The questions can also explore legal theories related to mortgages, clauses included in the mortgage contract, financial mathematics, the loan process from selecting the types of loans or financing through the application and closing process, and different types of loan instruments.
Types of Mortgages and Sources of Financing (4%)
The Types of Mortgages and Sources of Financing section of the exam addresses the loans used to purchase real estate. Questions in this section explore both the primary and secondary mortgage markets, asking candidates to differentiate between them based on their characteristics. Questions also discuss federal regulatory bodies that oversee the mortgage industry and how they do this, mortgage fees that can be charged as part of the application and loan origination costs, types of mortgages a customer may select based on their credit and specific needs at the time, and the characteristics of the mortgage market in general.
Real Estate Related Computations and Closing of Transactions (6%)
The Real Estate Related Computations and Closing of Transactions section focuses on the mathematical skills required to perform the work of a real estate sales associate as well as crafting or interpreting the various closing statements produced as part of a real estate transaction. While most mathematical calculations in real estate involve pricing, financing, fees, and taxes, real estate sales associates must also know how to determine a parcel's acreage and the structure's square footage. The closing statements of a transaction include the financial accounting of the transaction, including the financing closing statements provided by the lender, and the full cost of the sale to deduct from the seller's proceeds when calculating taxable profits.
Real Estate Markets and Analysis (1%)
The Real Estate Markets and Analysis section of the exam is fairly short, including only one question out of the 100 on the exam. However, it addresses a vital topic that greatly influences the real estate appraisals and value estimates explored in the next section. This section explores the characteristics and changeability of real estate markets as well as how to evaluate the conditions of the market to understand current changes and anticipate changes in the near future. This knowledge can help a real estate sales associate advise clients who are selling or want to buy a property as well as help sales associates set asking prices.
Real Estate Appraisal (8%)
The Real Estate Appraisal section of the exam contains eight of the 100 questions a test-taker will encounter. This section addresses official real estate appraisals as well as the value estimation process done by real estate associates to gauge the value when creating listings and offers. Questions in this section explore the regulations set for professional appraisals and when appraisals are required rather than estimations. Other questions explore the three major approaches to estimating value, the use of comparative market analysis to adjust prices based on market characteristics and activity, and the use of a broker price opinion (BPO).
Real Estate Investments and Business Opportunity Brokerage (2%)
The Real Estate Investment and Business Opportunity Brokerage section refers to the rules and practices surrounding investment and properties acquired by a brokerage. As these agencies tend to be the main employers of real estate sale associates, an associate will often be involved in the purchasing process and should know a bit about this topic. Questions on this part of the exam explore the concept of real estate investments, how to evaluate a property for its investment potential, risks commonly experienced with real estate investment, mitigating potential investment risks, using leverage to enhance profitability, and the characteristics of a business brokerage.
Taxes Affecting Real Estate (3%)
The Taxes Affecting Real Estate section only has three questions, but it covers a wide range of different taxes that apply to real estate. This includes property taxes collected by municipalities and counties, as well as income tax collected by the federal government on the sale of a property. Questions may include calculations to determine property taxes based on hypothetical tax information for a location and property. Questions may also involve title transfer taxes or fees, sales taxes for a property, and even the income tax charged to agents for their shares of the commission.
Planning and Zoning (1%)
There is only one question on the exam that falls under the planning and zoning topic category, despite the wide range of potential questions covered by this topic. Questions candidates may face include identifying the role of local planning agencies and how they may operate as part of a larger municipal government, the planning process, various zoning laws one may encounter and the agencies responsible for enforcing the zoning restrictions and other property or building codes, and the Growth and Community planning act developed by the Florida legislature. Questions on the planning process may include any part of the process from the initial designs to liability after the sale.
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