Who can sell real estate in Florida?
All Florida real estate licensees are fingerprinted and checked out by the FBI, before being granted a license.
In addition to this, most real estate licensees go on to become Realtors, which means they are members of the National Association of Realtors, the State Association of Realtors (in our case, Florida) and the local Association of Realtors (in our case, Orlando). This means more required education, a higher Code of Ethics and more annual fees.
Since licensees are subject to public scrutiny (any violations or complaints are documented), then most licensees, having worked hard to get and maintain their license, will conduct themselves in an honorable and legal manner at all times. Any infractions of our strict codes and regulations may result in fines, suspension or revocation of license and even criminal prosecution.
The only time anyone can sell real estate in the State of Florida without being licensed is if they are on the payroll of a new home builder, earning a salary and promoting only the product of that specific builder, or of course if they are selling property that they own in their own personal or company name.
What does this
mean to you, as a buyer?
There is less chance of a real estate buyer in Florida being scammed than there is in places like the UK, where there are currently no licensing laws and regulations. As well as all real estate contracts in Florida being standard, all real estate transactions are public record, as are any violations by real estate licensees.
Caveat Emptor! (Buyer Beware!)
Throughout our years of dealing with UK buyers, we have noticed a great increase in UK companies (mostly unlicensed) promoting Florida property in a very biased manner. Many of these companies are steering buyers towards new homes in specific developments, telling people that their product is the best and most desirable. You, as a buyer are therefore never going to get the complete picture of what is available in our market, which means you will not be able to make the best decision, based on comparison. We realize that there are many UK companies, working together legitimately with fully licensed real estate companies, such as Dolby Properties, but we are referring to those who are not and therefore limited to promoting certain new home builders. We suggest that if you do want to work with a UK company promoting Florida properties, that you ask them whom they represent and if they are working with a licensed Florida Real Estate Broker.
Please remember that if you plan to work with an unlicensed person, you have no means of verifying their history and you are not protected.