Real Estate School Packages – Are They Worth It?

This is a very common conversation I have….

Caller:   I went to a real estate school where my teacher wasn’t very good.  I saw your YouTube videos about passing the state exam and I was wondering if you can help me.

Karen:   Yes.  I have a three-day state exam review at Demetree School of Real Estate coming up.  Would you like to register for that?

Caller:   I already paid for a review class at this other school.  I bought a package from them.  I wish I hadn’t bought it.

Karen:   Well, you can ask the school for a refund for the review class portion of the package.

Caller:   They don’t give refunds after the first day of class, even though the review class hasn’t started.

Karen:   Well, I guess you saved a few bucks in tuition, but ultimately you got the short end of that stick.


Many schools offer packages for the students.  The package might include the pre-licensing class plus a review class.  Or maybe they throw in an extra book or software program.  I’ve even heard of packages that include the pre-licensing class and the post-licensing class, which you don’t need for another year or two.

The packages might save the students about $30-$50, but more often than not they benefit the school, not the student.  Once you have paid for the two classes, the school doesn’t have as much motivation to serve you.  They already have your money for two classes.  Or maybe they are selling you more than you need before you realize you don’t need it.

If you don’t buy a package, then the school has to impress you enough to make you want to sign up for another class with them.  Many Orlando real estate schools do not have that level of confidence in their instructors, hence the need for packages.  I think everyone has had the experience of registering for a class, then not clicking with the instructor.  The instructor might even be considered a good instructor, but he’s not a good instructor for you.  It’s too bad you’ve already paid for so much time with this person.

Another reason I don’t recommend you purchase a package is that when you first register for class, you don’t really know what you need.  Not everyone takes a review class.  I took the 63-hour pre-licensing class, studied like crazy, then passed on the first try.  I didn’t take a state exam review.  Is that the best way to do it?  Probably not, but it worked for me.  Maybe you want a book instead of a software program.  Maybe you want an audio program, but not a book.

When you walk into the registration office, you don’t know yet if you need a review class or an extra math book or a subscription to a review service.  Wait until you take the class and have a better feel for what is going on.  If it turns out you need supplemental material, buy it then.  If you don’t need it, you can use that extra money for something else.

Even when I do private tutoring, I book one session at a time.  Sometimes someone will call and tell me that they are going to need A LOT of tutoring.  I always say, “Let’s schedule one session to start.  When that is finished, you will know if you need more.”  That way, if the person doesn’t like me (very rare!) or decides they don’t need any more tutoring, they haven’t already paid for anymore sessions.

In my next post, I’ll tell you what to do if you’ve already purchased a package somewhere and wish you hadn’t.

Please note that I, Karen Climer, have no affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  My father, Ron Climer, sold that school in 2014.  Since that time, I have had no affiliation with that school.  If you are looking for me, you will find me at Demetree School of Real Estate.

By |2023-05-28T19:52:19-04:00July 9th, 2019|

Should I Take A Live Class or Online Class To Get My Florida Real Estate License?

I often get phone calls from people who are trying to get their Florida real estate sales associate license asking whether it is better to take the class online or live in a classroom. Here’s my answer: if you have a good instructor, the classroom version is better. If you have a bad instructor, and are going to end up teaching yourself anyway, you’d be better off with the online version.

There are two reasons I prefer classroom to online. First, the classroom version has a structured time. You start at 8am because the instructor says it starts at 8am. Frequently, I talk to people who went the online route because they could do it for a few hours after work each day. They want the flexibility. Six months later, they are still trying to find the time to finish the class. If you plan to do the online class when you have time, you will never have time. You have to make the time. The classroom version of the class solves that problem for you.

The flexibility of online classes can be a great benefit or the reason you never finish.

The second reason and more important reason that I prefer the live class is that a good instructor will tell you what is important. In any class, there are things that are more important than others. For example, in driving it is more important to know how to operate the brake pedal than it is to know how to parallel park. An online course that consists of a series of slides may not be able to emphasize that the same way a live person can. When studying for the real estate exam, there are certain aspects that I would bet a thousand dollars would be on the state exam. Other areas of the law are pretty unlikely to be on the exam. I can tell my students that. An online series of slides doesn’t always convey what is important and what is not so important.

I can also be more relevant than an online class. It’s easy for me to adjust my class to say, “This came up in the FREC meeting last week…” or “A student who passed the exam Saturday told me this…” An online class is updated every two years as required by law, but they aren’t going to update it more frequently unless a law changes.

So, if you call and ask me if you should take an online class or a live class, I’m going to always recommend the live class with a good instructor. If you are looking for a class like that, give me a call and I’ll be happy to tell you what my teaching schedule is.

Please note that neither I, nor anyone in the Climer family, have any affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  My father, Ron Climer, sold Climer School of Real Estate in 2014.  You can find me at Demetree School of Real Estate.


By |2021-08-25T14:15:42-04:00April 22nd, 2019|

Florida Does Not Have A National Real Estate Test

Florida does not have a national test.  In many states, there are two portions of their real estate exam – state and national.  If you fail one portion, you only have to retake that portion.  That’s not the case in Florida.

In Florida, there is one test that covers both state and federal laws (plus principles, practices, and math!).  If you fail the test, you fail the test.  Why do I bring this up?

There are many online exam prep websites that sell a national practice test.  Don’t waste your money.  If you want to spend money on a practice test, I recommend this practice test bank or Linda Crawford’s Florida Real Estate Exam Manual.  If you don’t want that, be sure that the practice test you are using is from a school located in Florida.

I frequently get calls from people who spent money on a national exam prep program because the website said it would help you with the Florida test.  It will help you with a handful of questions, but that’s it.  Save your money and attend a FLORIDA-based review course, buy Linda Crawford’s FLORIDA real estate exam manual, or hire a FLORIDA instructor for tutoring.  That way, you can pass the FLORIDA test the first time you take it.

Please note that neither I, nor anyone in the Climer family, have any affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  My father, Ron Climer, sold Climer School of Real Estate in 2014.  You can find me at Demetree School of Real Estate.

By |2023-10-19T11:22:52-04:00March 18th, 2019|

What Is An Option Contract? (Part 2)

In my last post, I described what an option contract is. I promised that I would have more about what we need to know specifically for the Florida sales associate state exam in this post.

You are likely to see questions about option contract on the Florida real estate state exam.

First, an option contract is unilateral contract binding upon the optionor. The optionor is the seller. Using the story from my previous post, Demetree is the optionor because he gave the option to Disney, who is the optionee. The contract is unilateral because Disney doesn’t have to buy. However, if Disney wants to buy, Demetree has to sell.

We also need to know that an option contract requires consideration. Token consideration doesn’t count. In the previous post, Disney paid $25,000 for the option to purchase the property. That’s a decent amount of money. If Disney had paid $50, the contract would not have been enforceable because that is considered token consideration. Additionally, if the $25,000 had been refundable if Disney decided not to buy, then it is not consideration.

Lastly, real estate licensees are allowed to buy options on contracts but they must divest themselves of their role as licensees. In other words, the licensee needs to disclose that she is a licensee, but that is not acting as a licensee in this transaction. If they don’t divest themselves, and they don’t pay consideration, then it is basically a listing agreement. In this case, they would be entitled to a commission.

If you have any questions about option contracts or anything else on the Florida real estate state exam, give me a call. I’m happy to help. By the way, I answer my own phone. If you call 407-493-3974, you will reach me.

Please note that neither I, nor anyone in the Climer family, have any affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  My father, Ron Climer, sold Climer School of Real Estate in 2014.  You can find me at Demetree School of Real Estate.


By |2021-08-25T14:18:59-04:00March 2nd, 2019|

What Is An Option Contract?

There are 12 questions on the Florida real estate sales associate exam about contracts. Twelve questions! This is an important section! One of the things we need to know about contracts is what an option contract is. Today, not only do you get to learn what an option contract is, you get to learn a little bit of Orlando history from an Orlando native.

Back in the 1960s, there were three people who owned land in south Orange County.  Jack Demetree owned 12,000 acres.  Irlo Bronson owned 7,000 acres.  And the Goldstein family owned 1,800 acres.  A mysterious man came into town using a fake name.  He was an attorney who represented a developer called Reedy Creek Ranch.  You may have heard of the Reedy Creek Water District or Reedy Creek Fire Department.  It’s Disney World. 

Is this a map of south Orange County in the 50s and 60s? Or is this Karen’s drawing to teach option contracts?

So this attorney for Reedy Creek meets Demetree and says, “I want to buy your land.” 

Demetree says, “Great.  I want to sell this land.” 

They agree on a price on $125 an acre.  But Mr. Reedy Creek says, “Here’s the thing… if these other people won’t sell, I don’t want your property.  I have to get all three pieces in order for my project to work.  But, I don’t want to buy those two pieces and then have you raise the price on me.  So here’s what I’m going to do…I’m going to give you $25,000 for you to take your property off the market for six months.  You can’t sell it to anyone else.  I want to have the option to buy it.

“In other words, if I come back in the next six months, you have to sell it to me for $125 an acre, and the $25,000 counts toward the purchase price.  If I don’t come back in six months, you can keep the $25,000 as payment for your troubles. How does that sound?”

Well, we know how Demetree answered that question. We also know that Disney ultimately exercised their option.

That’s all there is to it. That’s what an option contract is. In my next post, I’ll write a few more details about an option contract that you need to know for the Florida real estate sales associate exam.

Please note that neither I, nor anyone in the Climer family, have any affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  My father, Ron Climer, sold Climer School of Real Estate in 2014.  You can find me at Demetree School of Real Estate.  If you are looking for me, want to take a real estate class with me, or want to learn more Orlando history, call me at 407-493-3974.


By |2021-08-25T14:19:36-04:00February 25th, 2019|
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