It Happens Once A Month, And It’s The Most Interesting Thing On The Internet

Every month, the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) meets for two days at
400 West Robinson Street in Orlando, Florida (north building, top floor). The meeting starts at 8am. Parking is free. The next meeting is April 16-17 (next week).

I think every real estate licensee needs to attend at least one FREC meeting in their life. I was amazed at how much I learned the first time I attended. The first day (Tuesday) is where FREC considers applicants who have a criminal background. The criminal problems people have range from minor misdemeanors like petty theft to major felonies like murder or sexual assault. The members of the Commission consider each case individually. Most applicants are present to tell their side of the story, and some have an attorney with them. If you have to attend this as an applicant, check out my post with some tips on what to do.

The second day of the meeting (Wednesday) is where they handle current licensees who have gotten in trouble, recovery fund cases, escrow disbursement orders, and any rule changes or other issues. To me, this is the more interesting day of the two. This is also the day where you can get continuing education credit for attending.

When licensees get in trouble, I believe about half of them have good intent and just didn’t know the law or made an honest mistake. The other half are just plain scamsters. You can see what the mistake folks are doing wrong so you don’t make the same mistake. (I’m assuming if you are in the scamsters category you aren’t reading this blog.)

FREC also discusses potential rule and law changes. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about advertising for both teams and individuals, the requirements to become a broker, and continuing education for instructors. I’ve been there almost every month to see the process unfold. I’ve even participated in the process because citizens are allowed to make comments.

If you don’t live in Orlando, or don’t want to go downtown for the day, you can watch the meeting online! The Wednesday meeting is live streamed. This is something that they’ve only been doing for about a year, and I love it. Sometimes I can’t make it to the live meeting, but I can pop in and out throughout the day to see what is going on. Check out this website to find a link to the live stream and the agendas so you can see what they are discussing.

Too often, laws or rules are passed and people complain that the powers that be are pushing their will down on the people. Actually, you can go to the meeting and participate in the process. (This is true in all areas of government, not just real estate.) America does not have rule by the majority. We have rule by the people who participate in the process. At the FREC meeting, you can participate in the process.

If you attend a meeting in person, I’ll probably be there. Please come up and introduce yourself.

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 |2021-08-25T14:17:11-04:00April 12th, 2019|

Three Answers To Three Questions That You Might See On The Florida Real Estate Exam

There are three number laws that my students tell me are on the Florida real estate sales associate exam. I call them number laws because they are referred to by the chapter number in the statute, such as Chapter 475.  Some laws are referred to by their name like Fair Housing Act or Sherman-Clayton Anti-Trust Act.  There is probably a better way to describe them then number laws, but it works for me.

The ones we need to know are:

  • Chapter 475, F.S. – Florida Real Estate License Law
  • Chapter 455, F. S. – Rules of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).  These are the laws that apply to all professional licenses, not just real estate licenses.
  • Chapter 61J2, F.A.C. – Rules of the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC)

You might just be inclined to make three flash cards right now – one card for each of these laws. You need to know the number and what the law is.

These will not be brain-buster questions.  They will be questions like:

The rules of the FREC are described in:

a. Chapter 455, F.S.
b. Chapter 475, F.S.
c. Chapter 61J2, F.A.C
d. Chapter 61Q2, F.A.C

Of course, the answer is C.  That is one easy point on the state exam.

If I can help you pass the Florida real estate exam, or if you are looking for a great career in real estate, please give me a call.  I’m at Demetree School of Real Estate.

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 |2021-08-25T14:35:14-04:00March 15th, 2018|

What To Do When Your Florida Real Estate License Application Is Denied

If you get a letter that says you have to appear before the Florida Real Estate Commission, your chances are better than half that you will be approved for your Florida real estate license. I don’t know the exact statistics, but when I’m sitting in the meeting, it seems that most people get approved. If you want to know how to increase your odds of getting approved, read this post.

Here is something that no one tells you: if you aren’t approved, you can get most of your application fee refunded. The $83.75 that you pay initially includes the application processing plus your initial license fee. What if you don’t get your initial license, should you have to pay that? No. That’s why the state is willing to refund most of what you pay. They are willing to refund $69.00. They won’t automatically send this money to you – you have to request it.

How do you request it? You send this form to the Division of Real Estate, and wait for the check. It’s like a tax refund. When you get it, it feels like free money (even though it is really your money). It might take a little bit of the sting out of the denial.

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 |2021-08-25T14:37:54-04:00February 8th, 2018|

Live From the FREC Meeting – What Is An Escrow Disbursement Order?

I’m sitting in the FREC meeting listening to EDOs.  What do all those acronyms mean?  More importantly, what do we need to know for the Florida real estate exam?

Members of the Florida Real Estate Commission are meeting for their monthly meeting. Every month, they issue escrow disbursement orders on several cases.

So let’s say that Buyer Black gives a $5,000 deposit to Real Estate Agent Ron.  Ron gives it to his broker by the end of the next business day.  The broker deposits it in the bank by the end of the third business day.  So far, so good.

Seller Sam accepts the offer.  They are closing in two weeks.

Well, something happens between now and closing and the deal goes south.  Buyer Black says, “Give me my deposit back.”

Seller Sam says, “You don’t get the deposit.  I get the deposit.”

Real Estate Agent Ron is stuck in the middle with the $5,000.  He has to give it to somebody but he’s not sure who.  This is call conflicting demands.  In this case, the first thing you should do is notify FREC within 15 days that we have a conflicting demand problem.

After that, you have to implement one of the four escape procedures or settlement procedures within 30 days.  The four procedures are mediate, escrow disbursement order, arbitrate, litigate.  I call this No Meal because if you have a conflicting demand problem, you are not getting your commission, which means you are getting No Meal.

NOtify FREC
Mediate
Escrow Disbursement Order
Arbitrate
Litigate

So let’s talk about each of the four escape procedures…

Mediate – This is where we hire a professional mediator.  The mediator says, “Give the money to the buyer.”  But this is non-binding so if the seller is not happy, he can sue.

Escrow Disbursement Order – This is where the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) decides. That’s what’s happening right now at the meeting.  The members of the Commission heard from the buyers and sellers in each case, and they decide who gets the money.

Arbitrate – This is where we hire a professional arbitrator and the arbitrator decides.  If the arbitrator says, “Give the money to the seller,” the buyer can’t sue.  Why not?  Because this is binding.  We agreed beforehand that no one would sue anyone.

Litigate – This is where we go to court and let the judge decide.

The two parties can choose any of the four things.  There is no hierarchy, so one is not better than the other.  Whatever method the buyer and seller agree to is fine.  Let’s say that they decide to go the EDO route.  The broker requests an escrow disbursement order.  The two parties realize that this is going to take a while, so one of them sues the other.  At that point, the broker has 10 days to notify FREC, “Never mind.  We don’t need your EDO anymore.  We’ve got it covered.”

In summary, notify FREC within 15 days.  Implement one of the for escape procedures within 30 days.  If you request an EDO, then decide to go another route, notify FREC within 10 days that you don’t need the EDO.

If you want to see this in action, come on down to the FREC meeting.  If you missed this one, they meet every month.  This is almost as much fun as real estate school was.

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 |2021-08-25T14:39:00-04:00January 17th, 2018|

Real Estate Recovery Fund In Action – Live From The Florida Real Estate Commission Meeting

I am attending a meeting of the Florida Real Estate Commission. Right now, the Commission is voting on Real Estate Recovery Fund cases.  So, I thought I would talk about what we need to know on the state exam regarding the Real Estate Recovery Fund…

  1. The maximum that will be awarded is $50,000 per transaction or $150,000 per licensee over their lifetime.  There was a case today where 53 people were involved in one case against one licensee.
    The Commission awarded them $34,450 for the entire group to divide up as they see appropriate. It’s not $34,450 per person.
  2. The Recovery Fund will only pay actual damages. If the licensee cheats a citizen out of $10,000, but the judge awards the citizen $25,000 ($10,000 for real damages, $10,000 in punitive damages, and $5,000 for court costs and attorney fees), the Recovery Fund will only pay $10,000.
    There was a case today where the attorney wanted the Recovery Fund to pay her fees. FREC voted to give the real damages to the client, and the client can choose what to do with that money. They would not give the money to the attorney for her fees.
  3. Where do the Recovery Fund monies come from? From fees and fines. Fees that each licensee pays when they renew their license, and fines from when licensees are penalized.
  4. When the Recovery Fund pays money to a citizen because of a licensee, that licensee’s license is suspended until the licensee pays the Recovery Fund back plus interest. This is an automatic suspension and mandatory suspension.

So, in short, we need to know:

  • Maximum payout is $50,000 per transaction and $150,000 per licensee.
  • Recovery Fund will only pay real damages, not punitive damages (pain and suffering money) and attorney fees or court costs.
  • Recovery Fund money comes from fines and fees.
  • When the Fund pays money because of you, your license is suspended until you pay it back plus interest.

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 |2021-08-25T14:45:12-04:00October 18th, 2017|
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