Sometimes, you need more from a realtor than just real estate services. If you are interested in flipping houses, you will need the help of both a general contractor and realtor in Florida.
But can you save time and money by finding someone who is both a general contractor and realtor in Florida? Here we explore what a general contractor is, how they can help you, whether you need a general contractor license to flip houses, and whether a realtor can be a general contractor. Follow along as we take a deep dive into the marriage of real estate and general contractor professions.
What is a General Contractor and What Can a General Contractor Do?
A general contractor can perform a myriad of services including:
- Build, repair and remodel any building
- Build or alter the structural components of a building or structure
- Remodel any commercial or residential property
- Perform clearing, grubbing, grading, excavation and any site work for any construction project
- Install and perform warranty repairs of wood shingles, wood shakes or shingle roofing on new buildings when it’s of your own construction
- Perform structural work on swimming pools
- Construct main sanitary sewer collection systems, storm collection systems and water distribution systems
Do I Need a Real Estate Contractor License to Flip Houses?
If you are planning on doing the general contractor work yourself when flipping houses, you need a general contractor license.
Florida State Statute §489.113 states that any person who engages in work as a general contractor in the state of Florida must be licensed. The licensure must be through the state licensure board.
There are definite benefits to having a general contractor license when flipping houses. Some investors prefer to work on their own properties. Doing so can potentially save time and money for several reasons. Because you are in control of how fast the work goes, you can theoretically speed up the process, saving valuable time. Being in control of the materials used and making all the repairs yourself will save you a significant amount of money on labor costs. There’s also an intangible benefit of knowing that the job is done right because you did it yourself!
However, having your own general contractor license requires years of experience and know-how, not to mention the time and money it takes to pass the necessary licensing exams. Most home flippers will not flip enough houses to make getting their own license worth the time, effort and expense.
Legal Issues for a General Contractor and Realtor in Florida
However, the waters get a little bit murkier when you are a realtor who is also attempting to perform general contracting work. There can be serious penalties for both of your careers if you don’t follow the regulations of the relevant licensure entities to the letter.
If you complete work on a building or structure without a contractor license, you will soon receive a cease and desist order. To enforce the order, the department may file a proceeding against you seeking an injunction or writ of mandamus. You must then stop work and can be subject to fines and other penalties as well as legal liability to the affected parties.
Even if you have a license, if you violate one of the provisions of Florida State Statute Chapter §489, the Board can find you guilty of fraud or willful building code violation. As a penalty, they can suspend or revoke your general contractor license.
The penalties don’t stop there. If you are found guilty of fraud or willful building code violation under the general contractor laws, the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) can also revoke or suspend your real estate license.
So what does all that mean? Simply put, if you are a real estate agent that performs contractor work without the appropriate state general contractor license you can be:
- Subject to fines
- Have the value of the property you completed work on diminished minus the value of the work done
- Be responsible for the cost of redoing the work completed, closing costs and attorney fees
- Have your real estate license suspended or revoked
- Be subject to lawsuits by the affected parties including the homebuyer and home seller
Can a General Contractor Be a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Florida?
So, can a general contractor be a licensed real estate agent in Florida?
Yes, a general contractor can be a licensed real estate agent in Florida and vice versa as long as they go through the necessary licensure process and follow all the relevant laws and licensure guidelines. Having someone who is both a general contractor and realtor in Florida can save you time, money and hassle when you are flipping houses.
Anthony Loffredo is Your Choice for Comprehensive Real Estate Services
When you work with Anthony Loffredo, you get the best of both worlds. With a combination of 35 years of experience as a general contractor and licensed real estate broker, Anthony has intimate and extensive knowledge of both the real estate and general contracting spheres. Anthony is your one-stop shop for all your real estate needs. Whether you need to buy or sell a home or plan to start flipping houses, Anthony can guide you through the process and help you avoid costly mistakes.
To begin buying, selling, or flipping a house in Florida, call Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Loffredo Real Estate Group today at (561) 220-5015. You can also visit our office in Delray Beach or complete the form below or contact us here.