Home Buying in Haymakertown>Question Details

Curtiss, Home Buyer in Sharpsburg, GA

hope this isnt a dumb question.. What is the difference between a broker and agent.. Certain requirements? Just wasnt sure if i need a broker or agent

Asked by Curtiss, Sharpsburg, GA Sun Dec 4, 2011

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Debbie's answer covers the question pretty well. In support of her argument, I am currently a "Broker" in Illinois. That broker's license (which effective April of 2012 all Illinois agents will be required to hold) doesn't, in and of itself, get you any better service, or quality of agent, in my opinion.

I'm not a better agent because I'm a broker. Yes, I'm required to take more 'continuing education', and yes, I had to take more classwork in order to become a broker. But I know plenty of agents who passed those courses along with me and became a broker, who in my opinion aren't qualified to operate a pencil without supervision.

And I know plenty of agents who are not brokers, who are dedicated, and offer excellent service to their clientele.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 5, 2011
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
In short, and in most cases, an agent works under a broker. A broker may own, manage or be an associate of the owner of the office. Brokers generally have more experience and education than agents, but I know some great agents who could be brokers, but have elected not to pursue the added responsibility.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 4, 2011
No questions are dumb..and yours happens to be a good question!

The requirements to obtain a Broker's license vary from state to state, but generally they require a certain amount of experience, and multiple hours of classroom time, plus the passing of a state exam.
In order to run an office, one must be a Broker.
In order to sell real estate one must only be a licensed agent.

Everyone starts out as an agent.......which also requires classroom time and passing a state exam.

In my area, the agents, primarily, are the ones in the trenches, doing most of the business.......the Brokers run the offices.
There are, however, a number of broker-associates who have obtained a broker's license, and list and sell real estate just like any "agent" does.

In my opinion, you don't "need" a Broker.
What you need is someone who is professional and experienced...has integrity.... and has expertise in your geographical area with a strong knowledge of the market....someone who has a good track record and reputation to go along with it!

No offense to the Brokers out there, but a few more hours of class time doesn't necessarily equate with better service and better knowledge of the profession.

Hope this helps!

Best wishes Curtiss!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 4, 2011
Curtiss - Not a dumb question at all! Sometimes us Real estate professionals forget that we talk in "code" and that the general public has no idea what we are talkiing about. Broker vs. Agent is explained very well below. Feel free to ask any other questions you may have, we are here to help!
The Marie Souza Team - Top Selling on Cape Cod
Cape Cod Real Estate Services
508-790-2000 * info@mariesouzateam.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 5, 2011
A broker (a person with a broker's license) has taken more classes and therefore has more expanded knowledge than an agent (a person with a basic real estate license). You must serve as a standard realtor (agent) for a minimum of two years before your can apply to become a broker.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 5, 2011
I agree. The ONLY true requirement for a real estate agent/broker is HONESTY and INTEGRITY - in other words, excellent customer service.

At least in theory, a newly licensed agent should be able to do just as good job as a broker - if the newly licensed agent is superviced by a good, knowledgeable, and communicative broker.

The only difference is that the newly licensed agent needs to ask the broker IF they encounter something they do not know and they need to know what questions to ask - one cannot ask a question unless they know there is potential for a problem - while an agent who is also a broker is expected to know and most of the time does know the answers to all these questions :-)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 5, 2011
That's actually a very good question. It's already been answered well, and Debbie makes some particularly valid points. Although the terms sometimes are used interchangeably, they're not the same thing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 5, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA

Agent is a sales person licensed to sell real estate. Every agent by law must be affiliated with a broker, even if just to hang his/her license.

Broker on the other hand had to pass one more exam - in addition to the sales person licensing exam - and can work independently, start his/her own brokerage, or act a managing broker.

To sell a home or real estate property, you need to hire an agent. The brokerage firm the listing agent is affiliated with is your broker. I hope it answers your question.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 4, 2011
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