Of real concern is whether the individual who holds the BROKERS license is filling the role and position of a broker (manages a real estate office with more than one agent). Such a person will have responsibilities that could interfere with your goals.
HOWEVER, since you are looking to RENT....you need an AGENT who works rentals. Most do not. You may soon realize, you don't have thousands and thousands of agents or brokers from which to choose.
Best of Success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
Many use the word Broker and Agent synonymously. There are additional courses to obtain a Broker's license, but in terms of ability to help you with the home buying process, I would say you want to find an agent, whether they are a broker or not, that is knowledgeable, honest and advocates for you in the home buying process.
The great thing when you buy is you do not have to pay commission! In the state of CA the seller typically pays the commission of both sides, so when you buy you get the professional expertise, but do not have to pay directly for it.
Many when starting the process will ask friends, colleges and relatives who they used when they buy. You can also check online resources like Yelp, Trulia, etc. You may want to reach out to a couple of agents to get a good feel for who you think can best represent you.
I find when working with first time home buyers, having an initial consultation to review the home buying process is imperative. Having an understanding of the current market and how to best prepare yourself for the home buying process is imperative. It can be a complicated and often bumpy process, so as much education and advice prior to diving into looking at homes is a great way to prepare yourself so there are not as many surprises along with way.
Below are links to the CA state requirements for both agents and brokers for a broad highlight of the two types of licenses.
Keep in mind, passing the exam does not necessitate a good agent per se.
Hope this helps!
Alain Pinel Realtors