what is the difference between an real estate agent and broker?

Asked by Dezi, Moreno Valley, CA Sat May 30, 2009

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Camille Mill…, , Flemington, NJ
Sat May 30, 2009
In New Jersey, an agent is someone who completes a 75 hour course in real estate, passes the agent exam and works under a Broker. A Broker is someone who completed three years as a full-time agent , takes 130 course hours on ethics, law and office management, then pass the broker's exam. After being granted a Broker's license, they may (if they wish) open their own office or remain under another broker as an associate broker or broker/sales person. The two are held to different standards of practice based on their knowledge and expertice. As a Broker you are responsible for the agents under you as an agent you are responsible for yourself only. Hope that helps...

Camille Miller
Just Jersey Properties
1 vote
Joanne, , Ocean County, NJ
Sat May 30, 2009
Dezi, hi how are you? An Agent is a Licensed Sales Associate. A Broker is a Licensed Broker. An Agent cannot open a Real Estate Company without having a Brokers License, or someone who has a Brokers License as the Broker of Record.

1 vote
Cristie Berg, , Orem, UT
Fri Feb 11, 2011
It really does depend on which state that you are talking about. In Utah an agent completes 90 hours of classes and a broker completes 150 hours and has minimum experience requirements.
0 votes
Peter DeCicco, Agent, Maplewood, NJ
Tue Jan 19, 2010
0 votes
Joshua Durrin, , Roseville, CA
Wed Jun 3, 2009
Just a minor correction for California agents... salespeople only need two years of experience without a four year degree, one of experience with a two year degree, or no experience with a four year degree.

And an argument against the advice to look at the number of years in the business... A persons age in the business is not a very good measure of their effectiveness at closing sales. I would encourage you instead to ask for the percentage of houses sold compared to their listings if you're looking for someone to sell your home and/or the percentage of escrows they've closed versus those that they've opened regardless of what side of the transaction you're on. Experience is way over-emphasized in this business. Experience may, however, speak to the types of markets that the salesperson has "experienced." But so what. Experience is also defined by the agent giving you their number of years in the business and doesn't speak to whether that experience was part-time, personal transactions (i.e. selling own home), or even including time as an "inactive licensed salesperson." Instead, I would place more emphasis on the statistics mentioned above, industry education, and specific experience to your situation (defined by you).
Web Reference:  http://www.durrinrealty.com
0 votes
Francesca Pa…, Agent, Manasquan, NJ
Wed Jun 3, 2009

As previously stated, once a practicing agent maintiains 3 years of practice, he/she may chose to pursue additional coursework followed by another licensure exam to obtain the title of broker. A broker may work as the head of an agency or choose to continue to work as a salesperson with the additional title of "broker" (referred to as "broker-salesperson").

In my view, there is little difference between the two until the broker candidate has been able to acquire some practical experience of his/her additional education. Therefore, as many experts recommend when interviewing agents, do not hesitate to ask them about the number of years in the business.

Love and Peace,
Web Reference:  http://www.PatrizioRE.com
0 votes
Joshua Durrin, , Roseville, CA
Mon Jun 1, 2009
Hi Dezi,

No one in California actually addressed your question and the terms may be slightly different depending on your state. The important difference for you to understand is that you never form a contract with an agent, it's always with the broker. In fact, the "agent" is actually an "agent" of the broker rather than you. Agents are traditionally licensed as real estate sales professionals, but some may have a broker's license as well. But if they work for someone or a company other than their own, they're still not 'your' agent. Many people don't understand that.

Now, with that said, you're still likely going to be in good hands when you hire a sales person versus a broker. In fact, sometimes even better hands. The broker can be tied up with the on-goings of the business and the actions of his agents rather than having the time to devote individual customers. You'll have to decide if you're ok with this relationship. It's not uncommon for a person in a real estate transaction to never meet their real "agent" (the broker) throughout the entire process. And still, thousands of properties change hands everyday without a hitch.

I'd be happy to talk with you more about this if you'd like and perhaps work with you to find an "agent" in your area. Feel free to contact me. http://www.durrinrealty.com
Web Reference:  http://www.durrinrealty.com
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sat May 30, 2009
A broker is a state licensed agent, who for a fee, acts on behalf of property owners in a transaction. This license qualifies them to also allow other licensed agents to work with them to the same end.

A real estate agent does not have the ability to umbrella other agents to work under their license as the broker does.
0 votes
., , Jupiter, FL
Sat May 30, 2009
Different states have different terminology. In some states an agent is called a Broker Associate and performs the functions of a sales agent.

In Florida we also have "Broker Associate" . That person is one who holds a Broker license but is working for the Broker of record as a sales agent.

Mike Unger
Broker Associate
South Florida
Web Reference:  http://www.flarealtysite.com
0 votes
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