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The Difference Between a Salesperson License and a Broker License



The Difference Between a Salesperson License and a Broker License

There are a variety of career options to consider when looking into the field of real estate, but two of the most common paths are becoming a real estate agent or real estate broker. Contrary to popular belief, these are not the same careers, however, which often leads many people to accidentally pursue one as opposed to the other.

While becoming a broker requires meeting the qualifications of a salesperson, the differences between the two paths can make one option better for some people. Learn everything there is to know about the differences between the two options to determine which may be right for you.

What is a Salesperson?

For those unfamiliar with the term, a real estate salesperson or agent refers to an individual who is licensed in the field and has the ability or both organize and assist in a real estate transaction between a buyer and a seller. They can represent either party in a specific transaction, and they are almost always paid on a commission basis. This means that the money they earn from their work is a portion of the total cost of the sale they helped to facilitate.

What is a Broker?

On the other side of things, a real estate broker is also a person who is licensed in real estate and has the ability to facilitate a transaction between a buyer and seller. However, the license a real estate broker receives allows them to work independently. A real estate broker earns money on commission just as an agent an agent does, but they also typically receive a cut of the commission that an agent earns as well if the agent works under them.

The Difference Between a Salesperson and a Broker

As alluded to above, the primary difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker is that a real estate broker has a more advanced license that allows them to work independently. This means they can form a brokerage in which real estate agents work under them, utilizing the broker’s network to grow their own personal business as well. This means, however, that the educational requirements to become a broker are also stricter than becoming an agent. 

How to Secure a Real Estate Salesperson License

Naturally, the first step to becoming either an agent or broker in the field of real estate starts with earning a license as an agent first. The specificities can vary from state-to-state, but the generic steps include:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age at the time of being issued a license
  2. Be a resident of the state you are considering the license in or research the specific out-of-state requirements
  3. Complete three college level courses including:

a. Real Estate Principles
b. Real Estate Practice
c. One Course from the Following:
. Property Management
. Real Estate Appraisal
. Real Estate Economics
. Real Estate Finance
. Legal Aspects of Real Estate
. General Accounting
. Real Estate Office Administration
. Business Law
. Escrows
. Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending
. Computer Applications in Real Estate

Once all of the above has been completed, a person can officially apply to take the real estate license final examination. The length of the exam can vary, but it is typically around three hours in length and 150 multiple choice questions

Top Career Paths to Consider with a Salesperson License

Once a person has achieved earning their agent license, there are a number of different career paths a person can consider. The most notable of these career paths include:

  • Becoming a real estate broker after taking additional classes and a specialized exam
  • Becoming a real estate appraiser and measuring or evaluating the value of properties
  • Becoming a loan officer and helping to underwrite loans to applicants
  • ●        Becoming a property manager and managing properties on behalf of a landlord

The Bottom Line

Regardless of whether or not you believe the path of real estate agent or broker is right for you, a career in real estate is hands-down one of the best options to consider. This field is likely set to see strong growth over the following years and the best part about a career in real estate is that the success a person has is what they make of it. Determine whether a career in real estate is the best option for you and learn what it takes to follow that path.