Real Estate Sales Associates vs. Brokers: What's the Difference?

Real estate sales associates and brokers play essential roles in home buying and selling. If you’re new to the industry or considering starting a career in Florida real estate, it’s important to understand the differences between the two. Here’s a quick guide to what sales associates and brokers do. 

What is a Real Estate Sales Associate?  

Most commonly called “real estate agents” by the public, sales associates are licensed professionals who facilitate real estate transactions on behalf of buyers and sellers. All Florida real estate agents work under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker and are typically paid on a commission basis. 

Agents have many responsibilities, including meeting with clients, listing properties, representing buyers and sellers, holding open houses, managing properties, handling complex transactions, and working with appraisers, inspectors, title companies, and escrow officers (also known as loan officers). 

Listing Agents

Agents who represent home sellers are known as “listing agents.” These agents help their clients through every step of the home selling process, including setting listing prices, suggesting property improvements that will increase the home's value, and marketing the home via the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), along with other channels. Listing agents also negotiate terms and help the seller with the closing paperwork. 

Buyer’s Agents

Agents who represent homebuyers are known as “buyer's agents.” These agents help their clients through every step of the home buying process, including locating unique properties that meet the buyer's needs and helping to arrange home inspections and appraisals. Buyer's agents also negotiate terms and help the buyer with the closing paperwork. 

Dual Agency

Agents can work on behalf of both the home buyer and seller (known as dual agency), though typically not for the same transaction because that can create a conflict of interest when an agent negotiates for both sides. 

REALTORS®

Real estate agents are sometimes referred to as REALTORS®. Real estate agents and REALTORS® perform the same essential duties, but REALTORS® are agents or brokers who are also members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)

What are the Requirements to Become a Real Estate Sales Associate in Florida? 

To obtain a sales associate license in the State of Florida, you must: 

  1. Complete the 63-Hour Pre-Licensure Course
  2. Pass the Course Final Exam
  3. Submit Fingerprints
  4. Complete the Licensing Application
  5. Pass the Florida Real Estate Exam

After getting your license, you’ll be required to complete the 45-Hours Post-Licensure Course and subsequent Continuing Education to maintain your license. 

What is a Real Estate Broker? 

A real estate broker is a sales associate who continues their education and successfully receives a State real estate broker license. To become a real estate broker in the State of Florida, you must first actively work as a licensed Florida real estate sales associate for at least 24 of the past 60 months. 

Real estate brokers do many of the same things agents do, including listing and showing properties. However, sales associates cannot perform the duties of brokers. Unlike real estate sales associates, brokers can work independently, start their own brokerage, and hire other sales associates.  

Brokers may help arrange financing from lenders for prospective buyers, which often makes the difference between success and failure in closing sales. Brokers monitor each component of the transaction to ensure a good closing. Real estate brokers also manage their own offices, supervise sales associates, market properties, and handle other business matters. 

What are the Requirements to Become a Real Estate Broker in Florida? 

To obtain a broker license in the State of Florida, you must: 

  1. Complete the 72-Hour Pre-Licensure Course
  2. Pass the Course Final Exam
  3. Submit Fingerprints
  4. Complete the Licensing Application
  5. Pass the Florida Real Estate Exam

After getting your license, you’ll be required to complete the 60-Hours Post-Licensure Course and subsequent Continuing Education to maintain your license. 

Our mission at the Signature School of Real Estate is to help you achieve your dream real estate career! Are you ready? 

 

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