Sales Agent vs. Broker – Why You Should Use a Broker!

I just recently became a Texas Broker and was reminded of what happened when I got my California broker’s license 16 years ago – most people think all Realtors are Brokers.  The term “broker” is used by many to indicate anyone who sells homes.  This could not be more untrue. I have been unsuccessful at finding statistics on the subject but very few real estate agents go on to get a broker’s license because it is a lot more work, much harder to get, and has experience requirements.  Here is a breakdown:

Real Estate Sales License Requirements

  • 18 Years of Age
  • US Citizen
  • Pass background check, be fingerprinted
  • 180 Hours of education which covers basics only general concepts
  • Pass a pretty basic test covering mostly definitions and general principles of real estate
  • No experience is required, must work under a broker who “technically” supervises them.

Real Estate Broker License requirements

  • 18 Years of Age
  • US Citizen
  • Pass background check, be fingerprinted
  • 900 Hours of Education which covers much more in depth subjects like contracts, ethics, financing, etc.…
  • Pass a test with complex scenarios with a pass rate of only 57%
  • Minimum of 4 years of experience with a certain number of verified transactions

These days, with social media allowing people to pretend to be whatever they want, it’s VERY easy to fake experience and production.  A real estate broker is a step above a real estate agent. A broker has more training and subject-matter education than an agent and are held to higher standards of knowledge. 

Broker vs. Associate Broker, Managing Broker, etc.…

All of these are brokers, one is not better than the others, but a broker who is managing agents or has their own brokerage has a lot of other duties – like managing people, growing a business, dealing with compliance issues, etc.… So, if you want an agent with the credentials of a broker without all of the other distractions, you probably want to work with a Broker who also works under a Broker – usually called a Broker Associate.  

Broker Breakdown:

Broker Associate – Agent with Broker’s License who does not also manage other agents.

Managing Broker, Broker/Owner – Agent with Broker’s License who also manages other agents.

Bottom line is this – all sales agents have to work under brokers – for good reason!  Real estate involves complex financial transactions with far reaching legal consequences. Yet, most agents work independently with almost no broker supervision because there is one broker over dozens, sometimes even hundreds of agents! Why not just work with a broker?