By Danielle Babcock Sapienza

The term real estate agent is often used interchangeably to mean licensed agent, broker and REALTOR®. But is the difference between them? Yes.

A real estate agent provides a variety of services to help people buy or sell a home. Real estate agents can be:

·         Buyer’s agents - who work with home buyers.

·         Seller’s agents or list agents - who help you sell your home.

·         Dual agents who represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. Note, dual agency must be disclosed to both parties.

Real estate agents in Florida are licensed professionals who must first take a 63 hour pre-licensing class then pass the course’s final exam. Then they must sit for the Florida real estate licensing exam and pass with a 70% grade or higher. After that they must be sponsored by and work under the direction of a broker who activates the agent’s license. Later they complete a post-licensing course of 45 additional classroom hours.

In Florida, a licensed real estate broker has at least two years of experience as a licensed real estate agent, then has taken 72 hour pre-licensing course (this additional education is primarily in the area of real estate law) and passed an exam for real estate brokers with a grade of 75% or higher. Then post-licensing, brokers complete an additional 60 hour course.

Unlike agents, brokers may work independently. Brokers can legally sign listing agreements and other transactional paperwork. They are able to be their own boss, own agencies and manage teams of real estate agents under them. They still act as an agent for clients, but have additional responsibilities such as: run their business, keep up with real estate law, and maintain escrow accounts.

Associate brokers have a broker’s license but do not want to own their own business so they choose to work under the management of another broker.

A REALTOR® can be a broker or an agent. REALTORS® belong to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). REALTORS® follow a strict and enforceable code of ethics to protect the interests of not only their clients but all parties involved in the real estate transaction. If an agent or broker is not a NAR member, they cannot call themselves a REALTOR®

Place your trust in a REALTOR®. Buying or selling your home in Brevard County? Contact the team of REALTORS® and staff at Conrad Realty Group today.