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Broker vs. Broker-Salesperson vs. Salesperson

A short guide for the Internet consumer


What Are The Differences Between A Licensed Real Estate Broker and A Licensed Real Estate Agent?

The terminology used to identify real estate professionals differs a little from state to state. Brokers are usually required to have more education and experience than Salespersons, commonly called real estate agents. The real estate person you normally deal with is a real estate Salesperson. The real estate Salesperson is licensed by the state, but must work for a state licensed real estate Broker. All listings are placed in the Broker's name, not the real estate agent's.

A Salesperson license allows you to perform all the functions of a real estate professional while working under the sponsorship and direction of a Broker.

The Broker license allows you to work independently, representing others as well as yourself. It will also allow you to sponsor other licensees and act as manager (Broker of Record) or owner (Broker-Owner) of a real estate firm.

A Broker/Salesperson (the official designation name in New Jersey, is also shown as Broker-Salesperson or called a Broker Associate with similar variations) or Associate Broker (the official designation in Pennsylvania, and becoming more commonly used in NJ) has fulfilled all the requirements of a Broker, but has has chosen to work under and for another Broker (similar to a regular Salesperson).

Buyers and sellers should be aware of the difference in levels of qualification and experience for each license.

In New Jersey, in order to qualify to be a Broker, one must complete a state-licensed 150 hour Broker course (in Pennsylvania, 240 hours or equivalent of broker education are required), have at least 3 years of full-time employment as a licensed NJ Salesperson and pass the New Jersey Real Estate Broker License examination.
Finally, they must submit to a state police criminal history check and receive a clearance from the NJ Real Estate Commission.

An alternate path for Broker training is to complete a State Realtor Association (
NJAR) sanctioned GRI Designation course and then complete a GRI Broker Course.

The GRI Broker Course is made up of supplemental courses that, along with the GRI Designation, satisfy the education requirements for the NJ Broker License. (Providing all other requirements are met as set forth by the New Jersey Real Estate Commission.)

The GRI Broker Course is a 90 hour course comprised of Course IV (General Brokers) Course V (Ethics/Agency) and Course VI (Office Management), each 30 hours.

Normally, a Brokers Course is a 150 hour program. After you have acquired the 90-hour GRI Designation, however, 60 of those hours are applied to the broker education requirements. Hence, only 90 additional hours are required through the NJAR GRI Broker course, for a total of 180 hours.

Only about 12% of licensed New Jersey real estate professionals have earned a Broker's license (including Broker-Owners, Brokers of record and Broker-Salespersons).



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