At the beginning of this year, anticipating a slow winter season I was encouraged by one of my fellow agents in my office to pursue my real estate broker's license. It seemed more productive than waiting for the phone to ring and I figured I could DVR "American Idol" which posed a scheduling conflict with the class's nighttime schedule.
Having been an agent salesperson since 2002, I had never really felt the need to have a broker's license and indeed, wasn't sure if I wanted to commit the time to acquire it. (And until recently I was unaware of how significantly DVR can change your life!) But I followed my co-worker's suggestion and enrolled in the required courses, passed my state exam and am now a proud Broker-Salesperson. Yeah!
Although many use the terms "agent," "salesperson" and "broker" interchangeably, there's actually a significant difference between them in terms of training, testing and responsibility to the public.
- An "agent" is anyone who is working on behalf of another and either a salesperson or broker can act as an agent. In New Jersey, your status of "salesperson" or "broker" (or "broker/salesperson") is a function of the state's licensing laws.
- To qualify for a real estate salesperson's license an applicant must be 18 years of age or older, have a high school education or equivalency, complete a 75-hour prelicensure course at a licensed school and pass the license examination. After successfully completing the course and passing the examination the applicant must apply for a license through a sponsoring real estate broker. In addition the Commission must be satisfied as to the applicant's honesty, trustworthiness, character and integrity.
- To qualify for a broker's license an applicant must have a high school education or equivalency and must successfully complete 150 hours of prelicensure education. Applicants must first complete a 90-hour general real estate course, and then two 30-hour courses on Agency/Ethics and Office Management and related topics. In addition, applicants must have been continually licensed and employed on a full-time basis as a New Jersey real estate salesperson for the three years immediately preceding application. An applicant must then pass the state's broker license examination.
As a broker you can work under another broker's supervision as a "broker/salesperson" or you can become a "broker of record" by acting as the supervising broker for an existing brokerage or start your own company.
All highly fascinating, I know.
Aside from being able to change the title on my business cards and website, I am now held to a higher standard of care given my increased training and higher status in the hierarchy of real estate professionals. While all this is good and it affords me new opportunities, I feel much the same today as I did before I got the official word of my change of status.
So let this now be the official introduction of my new moniker "Broker-Salesperson" (should I be concerned that its initials are "B-S"?) Probably better to not dwell on that right now.... and besides, I've got to see who get's into the semi-finals for "America's Got Talent."