Real Estate Broker vs. Agent: Education Differences


A person who earns a real estate license is known as a real estate agent or sales associate. It takes a few extra steps to become an official real estate broker. By furthering your education to become a broker you open yourself up to a number of different opportunities within your career. Real estate brokers have the freedom of being able to start their own company whether they choose to work independently or have others working for them. Here are the three differences between real estate broker vs. agent:

Step 1: Broker & Agent Pre-License Requirements

To start the process of working your way toward becoming a broker, you must have held an active sales associate license for at least two years within the last five years and have completed the 45 hour post license education successfully. You then would need to enroll in a pre-license real estate broker course. Through this course you learn in depth about areas of importance such as: appraisal, finance and investment and business management. This course will assist the broker candidate to competently and ethically conduct their own business. The course is 72 hours and can take as little as eight days to as long as four weeks to complete. In contrast, a student wishing to become a real estate agent only needs to complete a 63 hour pre-license course which covers the initial material such as the legal and practical aspects of the real estate industry. These concepts are the basis for any real estate agent whether sales associate or broker.


Step 2: Broker & Agent State Exams

The student will need to complete an application with electronic fingerprints. Once the student has approval on the application and they have successfully completed their pre-license course they would then need to pass the state exam. The broker exam will include some information such as laws from the sales associate training, but will also include broker specific material such as investment analysis, business valuation, the loan estimate and the closing disclosure. The loan estimate replaces what was formerly know as the Good Faith Estimate and the closing disclosure replaces what was formerly known as the HUD-1 and closing statement. A sales associate must also pass a state exam. There are exam prep courses that are strongly recommended before attempting the exams for both agents and brokers. Once the exam is passed, the applicant will be issued their new license. For sales associates, it is generally issued as inactive unless the student has brought with them the form DBPR RE 11 completed by the broker they are going to work with. Once a student passes the broker exam, their license will be issued as an active broker associate listed under the company they currently work for until they submit the form DBPR RE 13 to change to broker.

Step 3: Broker & Agent Post-License Requirements

The next step would be to sign up for the required 60 hours of post license courses for brokers or the 45 hour post license course for sales associates. The broker post license courses set new brokers up for success by teaching valuable skills. There are a few options when it comes to these courses. There is a Managing a Real Estate Office course which is designed to assist in planning, opening and staffing an office. Also, an Investment Analysis course is available for understanding in detail the complicated real estate investment process. Another option with more of a specific focus includes Single Family Residential Property Management, which outlines how to list, lease, rent, inspect and manage residential properties.The sales associate 45 hours of post license course gives the new agent the opportunity to build on the principles and practices learned in previous pre-license courses. Each course betters the understanding of the field and makes for a more successful agent or broker. These courses must be completed prior to the first renewal of the license. This can be anywhere from 18 to 24 months from the exam date. Thereafter both licensees will need to do 14 hours of continuing education every two years.

At IFREC we are saving you a seat in all the above listed courses. Start working your way toward becoming a real estate broker today. Learn more information on our website or click here to speak with a counselor. With more than 30 years experience working with students in the Central Florida region, our faculty and staff are more than qualified to help you make the best decisions for your real estate career!