When you buy or sell a Lake Havasu home, you’re going to hear words like “agent”, “broker” or “REALTOR®” bandied about. Some people think that they all mean the same thing. But they don’t. Real estate agents, REALTORS®, and brokers may work together. But they perform various functions and require distinctly different training. It might help you to know the difference.
Real Estate Agents
Sometimes called real estate salespeople, real estate agents refers to anyone who took classes, passed their license exam, and earned a real estate license. Arizona law requires 90 hours of class time at an Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE) approved school before they can take their exam. They can look up listings on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to see what’s currently available for sale. Real estate agents may also help you purchase or sell a property in the state they are licensed in.
For some, becoming a real estate agent is just the first step of their career. To become a REALTOR®, a licensed real estate agent must become a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). As such, they are held to a higher code of ethics. Every four years, REALTORS® are required to attend a mandatory ethics review in front of the NAR. They may also be required to take a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education courses in a variety of real estate subjects over a two year period to maintain their eligibility for license renewal. If a hearing panel finds that a valid complaint has been filed against a REALTOR®, that person could face up to $15,000 in fines.
Real Estate Brokers
To become a real estate broker, an applicant must have at least three years of experience as a licensed real estate agent first. Then, they take another 90 hours of classes at an ADRE-approved school before taking their broker’s license exam. An Associate Broker (aka Broker Associate, Affiliate Broker or Broker Salesperson) has a broker’s license but works under another broker’s supervision. Brokers can hire real estate agents to work for them or they can own their own firm.
Each of these real estate professionals should be able to provide you with excellent service. That being said, it’s beneficial to work with someone who is a member of the NAR since they are held to a higher standard. When you look for someone to represent you in buying a Lake Havasu home, interview several different people. Make sure to ask for references. Do your due diligence first. You’ll be very happy that you did.