Understanding Real Estate Agents, Realtors, and Brokers in Arizona

You are embarking on your real estate career in Arizona. Congratulations! But there are so many terms for people who sell property and represent clients in real estate transactions. What do they mean? We'll walk you through the definitions of three common real estate professions in Arizona and explain the differences between them. They are:

  • Real estate agent

  • Real estate broker

  • Realtor

What Is an Arizona Real Estate Agent?

In most states, the term "real estate agent" refers to a person who has met certain licensing requirements and is now authorized to represent buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. In Arizona, we refer to these professionals as "licensed real estate salespersons."

To become a licensed Arizona real estate salesperson, you will need to:

  • Have an honest and truthful character

  • Be at least 18 years old

  • Provide proof of legal residency in the U.S. to the Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE)

  • Complete a Disciplinary Actions Disclosure

  • Complete the 90-hour pre-licensure real estate education

  • Get a fingerprint clearance card from the Arizona Department of Public Safety (ADPS) and pass a background check

  • Take a six-hour contract writing class

  • Pass the Arizona Salesperson Real Estate exam

What Is a Real Estate Broker?

If you've already worked as a licensed real estate salesperson for several years, you might be ready to take the next step. To move your career forward, consider becoming licensed as a real estate broker. 

An Arizona real estate broker license is a great move for real estate professionals who are interested in working independently and meeting new challenges. As a broker, you'll take on additional responsibilities, complete more training courses, and have the capability of managing less experienced agents, if you choose. 

To become a broker, you must meet all of the requirements for an Arizona real estate salesperson, listed above. In addition, you must:

  • Complete an approved Broker Management Clinic course 

  • Complete the Broker Candidate Experience Verification Form to prove that you have been licensed as a real estate salesperson or broker for three out of the last five years

What Is a Realtor?

Put simply, a Realtor is a real estate agent or broker who is also a member of the National Association of REALTORs (NAR). As a Realtor, you'll gain access to NAR's vast network of professionals. They offer a range of trainings and certifications to help move your career forward as well. This association's primary purpose is to help its members increase their profits and become more successful. What business person doesn't want that?

If you choose to become an Arizona Realtor, here are the steps you'll have to take:

  • Become a licensed real estate agent or broker

  • Join your local chapter of NAR (this will automatically give you state and national membership)

  • Choose courses to become NAR certified

What's the Difference Between These Three Titles?

As you can see from the above, there are a number of differences in the requirements to become a real estate agent, broker, or Realtor. There are also differences in what you can do in each role.

  • A real estate agent can represent buyers and sellers in home sale transactions. But they have two work under the supervision of a broker. They can't work independently.

  • A broker is able to work independently and supervise agents.

  • A Realtor has a vast network of professionals to support them, plus the added value of trainings and certifications.

The important thing to keep in mind is that all Realtors are either agents or brokers. But not all agents and brokers are Realtors. NAR certification is totally optional, and you don't have to get it to sell real estate in Arizona.

Ready to take the next step in your real estate career? Register for our Arizona real estate online course today!

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