Agent, broker, broker-in-charge or realtor?

Many people mistakenly believe the terms listed in the title of this post are interchangeable. That’s not necessarily true. In South Carolina and throughout the country, there are similarities but also subtle differences between these job titles. You can, in fact, be a realtor and a broker or an agent and a broker; however, each title signifies certain duties you’re permitted to perform, as well as suggesting that you have a particular educational background or certain registrations on record.

Trying to differentiate between these real estate terms can get confusing. For example, all brokers are agents but not all agents are brokers. (Does your brain hurt yet?) Gaining a better understanding of the slight differences between real estate agents, brokers, brokers-in-charge and realtors can help you streamline your career goals.

If you’re a realtor, you belong to a specific association

Do you know that it’s possible to be a licensed South Carolina real estate agent but not be a realtor? If you are a realtor, it means that you are a registered member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). As a member of this association, you subscribe to and promise to abide by a strict code of ethics.

Home appraisers can also become realtors. To do so, you must complete all licensing requirements for appraisers in the state where you are registering. Many appraisers also go on to obtain their sales licenses. This means it’s possible to be a real estate agent and an appraiser and a realtor at the same time!

How are brokers different from the others?

If you are a broker, it means that you have been an active sales agent for several consecutive years, then have completed additional education and passed a broker exam. A broker can legally do all the things a real estate agent can do, and more. A broker can choose to work with other brokers or independently. A broker-in-charge is someone who has a broker’s license and has chosen to become the principal manager of a brokerage. The broker-in-charge oversees all associate brokers and real estate agents, as well as other staff members in the office.

One of the perks of being a broker-in-charge is that you don’t have to share your commission if you close a deal. If you are a sales agent working under a Broker-in-charge, you must share a portion of your sales commission with the broker. You typically must also share a portion of the commission with the other agent, meaning the buyer’s agent if you are the listing agent and vice versa.

Becoming a licensed real estate agent is the first step

You might have an ultimate goal of becoming a realtor and a broker-in-charge. To accomplish these goals, you must first obtain your sales license by enrolling in a South Carolina real estate school. Once you have done so, you can learn more about the requirements necessary to fulfill to become a realtor and a broker-in-charge.

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