Real estate transactions often make use of the skills and experience of a real estate agent or broker to facilitate the transaction. Although the requirements may vary somewhat by jurisdiction, as a rule, an individual who wishes to become a selling broker must have a least a high school diploma, with most having some college level education as well. In addition, requirements to become a selling broker include coursework and licensing first as an agent and then as a broker by the appropriate state agency.
Within the United States, individual states regulate licensing for real estate agents and brokers. While the licensing requirements may differ somewhat from one state to another, all states require agents and brokers to be licensed. A selling agent and a selling broker essentially do the same type of work; however, an agent must work for a broker. A broker is licensed to operate his or her own real estate business. In order to become a selling broker, an individual must first qualify for an agent's license in most jurisdictions.
Historically, most states only required an agent to have a high school diploma. Some jurisdictions are changing that requirement, as the laws regarding real estate transactions are becoming more complex. In addition to any previous educational requirements, all states require an applicant for a real estate agent's license to complete a course in real estate prior to taking the required examination. The exception to the coursework requirement in some cases is a licensed attorney. Many states allow a licensed attorney to sit for the examination without completing the required coursework.
The number of hours required for the coursework needed to take the licensing examination will vary by state, but typically runs between 60 and 80 hours. Upon completion of the coursework, the applicant must successfully complete the state licensing examination. Once licensed as an agent, a person may work under the supervision of a selling broker.
For anyone who aspires to become a selling broker, most states require that the individual maintain an active agent's license for a specific period of time before applying to become a selling broker. In addition to maintaining an agent's license prior to applying for a selling broker's license, the individual will also need to complete additional coursework. Upon completion, another examination must be taken and passed before a selling broker's license will be granted to the applicant.