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Become A Real Estate Broker

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Working As A Real Estate Broker

  • Getting Information
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $43,370

    Average Salary

What Does A Real Estate Broker Do

Real estate brokers and sales agents help clients buy, sell, and rent properties. Although brokers and agents do similar work, brokers are licensed to manage their own real estate businesses. Sales agents must work with a real estate broker.


Real estate brokers and sales agents typically do the following:

  • Solicit potential clients to buy, sell, and rent properties
  • Advise clients on prices, mortgages, market conditions, and related information
  • Compare properties to determine a competitive market price
  • Generate lists of properties for sale, including details such as location and features
  • Promote properties through advertisements, open houses, and listing services
  • Take prospective buyers or renters to see properties
  • Present purchase offers to sellers for consideration
  • Mediate negotiations between buyer and seller
  • Ensure that all terms of purchase contracts are met
  • Prepare documents, such as loyalty contracts, purchase agreements, and deeds

Because of the complexity of buying or selling a home or commercial property, people often seek help from real estate brokers and sales agents.

Most real estate brokers and sales agents sell residential property. Others sell commercial property, and a small number sell industrial, agricultural, or other types of real estate.

Brokers and agents can represent either the buyer or the seller in a transaction. Buyers’ brokers and agents meet with clients to understand what they are looking for in a property and how much they can afford. Sellers’ brokers and agents meet with clients to help them decide how much to ask for and to convince them that the agent or broker can find them a qualified buyer.

Real estate brokers and sales agents must be knowledgeable about the real estate market in their area. To match properties to clients’ needs, they should be familiar with local communities, including knowing the crime information and the proximity to schools and shopping. Brokers and agents also must stay current on financing options; government programs; types of available mortgages; and real estate, zoning, and fair housing laws. 

Real estate brokers are licensed to manage their own businesses. As independent businesspeople, brokers often sell real estate owned by others. In addition to helping clients buy and sell properties, they may help rent or manage properties for a fee. Many operate a real estate office, handling business details and overseeing the work of sales agents.

Real estate sales agents must work with a broker. Sales agents often work for brokers on a contract basis, earning a portion of the commission from each property they sell.

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How To Become A Real Estate Broker

Real estate brokers and sales agents need at least a high school diploma. Both brokers and sales agents must be licensed. To become licensed, candidates typically must complete a number of real estate courses and pass a licensing exam. 


Real estate brokers and sales agents must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Although most brokers and agents must take state-accredited prelicensing courses to become licensed, some states may waive this requirement if the candidate has taken college courses in real estate. 

As the real estate market becomes more competitive and complex, some employers are preferring to hire candidates with college courses or a college degree. Some community colleges, colleges, and universities offer courses in real estate. Some offer associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs in real estate, and many others offer certificate programs. Courses in finance, business administration, economics, and law also can be useful.

Brokers intending to open their own company often take business courses, such as marketing and accounting. 

In addition to offering prelicensing courses, many real estate associations have courses and professional development programs for both beginners and experienced agents. These courses cover a variety of topics, such as real estate fundamentals, real estate law, and mortgage financing.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

In all states and the District of Columbia, real estate brokers and sales agents must be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state, but most have similar basic requirements:

Candidates must:

  • be 18 years old
  • complete a number of real estate courses
  • pass an exam

Some states have additional requirements, such as passing a background check. Licenses typically are not transferable among states. However, some states have reciprocity agreements and will accept licenses issued by some other states. 

To obtain a broker’s license, individuals generally need 1 to 3 years of experience as a licensed sales agent. They also must take additional formal training courses. In some states, a bachelor’s degree may be substituted in place of some experience or training requirements. 

State licenses typically must be renewed every 2 to 4 years. In most states, brokers and agents must complete continuing education courses to renew their license. To verify exact licensing requirements, prospective brokers and agents should contact the real estate licensing commission of the state in which they wish to work.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

To get a broker’s license in most states, real estate brokers must have experience working as a licensed real estate sales agent. Requirements vary by state, but most require 1 to 3 years of experience. 


Real estate sales agents improve their skills through practice and repetition. Because of the sales environment and the complexity of real estate deals, new agents typically observe and work closely with more senior agents. In addition, some of the larger real estate companies provide formal classroom training for new agents as a way to gain knowledge and experience, while others provide training to employees studying for their real estate licensing exam.


Sales agents who earn their broker’s license may open their own offices. 

Important Qualities

Business skills. Because most brokers are self-employed, they must manage every aspect of their business. This task includes reaching out to prospective clients, handling their finances, and advertising their services.

Interpersonal skills. Strong interpersonal skills are essential for real estate brokers and sales agents, because they spend much of their time interacting with clients and customers. To attract and keep clients, they must be pleasant, enthusiastic, and trustworthy. 

Organizational skills. Real estate brokers and sales agents must be able to work independently, managing their own time and organizing, planning, and prioritizing their work.

Problem-solving skills. Real estate brokers and sales agents need to be able to quickly (sometimes immediately) address concerns clients or potential customers may have with a property. They also mediate negotiations between seller and buyer.

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Real Estate Broker jobs

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Real Estate Broker Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • German

  • Portuguese

  • Chinese

  • Arabic

  • Mandarin

  • Italian

  • Japanese

  • Russian

  • Hindi

  • Hebrew

  • Thai

  • Greek

  • Urdu

  • Korean

  • Vietnamese

  • Carrier

  • Cantonese

  • Romanian

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Real Estate Broker

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Real Estate Broker Education


    • University of Phoenix

    • University of North Carolina at Charlotte

    • Liberty University

    • University of Southern California

    • University of Denver

    • Michigan State University

    • Arizona State University

    • University of Oregon

    • Portland State University

    • Appalachian State University

    • San Diego State University

    • University of Colorado at Boulder

    • New York University

    • DePaul University

    • University of Georgia

    • University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    • University of Washington

    • Florida State University

    • University of North Carolina at Wilmington

    • Northern Illinois University

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    • Bachelors

    • Other

    • Masters

    • Associate

    • License

    • Certificate

    • Doctorate

    • Diploma

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Real Estate Broker

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Real Real Estate Broker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Real Estate Brokers Jones Lang Lasalle Americas, Inc. New York, NY Feb 29, 2012 $197,933
Real Estate Brokers Newmark Knight Frank New York, NY Apr 17, 2013 $185,000
Real Estate Broker Global Retail Advisors, Inc. DBA Maddox Retail New York, NY Jul 01, 2015 $145,642
Real Estate Broker Commercial Investment Real Estate, Inc. Melbourne, FL Apr 10, 2009 $111,114
Real Estate Brokers Competition Roofing, Inc. Houston, TX Jun 16, 2010 $107,328
Real Estate Sales Broker Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales, LLC New York, NY Sep 27, 2010 $104,350
Real Estate Brokers LM Advisors LLC San Diego, CA May 07, 2014 $101,587
Real Estate Brokers Re/Max Cross Country, Realtors Lewisville, TX May 06, 2008 $82,576
Real Estate Broker Weitzman Management Corporation Houston, TX Sep 09, 2015 $69,014
Real Estate Broker Urstadt Biddle Properties Inc. Greenwich, CT Jan 05, 2016 $65,000 -
Real Estate Broker SRS Real Estate Partners-Northwest LP San Francisco, CA Nov 20, 2016 $42,000 -
Real Estate Broker SRS Real Estate Partners-Northwest LP San Francisco, CA Jan 12, 2016 $42,000 -

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Top Skills for A Real Estate Broker


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Top Real Estate Broker Skills

  1. Real Estate Sales
  2. Prospective Buyers
  3. Sales Contracts
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Represented sellers in the real estate sales process by preparing documentation, marketing/listing the property and handling negotiations with prospective purchasers.
  • Develop relationships with multiple prospective buyers and sellers simultaneously and shepherd them through the entire home buying or selling process.
  • Negotiated a significant amount of rent, homes, land, and timeshare sales contracts, totaling $10+Million.
  • Prepared documents such as representation contracts, purchase agreements, closing statements, and leases.
  • Research markets and properties to produce lists of properties that are compatible with buyers' needs and financial resources.

Top Real Estate Broker Employers

Real Estate Broker Videos

Real Estate Broker, Career Video from drkit.org