- There are a number of titles that apply to real estate practitioners that are often misunderstood by the public. The differences are significant and are defined in Article 12-A of New York State Real Property Law-the License Law.
A real estate agent would be subject to discipline by the New York State Department of State, the Licensing Agency, if these titles are misused.
This article will attempt to define these titles in order to avoid confusion on the part of the public.
- The broker is usually the owner of the firm who "employs" licensed real estate agents, usually as independent contractors rather than employees. The broker is responsible for the supervision and training of these agents, and may be held liable for their conduct. When a seller employs a brokerage firm to represent the seller, the employment contract, called a listing agreement, is between the seller and the broker. When a buyer employs a brokerage firm to represent the buyer, the employment contract is called a buyer agency agreement.
- An associate broker is an agent of the broker by whom the associate broker is employed, and a sub-agent of the seller or buyer, depending upon whom the broker is representing. The associate broker does not have the authority to conduct business independently of their broker. They work in the name and under the supervision of their sponsoring and supervising broker. An associate broker may manage a branch office. That does not relieve the broker of responsibility for the conduct of the agents in that office.
- A licensed salesperson works under the supervision of the broker regardless of whether the salesperson works in a branch office managed by an associate broker. The broker may be held liable for the conduct of the licensed salespersons in the broker's employ. A licensed salesperson is an agent of the broker and a sub-agent of the seller or buyer, depending upon whom the broker is representing.
- Commonly refers to the associate broker or licensed salesperson who procures the listing from the seller on behalf of the broker. In fact, the listing agent is the broker.
- A broker other than the listing broker who may represent the buyer or seller.
- Represents one party in the transaction, seller, buyer, landlord tenant.
- Represents both parties in the transaction, seller and buyer, landlord and tenant.
- Associate broker, licensed salesperson designated by the supervising broker to represent different parties in the transaction, seller, buyer, landlord, tenant.
- Acts as an agent of the listing broker rather than a sub-agent of the seller or buyer.
- A real estate agent who is a member of a local board of realtors, such as The Hamptons & North Fork Realtors Association and The Long Island Board of Realtors. Membership in a local board also provides for membership on the New York State Association of Realtors and The National Association of Realtors. The term Realtor has nothing to do with real estate licensing. It is a trademark name.
Each of these distinctions has legal implications and should be treated by all parties with seriousness. It is the responsibility of the licensed real estate agent to inform the respective parties as to their meaning.
: John will be teaching a 22.5 hours Real Estate Continuing Education classes at Long Island University in Riverhead on November 14, November 16 and November 18. For information and registration contact Rosemary Malone at 631-287-8334 or by email at email@example.com.
John is a St. John's University graduate, licensed Real Estate broker, lecturer, teaches real estate license classes at LIU and NYU, and acts as a consultant to the real estate industry.