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How Do I Become a Buyer Broker?

Terry Masters
Terry Masters

You can become a buyer broker by satisfying the same requirements as a traditional real estate broker and specializing in advocacy on the purchasing side of the sale. Real estate salespeople must obtain a license to operate in each jurisdiction where they want to sell property, and the requirements to obtain a license are different in every governing locale. Once you have a license, there are no additional requirements to satisfy to focus your expertise on buyers rather than sellers. Working with buyers is a specialty that can be exclusive or non-exclusive, depending upon how you want to market your practice.

No specific level of formal educational attainment is required to sell real estate or to become a buyer broker. Instead, you must obtain a license from a governing jurisdiction. The entry level license requires you to complete a minimum number of class hours in real estate law and practice, typically between 40 to 90. These classes can be taken through a community college or a sponsoring brokerage that holds classes to cultivate new agents. Once you have the requisite number of class hours, you must pass a licensing exam.

Buyer brokers must have a real estate license.
Buyer brokers must have a real estate license.

Many jurisdictions waive some of the licensing requirements if you have a college or a law degree. Some obviate the real estate licensing requirement entirely if you are a licensed attorney. Once you have your entry level license, you are authorized to work under the auspices of a brokerage firm. A brokerage traditionally accepts property listings from sellers and engages buyers on the sellers' behalves.

To become a buyer broker, you have to step outside of the traditional real estate sales paradigm. An ordinary broker has a fiduciary responsibility to the seller, not the buyer. Some brokerages claim to represent both the buyer and the seller in the transaction in jurisdictions that allow parties to waive the conflict, but it is commonly thought to be impossible to reach a sales price that is in the best interest of both parties without arm's length advocacy.

The Exclusive Buyer Agent (EBA) title indicates those brokers who only represent buyers. The furtherance of the practice as a specialty is the work of national trade associations, such as the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA) in the US. If you want to become a buyer broker, it is a good idea to join the buyers trade association in your jurisdiction. These organizations offer continuing education, certificates, and other sorts of credentialing that will allow you to further your specialty.

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    • Buyer brokers must have a real estate license.
      By: Christian Kieffer
      Buyer brokers must have a real estate license.