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Q: What is a real estate licensee?


Within the real estate industry in California, the distinction between a realtor and a REALTOR® (with registered trademark) is critical.  Prior to October 1, 2007, a person with at least 18 years of age and with a high school diploma just had to complete one course called Real Estate Principles and passed a salesperson licensing exam to become a "Conditional (real estate) salesperson," also called a conditional real estate licensee.  Within 18 months of the license issuance date, salespersons issued conditional licenses must submit evidence (transcripts) to the Department of Real Estate indicating successful completion of two other required education courses which include Real Estate Practice and one additional course (listed on the www.DRE.CA.gov website).  After passing the exam, they have to file an application for a license, supply finger prints and submit themselves to criminal background check.  These individuals are known to the public as "licensed realtors."  They cannot work alone to buy or sell homes. They are required by law to be employed by a broker or a brokerage firm who holds their license. 

NBA Status.  Licensees who are not attached as an employee of any broker or brokerage firm are called "NBA" (No business affiliation.) They are legally not permitted to engage in any activities for which a real estate license is required.