In Arkansas, whenever a consumer engages the services of a real estate agent, it is that agent’s Principal Broker who opens the door to the consumer’s legal relationship with the real estate firm.
Every Arkansas real estate firm has one and only one Principal Broker. All other agents work under the supervision of that Principal Broker. All agency relationships including listing contracts, right to sell agreements, buyer representation agreements, etc. are legally between the consumer and that Principal Broker.
Whenever a consumer selects a real estate agent to help them sell or purchase real estate, the consumer is certainly entitled and actually wise to ask the agent who their Principal Broker is. If the agent doesn’t know who their Principal Broker is, that’s the first sign the consumer should shop around some more before making a selection.
A second type of licensed broker is an Executive Broker. There is no limit to how many Executive Brokers can be licensed in one real estate firm. Executive Brokers also work under the supervision of the Principal Broker; however, Executive Brokers are authorized to supervise other agents in the firm. Real estate firms with a large number of licensed agents often need Executive Brokers for effective and adequate supervision.
The other two categories of real estate licensure in Arkansas are Associate Broker and Salesperson. These are basically the same with the one exception that an Associate Broker may upgrade to an Executive Broker or Principal Broker license, assuming they have completed all the educational requirements. Associate Brokers and Salespersons have no licensing capacity to supervise other agents.
Business cards and advertising do not always include the proper license category for the agent with whom the consumer is working. Fortunately, there is an easy way to make this distinction. Every licensed agent is required to carry a pocket card which includes a license number. The license number will have an alpha prefix of “PB”, “EB”, “AB” or “SA” which clearly defines the type of license the agent holds. License numbers also appear on the agent’s license that is to be displayed in the office of the real estate firm. Additionally, a Roster Search under the Online Services tab at the AREC website www.arec.publishpath.com will display the license number for each agent.
While consumers are encouraged to call the Real Estate Commission when you encounter a problem with your transaction in which one of our licensed agents is involved, many problems can be solved by contacting the Principal Broker of the firm. That is the one person who is responsible for all activities of persons licensed with the firm. The Principal Broker may very well direct you to an Executive Broker who is more familiar with the transaction. Either way, Principal Brokers will undoubtedly prefer a chance to settle the matter before it gets to us, and we also want them to have that opportunity as it can save the consumer valuable time and expense. In the event the problem cannot be resolved, however, AREC offers consumers an avenue to file a formal complaint. For more information, contact the Real Estate Commission at 501-683-8010.