Do You Know the Difference Between an Agent and a Broker?

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When it comes to the real estate world, there are literally hundreds of different terms and phrases that it can be hard to keep it all on track. But if you’re in the process of buying or selling, it’s imperative to understand the different roles and responsibilities of those helping you through it.

The Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are individuals who are licensed to help people buy, sell, and rent property. The licensing process varies by state, so it’s a good idea to look up the process for your individual location before signing on with an agent to make sure their credentials match up.

There are typically a series of tests he or she must past in order to obtain a license, as well as logging training hours.

A real estate agent and a REALTOR® are not necessarily the same thing. In order for an agent to become a licensed REALTOR®, he or she must become a member of the National Association of REALTORS®—which has its own set rules and ethics members must abide by.

The Real Estate Broker

In order for someone to become a real estate broker, he or she must continue their education past the agent level, which requires more testing and training. However, similarly to agent testing, every state differs in its requirements.

A broker will be more familiar with the ethics and laws associated to the real estate industry, including investments and new real estate construction and management. They also have to have been a practicing agent for a set amount of time before attempting to obtain a brokers license.

You may also encounter different types of brokers in your home buying or selling experience:

  • managing broker is responsible for managing and hiring agents for a real estate office.
  • An associate broker has received their license but is working toward becoming a managing broker.
  • principal broker is essentially the head of the real estate firm and oversees all other agents and brokers.

For more information on the different types of real estate agents and brokers, visit the National Association of REALTORS® website.


And for even more homebuying and selling tips, visit americanlifestylemag.com/home.