Real estate is a lucrative business that involves numerous professionals who play different roles in the industry. Two of the most commonly heard job titles in real estate are real estate agents and brokers. While these two terms might sound the same, they have significant differences.
Real Estate Agents
A real estate agent is a licensed professional who has completed the required training and passed the state examination to help people buy and sell properties. They are the front line of the real estate industry, representing buyers and sellers in property transactions. In other words, agents are the intermediaries of real estate deals.
Agents work under a brokerage firm and are often called salespersons. They operate on commission-based transactions, so their earnings are based on how much properties they sell. Because of this, they must persuade buyers to purchase the property and convince sellers to list their property with them.
Agents aim to provide excellent customer service, build a strong client base, and establish lasting relationships with their clients. They also offer guidance in negotiations, showing properties, marketing, and preparing contracts. Additionally, real estate agents must abide by ethical regulations, such as the National Association of Realtors’ code of ethics.
Real Estate Brokers
On the other hand, a real estate broker is a professional who took additional courses and passed the brokerage exam beyond that required of a real estate agent. They are the next level of the real estate profession, having more significant responsibilities than agents.
A broker can operate independently and form their brokerage firms or partner with other brokers to establish a larger firm. Brokers often have higher education and experience than agents, allowing them to give expert advice and provide added services. They may also hire real estate agents or salespersons to work under them.
One of the primary roles of a broker is to manage their agents to ensure they uphold ethical standards and follow legal procedures. They also have more authority in negotiations and often represent larger and more valuable property deals. They are responsible for securing and distributing commission fees to their agents.
Brokers also have the autonomy to sell real estate properties without the need for a middleman agent. They prioritize their clients, ensuring satisfaction with their service delivery. Because of their advanced training, they have a better understanding of market trends and can provide advisory services.
In conclusion, the difference between a real estate agent and a broker is significant. Real estate agents are licensed professionals who work under brokerage firms. They primarily focus on buying and selling properties, offering advice, and providing client representation. In contrast, a real estate broker is an advanced agent with additional training and expertise. They provide more comprehensive services, manage agents/salespersons, have more extensive authority in negotiations and run their brokerage firms.
Choosing between an agent or a broker depends on the needs and goals you have for your real estate transactions. Whether you choose an agent or broker, ensure they have a valid license and understand their obligations and responsibilities to offer quality services.