We encounter more terms and jargon we don’t understand more than we want to admit. But when it comes to real estate, these terms can come in handy. Whether you’re looking to work with an agent in the future or plan to build a career in this field, it pays to know the difference between what a real estate agent does and what a real estate broker does.
We’re answering the questions before you even ask them. Here is the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker.
What Is a Real Estate Agent?
A real estate agent is a licensed professional who help home seekers purchase their next home, property owners sell their estates, and young adults look for apartments to rent. Long story short, they are professionals who help their clients buy, sell or rent houses, properties, and more. Other than that, they represent their clients in negotiations. Real estate agents are usually affiliated with or work for a broker or a brokerage firm.
There are two specializations for real estate agents: Commercial real estate and residential real estate. Their responsibilities can differ, depending on if the client is a buyer or a seller. Agents whose clients are the buyer assist in looking for properties that fit the needs, preferences, and budget of the client. Meanwhile, agents with sellers as clients provide expert advice on pricing and improvements. They also help market their property.
How Do You Become a Real Estate Agent?
A great thing about real estate is that it’s a career that’s relatively accessible to people from all walks of life. The process of getting the license to practice as an agent is similar to acquiring a contractor license or certification. The first step is to do some research on the requirements to be able to obtain a license. Each state may vary in its requirements, but these generally include proof of educational attainment, an age requirement of 18 and above, and more. Other steps include completing a pre-licensing course, taking the licensing exam, and activating the license. Down the line, you might want to consider becoming a realtor and join a real estate firm.
What Is a Real Estate Broker?
Brokers have three main jobs: work with sellers, work with buyers, and supervise agents. A broker is responsible for negotiating and coordinating real estate deals. A broker holds a higher license than that a real estate agent and is able to hire and manage real estate agents. A broker can even go on to make their own firm for real estate services.
A broker can manage deals for sellers and also assist buyers looking to purchase a home by offering advice and services to find one that meets their requirements. Although an agent may perform these tasks as well, the key distinction between the two is that brokers can employ agents. Agents can undertake the above-mentioned primary obligations, while the broker handles brokerage transactions.
It’s important for brokers to look into the experience and expertise of the agents in their team. Not only should that agents be well-trained, but a broker should also verify that agents are licensed, are complying with legal requirements, have access to marketing information, and more.
How Do You Become a Real Estate Broker?
The process of becoming a licensed broker is similar to that of becoming a licensed agent. But the first step to this journey is to be a real estate agent license holder. However, depending on the state, a real estate agent must gain a number of years worth of experience in the field before becoming a broker. Again, a broker must be licensed by the state they want to practice their profession in. They must complete a state-approved course before taking and passing the broker exam.
Then, What’s a Realtor?
You’ve undoubtedly heard the term “realtor” tossed about as well. Now that we’ve established the differences between a broker and an agent, it’s time to define what a realtor is.
As established, agents can have different specializations. However, both brokers and agents can be members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). By becoming a member, they become realtors. Every member is required to adhere to the organization’s detailed code of ethics and pay membership dues on a yearly basis.
It’s important to be able to know the scope and gist of what agents and brokers do, especially when you’re planning to sell your property in the future or planning to work closely with either one in the future. This takes out the ambiguity of roles and responsibilities, especially when dealing with property transactions and processes.