What’s the Difference Between a Real Estate Agent and Broker?

If you’re in the market for a new home, you’re probably trying to figure out what the difference is between a real estate agent and a real estate broker.

These titles can get confusing, and many people just assume that each title carries the same or similar responsibilities. Before starting your search for a new home, let’s look at the differences between a broker and an agent.


What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a broker?

Real Estate Agents

A real estate agent is the individual who will help you to buy or sell a property. A real estate agent will have a license issued by the state, and agents can only sell real estate with a broker’s supervision. The broker is held responsible by the law for the actions of a real estate agent under their supervision. It’s similar to the relationship of a store manager and the owner of a store. The store manager is essentially in the trenches and handling operations on the front line, but the store owner is still responsible for the actions of the store manager. The agent will generally show you around and make appointments, while the broker is working on the big picture.

Real Estate Broker

The brokers will collect fees and will oversee the negotiations of a sale. Because of the level of their license, brokers can run a real estate office, work alone or work in another office under another broker. Brokers will often find that they like one side of the business more than another, but some like everything that comes with being in charge of an office and overseeing deals and negotiations.

Finding the Right Agent

Most people will start working with an agent, but it’s important to be diligent in who you decide to work with. Real estate agents have different incentives, and the relationships they can form can become quite complex. There can be situations where an agent represents both clients (dual agents), there can be buyer’s agents who solely work the buyer or there could even be transaction brokers who have no allegiance to the buyer or the seller and act as a mediator. There’s so many different types of real estate agents and real estate brokers that it can make your head spend, but you can find the right person to work with when you perform your due diligence.

If you already found the perfect agent, now is the time to find your perfect home.

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