The Differences Between A Real Estate Agent And A Real Estate Broker

There are real estate agents, and then there are real estate brokers. Most people are surprised to learn that these are two separate entities. If you go house hunting, do you know which is which and with whom you are working? The distinguishing differences are important, especially if you need a broker and not an agent, or would rather work with an agent and not a broker.

An Agent Works for Someone Else

A real estate agent has the licensing and education needed to sell homes. However, he/she is often the first rung on the real estate ladder. Even if he/she has served as an agent for ten or more years, selling homes is essentially all the agent does. You should know that an experienced and seasoned agent can charge more for services rendered than an agent just starting out, and that all agents work for an agency, a realtor, or a broker.

A Real Estate Broker Is Independent

A real estate broker works independently of an agency, although he or she can set up his/her own business and sell property. If he/she is particularly successful, he/she can hire real estate agents to work for him/her. The broker is a few rungs up on the real estate ladder, and is, for all intents and purposes, a real estate agent with advanced education and licensing.

An Agent Sells, a Broker Brokers the Deal

Real estate agents show and sell properties. They may have some contracts for you to sign when you are ready to buy, but it is the broker that brokers the deal between you and the seller. The broker also helps you haggle a better price on the property while maintaining the necessary percentage required to pay his/her brokerage fees. You could hire a broker directly, but only if he/she is willing to do the work of an agent as well as the work of a broker.

A Broker Has Years of Experience and More Hours of Education

A broker is often required to serve a minimum number of years as an agent and complete a certain about of education courses before even taking the broker's license exam. This means that the broker may already be way ahead of the real estate game than many of the agents you could hire. Greater experience means better results for sellers, and possibly better purchase deals for buyers. Just be aware that it may also mean a little more money to hire the broker than the agent, but you'll get more for what you pay for.