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Difference Between A Real Estate Agent, A Broker, And A Realtor

You will find that the real estate industry can be a confusing place to navigate, in part because of the many similar sounding titles and acronyms. The good news is that there has never been so much information at your fingertips that will tell you what each title and term means. One thing that still seems very confusing for most people is the difference between a real estate agent, a real estate broker, and a Realtor.

The real estate industry can be a confusing one for a homeowner to deal with filled with similar sounding titles and many acronyms. Fortunately, never before has there been so much information at your fingertips on how these titles are defined. A particular conundrum is the difference between real estate agent, a broker, and a Realtor. Often, these words have been used so interchangeably that people believe they are all the same thing. However, each word has a specific definition in the real estate industry and this article can help you figure out who the right person is for the job.

Real Estate Agent

This is the term that fits the most people in the real estate industry. This term means anyone that has been licensed to sell real estate. If an agent does not have their broker certification it means that they are not able to run their own brokerage firm. Because of this a real estate agent is not able to act independently and most work under the umbrella of a bigger company or real estate firm.

What does it take to be a real estate agent? This answer depends upon the state you live in. In general, all real estate agent must pass the coursework necessary of that state and pass the licensing exam. Agents must be over 18 years old and the coursework is often between forty to ninety hours in length before they can complete the exam.

If an agent passes a broker certification are able to become brokers and work by themselves. If an agent becomes a member of the National Association of Realtors, and has attended the required classes, will be able to be a Realtor, as well as a real estate agent. What this means for you, as the consumer, is that if you find someone that is just a real estate agent that they have not gone through the extra work of being a broker, or that has the extra code of ethics involved with being a Realtor. People sometimes still choose a real estate agent because they will typically have more time then a broker or Realtor because they do not have the extra requirements that are placed on either of these two type of people.


As mentioned earlier a Realtor is someone that is a member of the National Association of Realtors. The members of the NAR are committed to upholding a specific code of ethics and have passed the coursework that is required to become a member of the NAR. People in the real estate industry usually deem members of the NAR with a higher level of professionalism then agents that are not members. This means that if you are working with a Realtor that you should expect, and receive, a higher level of integrity then if you are dealing with other members of the real estate industry.

The Broker

A real estate broker is an agent that has gone through additional coursework to get this title and they are now able to run their own brokerage firm. Because they have to pass a much more rigorous exam to become a broker this type of professional is often more knowledgeable then a typically agent, and they will also usually have more responsibility and sway over the overall process. Just because you have passed your broker exam does not mean that you are required to have your own firm. A lot of the time a broker will stay with an established firm to gain experience before they set out on their own. A broker is a great choice if you are looking for someone with a little more knowledge, but on the downsideFeature Articles, it can also come with a higher commission fee. Some brokers do not have the same amount of time as a regular agent and as such you may hire a broker but work with a real estate agent that works under the broker.

Article Tags: Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Industry, Difference Between, Real Estate, Estate Agent, Estate Industry

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I had to sell fast because my house had been on the market for way too long. I just could not afford to spend anymore money on the house and then I finally found a real estate blog that had all of the information I need to help me out.

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