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Real Estate Brokers vs. Agents: Which One Should You Work With?

The real estate market can be confusing to buyers and sellers alike, so you will almost certainly need the assistance of a professional when you are thinking of moving.

This is where real estate brokers and agents come into play, but is there a difference between them and which is best for your needs?

The essential similarities

Before delving into the distinctions that separate brokers and agents, it is worth looking at the areas in which their roles overlap.

Chiefly, brokers and agents work for clients who want to buy, sell or rent property. They help find homes for clients, and also orchestrate the transaction when a sale is made.

Agents and brokers get paid in much the same way, with their commission coming out of the sale price achieved. This means using a commission rate calculator in real estate is a good way to work out how much this will cost you as the client.

Lastly, brokers and agents will all need to have completed the relevant training to receive certification from the authorities in the area they operate.

Understanding the role of real estate agents

Agents are usually on the lower rungs of the property industry career ladder, as they need to work as part of and be vouched for a wider brokerage organization.

Anyone over 18 can train to be an agent, and as long as you pass the licensing exams, you can apply for jobs at brokerages straight away.

An agent can do a lot for buyers and sellers, including listing homes on property websites, hosting open houses, attending viewings and generally doing their best to ensure that they get a good deal for their clients.

The key takeaway is that they cannot do this solo, but must act as a representative of a brokerage, as mentioned.

Investigating how brokers function

Brokers are a step up from agents in terms of their qualifications and their experience, having achieved more rigorous certification which gives them the power to work independently, as well as to recruit agents to join their very own brokerage organization.

In most respects, brokers will fulfill similar duties to agents when it comes to handling property transactions. However, they may also be responsible for training other team members, checking that regulatory compliance is observed and handling other managerial tasks.

Deciding between a broker and an agent

So long as the real estate professional you work with has a good reputation and is sensitive to your needs, then you do not need to worry too much about whether you pick a broker or an agent to handle your transaction.

In the case of choosing an agent, it makes sense to research the brokerage that hires them so that you can get a sense of the quality of the service you can expect to receive.

With brokers who work alone, it is worth seeking out feedback from previous clients so that you do not have to take their word for their skills, experience and abilities.

If in doubt, look up your agent or broker on your state’s official real estate regulation site, since this is a convenient way to check their credentials and see if they have gotten into any trouble in the past.

Of course if you are buying a home, then you have no control over the agent or broker that the seller is using. In this case it pays to have a reliable, reputable real estate pro in your corner so that the negotiations are wrangled deftly and kinks are ironed out quickly.

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