Each industry has its own vocabulary. Real estate is also full of terminologies and buzzwords frequently used by those in the field. Initially, this jargon may be confusing to non-experts. You might have questioned the distinction between a real estate agent and a real estate broker, especially if you’re considering entering this career path.
If you’re new to real estate, the difference between a real estate agent and a broker may be blurry. In asking for help buying or selling a home, which of the two, would you hire?
The terms “real estate agent” and “real estate broker” are frequently used in the same context. Getting the two titles mixed up, with an agent and a broker having real estate sales licenses, is understandable. Both roles share the same fundamentals. However, agents and brokers have distinct responsibilities in the real estate sector.
What is a Real Estate Agent?
Most people automatically think of an agent when referring to real estate professionals. Agents are responsible for scheduling client meetings, organizing open houses, and carrying out all other tasks related to selling real estate. They also help people navigate the housing market while having independence and controlling how they earn. All of these are the scope of becoming a real estate agent.
To become an agent, you must complete a series of real estate classes and pass a licensing exam specific to a certain area. Aside from pre-licensing training, states have educational requirements for real estate agents. The number of required training hours may vary per state. Some ask for 60 hours of pre-licensing training, while others want 135 hours of license coursework.
After training, you’ll go through the written licensing exam that’s divided into two portions:
- Federal real estate laws and general real estate principles
- State-specific laws
Passing the exam will entitle you to a real estate agent license. As a real estate agent, you won’t be able to function alone. A licensed broker must employ you for you to sell real estate legally.
What Exactly Does a Real Estate Agent Do?
Real estate agents have the proper licenses to assist in purchasing, selling, and renting real estate. They’re compensated with a commission, typically a portion of the property’s sale price. They’re also in charge of bringing buyers and sellers together. Sometimes, they’re called real estate salespeople and real estate associates.
Agents are in charge of conveying bids, counteroffers, and any questions between parties. They also ensure that their clients are well informed of any requirements for the sale, such as home inspections and significant dates. When someone accepts an offer, an agent will work with another agent to assist clients with the paperwork.
Starting your real estate career, being an agent offers plenty of opportunities to get experience. Most agents earn money through commission. Depending on an agent’s brokerage, the payout structure can change significantly.
What is a Broker?
A broker is someone who has advanced their real estate career beyond the rank of a real estate agent. To become a broker, you need further training and must pass a specific licensing exam. Once all licensing requirements are met, you can sell property independently or establish a brokerage firm where you can manage and supervise real estate agents.
As a broker, you can investigate various commission options that would ultimately work in your favor. Although being a broker requires more effort, many consider the reward for being well worth the extended education, as many believe real estate is an excellent investment.
What Exactly Does a Broker Do?
Brokers in real estate perform many of the same tasks as agents. When working with buyers, brokers typically find properties that meet their customers’ requirements, engage in negotiations, create offers, and support the buyers with any other concerns before the closing.
Brokers can also assess the market prices of their client’s properties, talk to sellers about offers, and support the offer procedure.
The Kinds of Brokers Real Estate Agents Work With
Real estate agents collaborate with three main classifications of brokers, each with various levels of responsibility:
- Principal/designated brokers – Real estate agents are monitored by principal/designated brokers to ensure that they adhere to real estate laws. There’s one designated broker for each real estate office.
- Associate brokers – Despite choosing to work for another broker, associate brokers have broker licenses. They typically don’t oversee other agents.
- Managing brokers – The office’s daily activities and transactions are supervised by managing brokers. They also work with administrative personnel, hire agents, and train new hires.
Real estate brokers make money by collecting a cut of commissions from the real estate agents they supervise. As real estate brokers have a deeper understanding of the industry, they can also provide valuable insights into real estate investing tax strategies, helping clients optimize their financial gains and navigate tax obligations effectively. Commissions from their own deals also serve as their payments, and they aren’t required to split those with the office.
Real estate brokers are paid more than agents and have greater training and experience. They’re the only real estate experts who can start their own brokerage or property management business. They also have financial responsibility for other agents and are subject to fewer licensing requirements.
Consider upgrading to a broker’s license if you want to create your own brokerage, earn more money, or manage properties.
It’s no secret that real estate job titles may be a little perplexing. Even if the distinctions are slight, knowing the terms is still crucial, especially if this career route interests you. With this, you can be confident about the jargon the next time someone mentions a broker or agent.
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