difference between a broker and a realtor

Broker vs Realtor: Understanding the Difference

When it comes to buying or selling real estate, you might come across different terms such as broker, realtor, or agent. Although these terms may seem interchangeable, there is actually a significant difference between a broker and a realtor. In this article, we will explore these differences and how they can impact your real estate transaction.

What is a Broker?

A broker is someone who has passed a state licensing exam and has met the necessary criteria to manage a real estate office, as well as negotiate and oversee real estate transactions. Brokers may work independently or have a team of agents that work for them. Brokers can offer a range of services including property management, real estate investment consulting, and market analysis.

One of the primary differences between a broker and a realtor is that a broker can legally operate as an independent entity, while a realtor always operates under a broker. In other words, all realtors are agents, but not all agents are realtors or brokers.

What is a Realtor?

A realtor is an agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Realtors are held to a higher standard of ethical behavior and professionalism than non-realtor agents. They are required to abide by a strict code of ethics set by the NAR, which includes putting their client’s interests above their own and maintaining honesty and integrity in all dealings.

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In addition to adhering to a code of ethics, realtors also have access to a wide range of resources through the NAR. These resources can include educational materials, networking opportunities, and market data. This can be especially beneficial for homebuyers and sellers who want to make informed decisions about their real estate transaction.

Which One Should You Choose?

When it comes to buying or selling real estate, the choice between a broker and a realtor will come down to your personal preferences and needs. If you want an independent entity that can offer a range of services beyond just buying and selling real estate, a broker might be the better choice. If you want an agent who is held to a higher ethical standard and has access to additional resources, a realtor might be the way to go.

Ultimately, it is important to ask questions and do your research when choosing a real estate professional. Look for someone who has experience in the particular market you are interested in, and who has a track record of success in negotiating real estate transactions. By doing your due diligence, you can find the right professional to help you achieve your real estate goals.

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Table difference between a broker and a realtor

Attribute Broker Realtor
Licensing Requires a broker’s license Requires a real estate license
Responsibilities Responsible for the actions of the real estate agents under them Acts as an agent for buyers or sellers in real estate transactions
Education Must complete additional coursework and pass an exam to obtain broker’s license Must complete required coursework and pass an exam to obtain real estate license
Experience Generally requires more experience in the real estate industry May have varying levels of experience in the real estate industry
Fees May charge a higher commission or transaction fee due to added responsibilities Typically charges a commission or transaction fee based on the sale or purchase of property