Realtors Vs Brokers (Knowing The Differences)

There are three major roles within the real estate industry. Those being the clients, the realtors, and the real estate brokers.

Each role has wants, needs, and goals. Without the clients there would be no industry and the other roles would not exist. In simple terms, the real estate agent, or realtor, is the person who works closely with the clients and the real estate broker works with the agents. Let’s dive deeper into the topic to know how those roles affect you and what the difference is between realtors and brokers.

What are Realtors?

Real estate agents are professionals that assist clients to either find or sell a home. 

They are hired by you, the client, to help you with your real estate needs. They are knowledgeable about the area, housing values, and the processes that need to be followed in order to either sell or purchase a home.


They are the middleman between the home buyer and seller, or their agent, and their job is to get you the best deal possible. They are also professional negotiators, they are capable of leveraging certain things, for example, if the home inspections don’t go well they may be able to use the information to get the home buyer a better price for the home.

Banks of Knowledge

Agents are remarkably smart, they have a ton of industry information and contacts. They can use their wealth of knowledge to attract more buyers for home sellers or find your dream home for buyers.

Agents Work For Brokers

Real estate agents need to receive their licenses and certifications then work underneath a broker or brokerage. An agent does not need a federal license, because there is not one for real estate, but they need to get a license for the state they work in. 

There are very small barriers to becoming a licensed real estate agent, that is why they are normally supervised by the brokers. Also, when realtors receive their commission, it is the norm that a portion goes to the brokerage that they work for.

What are Brokers?

Brokers are real estate agents who have done more extensive learning and licensing. They own the business they work for and then hire agents under their supervision. There are three common positions as a broker, each with different responsibilities:

  • Associate Brokers

These are brokers who are agents that have their broker license. They choose to work underneath another broker, usually, they are not in charge of supervising real estate agents.

  • Managing Brokers

These brokers are focused on the daily operations of the brokerage. They handle the hiring and training of new real estate agents. They are also responsible for the administrative aspects of the brokerage.

  • Principal Brokers

They are responsible for supervising the real estate agents. They ensure that all procedures and regulations are being held and they are the sole supervisor of the brokerage. Normally there is only one principal broker by who all agents are supervised.

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Since real estate brokers are qualified to be agents but have more extensive learning, they can perform the same activities as agents. If you decide to hire a broker to act as your agent, they may want a larger commission. For them, they do not need to split the commission with the brokerage, due to them being the broker. 

What They Both Can Do For You

There are plenty of obligations for both brokers and agents. Even if they are brokers, they can still do a lot to meet the goals of their clients.

Both brokers and realtors are highly skilled professionals and very well versed in the real estate industry. They each have specialized skills and weaknesses, but they share the same goals. As much as the reputation of real estate agents can be negative, they usually have the goal of helping their clients in mind and genuinely want what’s best for them. Here are some of the basic obligations of real estate brokers and agents:

  • Being Market Experts

Both the realtors and brokers must have done extensive research on the local real estate market. They need to know where the market is trending toward and give you useful information to best answer every question you could have for them.

  • Evaluating Value 

Pricing and negotiation are the most important factors in real estate and the better agents and brokers know the true and accurate market value of your home and how to promote the greater aspects and hide the lower aspects of your home. 

  • Help You Identify The Key Selling Points:

It is their job to find out good selling points of your house and also include this list of features on paper. This can be within the property like rooms or square footage, or it can be aspects in your neighborhood like schools or crime rate.

Since they are professional house marketers, they know which could attract the most potential buyers to your property.

  • Guides Through Paperwork

It’s the realtors’ responsibility to help guide you through the various paperwork within the transaction process. The following are some examples of paperwork that they may need to help you with: 

    • Buyer’s agent agreement
    • Purchase agreement
    • Seller’s disclosures
    • Home inspection report
    • Closing disclosure
    • Title insurance policy

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  • Advertising Your Home

Real estate agents and brokers are great at showing off your home. This can be as simple as taking professional pictures of the interior and exterior of your property. They are very connected and they can get you in contact with a professional stager to ensure that the property looks its best.

  • Adding Your Home To The MLS 

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a record of homes that are for retail. It is another one of Your hired agent or broker should insert your home to the MLS to increase the number of potential buyers and hopefully, bid on the house.

  • Using Listing Sites

There are plenty of listing sites that can heavily boost the number of potential buyers that make it to your home. You can use the FastExpert property site to list your home or to find homes in your budget and area. 

You can find images and useful information about the home from the listing site so you can get an idea of the property before you go yourself.

One of the common mistakes is placing a “For Sale” sign on your lawn without being prepared. You should speak to your listing agent before deciding to use yard signs. Some things to consider before placing signage out are:

    • Putting a lockbox or security on your door.
    • Making sure someone is home at all times if the sign is out.
    • Coordinating visits/showings with buyers.
    • Making sure buyers have to finance (e.g., pre-approval).
    • Holding an open house. 
    • Presenting offers from buyers
  • Attending Events

All realtors or brokers should be attending the open houses with you or for you. They also attend the home inspections if you are a home buyer. You want your agent to ensure that things are as promised and that the transaction is best for you.

When you are searching for a real estate agent, you want to know that they can fill these obligations and make the transaction process easier. 


Real estate brokers and realtors have different roles and responsibilities, but they can share the same tasks. If you are looking to hire a real estate agent, you can use our database to find top-tier agents in your area. You can now know how an agent can help you through the purchasing process and the difference between brokers and agents. 

Use the box below to take the next step in looking for a real estate agent or broker to help you find or sell your property.

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