Realtors vs. Real Estate Brokers – What’s the Difference?

Realtors vs. Real Estate Brokers - What's the Difference?

Millions of people sell their homes every month in the US. Some people opt to act as their own sales representative. Others turn to professionals to help them sell.

If you’re looking to sell your home soon, you might be wondering what the best route to go is. Should you go it alone, or should you get a helping hand from the experts?

If you’re thinking about teaming up, you might be wondering about Realtors vs real estate brokers. What’s the difference, and how can they help you sell your home?

This quick breakdown will help you understand the differences, as well as which choice might be right for you.

What Does a Real Estate Broker do?

A real estate broker is a step up from a real estate agent.

Real estate agents have to take an exam to receive their license. In most cases, this also means they need to take special courses and receive training.

Brokers go a step further. They take more hours of education, going beyond what’s required to become an agent. They also have to pass the broker’s exam.

Real estate brokers also have more experience than agents. They usually have to have a few years of experience as agents.

Brokers can do everything an agent can do, including helping buyers and sellers. They also know a good deal more about real estate law and how to operate a real estate brokerage.

They also have more training in ethics, contracts, and more. They may also have in-depth knowledge of property management and construction. They also have more training in real estate investments.

Like agents, brokers may have areas of expertise. They could specialize in commercial properties or rental listings.

Types of Brokers

There are a few different types of brokers. A managing broker is the person overseeing the day-to-day operations at a brokerage.

An associate broker may work under the managing broker. They don’t usually supervise other agents.

The principal or designated broker is the person who oversees the agents at a brokerage. They make sure all agents are acting in line with the law. They may be paid on commission from the sales they oversee.

What Does a Realtor do?

A Realtor can do pretty much everything a real estate agent can do, just like a broker can. In fact, the difference between a Realtor and a real estate agent is actually fairly small.

Realtors are real estate agents who have joined the National Association of Realtors. To join, an agent must have a valid license and an impeccable record of professional conduct.

Realtors make up about half of all real estate agents in the US. They’re bound by the NAR’s Code of Ethics. In essence, they’re held to a higher standard than other real estate agents.

Real estate agents have plenty of incentive to join NAR. Realtor is a respected title across the United States. Many homebuyers and sellers put their trust in Realtors, since they know it means they’re dealing with professionals.

Realtors vs. Real Estate Brokers

Are real estate brokers and Realtors the same thing? Not always.

What are the differences between Realtors and real estate brokers? Realtors only need to be real estate agents to join the NAR and use this title.

Some real estate brokers are also members of NAR, and they can call themselves Realtors. Not every broker will be part of the NAR, though. Similarly, not every Realtor is a real estate broker.

Keep in mind that real estate brokers have more training than real estate agents. A Realtor may be a real estate agent, but not a broker.

Although the Realtor has to follow NAR’s Code of Ethics, they may not have the same in-depth training as a broker does.

They also may not have the same training or experience around commercial properties or construction.

Realtors do have more experience than a real estate agent. It takes time to create a professional record of conduct. Very few agents become Realtors right out of the gate.

Brokers may be able to do more than Realtors can. It depends on the type of license and training the Realtor has.

Who Should You Work with?

Now you need to decide who you’re going to work with when you sell your house.

Many real estate agents work for a brokerage, so you may end up working with both an agent and a broker. Some brokers will personally manage a listing or close a deal. Generally, you’ll work with the agent you choose to.

Brokers may work behind the scenes, whereas agents and Realtors are out in the field. Some agents and Realtors work independently, rather than at a brokerage.

Working with a Realtor or a broker ensures you’re working with ethical professionals. Realtors are held to their code of ethics. Brokers oversee sales and contracts to ensure everything is done according to the law.

In short, you can trust a Realtor or a broker to help guide you through the process of buying or selling a house.

Of course, you can always look at selling a house on your own. This allows you to skip the commission fees. It does mean you’re on your own in navigating federal and state laws around the sale.

If you’re new to real estate, then it could be wise to enlist the help of the professionals.

The Right Help for Your Real Estate Journey

Selling a house can be a daunting task, but millions of people manage it every year. Many of them choose to work with trusted professionals.

If you wondered what the differences between Realtors vs real estate brokers were, you have a better understanding of each professional. This can also give you more insight into which one you should be working with as you think about selling your home.

Looking for more informative articles to help you on your real estate journey? Check out the archives and discover the best advice to make your journey straightforward.


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