July 14, 2021 Cody Marchant

Real Estate Agent vs Broker vs Realtor: What’s the Difference?

How important is experience, training, and one-on-one interaction during real estate transactions?

Those three things (and a few more) will help you determine whether you should work with a real estate agent, a broker, or a Realtor.

Plus, we’ve put together this article of information to help as well.

What is a real estate agent

What is a Real Estate Agent? 

A real estate agent is a professional who works for a brokerage and helps connect buyers and sellers so that a real estate transaction can take place. They submit offers, paperwork, and negotiate on behalf of their client. They also finalize sales and work one-on-one with clients to ensure complete satisfaction.

There are two main types of real estate agents: seller’s agent (listing agent) and buyer’s agent (selling agent). Each assists with all important and necessary paperwork, effectively communicates with all parties involved in the transaction, provides inside information on the home and area, and helps with the closing process. However, they both play specific roles and provide tailored services to their clients.

Learn how to find a top real estate agent here.

what is a real estate broker?What is a Real Estate Broker? 

A real estate broker is an agent who passed a broker’s license exam and can now work independently or employ real estate agents so that they can start their own brokerage.

Brokers can do everything that real estate agents can do, but they have the power to choose how much they want to be involved. They can help with the technical aspects of sales and work to manage the brokerage while assisting clients, or they can supervise while employing other agents.

There are 3 types of brokers: designated broker, associate broker, managing broker.


What is a Realtor? 

When a licensed real estate agent becomes an active member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), they get the privilege of owning the title Realtor (with a capital R).

Having the title Realtor shows buyers and sellers that this agent is held to a higher standard and code of ethics by NAR. To become a Realtor, agents must actively join, and get accepted, by NAR, pay dues to the association, pass courses on the code of Ethics, stand by NAR’s standards of practice, and maintain their certifications.  

Real Estate Agent vs Broker vs Realtor: What’s the Difference?

As you can see, the roles and responsibilities handled by each professional are different.

The differences between real estate agents and a Realtor boils down to professional certifications. And the differences between a real estate agent and a broker comes down to personal ambition and preference. However, the difference between a broker and Realtor is more noteworthy.

Although brokers can become Realtors and vice versa, the two terms are not interchangeable. When an agent chooses to become a broker, they deep-dive into technical topics such as legal issues, investments, property management, and more. It takes years of excellent work for Realtors and agents to become qualified to take the broker’s exam.

Ultimately, the most notable difference between them all is that brokers are responsible for a lot more than just ensuring client satisfaction. They must also manage the firm, their agents, maintain legal compliance, and review all contracts.

Which is Best for You?

Choosing which real estate professional to work with depends on what you’re looking for and your unique situation. There’s a good chance that you’ll work with both a broker and real estate agent during a real estate transaction.

When determining which professional is best to work with, try interviewing each type before making a decision. Real estate agents, brokers and realtors all have the industry knowledge and experience to help you through each step of the buying and/or selling process.

Remember, if you choose to work with a realtor, you may benefit from special NAR discounts and resources. Be sure to ask about these discounts in your interview!

If you’re looking for a real estate professional, or if you want to know what to look for in a good professional, Loan Compass can help!