Buying and selling homes is complicated. There are several steps and lots of boring and intimidating paperwork that has to be done to make the process go by as easy and smoothly as possible. Hiring an expert to take some of the stress off of yourself is the best way to simplify the process, but who should you turn to? Real Estate Agents, Real Estate Brokers, and Realtors have the knowledge and ability to make buying and selling a home easier and unless intimidating, and although each of these titles are used interchangeable, it is important to know the different between the three different positions.

Real Estate Agents

Real Estate Agents are licensed through the state and are professionals who arrange real estate transactions. Generally, to get a real estate license, a person must complete pre-licensing training, then take a written licensing exam. They put buyers and seller together and act as their representative in negotiations. They usually specialize in either commercial or residential real estate, but they perform various duties depending on whether or not they are working with buyers or sellers. Listing Agents are agents that work with seller, and they advise clients on how to price the property and prepare it for a sale. An agent that works for a buyer search for available properties within the buyers’ parameters by looking at data and helping buyers make bids. Real Estate Agents can work for both buyers and sellers, but state laws regulate whether an agent can represent both parties in a real estate transaction and an agent must disclose their representation so that buyers and seller are aware of any conflict of interest.

Real Estate Broker

In almost every state, a Real Estate Agent must work for or be in affiliation with a Real Estate Broker. A Real Estate Broker is a licensed real estate professional who hold expertise that can help people with real estate transactions. They take additional training, as well as their own exam, with coursework that covers topics like ethics, contracts, taxes, and insurance. This is because a Brokers main duties are to ensure that the real estate transactions between two parties are lawful, that paperwork is correct and completed, and that all funds are recorded and reported properly. Brokers have the ability to manage their own businesses because of this.


A Realtor is a real estate profession who is a member of the National Association of Relators (NAR). The NAR is a national organization that was created to promote the real estate profession and foster professional behavior in its members. This includes Real Estate Agents that work as resident and commercial Real Estate Brokers, Salespeople, Property Managers, and other real estate professionals. Realtors must belong to both a local association or board and a state association. Being a realtor is a trademark, professionals who hold a membership must be licensed to use the trademark, and it is prohibited from being used as a part of the legal corporate name of members of the association.

Choosing Your Best Option

It’s important to note that no one professional is necessarily better than the other. Although Realtors and Real Estate Brokers have additional licenses that a Real Estate Agent doesn’t, they all work cohesively and offer the same serves with slightly different experiences. You may find that you prefer to work with a Real Estate Agent over a Broker because you get along with the agent you met. However, if you prefer individuals who have the realtor trademark because they have access to trainings, tools, and data that a real estate agent or broker doesn’t that’s also okay! Researching the different real estate professionals is a part of the buying and selling process and it’s important to find someone who makes you feel heard and understood. Contact us to speak to one of our experts and start the process of buying or selling your home today!