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Difference Between a Real Estate Broker and an Agent

Difference Between a Real Estate Broker and an Agent

Real estate agents and brokers are not the same. There is a difference in their scope of work, education, and licensing.
Omkar Phatak
Finding a house, commercial space, or a rental apartment that perfectly suits your requirements and budget, can be a tough job. Bringing in a specialist like a real estate broker or agent makes it substantially easier. These professionals can provide you with a house or commercial space that is just right for your overall budget and preferences.

In case of the real estate business in USA, brokers and agents are not the same people, although they have an overlapping set of responsibilities.

This field is always going to be booming, as it provides for one of the most basic of human needs, which is shelter. As such, brokers and agents are also going to stay in demand, as they are the ones who bring buyers and sellers together, by tapping their network of clients.

How are their Work Profiles Different?

The reason why people get confused between the two, is because everything a real estate agent does, a broker does too. However, few know that a broker can do a lot more than an agent is licensed to do.

Firstly, in every US state, a broker and an agent possess different licenses. Both need to pass a written qualification exam to gain their respective licenses. Brokers need to study a wide range of aspects, compared to agents, which includes knowledge of real estate laws in the state and general procedure of transactions. In most states, the educational requirements to become a broker or an agent are limited to a graduate degree in any discipline.

How does an agent's license differ from that of a broker? A broker is licensed to run his own real estate business, while an agent can only work with a broker. That's why, agents are employed by firms, which are run by licensed brokers. Most states require that candidates possesses at least 2 to 3 years of experience in running the real estate business, before they can appear for a broker license.

Both agents and brokers work to bring buyers and sellers together and gain profits from commissions received, in lieu of handling the transactions. In some states, brokers are licensed to carry out real estate management agencies too. Agents work with real estate brokerage firms on a commission basis. The agent brings in the buyers or sellers and carries out the transaction in the broker's name and offers him a share of the commission earned. Obviously, it is more profitable to be a broker.

A broker can offer a much wider set of services, compared to an agent, who is restricted to buying and selling real estate. The most important point to be noted is that a broker can independently run a business, while an agent can't. They have to work with brokers on a commission basis. So, if you plan to enter the real estate business, it is highly recommended that you aim to become a broker, which provides you with a wider opportunity for business. Check out what the licensing requirements for a broker are, in your state and start preparing pronto.