What is a Real Estate Agent?
A real estate agent is a licensed professional who helps people buy and sell property. They are knowledgeable in the local market, and they have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is an online database of properties for sale. Agents also provide support throughout the transaction process, from helping buyers find a home that meets their needs to negotiating contracts with sellers.
Real estate agents typically work for brokerages — companies that employ multiple agents who use their expertise to represent buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. The brokerage provides resources such as marketing materials, office space, training, and other support services.
What is a Real Estate Broker?
A real estate broker is an individual or company that acts as an intermediary between sellers and buyers of real property. A broker usually has more education and experience than an agent and is licensed by the state to manage his or her own real estate business. Brokers typically have access to a wider variety of listings than agents do, and they’re responsible for managing all aspects of the transaction.
In addition to being able to list properties on the MLS, brokers can also represent buyers in negotiations with sellers. Unlike agents, brokers can also manage rental properties, handle evictions, oversee repairs, manage tenant applications, collect rent payments, and more.
The Difference Between Agents & Brokers
The primary difference between real estate agents and brokers lies in their qualifications. Agents must meet certain licensing requirements set forth by their state, while brokers must meet additional requirements beyond what agents are required to do. In some states, brokers must also take additional courses in order to become licensed.
Another key difference between agents and brokers is the scope of their activities. While agents typically just help people buy or sell property, brokers can handle all aspects of running a real estate business including managing rental properties.
Real estate agents and brokers both play important roles in the buying and selling of property. Agents are licensed professionals who help buyers find homes that meet their needs while negotiating contracts with sellers. Brokers are experienced professionals who have additional qualifications beyond what agents are required to do—they can list properties on the MLS and manage rental properties as well as negotiate with buyers on behalf of sellers.