When you’re looking to hire a qualified and experienced real estate professional it can be confusing seeing so many different titles. To help you gain a better grasp of the ins and outs of your options, take a look at these 4 key differences between real estate agents vs. brokers.
The most immediate thing that separates real estate agents from brokers is the requirements for each of them to obtain their licenses and titles.
Agents must complete so many hours of coursework and then pass a state exam to qualify as a real estate agent. On the other hand, a broker goes further with their education, completing additional coursework and passing another licensing exam.
Agents often pursue the broker’s license with the intention of escalating their stake in an agency or brokerage or to open more opportunities for themselves in the future.
Each state has its own minimum amount of coursework required before someone may take the exam to qualify as an agent, and some states also have minimum experience levels needed for agents to become licensed brokers.
Role and Responsibilities
Since we established that brokers have completed the qualifications to be licensed real estate agents on their way to becoming brokers, the easiest way of thinking about the role of a broker is an agent with additional capabilities and, perhaps, responsibilities.
Some brokers may or may not have a managerial role over the agents within their agency or brokerage. In some cases, a broker may own their own brokerage, in which case they are referred to as a broker-owner. This certainly puts the broker in a position where they are overseeing the day-to-day operations of their agents and pushing to deliver the best for their agents, and their agent’s clients.
One detail to keep in mind about agents is that any agent that is advertised with the title “Realtor” means that they are a member of the National Association of Realtors. The NAR is a professional organization that exists to uphold standards in its field while also searching for ways to provide better service for both members and their clients.
When it comes to the difference in experience between an agent and a broker, the devil is in the details.
While some states do require brokers to have a minimum amount of experience prior to completing their testing and being licensed as a broker, that does not mean they are automatically better equipped compared to a veteran agent with years of sales under their belt.
Both agents and brokers have to reapply for their licenses every so many years, and continuing education is part of that process. This also doesn’t take into account any supplemental training a Realtor has undergone through their connection to the NAR.
All of these details guarantee everyone must stay up-to-date on industry standards in regards to legal and safety issues.
The final bit that can be overlooked when hunting for the right agent or broker is the network of professionals they can bring to the table.
Both agents and brokers spend their time getting to know inspectors, photographers, marketers, accountants, and interior decorators of all kinds in order to make their listings pop and their transactions a success for both themselves and their clients.
While there’s no way of knowing which of these professional contacts are available to any given agent or broker prior to meeting with them, an agent that is out in the field regularly is more likely to maintain and further build these relationships over time versus a broker that may be filling a more supervisory role.
Your Trustworthy Real Estate Agents & Brokers
If you’re looking to buy or sell a property and want to work with a team of experienced professional real estate agents and brokers, contact us today at 443.261.6441!