How Is a Real Estate Agent Different From a Broker?


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Real Estate Agent vs Real estate Broker

Cherokee County Probate Court is the central court that handles all matters of estate and inheritance in Cherokee County, Georgia.

Author: Stan Faulkner, Founder, Perigon Legal Services, LLC

Mr. Faulkner is an experienced counselor and litigator with 15 years of experience, having held bar licenses in four states (Mo, Il, Ct and Ga). Stan Faulkner uses this experience and focuses his skills in the pursuit of assisting individuals in probate (trust and estate) matters, guardianships and conservatorships, estate planning, business disputes and contract disputes. Published on August 29, 2019.

Are you buying or selling a property? Or are you considering a future career in the real estate industry?

A real estate agent and a lawyer both play an essential role in the process of buying property, so there is often confusion about the difference between an agent and a broker. Choosing the right real estate partner or deciding to pursue a career in real estate can be improved by understanding the key differences between the two players.

What Is a Real Estate Agent?

A licensed real estate agent assists people in selling, buying, and renting property and concluding real estate transactions. These agents try to bring buyers and sellers together to complete real estate transactions.

A real estate agent works at a brokerage firm under a real estate firm or sponsoring brokerage. Sales agents are considered independent contractors and do not earn a salary. Instead, they receive a commission on the value of the property sold.

The sale, rental, and purchasing of real estate are highly regulated. This ensures the real estate industry upholds ethical standards, is efficient, the process is administratively sound, and meets all state regulations. Real estate agents have professional licenses to comply with the industry standards.

Agents Who List vs. Agents Who Sell: What’s the difference?

A listing agent, also known as a selling agent, is the seller’s agent. Listing agents represent the seller and assist the seller in marketing the property, often through a multiple listing service.

A listing agent enters into a listing agreement with the seller and tries to attract potential buyers using different methods, including holding open houses. A listing agent will assist a seller in arriving at the property’s sale price after considering all market factors. Agents are familiar with the selling process.

A buyer’s agent refers to the agent who represents buyers. A buyer’s agent guides potential buyers to find and buy property. Assistance with the real estate transaction is offered, but buyer’s agents cannot offer legal advice.

A single licensed agent can represent both the buyer and seller in the same transaction instead of having two agents. This is known as a dual agency and is not ideal due to the likelihood of conflict of interest.

How do You Become a Real Estate Agent?

You must attend real estate classes, write tests and hold State-specific certifications.

College degrees are not required, nor are business qualifications.

The qualifying criteria require that you:

  • Are 18 years or older
  • Do not have any indictment pending against you
  • Do not have any convictions for home invasion-related offenses
  • Do not have a conviction for a violent crime

If you qualify, then the next steps you need to take are:

  • Pass the real estate prelicensure class in your State
  • Pass the State’s Real Estate License Exam (the real estate salesperson license)
  • Undergo a background check
  • Find a licensed broker with a real estate firm under which you can register
What Is a Real Estate Agent

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What Is a broker?

A broker is a supercharged real estate agent. Brokers are qualified real estate agents but have studied further, obtained additional licenses, including the broker’s license exam, and have much broader training in the real estate business. In addition to working independently and acting as real estate agents, brokers can run their own firms and hire agents to work for them.

If they choose to run their own brokerage, they provide sales agents with a brokerage platform to work from. Brokers supervise, monitor, and take responsibility for other agents working for them. The broker is responsible for ensuring that all the real estate professionals working under them comply with local, state, and national real estate laws. Hence, brokers need to have a wealth of business management knowledge as they operate and supervise others through the process.

The broker typically earns a cut from sales agent commissions. . A listing broker is a broker who represents the seller, whereas brokers represent buyers.

Principal Brokers, Managing Brokers, and Associate Brokers

Different types of brokers have different responsibilities.

  • Principal or designated brokers ensure that all their real estate agents comply with state and national real estate laws. One broker is chosen to be the designated broker for the business.
  • A managing broker is responsible for all daily operations in the brokerage and oversees all property transactions. They are responsible for general property management, oversee admin staff, and the training and hiring of new agents.
  • An associate broker has a broker qualification but chooses to work under a principal broker as an associate.

How to Become Real Estate Brokers

To meet the criteria to become a real estate broker, you need to:

  • Be a qualified real estate agent
  • Have state-specific proven experience as a real estate agent
  • Attend broker pre-license classes in your state
  • Write and pass your state’s broker’s exam
Principal Brokers Managing Brokers and Associate Brokers

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Agent or Real Estate Broker for Buying or Selling Your Home

Now that you know the main differences between an agent and a real estate broker, you may wonder whether it’s better to use an agent or a broker when you are selling or buying a house. There is no correct answer here.

The higher qualified broker will not necessarily be able to assist you in achieving your goal any better than an agent. Brokers often refuse to do agent work, to prevent competing with their own agents.

Brokers have much greater responsibilities than agents, so an agent may have more time to dedicate to your deal.

Before hiring a real estate professional, research the agency and make sure they have a good reputation.

Real Estate Attorneys in Georgia

The sale of a property is a complex legal process. Your house is typically your most valuable asset. It’s essential to ensure the sale is thorough and complies with all laws and regulations.

Some lawyers have niche experience in real estate law and can assist you with residential or commercial real estate closings, protect your investment with additional legal assistance, analyze contracts and agreements, and deal with any real estate disputes.

Your local real estate attorney in Atlanta and Georgia real estate attorney have your back!

Real Estate Attorneys in Georgia

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Real Estate Attorney?

Lawyers who practice real estate law have the knowledge and experience to advise parties involved in real estate transactions, such as short sales or home sales. Real estate attorneys specialize in the legal aspects of buying and selling property, including wills and trusts, disputes, and more. In many states, only a real estate lawyer is authorized to prepare the property purchase agreements, perform the title search, and complete the purchase.

What Is the Difference Between Realtor and Real Estate Agents?

Often real estate agents and brokers are also licensed realtors. This simply means they are National Association of Realtors (NRA) members and are held to a higher ethical standard. The NRA is not exclusive to estate agents and brokers; even property managers can be licensed realtors.

What Is an Estate Broker or Estate Agents Role?

It is the responsibility of real estate professionals to support their clients, assist them in making informed decisions, and be familiar with the law and transactions pertaining to real estate.

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