Real Estate Agents vs. Brokers vs. Realtors: What’s the Difference?

April 17, 2023

Real Estate Agents vs. Brokers vs. Realtors: What’s the Difference?

Are you in the market for a new home, but feeling lost when it comes to the different titles of professionals in the real estate industry? Don’t worry – you’re not alone! There are often misconceptions about what exactly sets apart real estate agents, brokers, and realtors.

The Role of A Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a licensed professional who represents buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. Agents work in an agency, which is typically affiliated with a broker. The role of the agent is to negotiate the sale or purchase of property on behalf of their client.

There are a few key duties that an agent must perform in order to be successful. First, they must develop relationships with potential clients. This can be done through networking, marketing, and lead generation. Once a relationship is established, the agent will work with the client to determine their needs and wants in a property.

Next, the agent will search for properties that match the criteria provided by the client. They will also provide guidance on pricing and market conditions to help the client make informed decisions. After finding a suitable property, the agent will negotiate on behalf of the client to get the best possible price and terms for the sale or purchase.

Once a deal has been reached, the agent will continue to work with both parties until closing. They will handle any paperwork and coordinate with other service providers such as home inspectors and lenders. The goal of the agent is to make sure everything goes smoothly so that the transaction can close without any issues.

Choosing to work with a real estate agent can be a great way to simplify the process of buying or selling a home.

The Role Of A Real Estate Broker

A real estate broker is a licensed professional who acts as a middleman between buyers and sellers. Brokers work with both parties to negotiate a sale price and manage the paperwork involved in transferring ownership of the property.

While anyone can become a real estate agent by taking a few classes and passing a test, becoming a broker requires more education and experience. In most states, brokers must have at least two years of experience as an agent, as well as additional education in topics such as real estate law and finance.

The role of a broker is to provide expert guidance and advice throughout the process of buying or selling a home. They are also responsible for ensuring that all the necessary paperwork is completed correctly and in a timely manner. In some cases, brokers may even be able to help their clients get financing for their purchases.

The Role of A Realtor

A realtor is a professional who is licensed to help people buy, sell, or rent a property. They are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which is a trade organization that sets standards for the industry and provides educational and other resources to its members.

Their role is to help their clients navigate the often complicated process of buying, selling, or renting property. This can include everything from finding the right property to negotiating the best price. They use their knowledge of the market and their negotiation skills to get the best deal for their clients.

If you’re thinking about buying, selling, or renting property, working with a realtor can be a great way to make sure you get the best possible deal.

The Differentiation

These terms are often used interchangeably in the real estate industry. However, there are subtle but important differences between these professionals. Here’s a quick breakdown of the key distinctions:

Agents: A real estate agent is a licensed professional representing buyers or sellers in the purchase or sale of a property. Agents work under the supervision of a broker.

Brokers: A real estate broker is a licensed professional who can buy, sell, or lease property on behalf of their clients. Brokers can also supervise agents. In order to become a broker, candidates must usually have more experience and education than agents.

Realtors: This term is actually a trademarked designation held by members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). To be eligible for this designation, an individual must be a member of the NAR and must adhere to its code of ethics. While all realtors are agents or brokers, not all agents or brokers are realtors.


A real estate agent, broker, and realtor – all have important roles to play in the real estate industry. Agents are typically the ones working with potential buyers or sellers to find their perfect home. Brokers manage an office of agents by providing guidance, resources, and mentorship while a realtor works independently and can represent either buyer or seller clients. Knowing these distinctions between each profession is essential before you start looking for someone to represent your interests when buying or selling a property.

Author Avatar Hello! I'm Jay Thomas,

Related Blog

Selling your house can be challenging, but with the right guidance, it can be a smooth and successful process. Whether you’re a novice seller or have experience in the real estate market, comprehending the intricacies of selling a house is crucial. The Jay Thomas Real Estate Team is committed to ensuring your selling experience is as seamless as possible.

1. Preparing Your House for Sale:

 a. Home Staging: Presenting your home in the best light is vital. Consider decluttering, depersonalizing, and arranging furniture to showcase your property’s potential.
 b. Repairs and Improvements: Address any necessary repairs and consider making strategic improvements that can add value to your home.

2. Setting the Right Price:

 a. Market Research: Analyze comparable properties in your area to determine a competitive yet realistic price for your home.
 b. Consulting with Real Estate Professionals: Seek guidance from the Jay Thomas Real Estate Team to get a professional opinion on pricing strategy.

3. Marketing Your Property:

a. High-quality Photos and Virtual Tours: Invest in professional photography and virtual tours to make a strong online impression.
b. Online Presence: Utilize various online platforms, social media, and the Jay Thomas Real Estate Team’s website to showcase your property to a broad audience.

4. Working with Real Estate Agents:

 a. Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent: Collaborate with experienced professionals like the Jay Thomas Real Estate Team to guide you through the selling process.
b. Open Houses and Showings: Allow potential buyers to experience your home through open houses and scheduled showings.

5. Negotiating Offers:

 a. Understanding the Offer: Evaluate each offer cautiously, taking into account not only the price but also contingencies, financing, and the buyer’s timeline.
   b. Counteroffers and Negotiations: Work closely with your real estate agent to negotiate terms that sync with your goals.

6. Navigating the Closing Process:

  a. Escrow and Title Company: Engage with reputable escrow and title companies to facilitate a smooth and secure closing process.
b. Home Inspection and Appraisal: Be prepared for a home inspection and appraisal, addressing any issues that may arise.

7. Finalizing the Sale:

a. Signing the Closing Documents: Review and sign the necessary paperwork to finalize the sale.
 b. Handing Over the Keys: Celebrate the successful sale and hand over the keys to the new owner.

8. PostSale Considerations:

 a. Moving Out and Cleaning: Plan your moveout process and ensure the property is left in good condition.
 b. Addressing Legal and Financial Matters: Consult with professionals to wrap up any legal or financial obligations related to the sale.

You Must Read: Navigating the Murky Waters: Understanding the Risks of Falling Property Prices and Rents in Today’s Real Estate Market

Types of House

The selling decision also varies per the type of house you own. Let’s study a little about this subject as well.

Single-Family Homes:

Selling a single-family home often involves catering to families or individuals looking for a standalone property.

Yard and Outdoor Spaces: Highlight the features of the backyard, front yard, and any outdoor amenities. Families often prioritize outdoor spaces.
Neighborhood and Schools: Provide information about local schools, parks, and community amenities, as these factors can be crucial for families.

Condominiums or Apartments:

For those selling a condo or apartment, there are unique aspects to consider:
Homeowner’s Association (HOA): Explain the role of the HOA and any associated fees. Highlight amenities like shared spaces, gyms, or pools.
Condo Regulations: Inform potential buyers about any specific regulations or rules governing the condominium community.

 Luxury Homes:

Selling a luxury home requires a more specialized approach:

High-End Marketing: Invest in top-tier marketing, including professionally shot videos, 3D virtual tours, and high-quality brochures.
Exclusive Networking: Leverage entire real estate networks and events to reach potential high-net-worth buyers.

Historical or Unique Properties:

Selling a historical or unique property involves showcasing its distinctive features:

Heritage and Architectural Significance: Emphasize the historical aspects of the property, including any architectural significance.
Preservation Considerations: Be aware of any restrictions or considerations regarding the preservation of historical elements.


For houses in need of renovation, transparency is key:

Highlight Potential: Showcase the property’s potential and provide estimates for renovation costs. Consider offering virtual staging to demonstrate possibilities.
Target DIY Enthusiasts: Appeal to buyers who are willing to invest time and effort in renovations.

 Vacation Homes:

Selling a vacation property involves marketing the lifestyle as much as the house:

Proximity to Attractions: Highlight the property’s proximity to tourist attractions, outdoor activities, or scenic views.
Rental Income Potential: If applicable, discuss the property’s potential as a vacation rental for extra income.


Selling a townhouse often involves a mix of considerations for single-family homes and condos:

Community Living: Emphasize the benefits of community living while still having a standalone property.
Shared Spaces: Highlight any communal areas or amenities that come with the townhouse complex.

Tailoring the selling process to the specific features and potential buyers of the house type ensures a more targeted and effective approach. The Jay Thomas Real Estate Team can provide customized guidance based on the unique characteristics of each property.

You Can Read Also: Essential Steps to Take Immediately After Receiving the Keys to Your New Home


Selling your house involves a series of strategic steps, and with the support of the Jay Thomas Real Estate Team, you can navigate this process with confidence. By preparing your home, setting the right price, marketing effectively, and working closely with experienced professionals, you increase your chances of a successful and satisfying sale. Remember, selling a house is a significant undertaking, but with the right guidance, it can be a rewarding experience that opens the door to new opportunities.

Related Blog