A:

Many people unfamiliar with the real estate industry use the terms real estate agent, broker and realtor interchangeably. There are differences among the three titles, however, the most important being the services each real estate professional offers to those in need of real estate services.

A real estate agent is a real estate professional who has taken and passed all required real estate classes and passed the real estate licensing exam in the state in which he or she intends to work. It is the most encompassing of the titles since it is the starting point for most real estate professionals. Agents are also referred to as real estate associates.

A real estate broker has continued his or her education past the real estate agent level and has passed the real estate broker license exam. Real estate brokers can work as independent real estate agents or have other agents working for them. A real estate associate broker is a professional who has passed the broker licensing exam but chooses to work for another broker. An associate broker may share in the brokerage profits above and beyond the typical agent commission.

A realtor is a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). To become a member, a real estate professional has to agree to abide by the association's standards and uphold its code of ethics.

The biggest distinction among the three is that a broker can work on his or her own, while an agent has to work under a licensed broker.

RELATED FAQS
  1. How do real estate agents market themselves?

    Find an agent by checking popular real estate circulars featuring desirable neighborhoods and call the agent to ask questions ... Read Answer >>
  2. How do real estate agents get listings?

    Learn about how real estate agents get listings in top real estate markets, as well as in smaller areas, through utilizing ... Read Answer >>
  3. Do real estate agents get paid hourly or by salary?

    Learn about real estate commissions and how real estate agents, including listing agents, buyer's agents and real estate ... Read Answer >>
  4. Why do real estate agents fail?

    Becoming a successful real estate agent requires a mindset that is built for success and strong, consistent action that buttresses ... Read Answer >>
  5. What factors drive share prices in the real estate sector?

    Discover the main factors that tend to drive share prices in the real estate sector and some equity evaluation metrics specific ... Read Answer >>
  6. How much of an institutional pension fund's portfolio is typically investing in real ...

    Learn what percentage of assets institutional pensions typically allocate to real estate investments. Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    What Are The Differences Among A Real Estate Agent, A Broker And A Realtor?

    All three work in the real estate field, but there are differences between the job descriptions.
  2. Investing

    Commercial Real Estate Agent: Job Description & Average Salary

    Learn more about the qualifications, daily and regular responsibilities, and average yearly salaries of commercial real estate agents.
  3. Investing

    Would You Make A Good Real Estate Broker?

    How to tell if you'd be good in this field. It is a common second career for many people, but isn't a good match for everyone.
  4. Investing

    Becoming a Real Estate Agent Or Mortgage Broker

    Considering a career as either a real estate agent or a mortgage broker? Here are some factors that might help you choose between them.
  5. Investing

    Understanding Real Estate Commissions: Who Pays?

    When you set out to buy or sell a house, one factor worth considering is the real estate agent's fees.
  6. Investing

    How to Choose the Right Real Estate Broker

    Buying or selling a home can be the largest financial transactions of your life. Here's how to choose the right real estate broker or agent.
  7. Investing

    10 Habits of Highly Effective Real Estate Investors

    The best real estate investors all share these traits and practices.
  8. Investing

    How Real Estate Agents Get Paid

    Most real estate agents are paid a percentage of the property’s selling price, which is called a commission.
  9. Investing

    6 Questions For Your Realtor

    A good real estate agent can guide you through every step of buying or selling a home. These questions can help you find the right one.
  10. Investing

    Getting Your Real Estate License

    Each state has its own rules, regulations and examination for obtaining a real estate license. Find out what you need to know.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Real Estate Agent

    A person with a state/provincial license to represent a buyer ...
  2. Realtor

    A real estate professional who is a member of the National Association ...
  3. Listing Agreement

    A document in which a property owner (as principal) contracts ...
  4. Private Equity Real Estate

    A Definition of "Private Equity Real Estate" and how it applies ...
  5. Outside Broker

    1. A real estate salesperson and deal facilitator who works for ...
  6. National Association of Realtors (NAR)

    A national organization of real estate brokers. The National ...
Hot Definitions
  1. Fixed Asset

    A long-term tangible piece of property that a firm owns and uses in the production of its income and is not expected to be ...
  2. Absolute Advantage

    The ability of a country, individual, company or region to produce a good or service at a lower cost per unit than the cost ...
  3. Nonce

    Nonce is a number added to a hashed block, that, when rehashed, meets the difficulty level restrictions.
  4. Coupon

    The annual interest rate paid on a bond, expressed as a percentage of the face value. It is also referred to as the "coupon ...
  5. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    Socially responsible investing looks for investments that are considered socially conscious because of the nature of the ...
  6. Letter Of Credit

    A letter from a bank guaranteeing that a buyer's payment to a seller will be received on time and for the correct amount. ...
Trading Center