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There are a lot of professional designations in real estate. Two of the most common include real estate agent and real estate broker. What is the difference between these two important titles?
The main difference between an agent and a broker is their experience and required education.
Both licenses are state-specific and each state has its own requirements for pre-licensing education, years of experience, and exams.
Typically, new real estate professionals begin as real estate agents. After taking a few real estate courses, they are required to pass an exam and complete an application to become licensed. A licensed agent can work on behalf of a buyer or seller during the home buying or selling process. A new agent will often work with an experienced agent or under a broker to learn the business.
After a few years of experience, some real estate agents choose to get their broker’s license. This requires additional classes and a more extensive licensing exam. A broker is able to work independently, even adding real estate agents to their team to work on their behalf. Some brokers work for a well-known company, such as RE/MAX, while others open an independent brokerage. Brokers often specialize in a region or type of real estate, such as commercial buildings or luxury properties.
Whether you work with a real estate agent or broker, the most important thing is that you trust your agent is working on your behalf. This means everything from doing a good market analysis to keeping lines of communication open. Recommendations from trusted neighbors and friends is one of the best ways to find an agent or broker who is a good fit for you and your needs.