July 18, 2024

Real Estate Agent vs Broker vs Realtor

Understanding the Differences

When it comes to buying or selling a property, you might have come across the terms real estate agent, broker, and realtor. While these terms are often used interchangeably, there are subtle differences between them. It is important to understand these differences to make informed decisions, especially when you are looking for professional assistance in the real estate industry.

Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a licensed professional who represents buyers or sellers in real estate transactions. They have completed the required education and passed the licensing exam to obtain their real estate license. Real estate agents work under the supervision of a licensed broker and are typically independent contractors.


A broker, on the other hand, is a real estate professional who has obtained additional education and experience beyond that of an agent. Brokers have completed advanced coursework, passed a higher-level licensing exam, and have met the state’s requirements to become a licensed broker. They have the authority to work independently or hire agents to work under them.


A realtor is a real estate agent or broker who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Becoming a realtor is voluntary and involves adhering to a strict code of ethics and professional standards set by the NAR. Realtors have access to exclusive resources and networking opportunities, giving them an edge in the real estate industry.

Choosing the Right Professional

When it comes to choosing between a real estate agent, broker, or realtor, it is essential to consider your specific needs and requirements. Real estate agents are a great choice for most individuals as they have the necessary knowledge and expertise to guide you through the buying or selling process.

Brokers, on the other hand, are ideal for more complex transactions or if you require additional services such as property management or investment advice. They have a higher level of expertise and can provide valuable insights into the real estate market.

If you are looking for a professional who is committed to upholding high ethical standards, a realtor might be the right choice for you. Realtors follow a strict code of ethics and are dedicated to providing the best possible service to their clients.


Real estate agents, brokers, and realtors all play important roles in the real estate industry. Understanding the differences between them can help you make an informed decision when it comes to buying or selling property. Whether you choose a real estate agent, broker, or realtor, it is crucial to work with someone who understands your needs and has the expertise to guide you through the process successfully.