The difference between a real estate agent and broker may not be clear to many people. You may even be wondering, “What is a REALTOR®?” So, continue on, and learn more about the differences between a real estate agent, a broker, and a REALTOR®. Then consider calling the offices of Jeff Barchi directly to start the homebuying process with the right agent.
What is a REALTOR®?
The official title of REALTOR® is given by the National Association of Realtors® after a person completes their licensing. A real estate agent may, or may not be a REALTOR® but if you are unsure go ahead, and just ask your agent. Usually, it is best to use a licenced REALTOR® because they are held to a higher standard than other real estate agents, thus they must adhere to a code of ethics set forth by the National Association of Realtors®.
What is a Real Estate Agent?
The term real estate agent is loosely used interchangeably with a variety of terms including REALTOR®, real estate agent, and broker. However, a real estate agent is not the correct term for these people. A real estate agent can take many forms, so it is best to know what they are before you confuse the term with other people in real estate offices.
Three Main Types of Real Estate Agents:
- Listing Agent
In real estate, a listing agent is someone who represents a property owner. As a seller, you may decide that using a qualified listing agent is the best way to manage the many items on your home-selling checklist. Pricing your home, recommending improvements, scheduling inspections, marketing the house, holding open houses, and showings along with troubleshooting problems along the way are all tasks of a listing agent.
In general, talking to a professional listing agent does not cost you anything until your home is sold. An average commision for a listing agent is about 5 – 6 % however, for a listing agent who provides you start-to-finish support including additional services like home inspection, and closing procedures the fee can be higher.
Depending on the scope of services provided by your listing agent you can determine the appropriate commission together. Typically, this amount is also split between the listing agent, and the buyer’s agent. Just remember to get the listing agent’s commission clearly defined and in writing.
- Buyer’s Agent
If you need someone to assist you through the homebuying process contact a professional buyer’s agent. Once you find the right agent you will have support for locating a property, making an offer on the home, negotiating the offer amount, getting a mortgage, appraisals, and more. Ideally, you can find a buyer’s agent that can help you eliminate worries about the homebuying process by representing you. Usually, the seller pays the commission for a buyer’s agent fee.
- Rental Agent
Real estate agents are there to help you buy and sell your home. As part of a team of real estate professionals, a rental agent supports people through the process of property rental. Today, a rental agent can help you find the right property to rent depending on your current location, and the area you desire to live. A rental agent will guide you step-by-step through the new home search.
From the very beginning you can count on your rental agent to help you find your ideal home based on neighborhood, rental type, unit size, price range, and your reaction to open house showings. Once you find the right property, and are approved by the landlord, or property management company you can ask your rental agent to answer any questions about the lease contract before you sign it.
What is a Real Estate Broker?
A real estate broker has a higher education level than a regular real estate agent, and also meets the state requirements of passing an official broker’s license exam. Every state has its own real estate broker’s educational, and exam requirements. Every real estate broker must achieve their license by completing additional coursework covering essential topics including real estate ethics, contracts, taxes, and insurance at an in-depth level.
Real estate brokers are a great resource for your legal questions about real estate, and how to understand the law as it applies to real estate investments, construction, and property management.
Three Main Types of Real Estate Brokers:
- Principal/Designated Broker
Each real estate office has a designated broker to oversee all of the real estate agents. This person is also responsible for overseeing all of the real estate agents within the office to ensure that every transaction is in compliance with the current state, and national real estate law for contracts. Often tasked with resolving transactions, and disputes with other brokers, a principal broker works hard in your best interest. NOTE: A designated broker gets paid on commission, and consequently they are a helpful asset to your real estate transactions.
- Managing Broker
As the acting manager of the office, this person oversees a typical day in real estate. The tasks a managing broker is responsible for include hiring agents, managing real estate agents, and administrative staff. Principal brokers can also take on this role.
- Associate Broker
Also known as a broker associate, broker-salesperson, or affiliate broker – an associate broker has a broker’s license. However, an associate broker works under a managing broker, and is not responsible for the higher level of responsibilities in the office including supervising other agents.
Real Estate Agent vs Broker
You may be able to understand the similarities between a real estate agent and a real estate broker. However, when it comes to knowing the difference between a real estate agent and broker, you may have questions.
The side-by-side comparison is a helpful way to learn the differences between these terms in real estate, and how to make the most of the relationships with your agent.
Finding the Right Real Estate Agent and Broker
You may be wondering how to find a real estate agent and broker to work with. Simply call the office of Jeff Barchi to talk to the office team of real estate professionals. An associate will put you in contact with prospective agents, and brokers that you can talk to. Consider asking the agents and brokers for a short interview in order to weed out people that do not meet your expectations.
Here is a short list of basic interview questions to ask a prospective real estate agent, or broker during a real estate agent interview:
- How many years of direct experience do you have as an agent, or broker?
- How long have you lived in the area?
- Can you work with my schedule?
- Are you knowledgeable, diligent, and ethical?
- How many transactions have you completed?
- How would you rate your negotiation skills?
Once you have completed the interview portion with a real estate agent, or broker you can decide if the person is right for you. Depending on your specific needs, and the type of experience you want to have, you can ask the prospective real estate agent anything you want to. When you choose an agent from the offices of Jeff Barchi, you can be sure that your real estate transaction is an enjoyable one. Call today!