What’s the Difference Between a Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Broker, and REALTOR®?

What’s the Difference Between a Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Broker, and REALTOR®?

  • Heather Smith
  • 09/22/22

If you’re planning on buying or selling your home, you’re going to want to work with a real estate professional.

But what kind of professionals are available to help you buy or sell your home—and what are the differences between them?

recent article from realtor.com answered key questions around the different types of real estate professionals, including real estate agents, brokers, and REALTORS®—and the differences between the three—including:

  • What is a real estate agent? A real estate agent is a real estate professional that has completed educational, training, and licensing requirements (including passing a licensing exam), which allows them to help people buy, sell, and rent real estate.
  • What is a real estate broker? A real estate broker is a real estate agent that has pursued further education on a variety of real estate-related issues, including ethics, contracts, taxes, and real estate law—and has passed a broker’s license exam. In order to get their broker’s license, candidates need a certain level of experience and tenure as a licensed real estate agent—generally three years. As such, real estate brokers are generally more experienced and well-versed in all things real estate.

    Some brokers use their license to manage or run a company or an office of other agents, and do not work with clients anymore. Others continue to help buyers and sellers.

  • What is a REALTOR®? A REALTOR® is a licensed real estate agent that’s also a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), an industry group that holds agents to a certain set of standards and ethics. Essentially, REALTORS are real estate agents, but with an extra level of accountability thanks to their association with NAR.

The Takeaway:

Understanding the different types of real estate professionals that are available to help you buy or sell real estate can ensure that you partner with the right professional for you—whether that’s a real estate agent, a Realtor, or a real estate broker.

Work With Heather

For most families, choosing a new home is the biggest financial decision they will ever make. There are many complicated decisions involved in choosing a home. As one of the top real estate professionals in the local market, I'll negotiate the best prices and terms for you and answer all of your questions as they arise.