Wondering if you need a Realtor or real estate agent to help you in your new home search? Not sure what a real estate broker does? Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place.
With all the questions you’ll have throughout the new home shopping process, you shouldn’t have to be left wondering what the difference is between these professionals and how they can help you as you look for your dream home.
The Difference Between Real Estate Agents and Realtors
Although the term “Realtor” and real estate agent are regularly talked about in conversation like they’re the same thing, the truth of the matter is that there are some key differences between them.
Make no mistake, real estate agents and Realtors must be licensed in order to partake in real estate transactions on your behalf. The difference is that Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors while real estate agents are not.
What that means is that Realtors have agreed to abide by a strict code of ethics which is designed to ensure they’re always acting in the best interest of whomever they represent. For example, the code dictates that Realtors are required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest and must be transparent about any commissions and fees collected during a transaction.
In the simplest sense, all Realtors are real estate agents, but not all real estate agents are Realtors because not all real estate agents are a part of the National Association of Realtors.
What Do Real Estate Brokers Do?
One profession that gets talked about less than a real estate agent or Realtor is the real estate broker. As the next logical step above a real estate agent, a real estate broker provides a larger swath of services that range from overseeing real estate transactions to building entire real estate sales teams.
Brokers are required to have more experience and know more about buying and selling homes than the typical agent or Realtor. Requirements vary from state to state, but these requirements generally revolve around passing comprehensive exams, having a significant amount of relevant real-world experience and securing the appropriate licenses.
You’ll find that some real estate brokers work for homebuyers like you while others have partnered directly with sellers. As a licensed individual with a considerable amount of experience, real estate brokers and their associates make for great partners when you’re ready to buy a home and can help you navigate some of the more difficult aspects of the process.
Do I Need a Realtor or Real Estate Agent to Buy a Home?
The answer to this is going to depend on how comfortable you are buying a home yourself. With all of the technology and new home search tools available to you as a homebuyer, it’s never been easier for people to buy a new home without the help of a real estate agent.
Where Realtors and real estate agents once helped new home shoppers locate communities and homes, they’re now largely relied upon to help homebuyers throughout the process. So when the paperwork comes in and things start getting more complex, the benefit of a real estate agent and Realtor is clear: guidance.