As many of you are aware, I am a licensed real estate salesperson in the state of New York! Often times with agents, you will see them marketed as a realtor, or a licensed salesperson, or maybe a broker – all of these therms are thrown around so much so I thought it may be helpful to know what they all actually mean!
So, as we do, let’s talk Real Estate, let’s talk REALTOR, AGENT, BROKER – WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?!…
When buying, selling or renting a home it’s helpful to know “who is who”, as working with a real estate professional can potentially make or break one of the biggest investments we make in our lives.
So let’s review the different types of real estate agents shall we?!
**Disclosure, these are not technical definitions and should only be used as a guide.**
A real estate professional who is licensed by the state to represent buyers, sellers, and renters in a real estate transaction. An agent must work under a licensed broker. The broker is legally responsible for the agent.
A broker is a licensed agent who has furthered their education in order to be able to work independently or hire agents to work under their agency umbrella aka their brokerage. Most states also require that real estate brokers have a minimum amount of experience in order to work as a broker.
The broker will handle all technical aspects of a real estate transaction. Technically, a client signs a listing agreement or contract with the brokerage, not the individual agent.
While the “norm” is that agents work for brokers and split their commission with their brokerage, not all states operate under this model. For example, in New Mexico and Colorado all agents are mandated to be brokers.
Takeaway: All brokers are real estate agents but not all real estate agents are brokers. So in my case I am the agent, and my brokerage is EXP Realty!
Okay so here is the technical definition from www.NAR.com…
“REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.”
Now here is my interpretation…
A REALTOR is an agent, broker or real estate professional who is also a member of the National Realtors Association (NAR). This entity holds it members to a specific code of ethics and professional standards.
Takeaway: All REALTORS are real estate professionals (i.e. agent, broker, appraiser, property manager) but not all real estate professionals are REALTORS.
Now, let’s go beyond this because within a specific transaction an agent/realtor/broker may act as the following…
A buyer’s agent would represent the buyer in a real estate transaction. Their role is to help the buyer find a home, provide information on the neighborhood, help determine if the listing price on a property is reasonable, help the buyer complete a purchase agreement when they are ready to make an offer, present the buyer’s offer to the seller’s agent, negotiate on the buyer’s behalf, and help ensure the closing process is as efficient and smooth as possible.
The seller’s agent will represent the seller in a transaction! Their role is to help determine a fair price to list your home at, market your home to potential buyers, and negotiate any offers on your behalf.
Dual agency can manifest itself in two different forms…
(1) Within a brokerage
This scenario is where both the seller’s and buyer’s agents on a specific transaction work for the same broker.
(2) As a single agent
This is where the agent themself is representing both the buyer and the seller.
Dual agency can at times present a conflict of interest, especially when a single agent is representing both the buyer and the seller. In fact, because of this, it is actually illegal in some states. Where it is legal, agents must have written consent from both the buyer and the seller when participating in a dual agency transaction.
SO WHAT AFTER ALL OF THIS WHAT IS MY ROLE?!
I am technically a REALTOR licensed in the state of New York. Let me know if any of you are looking to buy, rent or sell in the state of NY. I would love to help you find your next home!
Feel free to comment on the blog post HERE and let us know what YOU think!
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Me – this is based on my own personal experience!