Are you considering a career in the exciting world of real estate? As you consider a career in this industry, you'll likely encounter various roles and titles, each playing a crucial part in facilitating property transactions. Two common terms you may come across are "real estate salesperson" and "broker." While these terms are often used interchangeably, it's essential to understand the key distinctions between these roles.
In this blog, we will explore the difference between salesperson and broker to help you understand the real estate salesperson vs. broker debate. Understanding these differences will help you make an informed decision about the real estate career path you choose to pursue.
What Is a Real Estate Salesperson?
A real estate salesperson, also known as a real estate agent or realtor is an individual who has obtained a license to assist clients in buying, selling, or renting properties. A licensed real estate agent earns a commission upon successful transaction completion and has the flexibility to represent either the buyer or the seller in the process.
Real estate salespersons work under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker and act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers.
Real estate salespersons play an integral role in the real estate industry, facilitating transactions, guiding clients, and helping individuals achieve their property-related goals. Their market knowledge, negotiation skills, and dedication to client service make them valuable assets in the buying, selling, and renting process.
What Is a Real Estate Broker?
A real estate broker performs similar duties to an agent but holds an independent license and can employ agents. While brokers also earn commissions, they additionally receive a percentage of the commissions earned by agents under their supervision.
To become a real estate broker, you need to meet additional education and experience requirements beyond those of a real estate salesperson. Brokers have acquired a higher level of expertise in the real estate industry, enabling them to operate independently and potentially manage their own real estate brokerage firm.
Real estate brokers play a pivotal role in the industry, bringing a wealth of knowledge, experience, and independence to the table. Their advanced qualifications allow them to provide a higher level of service to clients and take on leadership roles within the real estate community. Whether it's representing clients in complex transactions or managing a team of salespersons, brokers contribute significantly to the real estate landscape.
Real Estate Salesperson vs Broker
As mentioned earlier, a real estate salesperson, or a realtor, is an individual who has obtained a license to assist clients in buying, selling, or renting properties. Salespersons typically work under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker. They act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers, helping clients navigate the property market, conducting property showings, negotiating deals, and providing guidance throughout the transaction process.
On the other hand, a real estate broker is a higher level of licensure and responsibility. Brokers have fulfilled additional education and experience requirements, allowing them to operate independently and potentially manage their own real estate brokerage firm. Brokers can work directly with clients, represent buyers and sellers in transactions, and oversee the activities of real estate salespersons.
To help you understand the difference between salesperson and broker, here are some key differences between a broker vs realtor:
Salespersons typically complete a certain number of pre-licensing education hours, pass a state exam, and obtain a real estate license. Real estate salespersons are often required to participate in continuing education courses to stay up to date in real estate practices. This ongoing education ensures that salespersons provide the highest level of service to their clients.
Brokers, in addition to meeting salesperson requirements, generally have further education and experience prerequisites before they can qualify for a broker's license.
Salespersons usually work under the supervision of a licensed broker. They operate within the framework and guidelines established by the broker and are accountable to them. Brokers, however, can work independently and may supervise a team of salespersons.
Authority and Responsibilities
Real estate salespersons primarily focus on assisting clients in buying or selling properties. For example, they facilitate:
- Property showings
- Negotiate contracts
- Provide market information
Brokers, while performing similar tasks, possess greater authority and may have additional responsibilities such as:
- Handling escrow accounts
- Managing contracts
- Overseeing the legal and ethical aspects of transactions
Becoming a real estate salesperson is often the starting point for individuals entering the real estate industry. It allows them to gain practical experience and develop their skills. Brokers, with their advanced credentials, have broader career options. They can establish their brokerage firm, hire, and train salespersons, and potentially specialize in areas such as commercial real estate or property management.
Both salespersons and brokers earn commissions from completed transactions. While a real estate agent salary is typically high, brokers typically receive a higher percentage of the commission due to their added responsibilities and the costs associated with running a brokerage.
While real estate salespersons and brokers work collaboratively in the industry, the difference between a salesperson and a broker lies in the qualifications, level of independence, and range of responsibilities.
Should I Become a Real Estate Agent or a Broker?
Ultimately, deciding whether to pursue a career as a real estate agent or a broker depends on several factors. The choice between becoming a real estate agent or a broker is a personal one. To help you make the right decision, carefully evaluate the:
- Educational requirements
- Level of independence
- Career advancement opportunities
- Income potential
- Your aspirations
Certain real estate agents find fulfillment in collaborating with their team, appreciating the benefits of the resources provided by their brokerage. Working within a brokerage grants agents access to brand recognition, networking possibilities, and personalized training opportunities.
However, for driven agents who aspire to take charge of their professional journey, transitioning into a broker role might be the logical progression in their career.
Additionally, it can be helpful to seek advice from professionals in the industry and consider your long-term goals before deciding.
Ready to become a real estate salesperson or broker? Great! You should know that the process and requirements to become a broker vary by state. However, you can check your state’s requirements and courses on our website. Sign up for real estate courses online and get your real estate license.
Want to explore more career options you can pursue with a real estate license? Here are 8 jobs in real estate after getting your license.
Written and Published by: VanEd