Real Estate

What Is The Difference Between Realtor, Real Estate Agent, Broker, And Listing Agent

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Real estate agents are professionals that come in handy when you want to sell a property, or buy one for personal use or investment reasons. But who should you hire in such conditions? A real estate agent, a realtor, a broker or a listing agent? This might look complicated, but we’ll explain it for you. So, keep reading.


Realtors are trained professionals with certification. To become a realtor and use this trustworthy title, a person needs to be an active member of the National Association Of Realtors. This isn’t the end though, as all the active members of the association need to follow the code of conduct and all the rules laid down by their governing body.

While NAR has somewhat strict regulations, it takes the real estate market standards to a whole new level. Also, the perks of joining NAR include well managed transaction systems and access to some specific real estate market data. There are several other benefits of joining NAR and becoming a Realtor.

Real Estate Agent

Being a real estate agent also requires you to get registered and get a license. So, a real estate agent is a licensed individual that is allowed to help people in buying and selling the properties that are available for sale in the market. They can also help you in the property renting process.

Obtaining a license to be a real estate agent also requires the individuals to get proper training beforehand. However, the requirements of training and the hours of training needed by the potential agents vary state to state and depends on their law. After the training, the candidates have to sit a written exam that needs to be passed if you are to become a licensed real estate agent. The exam usually consists of two major portions, one focused on the federal real estate law and second focused on the state-specific real estate law.

If the candidate passes the exam, he gets the license and the title of a real estate agent. After this phase, most of the individuals join a brokerage where they can officially start their career as a real estate agent.

Real Estate Broker

Being a real estate broker is a completely different thing. For this, you have to be a real estate agent (by appealing in the exams, passing them and getting the real estate agent title) and you must take further education in the same field to become a real estate broker. Real estate agents can appear in the broker’s license exam and pass it to win the title of a real estate broker.

The requirements of the real estate broker exam are laid down by the states themselves and might vary widely from state to state. When you’re an agent and preparing to be a broker, you’ll have to study topics like law and taxation more deeply as this post requires more knowledge and know-how of taxation, ethics, contracts, and insurance.

Since real estate brokers are allowed to run their own brokerages, they have to study about effectively running a brokerage more deeply. Also, you’ll need to have at least three years of experience as a real estate agent to be eligible for the real estate broker exam. After getting the broker license, you can pursue your career as a principal broker, a managing broker or as an associate broker. You can take higher roles in a brokerage as you acquire more knowledge and experience.

Listing Agent

Most of the home sellers hire listing agents to help them with the home selling process. These professionals handle different tasks such as properly staging the home, determining its actual value, holding open houses, and many more.

Usually, listing agents don’t charge you anything unless your home gets sold. When the home is finally sold, the commission of a typical listing agent ranges from 5% to 6%. However, every listing agent has its own set of features and comes with its own benefits. The commission of a listing agent is split between the buyer’s agent and the listing agent. The seller usually pays the fee to both these agents.

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