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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Difference Between A Real Estate Agent and a Real Estate Broker

For the first time home buyer, the terms Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Broker are often mistakenly thought of as the same person. While the responsibilities do overlap at times when it comes to actual consumers, they are in fact two different roles that handle significantly different responsibilities in the transaction in the sale of a home. For consumers, knowing the difference will help you further understand the process in buying your new home and how to direct your specific questions.

Both real estate agents and real estate brokers are licensed by The National Association of Realtors or NAR. As part of NAR, they are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics when dealing with a buyer or seller of a home. With over 100 million members, NAR is one of the oldest and well-respected real estate associations in the United States, so it’s always a good idea to find an agent or broker who is a member.

The real difference between a real estate agent and real estate broker is defined by who directly interacts with the consumer.  While both may work with a home buyer or seller, it is the real estate agent who primarily works with the consumer directly and effectively works under the real estate broker. The broker, in essence, is the “boss” of the real estate company that a consumer may be working with and rarely engage in real estate transactions directly.

Real estate agents should know the real estate market inside out and can give you key information in regards to buying a home. There are real estate agents called selling agents who represent the person selling their home and then there are buyer agents who represent the person buying a home.

The person who works with you to find a home, the Buyers Agent, virtually does all the work for you. Unlike the selling broker or agent who is paid by the one selling the house; it is you who pays the buyer's broker/agent. The real estate market can be a complex place for someone who does not understand the dynamics of the market place. It is important to find an agent from a reputable office in your area. If you have trouble finding one you can always look online for the “National Association of Realtors” to find a local realtor serving your area.

You may decide to check out several realtors before choosing the one you feel comfortable with.  When deciding on a realtor you want to look at things like their training, experience, reputation and their professional certification. A good realtor will explain your options that are available to you. They will also explain to you how they will work with you. They will fill you in on all the things that are required of them and of you in order to get the house you want.

The Carstensen Team can provide you with all of that info and more. We are licensed real estate professionals with years of proven experience. Contact us today to learn more and let us help you get started on buying or selling your home.  


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