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Key Differences Between Real Estate Brokers and Agents

Many people rely on experts in the real estate industry to buy and sell a property. However, few understand the differences between a broker and an agent. Here are the key differences and how they affect your relationship with them.


The insurance firm Highland Risk Services states that brokers complete additional education requirements than agents do. Most states require real estate agents to have completed a licensing certification course and exam to operate. Brokers then go on to complete additional training.


Brokers are a step above agents who have to work for a broker. This makes brokers liable for their employee’s actions whereas an agent is only liable for their own. Brokers take on the liability of the full business whether they have one employee or multiple.


Both agents and brokers can buy or sell a property. Agents rely on sales commissions to make money. A broker can own a real estate company and make money on property transactions they make and fees they charge their agents who work for them.

Understanding the difference can help clients choose the right one for their transactions. Many people choose to use an agent through a brokerage firm to buy and sell a property. There are many brokers who operate independently that come with their own benefits to property owners.