A real estate broker is also commonly called a real estate agent, or realtor interchangeably. The subtle difference is that a broker has completed additional training and may work independently. A realtor, on the other hand, is usually part of a brokerage or works under a broker. Another slight difference is that a broker must ensure that a real estate transaction is lawful and all paperwork has been filled properly. Real estate brokers and agents are required to be licensed by the state and follow the National Association of Realtors ethics in the USA.
Their job is to represent either the buyer or seller of a property and sometimes both parties. In many cases, each party has its own representation. It is highly recommended to use a professional real estate agent or broker when purchasing a property.
A real estate agent that represents a seller is usually referred to as a listing agent. This is due to the fact that they list the property on an MLS (multiple listing service) and market the property to potential buyers.
Agents that represent buyers are usually called buyers agents. They usually search the property market for properties that fit their buyer’s requirements.
Realtors are usually paid by a commission at the time of closing a property sale. This is typically around 5-6% of a property’s price and is usually split between the listing agent and the buyers’ agent.
Realtors also tend to assist in the property rental market. They can find rental properties for prospective tenets for a certain fee.