What is the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker?

When it comes to a real estate agent and broker, there are many similarities. Both agents and brokers can help you buy, sell or rent a property. They are trained in the art of negotiation between buyers, sellers, and their legal representation. Sometimes they even work together to help everyone achieve what they need out of a sale agreement; they will be in a position to explain more about the absolute nnn lease.

They both must complete specific steps before they begin representing you and complete continuing education courses to keep their license. The difference is that brokers are licensed by a national association, while a state association licenses agents.

In some states, an agent can be a broker and vice versa, but that is not always the case. In other words, there can be many brokers who are not agents and vice versa.

One of an agent’s responsibilities is to find you a property, while the broker will hire agents to do this for them. It can mean that you might have to pay money for an agent’s services versus working with the broker, who may be able to quote you a flat fee for all negotiation services.

The state association provides you with a complaint process if you are not satisfied with the services of your real estate agent. The national association does not offer this service because it only has authority over agents who belong to their association, so technically, it can’t do anything about what happens between an agent and their customer.

On the other hand, brokers have to have enough agents working under them to cover a particular geographic area. The agents who work with the broker have to follow any rules set out by the association, including not discriminating against potential buyers or sellers based on their gender or nationality.

Some real estate brokers may include other services in addition to those required of an agent, such as property management and insurance. It means that they may be able to provide you with a one-stop service for all your real estate needs.

The responsibilities of a broker and an agent both include:

  • Respecting the law regarding fair housing and civil rights
  • Abiding by state and federal laws regarding disclosure, full disclosure and proper marketing of properties
  • Bringing suitable buyers and sellers together at a mutually agreed upon price
  • Negotiating the best possible deal for their client


These are the key differences between a real estate agent and a broker. An agent is licensed by their state association, while brokers get their regulation from the national organization. It means that agents can take complaints to their state association, but brokers cannot help with any problems you might have.

If an agent works only under one broker, they are not considered to be a broker. It means that an agent can provide you with their services while representing one broker, but they cannot represent the interests of both the buyer and seller at the same time since this would require them to act as a broker.

If you plan to buy or sell property, you might want to work with either an agent or broker. They are both professionals who can supply you with certain services.

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