Understanding what real estate agent, broker, and realtor mean.

Whether you want to sell your house or buy a new one, there is one question that occurs in your mind is who should we go to? It is common for us to hear terms like a real estate agent or broker through friends or family during conversation surrounding the buying and selling of a house, but do we understand those terms? Do we know the difference?

Many people work in the real estate industry including agents, realtors, salespeople, etc. There are times when these terms are used interchangeably; however, these terms do carry some differences, as well as there are different requirements for using these terms. Lets understand these terms.

Real estate agent:

A real estate agent is a professional who works in the real estate industry. His/her main job role is to act as a facilitator for real estate transactions. They are responsible for bringing buyers and sellers into the market, creating a perfect match. They are a paid commission that is a percentage of the property’s sale price. Sometimes real estate agents are also referred to as real estate associates.

The responsibilities include carrying out offers and counteroffers by each party, along with the queries they may have. They also work with other agents and often guide the parties through the paper filling process.


Real estate brokers are usually one level above the real estate agents in the knowledge. Their education continues past the real estate agent level, they also receive the state real estate broker license. Real estate broker can work as independent agents or may work in a team with other agents. Agents who are licensed and work under other independent agents are usually known as associate brokers. Brokers share brokerage profits above and beyond the typical agent commission.

The responsibilities of the brokers are to conduct negotiations, prepare offers, and help the buyers and sellers in buying and selling of the properties as per the client’s needs.


A realtor is a real estate professional who is also a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). To become a member of the National Association of Realtors one has to abide by all the rules, regulations, and the code of conduct as well as the code of ethics. The term ‘Realtor’ is often interchangeably used with ‘real estate agent’, However, the designation includes multiple professions within the real estate industry, including, salespeople, residential and commercial real estate brokers, property managers, appraisers, etc. The professional who is part of the National Association of Realtors is allowed and licensed to use the relator trademark along with their name, however, it is should be noted that it cannot be used as a designation of a professional’s license status.

Regardless of the role of realtors, they are expected to be knowledgeable in their respective fields. Realtors are expected to be honest and transparent with their clients, avoiding any exaggeration or misinterpretation on their part. They are expected to carry on the business, keeping in mind the best interest of the clients.