Home Buying in Portland>Question Details

T Mohamed, Home Buyer in Dearborn, MI

what is the difference between a realestate agent and a broker and can you get either one to help you find a good house?

Asked by T Mohamed, Dearborn, MI Sun Apr 11, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:


The difference varies from state to state, but the difference generally is in the supervisory duties that the licensing state allows the licensee to perform. In most states, a real estate broker is a real estate licensee who supervises real estate agents or salespersons. In some states, like Oregon, all real estate licensees are called brokers, and a supervising broker is called a principal broker. The scheme is similar to that in other states; only the titles are changed.

Any one of these types of real estate licensees can help you find a home, and get the best deal buying it. The important distinction is not the person's title, but his knowledge and experience. For a variety of reasons, many excellent real estate professionals choose not to become supervisors. Similarly, as in any profession, you will always find real estate licensees--supervisors and supervised alike--who lack adequate knowledge, intellect and competence to do a proper job getting you the best home.

The important thing when seeking a licensee to represent you is to get references from people you trust, and/or interview several real estate professionals. Ask lots of questions, and choose someone you feel will be honest, hard-working, communicate well and fill the needs that you have.

In relation to Kevin's post (below), either a broker, agent or principal broker can choose to join the National Association of REALTORS&reg (NAR), thus becoming a REALTOR&reg. If local custom allows it, a licensee can choose not to join NAR, in which case he cannot call himself a REALTOR&reg. In all candor, however, few licensees choose not to join NAR, making the value of choosing a REALTOR&reg mostly hypothetical in many areas of the country.

NAR and its large member firms have such a strong hold on regulators and local multiple listing services in many places that NAR is able to effectively require all real estate licensees in those places to join NAR in order to join any multiple listing service (MLS). MLSs are the backbone of today's residential real estate industry. To not join an MLS would make practice in residential real estate a virtual impossibility.

I hope this has been helpful. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about this information.

Craig Loughridge
Principal Broker
Bryson Realty
Web Reference: http://www.bybryson.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 11, 2010
I have a great Real estate agent in Dearborn. Contact me if you would like her name. It depends on your state but the Real Estate Company is usually run by a Broker and the folks who work for the brokerage are usually agents. Some states have just changed the name Agent to Broker. Jan Godlesky is in Dearborn. Her website is http://www.jangodlesky.com. Good luck! Mary Jean
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 11, 2010
I hope you've received the answer you were looking for, as you've gotten a few. If I could just add, I think there needs to be some clarification. There are all kinds of "Broker"s in the world, so are you asking the difference between a Real Estate Agent and a "Loan Broker"? Or the difference between a Real Estate Agent and a Real Estate Broker?
If its the latter you do need to look at your state. In Oregon, we like to be weird so all of our Real Estate agents are now either Brokers or Principal Brokers, the latter indicating more education and time in the field, and the level that allows you to supervise other Brokers.
In most states there are 2 basic types, a RE agent and a RE Broker, with the RE Broker being the one with more education and the license to supervise other agents.
Any of the different titles, as long as its "Real Estate" associated with it, will be able to help you find a home. And like one of the other responders said, any of these might be Realtors or not, depending if they belong to and follow the National Assn of Realtors rules, ethics etc.
If you're talking about a "Loan Broker" they team with your RE Agent or RE Broker and do the coordinating of your loan, while your RE Agent or Broker helps you find the home and coordinates the process to close.

All these different terms can be thrown around and get confusing to a buyer, and then their exact definitions vary from state to state, so its understandable that you're wondering about the difference.

I hope this helps! Find someone with some experience that you trust, especially a referral from someone you know, and you'll be fine! Most Real Estate Agents, Brokers and Principal Brokers are knowledgeable and dedicated to doing a good job for you, so you should be fine. And you can always fire them and find another if you're unhappy.

Jump in!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 11, 2010
They are the same. However, not all brokers and agents are Realtors. If you are interested in a particular agent, it is okay to ask if they are a Realtor. Being a Realtor simply means you have additional training. There are also Principle Brokers and they manage brokers. It is not necessarily an advantage to use a Principle Broker because their main job is to supervise brokers not work with clients. Also, some buyers will designate themselves selling or buying agents, but this is not an official designation or licence, just the type of business they choose to do. Of course, we all want to help you find a house : ) I offer a free buyer's home warranty and a free buyer's home inspection, but I would advise you to interview a 2 - 3 agents before making a choice.

Best of luck,
Stephen Fitzmaurice, Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 11, 2010
You have had some good answers here...it really depends on what state you are in. HERE in Oregon a real estate agent and a broker are one in the same and can give you great service and help you in so many ways. Other states differentiate between agents and brokers- meaning the agents work "under" the brokers - but both can still work well for you! Hope you find what you want! If you decide that Grants Pass OR is the place to be - call or email me! Thanks!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 11, 2010
Although both are licensed to sell real estate, the basic difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR® is a REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and we, The Realtors MUST subscribe to the Code of Ethics, along with many other promises that non-affiliates do not have.
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Kevin Levy
M Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 11, 2010
Keep in mind you should expect the same level of service form either or both--typically they are two different licenses--in order to become a broker one needs to complete additional coursework/education, a certain amount of field work, beyond what an agent completes--since the broker has more experience the agent works under the broker.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 11, 2010
that really depends on your state. In PA a broker (or associate broker) has completed a higher level of education along with more experience.

Also, there is a broker or associate broker supervising agents and the daily operation of an office. A REALTOR regardless of being a broker or agent has a code of ethics they must abide to.

Agents and or brokers in PA are both fully capable of providing the same level of service. If MI has buyer and seller representation, I suggest you chose the REALTOR that serves your needs the best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 11, 2010
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