A real estate agent holds a license from the state that allows them to practice real estate and represent buyers and sellers in transactions for compensation.
A real estate broker holds a higher level state license that requires additional education and experience. This type of license is required to manage real estate offices. One can hold a real estate broker license and not work in a management position.
A Realtor is a real estate licensee who maintains membership in the National Association of Realtors and it's affiliated state and local chapters. As a member of the NAR, these individuals adhere to a Code of Ethics, and have a number of educational and informational resources to their avail to support their clients and transactions.
A mortgage broker may work with a number of lenders to assist a buyer in finding the right loan. A loan officer may work for a bank or a broker.
You need a loan officer from a mortgage broker or bank to assist you in securing financing in order to purchase a property. You need this person on your team early on. In order to present an offer, you will need documentation to support your offer to indicate you are capable of obtaining the loan needed to make the purchase. It would be helpful for you to get an idea of what you can afford before embarking on house hunting.
You can work with a real estate agent who is not a Realtor, or you may seek a Realtor to represent you. There are over 1 million Realtors in the country, so finding one isn't a challenge. There is much benefit to you to choose a Realtor to represent you. In most cases, a Realtor's fees are paid from the seller's proceeds at closing. A Realtor, acting in capacity as a buyer agent, will represent your interests and negotiate on your behalf for the lowest price and best terms. Realtors have access to current properties for sales, and stats for past sales activity. Your Realtor will share the data relevant to your goals with you to help and guide you in decisions
You can search online for Realtors in the area you wish to purchase. Read blogs and forums like Truia. Reach out to Realtors and ask questions about areas, properties, and the process of buying property.
A Realtor can help you find mortgage representatives also. The same works true in reverse. If you find a mortgage rep, that person may be able to refer you to a few Realtors, also.