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The Difference Between a Real Estate Broker and Agent

You’ll want all of the help that you can get when you’re looking for a new house or apartment. Often that help comes in the form of a real estate broker or a real estate agent. While you might have seen those two terms used interchangeably, there actually is a difference between real estate agents and real estate brokers, a difference that you’ll want to learn before you start your search for your new home and before you hire Salt Lake City movers.

Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is anyone that you hire to act in your best interests and on your behalf. Since the real estate industry is one that is so highly regulated, distinctions have to be made between real estate agents and their assistants. The real estate agents are the actual brokers while their assistants act more like salespersons. Even though this can be rather confusing, the real estate industry actually hasn’t put much effort into clearing up the confusion.


Brokers are individuals who have the license necessary to carry out business transactions and a salesperson is the one who assists the broker as they execute the transaction. Brokers have a high amount of real estate industry knowledge and have earned their real estate license by successfully passing an exam. Brokers are the only ones who can legally open a brokerage and they also take on full responsibility for any problems with transactions. Any broker you use should have legal services and insurance as well for their protection as well your protection.


A salesperson has only a minimal amount of knowledge about the real estate industry, has to work for a broker who has a license and receives after-expense commission splits from the brokers that they work for. 

Brokers have the option of working with another broker in their brokerage, but they’ll have a hybrid position as both broker and salesperson. In this type of situation, that broker would be known as a broker-associate and would act as the sub-agent for the broker they were working for. You can think of the relationship between a salesperson and broker like the relationship between a doctor and a nurse. Even though the salesperson can have more knowledge of real estate than the broker they work for, the majority of the responsibility would be on the broker.  


What the distinction between salesperson and real estate broker means for you is that a salesperson might be able to help you find your new home, but a broker will have access to more options in terms of negotiation and will be able to quickly take care of any issues that might arise. Since a salesperson might have to verify certain details or talk with the broker they work for before they can give you a response, the entire process might take longer than you’d like, and time is vital when it comes to closing the deal on a home. Since you might not have the option of working with a broker at a large real estate firm or a web-based firm, you might be better of trying your luck with a smaller real estate firm so you’ll have better access to a broker.  

A licensed real estate broker and experienced Salt Lake City movers can help you find and move into your dream home. Let them do the heavy lifting while you decide how to decorate your new home.