Whether you are looking for the right professional to help you sell or buy a home or you are looking to enter the real estate industry, you may be wondering what the difference is between a real estate agent and a broker. Let’s take a look at the differences in the real estate designations.


Real Estate Agent

The first step in a real estate career is becoming a real estate agent. As an agent, you are licensed in order to become a liaison for both buyers and sellers. The process of becoming a licensed real estate agent includes instructional hour requirements and certification testing. Each state has different requirements for their real estate agents. Once you have become an agent, you can begin to help your clients sell their homes or find their dream room. But there are a few limitations which can be lifted once you gain the status of a broker.


Broker Associate

Once an agent has had at least a few successful years in the practice, they can begin to pursue a broker’s license. This is essentially a chance for the agent to gain further education and gain another level of experience. With the title of broker associate comes along with a designation of experience and hard work. If you are looking for a real estate agent and you see the title “broker associate”, you can rest assured that they know what they are doing.



The next step on the real estate ladder is the title of “Broker”. This title is often a step higher than the license required for a broker associate and the designation of “broker” comes along with the ability for heightened responsibility. Broker’s are able to not only work for themselves, but they are able to manage a team of agents. This can lead to more control of the client experience, higher commissions, and overall flexibility. Broker’s have the freedom to be very hands-on with their teams or more of a backend managing presence.


Additional Designations

There are still additional designations that a real estate professional can receive. One of these is the title of REALTOR. Both brokers and agents can hold this additional title of REALTOR if they are members of the National Association of REALTORS. Members of this association are held to a strict Code of Ethics and a generally higher standard. There are also multiple titles underneath the umbrella of “agent”. Buyer’s agents exclusively work with home buyers and listing agents exclusively work with sellers.