What is a real estate agent?

Real Estate Agents, Brokers and Brokerages

Each state in the U.S. has varying requirements for obtaining a real estate license. Generally, an applicant must complete a specific amount of coursework and pass a state licensing exam. For the license to be active, an agent must be actively employed by a real estate broker or brokerage.

The real estate agent definition is “a person who sells and rents out buildings and land for clients.” Real estate agents work in many different areas of the industry, from apartment leasing to commercial properties and time-share sales. The majority are involved with buying and selling residential homes. They may represent a variety of clients, from home buyers, to home sellers, to individual property investors, to institutional investors and trusts.

Real estate agents may elect to join the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), which is the official trade association for real estate agents and brokers. NAR offers continuing education to member agents, along with training and professional designations for various specialties.

What is a Real Estate Broker vs Agent?

The real estate broker definition on the other hand is “a person who represents sellers of buyers of real estate.” Real estate brokers have a higher level of licensing, typically obtained after completing additional coursework and accomplishing a few years of experience as a real estate agent. There is a separate state exam for real estate brokers. Once properly licensed, a broker may hire and manage agents or other brokers as part of their business or become an associate broker under another broker.

What is a Real Estate Brokerage?

A real estate brokerage is a company, or agency, operated by an owner-broker or managing broker who is responsible for the conduct and transactions of the agents and brokers in his or her employ. A brokerage can be a small business with a single broker, or a national company with thousands of real estate agents.

Unlike typical agency structure, an Exclusive Buyer Agency or Exclusive Buyer Brokerage only serves home buyers and does not accept listings or market properties. Exclusive Buyer Agents are certified by the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA). The NAEBA Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics are designed with the protection of buyer-clients in mind.

This is the primary advantage of hiring Exclusive Buyer Agents from NAEBA. These agents and brokers will always have your best interests in mind as the buyer. These agents do not work for the seller, they work exclusively for you and will represent you in the purchase of real estate.

What Makes a Good Real Estate Agent?

A good real estate agent is patient, humble, and honest. Agents with experience will use their knowledge and expertise to assist you in the purchase and sale of real estate. One of the best qualities of a great real estate agent is someone who is a listener. They need to listen to your needs and wants to ensure they're looking out for your best interest. This is another reason why hiring an Exclusive Buyer Agent is a good choice. They're not focused on the entire real estate translation, only on finding you the house you want.

Learn more about NAEBA or about Exclusive Buyer Agents!