Distinguishing Between a Realtor & a Broker

Realtor vs Broker

When looking to buy, sell, or rent a property, people often need the services of a property dealer. Professionals working in this field are commonly referred to as brokers, agents, and realtors. However, many people are unsure who to contact for their needs due to the subtle differences between a realtor and a broker. This article aims to clarify the distinctions between these two roles.


A broker is an individual who acts as a mediator between the buyer and the seller. They help sellers find buyers and buyers find sellers. Brokers sometimes manage multiple real estate agents who work under their supervision. To work in real estate, a broker must obtain a license. Brokers have a higher level of training and credentials than realtors or real estate agents. In most U.S. states, a real estate broker is a professional who has already served as a real estate agent for an extended period before qualifying to become a licensed broker. Consequently, brokers have more responsibilities and rights than real estate agents. Brokers are eligible to perform appraisals, manage other real estate professionals, and own their own real estate firms.


The designation “realtor” is another term that frequently appears in the real estate industry. Whether a real estate broker is a realtor depends on their membership in The National Association of Realtors. Some brokers choose not to join this association but continue to work as brokers. However, many brokers become members of the National Association of Realtors, which allows them to use the designation “realtor” alongside their names.

Key Takeaways

  • A real estate professional must work as an agent for a certain period before becoming a broker.
  • Brokers have additional responsibilities and rights compared to agents and are licensed to assist people in buying or selling property.
  • A broker becomes a realtor when they join the National Association of Realtors; therefore, a broker may or may not be a realtor, while a realtor is always a broker first.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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