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What are the Different
Types of Real Estate
Agents?

Have you ever found yourself curious about a career in real estate but not sure where to start? Perhaps selling is your forte, or you thrive when leading a team. This article explores different types of real estate agents and the qualifications and responsibilities of each type. Arm yourself with knowledge about the different types of agents so that you can launch the real estate career that is right for you. 

6 Types of real estate agents & their job descriptions.

Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a licensed professional who helps people buy, sell, or rent property. Agents work as part of a real estate brokerage under a broker, and their job is to help the seller, the buyer, or both through the different stages of the buying and selling process. 

Agents are well versed in communication and possess deal-making skills, which they use often when acting as go-betweens for all parties. They also help prepare and file documents, negotiate the sale price, and manage closing costs and other fees. They’re also the primary contact when investors need to make a real estate transaction. 

Some real estate agents choose to specialize in commercial real estate. Others may choose to focus on residential transactions. Still others work only with the purchase or sale end of the real estate transaction. 

Real Estate Broker 

Real estate brokers are licensed professionals who run a brokerage, or real estate firm. They oversee and manage a team of real estate agents that work for a firm. 

In order to become a broker, a person must take extra courses on firm management and obtain a broker’s license. Brokers can work independently, or they can start their own brokerage and hire other real estate agents to work under them. 

Real estate brokers can also perform the same responsibilities as real estate agents, like helping clients purchase or sell property, conducting negotiations, hammering out any issues that arise in the process, preparing offers, and helping with closings. They can also determine the property’s market value, list and show property, and help communicate offers between parties.

There are three tiers of real estate brokers, each with different degrees of responsibility:

  1. Associate brokers have broker licenses but work under another broker and generally do not supervise other agents. 
  2. Managing brokers are in charge of the daily operations of the office. They hire and train agents and supervise administrative staff.
  3. Principal/designated brokers supervise other real estate agents to ensure they maintain compliance with all real estate laws. 

Realtor

A realtor is a licensed real estate agent who is a member of The National Association of Realtors. Realtors adhere to strict ethics and moral code standards, making them very trustworthy. This edge gives you a leg up in the real estate market.

In addition to taking and passing the pre-licensing course and real estate licensing exam, realtors also must pay a fee to be part of the National Association of Realtors.  

One of the advantages of being a realtor is the increased access to property listings, such as the Multiple Listing Service. This gives realtors greater access to the available property on the market. 

Seller’s Agent

Seller’s agents are licensed real estate agents specializing in services to people who want to sell real estate. They deal with the buyers and their agents. 

A seller agent has numerous responsibilities. They research the market and compare properties to help establish an asking price for the seller’s property. They also market and advertise the property and handle walk-throughs and tours.

The seller agent is an expert on all things sale-related. They spearhead the sale of property with fast-talking, direct action, and a drive to close the deal. 

Buyer’s Agent

A buyer’s agent is a licensed real estate agent specializing in assisting potential buyers in finding a property. They also help investors find, compare, and settle on a properties as buyers. 

Like seller agents, buyer agents assist in most deal stages, from home inspections to negotiations. Other buyer agent responsibilities include:

  • Listening to investors to understand their needs and help them achieve their goals
  • Contacting seller agents and negotiating the best deals
  • Giving suggestions on how to find financing
  • Drawing up the necessary documents and agreements needed for the transaction
  • Reviewing disclosure statements and explaining to investors any problems that might exist on the property
  • Dealing with contingencies or any other issues that arise in the process

Buying agents help relieve the stress of finding a property for investors by handling the search and negotiations. 

Dual Agent 

A dual real estate agent represents the seller and the buyer simultaneously. Dual agents are illegal in some states due to the potential conflict of interest it may create.

There are some benefits to using a dual agent, however. Using a dual agent streamlines the transaction and improves communication between the buyer and seller due to only having one contact to communicate through. It also results in the agent being very knowledgeable about the property because they have all the information from both sides. It may also be cheaper to have a dual agent due to not needing two agents 

What’s best for you?

Consider the pros and cons of each type of agent. Do you want to specialize in buying or selling? Is your dream to run a real estate firm? Maybe you like the challenge of representing the buyer and the seller at the same time.

To dig a little deeper and answer the lingering questions you have about building your career as a real estate agent, you can find answers to all your questions and more inside Sell It Like Serhant, our online course that teaches real estate agents how to land clients, build a team, close deals, and make money.

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Additional content

Author

  • Ryan Serhant is one of the most successful and well-known real estate brokers in the world. After a decade leading one of New York City’s top-ranked real estate teams, he founded SERHANT., the first brokerage designed for the marketplace of tomorrow.