Real Estate 101: Types of Real Estate Agents

Real Estate

Real EstateWhen it comes to hiring a real estate agent, many people are surprised to learn that there are actually many different types of agents to select from. While some agents offer a variety of services, others choose to specialize in one or two specific areas. Therefore, it is in your best interest to learn more about the different types of real estate agents available so you can be certain to hire the type of agent that is right for you. Here’s a look at the different type of real estate agents you have to select from.

Real Estate Broker
In most cases, a real estate broker will have more experience and will have completed more training and education than an agent, though this is not always the case. The primary difference between an agent and a broker is that a real estate broker can hire real estate salespeople and can work independently. Furthermore, the examination necessary to obtain a real estate broker’s license is typically longer and more difficult than a saleperson’s exam because a broker is expected to have a higher level of knowledge.

Broker Associate
A broker associate is a broker who works for another broker. While a broker associate has the necessary licensing to work on his or her own, the broker associate may choose to work for a larger network.

Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a licensed salesperson who does not have the broker licensure. As such, a real estate agent must work for a broker and is not able to work independently, which means the broker is ultimately responsible for the actions of the agent. Requirements for becoming a real estate agent vary from state to state.

A REALTOR is a broker or agent who belongs the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), which means the person is committed to adhering to the NAR’s extensive Code of Ethics. Not every real estate agent or broker is a member of the NAR. For those who are, you can file a complaint with the local board if you are unhappy with the REALTOR’s performance.

Listing Agent
Also referred to as a seller’s agent, a listing agent is responsible for representing the person who is selling the house. As such, they are legally required to protect the interest of the seller.

Buyer’s Agent
Also known as the selling agent, which should not be confused with “seller’s agent,” the buyer’s agent is responsible for representing the person who is buying the home. As such, the buyer’s agent is legally required to protect the interests of the buyer throughout the entire process.

Dual Agent
The Dual agent represents both the seller and the buyer in the transaction. Even if there is a separate listing and buyer’s agent, it is possible to have a dual agency situation if both of the agents work for the same broker. It should be noted that this type of arrangement is not legal in all 50 states.

Transaction Agent
Transaction agents are often used in states where a dual agency is not permitted. The transaction agent is the agent who writes the offer for the buyer, but does not necessarily represent either party in the transaction.

About The Author: Eric Bramlett is the broker & co-owner of One Source Realty, a boutique real estate company specializing in Lake Austin real estate and Steiner Ranch homes for sale.

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