The time will come, at some point, when you decide to sell your home, but how do you know the right person to call? Do you contact a realtor, real estate agent, or a broker? Many people use these terms interchangeably but there is in fact, a difference. Do you know what the difference is between a Real Estate Agent VS REALTOR® VS Broker? When it comes to choosing someone to represent your best interests (and your biggest investment), don’t just assume that any real estate professional will do. This is especially important to know if you’re entering the real estate market for the first time, you may find real estate professionals’ various titles a little confusing. There are some important differences between the roles of the various professionals, as well as different requirements for using particular titles. Let’s talk about what exactly the difference is between realtors, brokers and real estate agents.
Real Estate Agent
A Real Estate Agent is anyone who earns a real estate license, whether that license is as a sales professional, an associate broker or a broker. A real estate agent is someone who is licensed to sell real estate. Simply put, an agent is the very first step on the ladder of real estate services. Real estate agents are restricted in what they can and cannot do. For example, an agent cannot work independently – they must be employed by a broker. Real estate agents often do the same work as brokers, but they aren’t qualified to run their own firm, yet.
A REALTOR® is a registered certification that recognizes the quality of services by licensed real estate agents who are members of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). All real estate agents are not realtors, BUT all REALTOR® members are real estate agents. REALTOR® members are committed to a strict code of ethics known as the REALTOR® Code, and are the only ones who have the right to list your property on the MLS Systems of their local real estate boards. Simply put, to correctly be referred to as a REALTOR®, a real estate agent must be a member of the CREA.
Real Estate Broker
A Real Estate Broker is a real estate agent who has actually completed additional training and with a much more detailed curriculum. The information that brokers learn during this training, qualifies them to run their own brokerage firm. As such, a real estate broker normally has a more complete knowledge of the laws of real estate. Brokers are often given more power and more responsibility than agents within a brokerage firm. Many brokers manage a team of real estate agents and are in charge of ensuring that any transactions are completed without error. It is important to know that not every broker runs his or her own brokerage firm. Many real estate brokers choose to work for other real estate companies or franchises, such as KW Edge Realty. Working for larger companies enables the brokers to increase their knowledge and expertise, as well as grow their professional networks.
All real estate professionals have their own strengths, so depending on your needs, the decision will be up to you determine who will be best suited to get the job done. Most REALTORS®, real estate brokers and agents are great to work with, all that matters is their knowledge, experience, and credibility when you are applying for financing, making offers or bidding, finding suitable property, writing or editing legal documents or making arrangements for an inspection. It is very acceptable to ask whoever you are dealing with, to see their credentials or to ask them about their past experience. Buying real estate is likely the biggest investment you will ever make in your life and it is very important for you to trust your agent and know exactly what they bring to the table.
Are you still looking for a REALTOR® you can trust? Whether you are buying or selling a home, contact me today to get the most out of your move!