When looking to either buy or sell a home, you might notice some of the professionals you meet have different titles. You might be talking to an agent one day and a broker the next. So, what’s the difference? Below are 7 different people you might run into in the world of real estate. 

Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is someone who has gone through the necessary classes and certifications to legally sell property and houses. They have passed a state-issued exam and received the required license to work in that particular state. They are paid based on the commission of a sale and must work under the supervision of a real estate broker. This is generally the kind of agent you will be working with when looking to purchase or sell residential property. 

Buyer’s Agent

A buyer’s agent works on behalf of clients looking to buy a new or previously lived-in home. They help future property buyers with everything from researching, analyzing, visiting, and comparing potential homes and properties. It is the job of the buyer’s agent to listen to and care to the real estate needs and priorities of their clients. They can reach out to other agents for home information and give their clients advice such as loan and bank options. 

When the time comes, the buyer’s agent will negotiate the terms of the sale on their clients behalf. They will help fill out and organize paperwork and explain to their clients any potential clauses or contingencies that come with the home. 

Seller’s Agent 

This is the agent responsible for helping home owners sell their house or property. They take care of the marketing and advertising needs of their client. They also handle walk-throughs, open houses, tours, and can answer questions from potential buyers. 

The seller’s agent also helps the seller decide on a reasonable asking price for their home based on market and neighborhood research. They are typically the middle man between the buyer and seller – presenting and discussing any offers presented by an interested buyer. 

Just as a buyer’s agent does, when the time comes, the seller’s agent will negotiate the terms of the sale on their clients behalf. 

Dual Agent 

A dual agent is simply a real estate agent who represents both the buyer and the seller of a particular property or home. 


A realtor is a members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). It is a trademarked name often mistaken as another name for a real estate agent. Realtors do not have to be real estate agents , but do have to hold a valid real estate licenses in order to become members of NAR. Members can also include property managers, appraisers, real estate counselors, and other professionals involved in the real estate industry. 

Real Estate Broker

A broker is someone who has taken courses and certifications beyond the required standards of a real estate agent. Brokers most often manage or own their own real estate firm after obtaining their brokers license. The qualifications for brokers differ from state to state, but their role remains the same. They over see the transactions made under their firm.

For example, if you are working with a real estate agent, they must have their transactions reviewed and approved by their broker. Brokers take a percentage of the commission earned on a sale made by an agent within their firm. Brokers can also work as agents to buy and sell homes and properties. 

Real Estate Associate Broker

An associate broker is someone who has obtained their brokers license, but does not manage or own their own real estate firm. Instead, they work under another broker at that brokers firm.