The Difference Between a Real Estate Agent, Broker, and Realtor

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Whether you are selling a home, buying a home, or looking for someone to advise you on investing in real estate, you might find yourself confused about what kind of professional you need to hire. From real estate agents to real estate brokers to realtors, it may seem as if there are too many types of experts for you to wrap your head around, but the truth is there is a lot of overlap between each of these. Still, they are not interchangeable terms, so we’ll be breaking down their differences today.

The Difference Between a Real Estate Agent, Broker, and Realtor

Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a licensed professional who assists sellers and buyers in real estate transactions. Real estate agents handle all kinds of tasks, such as planning open houses, creating or finding listings, scheduling home inspections, researching market conditions, and helping with paperwork, among other things. Real estate agents are usually paid on commission.

Real Estate Broker

A real estate broker can do everything a real estate agent can and more. Where a real estate agent must work for a broker or brokerage, a real estate broker is licensed to work independently and can employ other agents. Real estate brokers also complete more training than real estate agents.


A realtor can be either a licensed agent or a broker who is also a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Realtors must abide by the organization’s Code of Ethics, which standardizes Realtors’ business practices.

If you need help with real estate, turn to us at Salem Realty. All our agents are licensed brokers and Realtors who are prepared to assist you.