Home buyers today have at their fingertips a whole host of technologies that can make finding the perfect home, in the perfect area and for the perfect price, considerably easier than it has been at any time in the past. And unsurprisingly, nearly every element of these new services and technologies revolves around the seemingly endless potential of the internet. Online listings offer a wealth of information, letting users know not only what type of homes are out there, but also apparently giving them everything they need to make an informed choice on their own. The age we live in isn’t frequently dubbed the “information age” for no reason; and the internet can simply provide so much. Does this mean the role of real estate broker is becoming redundant? 

Hardly. But it does mean that real estate brokers need to earn their living, by offering the kind of invaluable services that offer utility above what a home buyer can derive from internet property browsing. More specifically, the more advanced services and specific expertise of real estate broker come into their own, with brokers taking explicit pains to distinguish themselves from the more junior role of a simple real estate agent. CityHome Collective, a real estate and interior design company out of SLC, fit this bill, valuing above all their relationship with clients while working hard to ensure every client gets the best deal from either a sale or a purchase. Real estate brokers can be considered a more elite form of the simple real estate agent – but what actually is the difference?

The Real Difference

The simple truth is that many people actually don’t know what the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker is. This isn’t really anyone’s fault, as the two terms are very often used interchangeably. Indeed, this may well be the first time you are learning that there is any difference at all! 

Certainly, both a real estate agent and a real estate broker are responsible for bringing buyers and sellers together to facilitate the best possible transaction for whomever they are working for – the buyer or the seller – in that instance. They both require a detailed market knowledge and should be able to present the house to buyers in person. Remember, pictures do not tell the whole story and there is no substitute for a real estate agent/broker’s knowledge of all the small details that can have a big influence on what the property is worth. 

The difference, then, is a matter of seniority and qualification, with real estate brokers being the more senior of the two. Typically, real estate agents will work for a real estate broker – but this does not mean you are always getting the full expertise of a broker when you go with an agent, as many can simply be tasked with shifting homes on for a commission. 

Superior Qualifications and Expertise  

As mentioned then, the most fundamental difference is a matter of qualification. In the U.S., a real estate broker is qualified to operate independently and can hire agents to work for them. However, many also work directly with buyers, ensuring properties match the buyer’s criteria, conducting negotiations, preparing offers, and generally offering a superior service for buyers and sellers. At a good real estate brokerage, you can be sure that this will never be delegated entirely to a real estate agent without significant input from the more qualified brokers. This is how real estate brokerages like CityHome Collective can guarantee the level of expertise that many have come to expect.