A real estate broker is a licensed intermediary who works with property sellers and buyers to arrange a real estate transaction. Brokers have completed a higher level of real estate education and experience as required by state laws and have passed a broker’s license exam. Brokers can work alone or they can hire agents to work for them. Agents are required to work under the supervision of a broker.
A real estate broker assists in buying and selling property by acting as an intermediary between the parties. The broker does not own a stake in the property, but instead represents the buyer or seller and works for a commission.
This person is typically a real estate agent or a REALTOR®. Many people think these terms are synonymous, but they are not. A real estate agent is simply someone who is licensed to buy or sell homes.
A REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), meaning they are nationally accredited and pledge to abide by NAR’s Code of Ethics. A REALTOR® is not necessarily a real estate agent; s/he can be a mortgage broker, attorney, etc. Make sure whomever you choose is qualified to help you buy or sell property.
Payment for a real estate broker comes from a commission, a percentage of the home’s selling price paid by the seller. Usually, the seller pays a percentage of the selling price to the listing broker. In a real estate transaction, the commission is usually split between the buying agent and the selling agent. When it comes to commission, the national average tends to be 5 or 6 percent of the sales price, but that is not a rule. It can vary greatly depending on the area of the country or the individual agent or brokerage.
At the end of a sale, brokers do not get to keep their entire portion of tthe commission; they have to pay some of it to their company. What percentage they owe depends on the firm and which real estate companies are involved. If both brokers are from the same company, the firm tends to let them keep more of the commission.
When looking for a real estate broker, shop around. Talk with your friends and co-workers to get recommendations. Also, interview potential brokers to see with whom you think you can work best. And be sure to use the Find a REALTOR® program from our partners at RealEstate.com.
Through this online program, you first choose a real estate company. Next, you consult with one of its Relocation Directors who will personally match you with a local REALTOR®. After closing with that REALTOR®, you receive a gift card.
In the end, you want to go with your instinct when choosing a real estate broker. Someone can have the most stellar recommendations, but if you feel you cannot work with that person, it won’t be a good fit. Another real estate broker may have very little experience, but you just have a good feeling about that person. Use the real estate broker that you think you can work with best.
REALTOR® — A registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
Not available in all areas. Amount of incentive is based on purchase price of home and a 6 percent commission evenly split between listing and buyer’s broker. Changes in the commission or commission split will adjust incentive proportionately. Click here for full terms and conditions [http://www.lendingtree.com/stmrc/realestate/reterms.asp]