A broker is a professional who acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers of real estate. The broker’s primary job is to facilitate a transaction between these parties.
There are several types of real estate brokers, each with different responsibilities:
- Listing Broker: Also known as a seller’s broker, they represent the property owner in a real estate transaction. The listing broker’s job includes advertising the property, listing it on real estate databases, negotiating the price, and finalizing the contract.
- Buyer’s Broker: These brokers represent the buyer in a transaction. They help the buyer identify potential properties to purchase, negotiate the price and terms of the sale, and help manage the closing process.
- Dual Agency Broker: A broker can sometimes represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. This is known as dual agency and is legal in some states but not all, due to potential conflicts of interest.
- Associate Broker: An associate broker is a real estate broker who works under the management of another broker. Despite having the qualifications of a broker, they choose not to run their own brokerage firm.
- Commercial Real Estate Broker: These brokers specialize in commercial properties. This can include office buildings, retail spaces, industrial properties, and other non-residential property types.
Brokers must be licensed in the state where they work. The process to become a licensed broker often involves significant coursework and a rigorous exam, as well as a certain amount of experience working as a real estate agent. Brokers are also bound by a code of ethics and must operate in the best interest of their clients.