People often use the terms “real-estate agents” and “brokers” interchangeably. However, these are distinct jobs that require separation.

Retirees searching for a retirement community, a house designed for their families, or a downsized property need to hire the appropriate person for the job. Let’s clarify the differences between real-estate agents and brokers.

The Job Description

Real-Estate Agents

A real-estate agent is a salesperson who has completed a certain number of hours of real-estate coursework and passed a state-mandated real-estate licensing exam. Agents must work under the supervision of brokers. Their responsibilities include:

  • Assisting in property showings,
  • Finding homes that meet a client’s criteria,
  • Negotiating offers, and
  • Guiding clients through contracts and paperwork.

Real Estate Brokers

A broker has more advanced education and experience. They have worked as an agent for a specific period and often have additional real estate–related education or certifications. Brokers can work independently or hire agents to work for them. Their roles include:

  • Managing real estate offices,
  • Overseeing real-estate transactions, and
  • Offering brokerage services, which implies they can act as legal representatives in real-estate matters.

Education and Real-Estate Knowledge

Real-Estate Agents

To become a real-estate agent, an individual must typically complete a prelicensing course, which can range from 30 to 200 hours, according to the state’s requirements.

Newly licensed agents enter the industry with little to no experience. They learn on the job, starting with basic transactions and gradually handling more complex deals.

Real-Estate Brokers

Brokers undergo further education and testing. In most states, this involves completing 60 to 90 hours of coursework beyond the agent level plus passing a broker’s license exam. Additionally, brokers often seek advanced designations such as certified residential specialist (CRS) or accredited buyer’s representative (ABR).

Due to their extended education and experience as agents, brokers possess years of valuable experience. Their responsibilities can include navigating legal regulations, managing their own sales teams, and dealing with the intricacies of high-stakes real-estate negotiations.

Making the Choice That’s Right for You

Dissecting the differences between real-estate agents and brokers offers a clearer picture of each role. Now it’s time to reflect on how this applies to your retirement real-estate needs.

When To Choose a Real-Estate Agent

If you’re a first-time homebuyer or seller, working with a qualified agent is often the most cost-effective and practical choice. An agent can assist with a broad range of transactions and offer valuable guidance.

When To Choose a Real-Estate Broker

For retirees looking at more complex real-estate opportunities such as investment properties and retirement communities, the expertise of a broker can be invaluable. Brokers can offer specialized services and insight into the region.

Arista Realty is ready to find you a stunning home for sale in central Florida. Call to get in contact with one of our incredible brokers and find your dream retirement community.