What’s The Difference Between A Real Estate Agent And A Real Estate Broker?

difference between a real estate agent and a broker

If you want to get involved in the real estate industry in 2023, you should start by becoming familiar with the different roles of the individuals who have a hand in buying and selling homes and properties in New Jersey. When it comes to completing a real estate transaction in New Jersey, it is important to understand the differences between a real estate agent and a real estate broker. A real estate agent is someone who helps buyers and sellers in their search for property or assists with selling an existing property.

On the other hand, a real estate broker has taken additional steps to become licensed and is able to list properties on behalf of clients as well as help them purchase or sell a home. In this article, we will explore both roles in more detail, including their responsibilities, expenses, and reasons why one might choose to become a licensed real estate broker.

What Is A Real Estate Agent?

So you’re interested in a career in real estate, but what exactly is an agent’s role? A real estate agent acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers of real estate property. They help their clients make informed decisions throughout the entire process, from the initial search to the closing of the sale. Let’s take a deeper look into this important role. 

The Responsibilities of a Real Estate Agent 

Real estate agents have many responsibilities, both for their clients and for themselves. The most important responsibility for an agent is to ensure that their client is satisfied with their purchase or sale.

Agents accomplish this by helping their clients find suitable properties or helping them market and sell their existing properties. Agents also provide advice on pricing, financing options, legal matters, and more. In addition, agents must stay up-to-date with changes in local laws and regulations related to real estate transactions. 

Another responsibility of real estate agents is marketing themselves and promoting business opportunities to potential clients. This can involve attending open houses, creating ads on social media platforms and online classifieds websites, or setting up booths at expos or other events.

Agents may even use email marketing campaigns to reach out to prospective buyers or sellers who might be interested in using them as their agents. Finally, agents must keep accurate records of all transactions and maintain relationships with other agents so they can arrange referrals when needed. 

 Negotiating Skills Are Key 

Negotiation skills are essential for any successful real estate transaction. Agents need to be able to listen carefully to both sides involved in the deal so they can identify common ground that works for everyone involved while still getting their clients the best possible outcome from the transaction.

To do this effectively requires not only knowledge of local market conditions but also strong communication skills and experience in managing complex negotiations between multiple parties.  

What Is A Real Estate Broker?

A real estate broker is a professional who specializes in the sale and purchase of a property. Brokers are highly knowledgeable about their local markets, and they can provide valuable advice when it comes to buying and selling homes or commercial properties. A real estate agent needs a to work with a broker to complete a real estate transaction, but a real estate broker can work independently if they choose too.

For those interested in becoming a real estate broker in New Jersey, this post will provide an overview of what you need to know. 

Role & Responsibilities 

The primary role of a real estate broker is to facilitate the sale and/or purchase of a property between buyers and sellers. This includes writing offers, negotiating contracts, overseeing inspections, handling paperwork, managing escrow accounts, and closing transactions.

In addition to these duties, brokers are also responsible for marketing properties for sale and advertising listings to potential buyers. They must be familiar with local zoning regulations as well as state laws regarding the buying and selling of real estate. A broker is responsible for holding the license of all real estate agents associated with their office.

License Requirements 

In order to become a licensed real estate broker in New Jersey, applicants must meet certain requirements set forth by the state’s Division of Consumer Affairs. These include being at least 18 years old; having attended an approved pre-licensing course.

Passing both a written exam and a background check; obtaining errors & omissions insurance; submitting fingerprints; submitting official transcripts; providing proof of identity; completing continuing education courses every two years; and completing an ethics course every three years.

Before becoming a broker, anyone interested must be a licensed real estate agent for at least three years. Once all requirements have been met, applicants may apply for their license with the Division of Consumer Affairs. 

Career Outlook & Opportunities 

Real estate brokers are in high demand across the U.S., particularly in New Jersey where there is an abundance of high-end residential homes as well as commercial properties up for grabs. While some brokers specialize in residential sales only, others choose to focus on commercial transactions or even specialize within certain towns or counties throughout New Jersey.

The earning potential for successful brokers can be quite lucrative—the median annual salary for real estate brokers in New Jersey is over $80k per year.

Real Estate Agent Vs Real Estate Broker Expenses?

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a home, you might be primarily familiar with the role of a real estate agent. But have you heard of real estate brokers? Knowing the difference between these two roles is essential, and understanding their respective expenses is equally important. Here’s a breakdown of what each pays for when it comes to cost-related matters. 

Real Estate Broker Expenses 

Generally speaking, real estate brokers pay for their own business costs. They provide services such as property appraisals, title searches, and other administrative tasks, so they are responsible for paying all associated fees and taxes.

In some cases, brokers also cover marketing expenses related to getting their name out there as well as any necessary software investments required to run their businesses. 

Real Estate Agent Expenses 

Real estate agents typically work under the supervision of a broker and can sometimes be employees of that broker’s office. This means that they are not always responsible for covering certain expenses out-of-pocket; in many cases, the broker absorbs some or all of these costs.

For example, agents may not need to pay for advertising or marketing materials since those are usually handled at the broker level. The agent will need to pay for marketing themselves as each agent is their own personal brand. Agents will need to pay licensing fees and MLS (Multiple Listing Service Fees. 

Reasons To Become A Licensed Real Estate Broker

Becoming a licensed real estate broker can be rewarding, both financially and personally. Not only does it take hard work and dedication, but there are many benefits that come with becoming a licensed real estate broker. Here are some of the reasons why someone should pursue becoming a licensed real estate broker. 

The Flexibility of Being Your Own Boss 

One of the biggest perks of being a real estate broker is that you have the flexibility to be your own boss. You can make your own hours, set your own schedule, and determine how you want to manage your real estate firm. You also get to choose which properties you want to list or represent and decide who you partner with for transactions.

With this freedom comes great responsibility—it is up to you to ensure your clients’ best interests are met—but having control over your business is an amazing benefit that cannot be overlooked!  

Unlimited Earning Potential 

When it comes to money, the sky really is the limit as a real estate broker. As long as you are willing to put in the time and energy necessary. There is no limit on how much money you can earn as a real estate broker.

This is because each transaction represents an opportunity for commission-based income. Furthermore, the more successful you become as a professional in the industry, the greater potential for success exists — meaning more money in your pocket!  

Growth Opportunities 

Real estate brokers also have access to many growth opportunities within their field. As mentioned earlier, if you become successful in this role then there is potential for even greater success down the road. You may even have opportunities to expand into other areas of the real estate business such as property management or development if these interests align with yours.

Final Thoughts About Real Estate Agents Vs Real Estate Brokers

Real estate professionals such as agents and brokers are both essential players in the home-buying process, but they have distinct roles that require different responsibilities. Real estate brokers bear more of their own business expenses than real estate agents do, while agents may be able to rely on a broker for some or all of their real estate industry marketing costs.

For those looking for financial freedom and unlimited earning potential, becoming a licensed real estate broker can offer great rewards, but the first step in the process is to become a licensed real estate agent. With flexibility as your own boss and growth opportunities within the industry, there is no limit to what you can achieve!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the difference between a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent in real estate?

A: The main difference between buyer’s agents and a seller’s agents is that a buyer’s agent represents the interests of the buyer, while a seller’s agent represents the interests of the seller.

Q: Is national real estate law different from New Jersey real estate law?

A: No. They are both the same. The law governing real estate transactions is called contract law, and it is the same in every state. Contract law is derived from case law and common law, which are the same in every state.

There are some variations among the states with respect to things like deed restrictions and zoning regulations, but the basic principles of contract law are the same everywhere.


  • Kristen Johnson, Esq.

    Kristen E. Johnson, Esq. has been practicing law (https://kejlaw.com/) at the Jersey Shore for over 20 years, focusing on all aspects of residential and commercial real estate. Kristen is originally from Monmouth County where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters. Kristen is a graduate of Drexel University (’00) and Villanova School of Law (’03). Kristen has over twenty years experience in foreclosures, Condominium Law, Landlord Tenant law, and residential and commercial real estate. Kristen also is the owner and operator of the Ocean School of Real Estate, where she is licensed educator.