What Does A Broker Do In A Real Estate Transaction?

There are many people that play a role in making real estate transactions happen. One of them is the broker. While some may use the term real estate agent and broker interchangeably, in reality, a broker can have additional responsibilities beyond those of any agent. In light of that, this post will explain what a broker is and what their responsibilities may be.

What is a broker?

Put simply, in real estate, a broker is a step above your average real estate agent. Brokers have taken additional education beyond the standard real estate exam in their state to receive a separate designation and license. This license allows the broker to either work independently or to have other agents working underneath them.

Every real estate transaction must be overseen by a specified real estate broker, known as the designated broker. Legally, the designated broker bears responsibility for the transactions of any agents who work under them.

Broker-owners vs. associate brokers

Some brokers own the real estate agency where they work. These brokers are often known as broker-owners. While they may still have their own clients and facilitate transactions, they are also responsible for keeping the company running. Though, like other business owners, they may hire staff to oversee the day-to-day operations.

Other brokers may choose to work under another designated broker or broker-owner. These brokers are known as associate brokers. Associate brokers technically bear the same level of responsibility as a traditional real estate agent, but they have more education and they often have more experience.

What does a broker do?

Brokers can take on two separate levels of responsibility. On the one hand, they can help clients buy and sell real estate – just like a traditional agent. In that case, their job duties would include:

  • Marketing homes for sale
  • Showing homes to potential buyers
  • Writing up offers
  • Negotiating prices
  • Facilitating transactions

On the other hand, designated brokers and broker-owners are also responsible for overseeing office operations, including:

  • Recruiting, hiring, and training agents
  • Negotiating agent contracts
  • Maintaining office compliance
  • Establishing escrow accounts
  • Overseeing staff and office operations
  • Mediating conflicts
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