A real estate broker is a real estate agent who has obtained a license to become a practicing broker within his or her respective state. Unlike traditional real estate agents, brokers can work independently, hire staff, and create their own firm whereas traditional agents must work for a qualifying brokerage.
Real estate brokers are essential intermediaries in the transaction process, navigating transactions from initial listing and discovery to closing.
When you hire a traditional real estate agent, you are also getting the complete package of a brokerage, which provides access to an MLS, lenders, title insurance company recommendations, supervising agents, and so much more.
While agents can help buyers and sellers get through the initial stages of the transaction, a broker is required by state law to finalize the process.
Brokerage laws differ by state, but generally, you must complete a broker’s license exam to become a broker. For example, in Colorado and New Mexico, all real estate agents are licensed as brokers. However, these states require an additional exam and license before a licensed broker can hire agents and start their own firm.