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Real Estate Brokers Versus Salespeople — What’s The Difference?

A “broker” can be seen as someone licensed by the state and who works for another and for a fee. In effect, a broker is an “agent– who works for a “principal,– say a buyer or seller. As an agent, a real estate broker must uphold certain duties and obligations or his or her license can be suspended or revoked.

A “salesperson” is also licensed by the state. However, a salesperson must work under the authority of a broker and does not have the right to contract directly with the public. This means if a home is listed for sale by Thompson — a salesperson working for Broker Williams — the listing agreement is actually a contract between Broker Williams and the property owner.


A salesperson is typically an independent contractor and not on salary. Payment comes from income earned through a broker, an arrangement which is negotiated between the two parties.

Brokers and salespeople are sometimes known generally as “agents” but this term is not correct in all cases. In some jurisdictions a real estate licensee can function as a “facilitator,” someone acts as a middleman and who does not represent either a buyer or seller.

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Syndicated originally by Content That Works and posted with permission.

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