Who Sells Homes Better: Real Estate Salesperson vs Broker?

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Written By Justin McGill

DealBloom aims to share the latest tips and strategies to help realtors, brokers, loan officers, and investors navigate the world of real estate.

When it comes to selling your home, you might be wondering if it’s better to use a real estate salesperson vs broker. After all, both options have their pros and cons. So who does it better?

We decided to compare real estate salesperson vs broker and see for ourselves. Here’s what we found.

Real Estate Salesperson vs Broker: What’s the Difference?

A real estate salesperson is someone who is licensed to sell real estate but who is not a real estate broker. A real estate broker is someone who is licensed to both sell and broker real estate.

A career in real estate can be very rewarding. There are many different types of real estate jobs, from working as a salesperson to becoming a broker. The pay for these positions can vary depending on experience and location.

If you are interested in a career in real estate, research the different types of jobs available to find one that best suits your skills and interests.

While real estate agents and real estate brokers both help their clients buy and sell houses, they differ in how they operate a real estate company.

A real estate broker is an owner or manager of a real estate brokerage firm, while a real estate agent is an independent contractor.

The median income for real estate agents and brokers in 2020 was $51,220 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, top sellers in many markets earn significantly more than this.

Types of Real Estate Brokers

Becoming a real estate broker offers a variety of career paths. From becoming an agent to a broker, there are many opportunities.

Depending on what you want out of your career, you can become a designated broker, managing broker, or associate broker.

What do they do?

  • Designated real estate broker: This is the person who is legally responsible for the actions of all the real estate agents who work for them. They are also sometimes called brokerage owners.
  • Managing real estate broker: This is the person in charge of handling the day-to-day business at a brokerage.
  • Associate real estate brokers: These are individuals who are licensed real estate agents, but have not assumed any management or administrative roles.

Types of Real Estate Agents

There are many different types of real estate agents each with their own responsibilities. While you can specialize in either listing or buying, it’s not required.

A real estate agent can work for buyers, sellers, or both, so they will have many opportunities to be either the buyer’s or seller’s representative.

The four main categories of real estate are:

  • Listing agent: A real estate agent or broker helps homeowners sell their property for the highest price possible.
  • Buyer’s agent: A buyer’s agent represents buyers in their search for a home and helps them find the best home for the best price.
  • Dual agent: A dual agent is a real estate agent who represents both the buyers and sellers in a transaction.
  • Transaction agent: When buyers don’t use an agent, the listing agent can act as their transactional representative and write their offer for them.

Commission and Earnings

Both agents and real estate brokers make money from commissions on sales, but agents don’t receive regular paychecks. Instead, they earn a commission of 3% to 6% on each house they sell.

Brokers also get a commission when they are agents in a deal. They also typically earn a cut of all sales made by the brokerage. 

Agents who work with a licensed broker typically earn a commission that is split with the brokerage.

As of 2022, the average salary for a real estate agent is $87,390 per year, while the average salary for a broker is $75,068.

However, brokers typically earn an additional $42,000 in commissions, which boosts their earnings into the six-figure range.

Licensing Requirements

All states require real estate agents and real estate brokers to have a license. Brokers, however, usually need to complete extra coursework and exams.

If you’re interested in becoming a real estate agent, you’ll need to complete training courses that last from 36 to 60 hours. You’ll also need to pass your state’s licensing exam.

To become a broker, you will need to complete additional hours of training and pass a higher-level exam that tests your knowledge of brokerage management.

Work Responsibilities

The difference between a broker and an agent is their involvement in the company. A broker is either a business owner or manages a large enterprise.

As a broker, it is important to consider the bottom-line aspects of running a business. This includes how much to invest in marketing, how to control office costs and what policies to have for agents.

Real estate agents are independent workers who are in business for themselves. They are obligated to sell legally and ethically, as well as meet any other terms outlined in their contract with the broker.

The broker will be supervising agents’ activities to some degree.

Legal Risks

When brokers and real estate agents sell a home, they are taking on a lot of risks. These laws can be very strict.

Most real estate agencies use the same standard contracts, disclosures, and forms as everyone else. If a real estate agent is caught lying or deceiving a client, they could lose their license or end up in court.

Helping a seller lie on a home’s disclosures is illegal and unethical. Brokers not only risk their own activities but those of their agents as well.

If an agent were to make a mistake while representing the brokerage, it could face legal penalties. The broker could also be held liable in this situation.

Being a broker has many benefits over being just a regular real estate agent. While being a broker requires more education and work, it also allows you to grow and scale up your business in ways you wouldn’t be able to as just a normal agent.

Independent brokers have access to more listings than real estate agents.

An experienced broker will likely be able to provide more negotiating power when it comes to fees, as they won’t have to split their commission with an agency. This could result in savings for the buyer or seller of a home.


So, who sells homes better: real estate salesperson vs broker? In our opinion, it depends on the situation. If you’re looking for a quick sale, then a real estate salesperson might be your best bet. However, if you’re looking for someone to help you get top dollar for your home, then a broker is probably your best option.

Justin McGill