A real estate broker acts to connect buyers and sellers of real property in exchange for a commission. Commissions are negotiable and are typically paid for by the seller of the property. Real estate agents and brokers need to be licensed by the each state’s Department of Real Estate (DRE).
While connecting buyers and sellers is the central role of the real estate agent, the agent’s responsibilities also includes successfully negotiating the terms of the deal, ensuring that all pertinent information is disclosed to all parties involved, coordinating all steps of the transaction between the various parties (buyers, sellers, lenders, escrow officers, etc.), uphold ethical standards and maintain a fiduciary relationship with their client(s).
Practicing Real Estate Agents must be employed by a Real Estate Broker. Real Estate Brokers require a separate license and work experience and are responsible for supervising the work of their real estate agents.
All real estate commissions are negotiable. In many places, a typical commission for selling a residential property is about 6% of the sales price. However, commission rates are usually lower for larger and more expensive commercial properties. For leasing brokers, commissions are typically a percentage of the rent paid over the term of the lease.
Many brokers choose to specialize in particular types of real estate transactions, such as residential sales, commercial sales, commercial leasing, retail leasing, business opportunity sales, timeshare sales, executive housing, etc.