Homebuying 101: What is a Real Estate Broker?

Posted: 9/3/2021 | Read Time: 3min

What is a real estate broker?

A real estate broker is a person who has worked as a real estate agent, taken the state-approved real estate broker’s course and passed the broker’s exam. Before becoming a broker, agents must hold active real estate licenses for two to five years (on average) or complete a certain number of real estate transactions. This requirement varies from state to state.

What is a real estate broker responsible for?

In general, a real estate broker is responsible for accepting and escrowing all funds (deposits, finalizing transactions) and supervising any transactions conducted by any agent working under them. There are three different types of brokers – principal, managing and associate broker – each with their own duties and responsibilities described in further detail below.

Principal (Designated) Broker

Within every agency is a designated broker. This broker is responsible for assuring
transactions and agent activity meet state and national real estate compliance laws.

Managing Broker

The managing broker oversees the everyday operations and transactions conducted within the agency. They generally spend their days managing staff, recruiting and training new agents.

Associate Brokers

An associate broker has a broker’s license of their own but works under a managing broker. This broker is not generally responsible for supervising other agents.

Real Estate Broker vs. Real Estate Agent

While a real estate broker can work independently, a real estate agent must work under a broker. Any real estate agent can work their way toward becoming a broker by taking the required state brokerage classes and passing the brokerage exam after working for the designated amount of time set by the state in which they practice.

In fact, a realtor is the first person 53 percent of Americans would go to first when looking to purchase a home, followed by a mortgage loan officer at 34 percent.*

Real Estate Broker vs. Loan Officer

A broker can help homeowners find a home and advocate on their behalf throughout the home hunting process. They also can help pair buyers with a lender but may charge a fee for this service

A mortgage loan officer is a direct representative of a lender or financial institution. The job of a loan officer is to assist borrowers through the home loan application, helping match them to the right loan for their needs.

A loan officer will be the person to tell you how much home you could realistically afford and explain what financial factors (if any) need to be addressed before you begin the homebuying process.

Careers in Mortgage Lending: If you’ve ever wondered what a career in mortgage lending would be like, Wyndham Capital Mortgage can help. Be sure to view our mortgage loan officer jobs to see what’s available and see where a fresh new career in mortgage lending could take you!

Choosing Real Estate and Lending Professionals

Who you decide to hire to help you find your next home is ultimately a personal choice. In a competitive market, you may feel more comfortable working with a broker with years of experience in the field over a newer agent working under them. Or, you may choose to work with an agent that knows the area you want to buy in like the back of their hand. There is no right or wrong choice here; it all comes down to what feels right for you.
Regardless of who you choose to help find your picture-perfect property or maybe you go it alone, one professional you may want to work with is a mortgage lender who could help you get the right mortgage loan for your life.

While only 44 percent of American’s would compare three lenders before selecting a mortgage*, you’ll find a three-lender comparison standard across the lending world. By gathering data from three different lenders, you’ll have the opportunity to view potential closing costs and mortgage rates side by side.

Contact WCM today to learn more about working with a direct lender or to see what our digital advantages could do for you.

*Wyndham Capital Mortgage commissioned Atomik Research to run an online survey of 2,342 adults in the United States for their Mortgage 101 survey. The margin of error fell within +/- 2 percentage points with a confidence interval of 95 percent. The fieldwork took place between March 23rd and March 29th, 2021. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency.


Maggie joined the Wyndham Capital Mortgage team in November 2020 as a Content Strategist. She has more than six years of content creation experience, which includes launching WBTV’s digital brand Queen City Weekend (now QC Life) and garnering more than 1.1 million page views across her articles. With a love of storytelling, she hopes to bring that passion to WCM and the many families it serves. She resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, and can often be found at a coffee shop, latte in hand.

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