Real estate agents and mortgage brokers share similar job attributes. As licensed professionals in the real estate industry, both help their clients obtain residential or commercial properties. But their specific duties are quite different. A real estate agent helps buyers and sellers find or sell a physical property, and a mortgage broker helps buyers find the financing to purchase a property.
- Real estate agents put buyers and sellers together; mortgage brokers put buyers and lenders together.
- Depending on whom they represent, real estate agents help their clients purchase a property or sell a property, and mortgage brokers help their clients find financing for the property.
- Mortgage brokers must study credit reports and lending contracts; real estate agents are less concerned with financial details (other than purchase prices).
- Both jobs may require working nights and weekends; compensation for both careers is based on productivity.
- Both jobs require obtaining the proper license by the state in order to practice, and keep the license up to date via renewals and further education and testing.
Real Estate Agent
Because the real estate industry can be extremely competitive, if you are want to become a real estate agent, an outgoing personality, a desire to be helpful, maturity, and trustworthiness are essential qualities. A residential real estate agent should also be able to present a house and sell the features it provides in a pleasing manner. A creative eye for design and detail can be a strong asset in this profession.
Depending on whether an agent is acting on behalf of a buyer or seller, the following responsibilities are typical:
- show properties and homes
- find properties and homes to sell or for buyers
- negotiate in between and act as a liaison between buyer and seller
- follow the local real estate market
- provide financing guidance (in some cases)
The qualifications for becoming a real estate agent may include a background in sales or marketing and at minimum a high school diploma. Every real estate agent must have a license. Depending on the state and agency, additional education in financing and/or housing laws may be required.
The job often requires long hours, and many days of showing houses or commercial property to prospective buyers without a sale, so patience is also a must. If you like events to move quickly and need a paycheck every week, a commission-based real estate agent’s job may not be for you.
People with jobs or other obligations are often occupied during the day and do their house hunting on nights and weekends. As a result, real estate agents must be willing to make themselves available on short notice whenever their clients need them.