Mortgage Broker Vs. Real Estate Agent

If you are involved in the world of real estate, chances are you will deal with mortgage brokers and real estate agents. While agents present listings and negotiate prices, mortgage brokers match buyers to the best lenders. This article will detail and differentiate between these two careers.

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Comparing Mortgage Brokers to Real Estate Agents

Mortgage brokers and real estate agents are both integral parts of buying and selling property. Mortgage brokers work to put together buyers with lenders who make sense for their financial situation. The work of real estate agents is a little broader, as they deal with contracts, pricing, and the presentation of listings. Other similarities and differences are discussed below.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2017) Job Growth (2016-2026)**
Mortgage Broker Bachelor's Degree in Business or Finance; local certification $57,812* (for all loan officers) 11% (for all loan officers)
Real Estate Agent Completion of real estate course program and state licensure $47,880** 6%

Sources: *Payscale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Mortgage Brokers vs. Real Estate Agents

Mortgage brokers and real estate agents both work with clients who are looking to purchase real estate. Mortgage brokers are specialists on the financial side. They work with buyers and a team of lenders, using their knowledge of the industry to match them up in a way that will be most beneficial and smooth for both sides. Real estate agents work with these same buyers, taking them on tours of properties, and writing up offers. Additionally, these agents also work with sellers, as they host open houses, market listings, and negotiate offers.

Mortgage Broker

A mortgage broker is a type of loan officer that works as the intermediary between potential property buyers looking for a loan and the lenders. This work occurs in both commercial and residential real estate. The primary responsibility of these brokers is to present buyers with their options of potential lenders, working together to find a match that lines up with their goals and current financial situation. Most work is done during normal business hours in an office setting and pay is generally done by commission. A bachelor's degree in business or finance, as well as local certification, are commonly required.

Job responsibilities of a mortgage broker include:

  • Communicating information between buyers and lenders
  • Gathering financial information on buyers to determine the best lenders
  • Discovering new clients through social media and marketing
  • Staying up-to-date on the local mortgage market

Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents work with clients who are looking to buy or rent new property or sell the property they currently own. Some of these agents specialize in residential properties, while others work more closely with businesses in order to buy or sell commercial spaces. The common day for a real estate agent can vary greatly. Some work is done inside of an office, dealing with paperwork, contracts, real estate databases, and negotiations. Some days will feature more time spent in the field, taking clients to listings or staging and hosting open houses. Real estate agents must have excellent communication skills, as they must work closely with buyers, sellers, and brokers in a way that leaves everyone satisfied. To obtain a job in this profession, you must complete real estate courses and pass a final exam to become licensed in the state you will be working.

Job responsibilities of a real estate agent include:

  • Staying up-to-date on the current trends of the real estate market
  • Finding new clients through marketing and social media
  • Clearly explaining to clients complex issues regarding pricing and mortgages
  • Leading negotiations and preparing all relevant paperwork

Related Careers

If you have interest in becoming a mortgage broker but want to work in other areas beyond real estate, you may want to learn more about becoming a loan officer. Being a real estate agent is just one type of career path for a salesperson. If leading an entire sales force sounds appealing, you may enjoy becoming a sales manager.

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