Real Estate Resources

The Different Types of Agents

silhouettes of professionals in suitsFor the first-time home buyer or those unfamiliar with the different roles of real estate agents, the terms can be confusing. How do you know if someone is a Realtor or a real estate agent? What is the difference between a buyer's agent and a listing agent? And what do each of these agents do? 

Though many people use the terms "agent," "Realtor," and "associate" interchangeably, these are actually different titles for real estate professionals. We hope to eliminate the confusion by explaining the different types of real estate agents and the different titles that real estate professionals may have. 

The Roles of Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents are all licensed professionals who have taken the necessary classes and passed their state's license exam. They all monitor local market activity, but assist buyers and sellers through their transactions in different ways, depending on which role the real estate agents take in the process. Here is a brief explanation of the types of real estate agents and what roles they have. 

Buyer's Agent

A buyer's agent works exclusively with and in the best interest of the home buyer, guiding the buyer step-by-step through everything from the home search to closing the transaction. Specifically, your buyer's agent will: 

  • help you find your dream home
  • negotiate with the home seller
  • recommend professionals like home inspectors
  • help you with the paperwork

Seller's (Listing) Agent

A seller's agent works exclusively with and in the best interest of the home seller, guiding the seller step-by-step through everything from home marketing to closing. Specifically, your listing agent or seller's agent will: 

  • help you prepare to sell your home
  • lists your home in the MLS
  • show your home to buyers
  • negotiate with the home buyer

Dual Agent

This real estate agent represents both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. For example, if you were to purchase a home in Canton and you had a dual agent, he or she would also be representing the home seller you were purchasing the property from. 

Transaction Coordinator

A transaction coordinator assists a real estate agent or a broker in processing the administrative items for a real estate transaction, including gathering all paperwork, opening the escrow account, making sure the disclosures are properly signed and filled out, and managing deadlines. 

blue house from the frontReal Estate Titles Explained

Even the term "real estate agent" is broad, encompassing brokers, associate brokers, and Realtors, just to name a few. Here is a quick explanation of different agent titles. 


A Realtor is a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. 

Real Estate Broker

A broker is a real estate professional who has passed the license exam for real estate brokers. They have taken more education and have more responsibilities than the average agent, since they are able to own their own firms and manage teams of agents under them. Each firm has only one broker. 

Associate Broker

Like agents, associate brokers work under real estate brokers, but they have achieved a broker's license and have chosen to work under the management of a broker. 

Let Us Help You With Your Transaction

We hope these real estate terms were helpful in explaining the different titles and roles of agents.

Are you buying or selling your home in the metro Detroit area? We have the information and advice you need to ensure that your transaction goes smoothly from start to finish. Contact our team of real estate professionals and let's talk about your goals.