In order for you to successfully complete your real estate transaction in Berks County, you must first decide who you will trust to represent your interests. Agents, brokers and Realtors are the three types of real estate professionals in Berks County. So what exactly is the difference and why is it so important?

Although all three overlap, there are also differences.


People who are real estate agents specialize in the field after completing specialized real estate courses. They are also licensed to practice in the state of Pennsylvania.

In a real estate transaction, an agent represents either the seller or the buyer. Some specialize in working with buyers, others with sellers, others do both.

Among the responsibilities of an agent are negotiating, collecting offers, and helping clients with paperwork. Additional services provided by real estate agents can assist clients in tying up loose ends, such as arranging home inspections. A commission is usually paid on a successful transaction, so they receive a percentage of the sale price.


Brokers are licensed real estate agents who have completed more education than is required to become real estate agents. In addition to courses on insurance, taxes, and ethics, a real estate broker might be required to take other classes as well. Other courses might include real estate investments and property management. There is more coursework to complete than is required for agents.

Brokers fall into three categories.

In every real estate office, there is a principal or designated broker. They ensure the office's legal compliance. Additionally, they receive a commission from the sales their agents make. There is also a managing broker, who is able to exert a greater influence on the agents at the office. Associate brokers work under managing brokers, but don't normally supervise others.

It is possible for real estate brokers to work on their own. They can also hire agents to work for them.

Upon passing a broker's exam, you may continue to work under another broker, in which case you will be called an associate broker. This was briefly touched upon earlier.

The responsibilities of brokers and agents are similar. The main difference is that brokers are able to earn more money by managing agents.


Realtor is a third term often used to denote an agent or broker. Realtors belong to the National Association of Realtors or NAR.

NAR members agree to adhere to NAR’s strict ethical guidelines. Besides agents, Realtors can also include other professionals in the industry. For instance, property managers and appraisers can be Realtors since it's a profession that originates from a group membership.

When you become a Realtor, you can use the trademark as part of your title.

In the end, whoever you choose to help you buy or sell a home is an important decision. Contact Jim Ernst today to see how he can assist you with his experience buying and selling homes in Berks County.

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