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The Difference Between Mortgage Brokers and Real Estate Agents

Two professionals will quickly become your best friends when you're buying a home: your mortgage broker and real estate agent. How do they differ and how do they work together to help you with your home purchase?

How Do Mortgage Brokers and Real Estate Agents Differ?

Real estate agents work on the buying and selling part of a property while mortgage brokers focus on the financing side of the purchase. Here’s how that breaks down.

A real estate agent helps you to sift through potential homes to find the perfect one. They have access to property listings, have knowledge about the local market, and have information about the neighborhoods, including which areas are up-and-coming and reputations of local schools.

A real estate agent may introduce various home loan options, however, knowing which mortgage program works best for you is a mortgage broker specialty.

**Working with a loan officer instead of a mortgage broker? They work essentially the same way, that is, helping you to get the rate and home financing you need. The difference is that loan officers work with a specific lender while a mortgage broker works similar to an “independent contractor,” working with several lenders.

Both have their perks and both guide you in comparing home loan programs to ensure that you’re getting the best rate.

Common Responsibilities of Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents help you sell a property or help you to buy one.

Types of Real Estate Agents

Here’s a quick overview of the most commonly encountered real estate agents:

Real estate agent: This is a state-licensed position, and they help their clients through the selling or buying of properties. Each state has it's licensing guidelines. However, the training and standards are somewhat similar throughout the country.

Real estate broker: This professional is usually the owner or manager of a real estate office, though, some work independently. They have the same training as a real estate agent plus higher-level training as they are the ones reviewing contracts as well as managing the daily operations. Just like real estate agents, licensing for real estate brokers vary by state.

Realtor®: A Realtor® is the official name for a real estate agent or real estate broker who is also a member of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). The NAR is a private organization with their own set of realty standards and code of ethics that members agree to follow. To recap, all Realtors® state-licensed, but not all real estate agents and brokers are Realtors®.

Responsibilities of Mortgage Brokers

A mortgage broker is worth his or her weight in gold. They provide a critical service when it comes to navigating your home loan options, so their profession is heavily regulated. Every state has their licensing requirements, but all mortgage brokers are trained, bonded, and act with your fiduciary interests in mind.

Mortgage brokers and loan officers help you in other ways too! Consider them a trustworthy source for your credit score questions, property investments loans info, down payment coaching, and much more.

Mortgage Brokers Be Real Estate Agents Too 

It’s possible for your mortgage broker also to be a licensed real estate agent. Some prefer this all-in-one service, while others like to keep their mortgage and home shopping separate. However, note that real estate agents cannot originate government-backed loans (like FHA loans, for example) on behalf of their client.

Working Together for Your Best Home Buying Interests

Buying a home is critical life decisions and investments you will ever make. That’s why we're dedicated to guiding you through the initial process home loan applications and keep you in the loop every step of the way. Whether you are already working with a real estate agent or are looking for a trusted recommendation, we are ready to team up with you to make your homeownership dreams come true.