What Is a Real Estate Broker?

Real estate brokers oversee transactions that involve real property, including residential and commercial property. They know the local area, schools and communities and have extensive knowledge of the local and state real estate laws.


Real estate brokers facilitate transactions that occur between sellers and buyers of real estate, or real property. Real estate brokers can either represent the buyer, the seller, or in some cases both.


The educational requirements differ from state to state, but range from 60 to 90 hours of coursework and a final exam. Additionally, real estate brokers must pass a state-administered exam in order to obtain a real estate broker license.


Real estate brokers are required to work under the supervision of an experienced broker or a brokerage company for at least one to three years prior to owning their own brokerage and managing other brokers within an agency. Continuing education is required in order to retain a brokers license.


Real estate brokers are paid on a commission basis, calculated as a percentage of the total purchase price of the real property exchanged. This commission is split between the supervising broker and the agent or broker that facilitated the real estate transaction.


A real estate broker is not always needed in real estate transactions. But because of the complicated nature of real estate transactions, most buyers (especially first-time buyers) do not have the knowledge to facilitate the transaction without the services of a real estate broker.