A real estate broker, through the activities of a commercial real
estate agent is a party who acts as an intermediary between sellers and
buyers, and for tenants and landlords of commercial real estate when a lease is
involved. In the United States, the relationship was originally established by reference
to the English common law of agency with the broker having a fiduciary relationship
with his clients. Estate agent is the term used in the United Kingdom to describe
a person or organization whose business is to market real estate on behalf of clients.
In the US, real estate brokers and their salespersons (commonly called "real estate
agents") assist sellers in marketing their property and selling it for the highest
possible price under the best terms. When acting as a Buyer's agent with a signed
agreement (or, in many cases, verbal agreement), they assist buyers by helping them
purchase property for the lowest possible price under the best terms. Usually the
landlord or seller is responsible for the commissions owed to commercial
real estate agents for closed transactions.
In most jurisdictions in the United States, a person is required to have a license
in order to receive remuneration for services rendered as a real estate broker.
Unlicensed activity is illegal, but buyers and sellers acting as principals in the
sale or purchase of real estate are not required to be licensed. In some states,
lawyers are allowed to handle real estate sales for compensation without being licensed
as brokers or agents.
The commercial real estate agent differs from the residential
real estate agent in that commercial real estate agents generally
cover only commercial property for sale or lease. Occasionally you will find that
residential agents on occasion dabble in commercial real estate property transactions.
The commercial real estate agent works for a commercial real
estate broker that also generally handles only commercial real estate transactions.
Commercial real estate agents are licensed by the state in
which they practice commercial real estate. They “hang” their agency license with
the commercial real estate broker who compete to retain the top agents in each market
they serve. Some commercial real estate brokers staff a small number of commercial
real estate agents, while other larger regional commercial real estate brokers may
staff more than a hundred commercial real estate agents spread
throughout a few offices within the region.
Commercial real estate brokers differ from the commercial real estate
agents not only by how they are licensed, but their responsibilities to
the clients who use their services to conduct commercial real estate transactions.
The commercial real estate broker must obtain a broker’s license and pass a commercial
real estate exam given by the state in which they practice. Typically the commercial
real estate exam is the same test given to the commercial real estate
agent but the commercial real estate broker must pass the exam with a higher
percentage of questions answered correctly.
Commercial real estate agents perform a great deal of duties
for the principals of any sale or lease transaction. Commercial real estate brokers
assist the commercial real estate agent by providing resources
necessary for any transaction to occur. commercial real estate agents
typically gather information, conduct property tours, and negotiation on behalf
of the client. They work to perform a great deal o due-diligence on behalf of their
principals, and must disclose any information relevant to the transaction at hand.
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