Buying or Selling Santa Cruz Real Estate: What’s in a title?

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 at 11:01pm.

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell Santa Cruz real estate, you’re going to need help from a certified professional. So which do you choose — a REALTOR®, real estate agent or broker? Most people don’t even know there’s a difference between the three and use the titles interchangeably.

While these three titles are similar, they are not identical. Depending on your knowledge of the real estate industry and the complexity of your transaction, you’ll want a professional with complementary education, expertise and experience. Below are title descriptions to help you get your terms straight and pick the right professional when it comes to buying or selling Santa Cruz real estate.

Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is someone who is licensed to sell real estate. They must be employed by a broker and cannot work independently. They are a good choice if you know how the real estate process works and have a straightforward sale or purchase.

A real estate broker has completed more education than an agent, which entitles them to open their own brokerage firm and employ real estate agents. They have a better knowledge of real estate laws and might be the right choice if you are dealing with a property that calls for complicated paperwork and legal red tape.

REALTORS® are real estate agents and brokers that belong to the National Association of REALTORS® and adhere to a 17-article code of ethics. They must also keep up-to-date with industry changes by completing continuing education requirements every four years.

Now that you have your potential real estate professional’s title terms straight, you’ll be able to do your research, understand their credentials and interview them accordingly. This is key in helping you determine which professional suits your buying or selling needs.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Santa Cruz real estate market, give me a call at 831.662.6522 or email me at

For additional information please visit my website at


Selling Santa Cruz real estate

National Association of REALTORS®



About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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