Difference Between Broker and Salesperson

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 13, 2023


Difference Between Broker and Salesperson

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When one needs to buy or sell some property, either a broker or a salesperson comes into the role. They both act as a mediator in financial transactions but are different in many aspects. They differ in their roles, responsibilities, nature of work, and many other domains which one needs to keep in mind. In some regions, they are commonly referred to as Real Estate Agents, while in some places, there is a distinction between the two. Now, let us understand the differences between a broker and a salesperson.

Broker vs. Salesperson

A broker refers to a person or a firm that acts as a mediator between an investor and a securities exchange. They typically work in markets where information dissonance exists, for instance, real estate, stock market, or insurance companies. They act as a representative of both buyers and sellers to fix a deal.

Whereas a salesperson is required to work to sell a product or different services which their company offers. They work for their respective companies and do not have any command of their own. They act as the representatives of the company they work for, with a goal to persuade others to buy their products or services.

The main difference between the two lies in the license demands. Though both are required to have a license, it is believed that a salesperson gets a license with much fewer obstacles than a broker. For a broker to acquire a license, they first need to work as a salesperson to gain some experience and finish a course. After completing the course, they have to clear an examination of the same to get their license. On the contrary, a salesperson might not always require a license, depending on the different industries they are working in.

Difference Between a Broker and a Salesperson in Tabular Form  

Parameters of comparisonBrokerSalesperson
Nature of workA broker is termed as an individual or a firm that acts as an intermediary between two sets of people, buyers, and sellers. A broker works and earns independently.A broker should be neutral and unbiased, representing the interests of both sides equally. However, if they already have an exclusive relationship with one party (either the buyers or the sellers), then their decisions can be biased.
Means of earningThey do not necessarily have a base or fixed income. They earn through the transactions they manage, the quantity, and value. Commission and salary are mostly earned from the number of deals cracked by them, either from the buyer or the seller, depending on the arrangements.They typically have a base salary and earn commissions through the sales they make. By selling the services and products offered by their companies, they receive their salaries and commissions. The shares are mostly dependent on the nature of industries and companies.
KnowledgeA salesperson should know about the products they are required to sell in depth. They must have detailed knowledge about the product or services they are selling so they can persuade people to buy.They do not necessarily have a base or fixed income. They earn through the transactions they manage, the quantity, and value. Commission and salary are mostly earned from the number of deals cracked by them, either from the buyer or the seller, depending on the arrangements.
Education and trainingA broker is required to have advanced training and experience.Training in negotiation skills, rules and regulations, and market dynamics is necessary.  A college degree may or may not be needed depending on the regions or states concerned. In real estate, a broker can possess a real estate firm, unlike a salesperson.They can appoint for a job with little more than a diploma and on-the-job training, depending on the type of sales. Some may need a specialized course or experience also. For real estate salespersons, they will need to have a certified course and specialized training, with some prior experience.
LicensingFor a broker, a license is a must. A real estate broker registers with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). To acquire a license, certain courses are required to be done, and then an exam is to be cleared to have a license.A salesperson may or may not need a license, depending on the items they are selling. If the items are general commodities, no license is required. However, if they are dealing in real estate or insurance, licensing becomes important.
Commitment  A salesperson is loyal to the company they are employed to. Their decisions lie in the best interest of that company. They may have a long-term relationship with the dealers, often when the deals are recurring in nature, for instance, in real estate or stock brokerage.
Duration of the arrangementThe salesperson becomes immune to risks as they work for the company, which bears the risk initially.The duration of the relationship with clients is mostly short-lived, as the focus is majorly on new sales.
Risks and liabilitiesBrokers suffer a lot of liabilities and risks due to misrepresentation, fraud, errors, or breaches, especially in real estate.The salesperson gets immune to risks as they work for the company, which bears the risk initially.
ExamplesInsurance broker, stockbroker, real estate brokerSalesperson at a clothing store, car salesperson

Who is a Broker?

A broker is an individual or a firm that acts as a mediator between buyers and sellers. They work independently and is responsible for their earning. They need to have advanced training and prior experience with a valid license to facilitate transactions between the two groups. A broker manages brokerage, supervises and trains the licensees under them, and is responsible for developing and negotiating different contracts. The role of a broker can be more comprehensive, involving analyzing markets more closely, learning the art of negotiation, and being informed about the rules and regulations.

Brokers can also be referred to as representatives of the sellers, which may be a group of companies or a single company, such as insurance companies. In other cases, they may represent either the buyers or both the buyers and sellers. 

A broker offers a range of advantages over a salesperson in general. They can open their own offices, manage and provide assistance, supervision, and training to real estate agents, review and negotiate the rules, and manage daily operations and transactions. A licensed broker can be his/her own boss. After becoming a licensed broker, one can give up active fieldwork and can open their real estate brokerage and recruit agents to work for them.

One can also work directly with their agents by becoming a managing broker. It is helpful when they are not ready to commit to the responsibilities and risks that come along with being a boss as a managing broker. It only helps the agents to become good salespersons and does not own any brokerage.

They earn the commission gained from the arrangements between the buyers and sellers and do not have any base salary. The value and quantity of deals are crucial for them to earn money. It has been seen that brokers earn well and even more than the salesperson.

Types of Brokers

There are five main categories of brokers:

Stock Broker

They are licensed brokers associated with specific stock exchanges in the world to trade as the representatives of different investors. There are two types of stockbrokers,

  • Full-service Brokers- When it comes to trading in the market, full-service brokers not only provide a platform to trade but also acts as a consultant and personal financial advisor. They provide all the services, like buying and selling mutual funds, IPOs, currencies, tax-saving methods, and more.
  •  Discount brokers- They are not as comprehensive as full-service brokers. They usually focus on providing a platform for trading securities and charge a commission for it. They also provide educational material to their clients as a substitute for advisory services.

Forex Brokers

They help to provide a platform for buying and selling foreign currency. Transactions are mainly done in a pair of two currencies, which are either bought or sold.

Mortgage Brokers

When one is trying to obtain a home loan, mortgage brokers come into role. They do research about different interest rates offered by numerous banks and provide their clients with the best deal possible. They help in saving their clients’ time and money in the process of procuring a loan.

Real Estate Brokers

To find a perfect property to buy, real estate brokers become important. Not only do they help in finding a good property under budget, but they also help in assisting with legal contracts.

Insurance Brokers

If one needs to have assistance while choosing the most suitable insurance policy, insurance brokers become helpful. They act as advisors and guide different insurance policies and the subsequent risks.

Who is a Salesperson?

A salesperson refers to an individual who sells a product or a service offered by the company they are employed to. The salesperson works for a company and sells products or certain services to customers. To become a salesperson, some training may be required, depending on the nature of the firm. In real estate, specialized training and a college degree with some prior experience are typically needed. To become a licensed salesperson, one has to have prior experience and needs to clear an examination. A salesperson represents the company they are working for. They are vowed to the company and obliged to make decisions well suited for the company’s reputation and growth.

A good salesperson is an enthusiastic person with resilience and confidence. They take time to know their clients and their needs. They should have the skills to persuade people to buy their products and earn a commission. Not always do they become successful in selling the products, but a good salesperson knows how to handle rejection and learn from failed deals.

A salesperson does not work independently. They work under a company and earn a base income. A licensed salesperson who helps to buy and sell real estate is called a real estate agent. They need to work for the brokers as they cannot set up their own offices and start cracking deals. Once they are with the brokers, they need to find the clients by sending marketing postcards and buying billboards or using other methods like open houses.

A salesperson should be trained in the fields of customer service, knowledge of the products, and sales techniques.

Types of Salesperson

The basic four types of salesperson are:

Order Takers

They are required to take customers’ orders and send them to the company for delivery. They should be precise while taking orders and should carefully pass the information to the company.

Order Creators

Also known as missionary salespeople, refers to the people who help in building the interest of customers towards the product. They are required to maintain a strong reputation for the company and tell people about the products.

Order Getters

Also known as front-line salespeople, refers to the type of salespersons who persuade people to buy a certain product. They are required to negotiate and crack a deal with the customers.

Support Salespeople

They help in supporting the front-line salespeople by providing technical information for a highly technical product or providing support in retail situations. They also help the customers with any problems they face regarding the product.

Main Difference Between a Broker and a Salesperson (in Points)

  • A broker is an individual or a firm that acts as a mediator between the buyers and sellers, whereas a salesperson is an individual who sells a product or service on behalf of the company they work for.
  •  A broker is required to have a license to conduct any transactions, whereas a salesperson does not necessarily need to have a license for selling general products or services. However, a real estate salesperson needs to have a valid license.
  •  A broker needs to be well trained and have prior experience with sufficient knowledge to obtain the license, whereas a salesperson may only require a diploma and on-the-job training.
  •  A broker earns mainly through commission, unlike a salesperson who has a base salary.
  •  A broker should have in-depth knowledge about the market and the availability of different products, whereas a salesperson should have specific information about the product they are pitching for.
  •  A broker usually works independently, unlike a salesperson who needs to follow the rules and regulations of the company they are working for.


Although both broker and salesperson act as an intermediate in the transactional process, they differ from each other in many aspects. While a broker is independent and works for themselves, a salesperson is appointed by a company and sells their products to make a living.

Both are required to be trained and somewhat experienced. However, a broker needs to have more qualifications along with a license than a salesperson. They both earn in different ways, the former through commissions and the latter through base salary and commission. The only common thing between the two is they both need to fix a deal to earn and manage the transactions smoothly.


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"Difference Between Broker and Salesperson." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 14 Jun. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-broker-and-salesperson>.

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