Real Estate Brokers

In the United States, home buyers and sellers commonly turn to real estate brokerages and their salespersons, called “real estate agents” or REALTOR®s, to sell their home or purchase a home.

The most recognizable real estate brokerages in the Tampa Bay area are Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, Century 21, ERA and Re/Max.

While the public generally assumes that agents “work” for brokers, in fact most agents are independent contractors and are therefore responsible for the majority of their own business expenses. (see: Traditional Agent Model).

Broker Compensation

Real estate brokers act as intermediaries between sellers and buyers of real estate in return for a commission. Home sellers usually sign an “exclusive right to sell agreement” with a broker to list their home for sale. The listing agreement includes compensation for both the listing broker and the buyer’s broker. Hence, brokers actively market properties not only to the public, but also to other brokers and agents through the Tampa MLS, or Multiple Listing Service. While the broker’s names are on the listing and sales contracts, the public usually works with real estate agents.

Broker Licensing

Both brokers and agents must be licensed by the State of Florida to assist the public in real estate transactions. Tampa real estate brokers are licensed to manage their real estate businesses by the Florida Real Estate Commission. FREC administers and enforces the real estate license law, Chapter 475 Florida Statutes, which defines a real estate broker as: any person, partnership, association, or corporation who sells, buys, or negotiates the purchase, sale, or exchange of Real Estate or who leases or rents any Real Estate or the improvements thereon for others for a compensation or valuable consideration.