A licensed real estate broker can perform one of two roles with you as the client. Both are held to the same uniform duties that govern licensed brokers, though an agent has additional responsibilities to you as the client.
The default role is that of a Transaction Broker. A transaction broker will facilitate the process of a real estate transaction, perform any written or oral agreements given by you as the client, fully inform parties involved in the transaction and assist with contracts. A transaction broker can work with both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction if the parties agree.
An agent on the other hand, is committed to advocating solely for you as the client. An agent must promote your interests with the “utmost good faith, fidelity and loyalty” according to the Colorado Real Estate Commission. Further, in advocating for you, a real estate broker working as an agent will seek the price and terms that are acceptable to you as the client and inform you of all material benefits and risks of the transaction.
When shopping for a broker, it is important to know the difference between these roles and seeing which one best fits your needs. A key distinction is that a transaction broker assists while an agent advocates. Some real estate brokerages may only provide the role of a transaction broker or that of an agent while others allow their brokers to perform either role in meeting your needs.
For me, I have the freedom to perform either role. Though personally I prefer the role of agent as that allows me to provide the most extensive level of customer service to you.
Please let me know if you have any further questions about this topic.