Real estate brokers operate in the United States of America, with the same role being filled by real estate agents in Canada. A real estate broker or real estate agent serves as an intermediary for the buyers and sellers of real estate property. In the United Kingdom, real estate brokers and real estate agents are known as estate agents.
In most jurisdictions of the United States of America, individuals must be licensed before they are able to become real estate brokers or real estate agents. Presenting oneself as a real estate agent or real estate broker without having a valid real estate broker or real estate agent license is illegal in almost all jurisdictions.
In the event the buyer or seller is acting on their own behalf, they are not required to become licensed as a real estate agent. Becoming a real estate broker, however, will be needed if the individual works on another person's behalf.
Many jurisdictions allow real estate lawyer to handle real estate sales and receive compensation for their work without also having to become real estate agents due to the understanding that lawyers who fill the role of real estate agents have the requisite level of legal knowledge needed to complete the sale, as well as upholding the ethical standards that a real estate broker is held to following.