Chicago real estate agents, listing agents & buyer agents

I had a phone call from a gentleman this week asking if I was the listing agent for downtown condo. I replied that I wasn’t but that I could help him as a buyer agent to which he replied, “What’s that?”

Here’s what a buyer agent is along with explanations of other common real estate titles.


Real Estate Brokers – Real estate brokers have a real estate broker’s license and operate their own real estate brokerage or work as an associate broker with another broker. Baird & Warner is a real estate broker. I have an IL real estate broker license, but work as an associate broker with Baird & Warner.

Real Estate Agents – A real estate agent is someone with a real estate license working with a broker who helps buyers and/or sellers. Since I have a real estate license and work with a broker I am a real estate agent.

Realtors – A Realtor is real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). I am a member of NAR and thus, I am a Realtor.

Listing Agents – Listing agents are real estate agents who represent sellers, market their homes and work to get their sellers the best price and terms. With written permission listing agents may also represent the buyers for their listings in IL, but I don’t recommend it for the buyers or the sellers.

Buyer Agents – Buyer agents are real estate agents who represent buyers, help them find homes that meet their criteria and work to get their buyers the best price and terms.

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Fran Bailey Fran Bailey is a Realtor who has been quoted in numerous Chicago and national publications. To schedule showings for any listings, get a free market analysis for your home or to contact Fran email her at or call 773.793.4516. Learn More


  1. says

    you missed a couple:

    Weekend Agent — usually a stay at home moms who sell one or two homes a year. They attach themselves with a brokerage and show a house when they can fit it in their schedule.

    Ambulance Chaser Agents — they sit at open houses and pounce on potential buyers who don’t already have an agent.

    Lazy Agents – cousins of the ambulance chaser, these are the ones who They sign you up for those automatic listing searches that keep showing you the same “just came on the market” house each time the seller relists or drops the price $100.

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