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  • A broker acts as an agent or intermediary for a buyer and a seller. The buyer, seller, and broker may all be individuals, or one or more may be a business or other institution.

    For example, a stockbroker works for a brokerage firm, and handles client orders to buy or sell stocks, bonds, commodities, and options in return for a commission or asset-based fee.

    Stockbrokers must pass a uniform examination administered by the NASD and must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

    A floor broker handles buy and sell orders on the floor of a securities or commodities exchange. A real estate broker represents the seller in a real estate transaction and receives a commission on the sale.

    If as a real estate buyer you hire someone to represent your interests, that person is known as a buyer's agent. A mortgage or insurance broker acts as an intermediary in finding a mortgage or insurance policy for his or her client and also receives a commission.

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