Mortgage brokers and real estate agents both serve as intermediaries between a homeowner and a lender. Mortgage brokers are professionals who specialize in helping borrowers find the right mortgage loan. They can also assist with the application for the loan, but they don't actually perform the application. They are paid by their clients—the borrowers—and get paid based on how much money they manage to secure for their clients.
Real estate agents are paid by commission, which means they make money only when they sell a property. They typically take a percentage of the selling price as their fee. While some real estate agents do specialize in mortgages, most do not have any formal training or education specific to helping borrowers secure loans.