By Deborah Ann Spence
What is the difference between a real estate agent and a realtor? A real estate agent is a licensed professional who helps clients buy, sell, or rent properties. They know the local real estate market. They assist clients in finding suitable properties, negotiating deals, and completing the necessary paperwork.
On the other hand, a realtor is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). To become a realtor, an agent must join the NAR and adhere to its strict code of ethics. This code of ethics sets realtors apart from regular agents. It emphasizes professionalism, integrity, and a commitment to serving the best interests of their clients.
In summary, while real estate agents and realtors are licensed professionals who help clients with their real estate needs, realtors have the added distinction of being members of the NAR and following its code of ethics.
If you’re in the market to buy or sell a home, you’ve likely come across the terms “real estate agent” and “realtor.” While these terms are often used interchangeably, the two have some critical differences. In this article, we’ll explore the difference between a real estate agent and a realtor and why it matters for your real estate needs.
What is a Real Estate Agent?
A successful real estate agent is a licensed professional who helps clients buy, sell, or rent properties. They are typically self-employed and work on a commission basis, earning a percentage of the sale price of a property.
Education and Licensing
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To become a real estate agent, one must complete a certain number of hours of real estate education and pass a state licensing exam. The exact requirements vary by state, but most require at least 60-90 hours of coursework and a passing score on the exam.
Duties and Responsibilities
Real estate agents have a variety of duties and responsibilities, including:
- Helping clients buy, sell, or rent properties
- Conducting market research and analysis
- Marketing properties to potential buyers
- Negotiating offers and contracts
- Facilitating the closing process
- Providing guidance and advice to clients throughout the process
What is a Realtor?
A realtor is also a licensed real estate professional and a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This means they have agreed to abide by a strict code of ethics. As well as standards of practice set by the NAR.
Education and Licensing
Like real estate agents, realtors must also complete a certain number of hours of real estate education and pass a state licensing exam. However, they must also meet additional coursework and training to become a member of the NAR.
Duties and Responsibilities
Realtors have the same duties and responsibilities as real estate agents. But they also have additional obligations to uphold the NAR’s code of ethics. This includes:
- Putting the client’s interests above their own
- Being honest and transparent in all dealings
- Avoiding conflicts of interest
- Protecting and promoting the client’s best interests
- Maintaining confidentiality of client information
Key Differences Between a Real Estate Agent and a Realtor
While both real estate agents and realtors are licensed professionals who help clients buy, sell, or rent properties, there are some key differences between the two.
Membership in the NAR
The most significant difference between a real estate agent and a realtor is that realtors are members of the NAR. This means they have agreed to uphold the NAR’s code of ethics and standards of practice, which sets them apart from other real estate professionals.
Additional Education and Training
Realtors must also complete additional education and training to become a member of the NAR. This includes coursework on ethics, fair housing laws, and other topics related to the real estate industry.
Access to Resources and Networking Opportunities
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As a member of the NAR, realtors have access to a variety of resources and networking opportunities. This can include access to market data, legal resources, and networking events with other real estate professionals.
Which One Do You Need?
Whether you need a real estate agent or a realtor depends on your specific needs and preferences. Both are licensed professionals who can help you buy, sell, or rent a property, but realtors have the added benefit of being members of the NAR.
A realtor may be the right choice if you’re looking for someone who is held to a higher ethical standard and has access to additional resources and networking opportunities. However, a real estate agent may be a better fit if you’re looking for a licensed professional to help you with your real estate needs.
How to Find a Real Estate Professional
Whether you decide to work with a real estate agent or a realtor, it’s crucial to find someone experienced, knowledgeable, and trustworthy. Here are some tips for finding the right real estate professional for your needs:
Ask for Referrals
One of the best ways to find a reputable real estate professional is to ask for referrals from friends, family, or colleagues who have recently bought or sold a property. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on their own experiences.
Do Your Research
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Before choosing a real estate professional, be sure to do your research. Look for online reviews, check their credentials and licensing, and ask for references from past clients.
Interview Multiple Candidates
Don’t be afraid to interview multiple candidates before making a decision. This will give you a chance to get a feel for their personality, experience, and approach to real estate.
While the terms “real estate agent” and “realtor” are often used interchangeably, the two have some critical differences. Realtors are members of the NAR and must adhere to a strict code of ethics, while real estate agents do not have these additional requirements. When choosing a real estate professional, you must consider your needs and preferences to determine the right fit. By researching and asking for referrals, you can find a reputable and experienced real estate pro to help you with your real estate needs.