All realtors real estate agents

If you’re planning to buy or sell a home, you may wonder whether you should work with a realtor or a real estate agent. These terms are often used interchangeably, but they are not exactly the same. While both are licensed professionals who help people buy and sell real estate, there are some differences between them.

What is a realtor?

A realtor is a real estate agent who is also a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The NAR is the largest trade association in the U.S., representing more than 1.5 million members, including agents, brokers, appraisers, property managers, and other real estate professionals.

To become a realtor, a real estate agent must:

  • Pass the state licensing exam and obtain a state license to practice real estate
  • Join a local real estate board that is affiliated with the NAR
  • Pay annual dues to the NAR and the local board
  • Agree to abide by the NAR Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice

The NAR Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice is a set of rules that governs the conduct and professionalism of realtors. It covers various aspects of real estate transactions, such as:

  • Duties to clients and customers
  • Duties to the public
  • Duties to other realtors
  • Arbitration of disputes

The NAR Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice is enforced by local real estate boards, which can impose disciplinary actions, such as fines, suspension, or termination of membership, for violations.

What is a real estate agent?

A real estate agent is anyone who has obtained a state license to assist consumers in buying or selling properties. A real estate agent may represent either the buyer or the seller in a transaction, or both parties as a dual agent.

To become a real estate agent, one must:

  • Be at least 18 years old (or 19 in some states)
  • Be a legal resident of the U.S.
  • Complete the required pre-licensing education courses in their state
  • Pass the state licensing exam
  • Find a sponsoring broker or brokerage firm to work for
  • Complete the required continuing education courses to renew their license

A real estate agent must work under the supervision of a broker or brokerage firm, which is responsible for overseeing their activities and ensuring compliance with state laws and regulations. A broker or brokerage firm may also provide training, support, marketing, and other services to their agents.

What are the similarities and differences between realtors and real estate agents?

Realtors and real estate agents have many similarities, such as:

  • They are both licensed by their state to practice real estate
  • They both help buyers and sellers with various aspects of real estate transactions, such as marketing, negotiating, closing, etc.
  • They both earn commissions based on the sale price of the property they help buy or sell
  • They both have fiduciary duties to their clients, such as loyalty, confidentiality, disclosure, obedience, accounting, and care

However, there are also some differences between them, such as:

  • Realtors are members of the NAR, while real estate agents are not
  • Realtors must follow the NAR Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, while real estate agents must follow their state laws and regulations
  • Realtors have access to various benefits and resources from the NAR, such as education, networking, advocacy, research, and technology, while real estate agents may not have access to these benefits and resources unless they join the NAR or another association

Which one should you choose?

There is no definitive answer to which one you should choose when buying or selling a home. Both realtors and real estate agents can provide professional and competent service to their clients. The most important factor is finding someone who has the experience, knowledge, and skills that match your needs and preferences.

Some tips for choosing a good realtor or real estate agent are:

  • Ask for referrals from friends, family, or other trusted sources who have worked with them before
  • Check their credentials, reviews, and ratings online or through your state’s licensing authority
  • Interview several candidates and ask them about their background, track record, marketing strategy, communication style, and fees
  • Compare their services, proposals, and contracts carefully before making a decision

Ultimately, you want to work with someone who understands your goals, respects your budget, and protects your interests throughout the process. Whether they are a realtor or a real estate agent is less important than whether they are trustworthy, reliable and effective.

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