What is the Difference between Realtor and Real Estate Agent? What You Need To Know

If you are planning to buy or sell a property, you may need the help of a professional who can guide you through the process and protect your interests.

But who should you hire: a realtor or a real estate agent?

And what is the difference between them?

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Independent Real Estate agent | MYHOUSE

What Is a Real Estate Agent?

A real estate agent is a licensed professional who assists buyers and sellers in real estate transactions.

Real estate agents can work with residential or commercial properties, depending on their specialty.

They can also focus on a specific type of transaction, such as listing, buying, or renting.

To become a real estate agent, one must complete the required education and pass a state exam.

The licensing requirements vary by state, but typically include 30 to 90 hours of coursework and a comprehensive test on real estate laws and practices.

Real estate agents must also renew their licenses every one to two years, depending on the state, and complete continuing education courses.

What Is a Realtor?

A realtor is a real estate agent who is also a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the largest trade association in the U.S. that represents over 1.4 million real estate professionals.

NAR trademarked the term “realtor” in 1916 and has exclusive rights to its use.

To become a realtor, a real estate agent must join NAR and agree to follow its Code of Ethics, which consists of 17 articles and various standards of practice.

The Code of Ethics sets high ethical standards for realtors and requires them to put their clients’ interests above their own, disclose all material facts, cooperate with other realtors, and avoid misrepresentation, exaggeration, or concealment.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Realtor?

Some of the benefits are:

1.Realtors have access to more resources and tools, such as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is a database of properties for sale that is updated daily and shared among realtors.

2.Realtors have more education and training opportunities, such as NAR’s designations and certifications, which can enhance their skills and knowledge in various aspects of real estate.

3.Realtors have a network of other realtors, who can provide referrals, advice, and support.

Realtors also have a duty to cooperate with each other, which can facilitate smoother transactions and negotiations.

3.Realtors are bound by the Code of Ethics, which can give you peace of mind that they will act in your best interest and handle your transaction with honesty and professionalism.

If you have a complaint against a realtor, you can file a grievance with NAR or your local board of realtors, which can enforce disciplinary actions.


How to Choose a Realtor or a Real Estate Agent?

Whether you decide to hire a realtor or a real estate agent, you should do some research and interview potential candidates before making a decision

Here are some questions you can ask to find the best fit for your needs:

1.How long have you been in the business and what is your track record of success?

2.What are your credentials and qualifications? Do you have any special designations or certifications?

3.What are your areas of expertise and what types of properties do you specialize in?

4.How do you communicate with your clients and how often do you provide updates?

5.How do you market your listings and what strategies do you use to attract buyers?

6.How do you determine the market value of a property and what tools do you use to conduct a comparative market analysis?

7.How do you negotiate on behalf of your clients and what skills do you have to handle difficult situations?

8.What are your fees and commissions and how are they calculated?

9.Do you have any references or testimonials from past clients that I can contact?

Can I become a realtor without being an agent first?

No, you cannot become a realtor without being an agent first.

A realtor is a real estate agent who is also a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which is the largest trade association in the U.S. that represents over 1.4 million real estate professionals.

To become a realtor, you need to meet the following requirements:

1. You must be a licensed real estate agent in your state.

2.You must join a local REALTORĀ® association and pay the applicable dues.

3.You must agree to follow the NAR Code of Ethics, which sets high ethical standards for realtors.

Therefore, you need to complete the steps to become a real estate agent before you can apply to become a realtor.

These steps include meeting the minimum age and education requirements in your state, taking real estate education courses, passing the state exam, and working under a licensed broker.

The exact requirements may vary by state, so you should check with your state’s real estate commission for more details.

What is the difference between a real estate broker and an agent?

The difference between a real estate broker and an agent is that a broker has more education, experience, and licensing requirements than an agent

A broker can work independently or hire other agents to work for them, while an agent must work under the supervision of a broker.

A broker also has more responsibilities and authority than an agent, such as managing the brokerage, overseeing transactions, and resolving disputes.


A realtor and a real estate agent are both licensed professionals who can help you buy or sell a property, but they are not the same thing.

A realtor is a real estate agent who is also a member of NAR and follows its Code of Ethics.

Hiring a realtor can have some benefits, such as access to more resources, education, and network, as well as assurance of ethical conduct.

However, you should always do your homework and interview potential candidates before choosing a realtor or a real estate agent for your real estate needs.


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