REALTOR VS. Agent - What's the difference?

REALTOR VS. Agent - What's the difference?

Real estate titles and jargon can be confusing, especially since it’s language most people only encounter two or three times throughout the course of their lives. To help you make the most informed decision when choosing a real estate professional, we’ve created this brief summary explaining the differences between a real estate agent and a REALTOR, and where the licensed professionals at fit in.

Selling real estate is like most jobs– there’s a definitive hierarchy.

The entry-level position is the real estate agent. To buy or sell real estate professionally, real estate agents must complete 180 hours of TREC-approved courses, along with passing a state exam. If you are working with a licensed real estate agent, they have done at least these two things.

The next step, if an agent chooses, is becoming a REALTOR.

A REALTOR has completed all of the requirements of a licensed agent, and has decided they are profitable enough to join the National Association of REALTORS, or NAR. Joining the NAR requires paying national and local fees, but it’s not just a paid membership. REALTORS receive access to MLS listings, admission to professional certification classes, and are held to a strict code of ethics that real estate agents are not legally obligated to adhere to. The code of ethics protects clients and REALTORS, and creates a safer community for real estate transactions to take place. Honesty, fairness, and transparency are the primary objectives of the NAR’s code of ethics, which is why all Agents are also licensed REALTORS.

Since the real estate market is a commission-based employment, The NAR’s code of ethics forbids agents from undercutting one another for sales.

This leads to increased cooperation among agents to better serve clients. It’s no secret that sales based jobs are often cut-throat, and all too often clients are left feeling unsure of whether a sales professional truly has their best interest in mind, or if they are just looking for their next paycheck. Thus, the next step in the real estate professional hierarchy

Licensed Agents Agents are paid a competitive salary regardless of sales, so they’re able to truly put service over commission, and operate with complete transparency. Agents are licensed real estate agents who are also members of the National Association of REALTORS– Allowing you to enter your next real estate transaction with all of the advantages of a REALTOR, and the client-focused service and transparency of a non-commissioned agent. If you're looking to sell your home, click the button below to get started!

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