Real Estate Agent Vs. Realtors®: Is There Really a Difference?
All Realtors ® are real estate agents, but not all real estate agents are Realtors ®. Realtor has any distinction from the words real estate agent. But does it matter? Look at this way: if you’re about to buy a house, you should be as educated as possible about the process. Knowing everything you can about the kind of support available to you can only help you become a homeowner more easily. Understanding an agent from a Realtor® is part of your education. Once you know the difference, you can better decide whom you want on your side as you embark on your home-buying adventure. Real Estate agents are people who have passed a state exam and received a license to engage in the practice of real estate for that given state. Every agent must have this license to engage in real estate transactions, so that means Realtors ®, who are also agents, also have passed the exam and obtained the license. But from there, Realtors further distinguish themselves. A real estate agent is a REALTOR® when they become a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® The Voice for Real Estate® they are the world's largest professional association. Every real estate agent working for Promised Land Realtors is also a Realtor® a member of the Northeast Atlanta Metro Association of REALTORS®
What Does Being a Member of the NAR Mean?
The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and subscribes to is strict Code of Ethics. The National Association of REALTORS® requires that all members take Code of Ethics once they join a Board. The Code is what sets REALTORS® apart from other real estate professionals. When you take the Code of Ethics class, you are stating that you will follow a strict Code of Ethics promoting professionalism and an ethical real estate practice. All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR “®” logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.
The Code of Ethics
1) Pledge to put the interests of buyers and sellers ahead of their own and to treat all parties honestly. 2) Shall refrain from exaggerating, misrepresenting or concealing material facts; and is obligated to investigate and disclose when situations reasonably warrant.
3) Shall cooperate with other brokers / agents when it is in the best interests of the client to do so.
4) Have a duty to disclose if they represent family members who own or are about to buy real estate, or if they themselves are a principal in a real estate transaction, that they are licensed to sell real estate.
5) Shall not provide professional services in a transaction where the agent has a present or contemplated interest without disclosing that interest.
6) Shall not collect any commissions without the seller's knowledge nor accept fees from a third-party without the seller's express consent.
7) Shall refuse fees from more than one party without all parties' informed consent.
8) Shall not co-mingle client funds with their own.
9) Shall attempt to ensure that all written documents are easy to understand and will give everybody a copy of what they sign.
10) Shall not discriminate in any fashion for any reason on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
11) Expects agents to be competent, to conform to standards of practice and to refuse to provide services for which they are unqualified.
12) Must engage in truth in advertising.
13) Shall not practice law unless they are a lawyer.
14) Shall cooperate if charges are brought against them and present all evidence requested.
15) Agree not to bad mouth competition and agree not to file unfounded ethics complaints.
16) Shall not solicit another REALTOR'S client nor interfere in a contractual relationship.
17) Shall submit to arbitration to settle matters and not seek legal remedies in the judicial system.
While the code of ethics can’t actually force a person to be intrinsically ethical, the NAR recognizes the seriousness of the Realtor’s ® position and seeks to ensure high professional standards, which is comforting to new buyers and sellers.