Main Differences Between Licensed Real Estate Agent And A Realtor

Many people don’t realize that there is a difference between a licensed real estate agent and a Realtor. If you want to buy or sell your home, you may find yourself working with either a licensed real estate agent or a Realtor.

They often do similar jobs, but they are not the same. One nominal difference between the two is that the word “Realtor” is always capitalized because the term is trademarked by the National Association of Realtors. Here are some of the other differences between the two. 

Responsibilities Of Real Estate Agents Versus Realtors

There are some similarities between licensed real estate agents and Realtors, which have probably led to confusion between them. They share similar working environments and responsibilities.

Realtors are licensed real estate agents who also work with clients to buy, sell or rent properties. The main difference between them is that Realtors belong to the National Association of Realtors, pay dues and have to follow its Code of Ethics. 

Estate Agents Must Obtain A State License 

There is no federal license for becoming a real estate agent, but each state requires a license to sell, buy or rent real estate. Real estate agents bring buyers and sellers together and are paid a commission for doing so – usually a percentage of the sale price. 

To become licensed, most states require estate agents to be over 18 and legal residents of the U.S. They must complete their state’s pre-licensing class and then take and pass its real estate license exam.

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A complete background check is conducted, and candidates must be sponsored by a licensed real estate broker. Real estate agents usually work with brokerages where they collaborate with other professionals. 

Some of their duties include holding open homes to promote the properties of sellers, taking buyers on tours of potential homes, marketing themselves to get new homes and overseeing the signing of contracts and legal agreements. 

The qualifications required of property managers working for property management companies can vary depending on the company in question. These companies play a vital role for landlords in the real estate industry.

Qualified property managers in Denver, such as those at Evernest, Pioneer and Keyrenter, will deal with all the day-to-day operations, so owners have the peace of mind that experts are looking out for their best interests. 

Realtors Must Abide By A Code Of Ethics

Realtors are real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). They may be property managers, appraisers, salespeople or real estate brokers.

To become a Realtor, they have to have a valid real estate license and be actively engaged in real estate. Bankruptcy or being officially sanctioned for unprofessional conduct disqualifies them from becoming realtors. 

If a property professional meets the requirements, they need to join the local board of Realtors, pay an application fee, and continue to pay annual membership fees if they want to retain their membership. Realtors are bound by the NAR’s strict Code of Ethics which is revised on a yearly basis to reflect current practices and laws. 

Why Do Licensed Estate Agents Choose To Become Realtors?

Many licensed real estate agents choose to become Realtors because the NAR actively works to protect their interests. It is a large trade association with strong bargaining power. Realtors can use the Realtor trademark as part of their name to increase their credibility and respectability.

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They gain access to a wealth of amenities, have networking opportunities and can take advantage of business tools and real estate market data. Clients know that Realtors have put time and effort into making sure that their best interests are at the heart of everything they do. 

NAR’s Code of Ethics consists of 17 articles that cover different areas of professional standards that must be upheld. Realtors have a duty to their clients and customers, to the public, and to other Realtors.

For example, they must promote the interests of their clients above their own and treat all parties honestly. They must handle disputes with other realtors through arbitration instead of litigation. 

The boost to their reputation that real estate professionals gain through becoming Realtors helps them to attract more business. They can grow their networks, improve their credibility, and find new clients. Membership also gives them access to many educational and training resources. 

Why Work With Real Estate Professionals Like Licensed Estate Agents Or Realtors?

Real estate professionals have experience in the inner workings of buying, selling and renting properties. They can help clients to navigate the process smoothly. Experienced real estate professionals usually have extensive knowledge of local markets, including price points, comparable properties, schools, crime rates etc.

They can negotiate effectively between buyers and sellers to achieve what’s best for both. Their professional connections can help to connect their clients with interested buyers or sellers. 

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Jonathon Spire

Jonathon Spire

Tech Blogger at Jonathon Spire

My diverse background started with my computer science degree, and later progressed to building laptops and accessories. And now, for the last 7 years, I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant.

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Jonathon Spire

I blog about a range of tech topics.

For the last 7 years I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant, so I write about those the most.

Full transparency: I do review a lot of services and I try to do it as objectively as possible; I give honest feedback and only promote services I believe truly work (for which I may or may not receive a commission) – if you are a service owner and you think I have made a mistake then please let me know in the comments section.

– Jon