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Trulia Sacra…, Home Buyer in Sacramento, CA

What is the difference between a realtor and and agent?

Asked by Trulia Sacramento, Sacramento, CA Sat Apr 13, 2013

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Gina Copeland’s answer
A Realtor belongs to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and a Realtor upholds the Code of Ethic which has 17 Articles. Along with other rules and regulations, some by other government entities. Of these rule and regulations Realtors are ethically and morally bound.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 26, 2013
Oh come on know the answer to that question.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 26, 2013
A REALTOR is who you want to have working for you on a Real Estate related transaction as they will have access to the most current rules and regulations as well as the most recent and up to date State regulated contracts and forms.
An AGENT is usually someone with a Real Estate Sales Persons license looking to become a REALTOR by joining up with a Real Estate Broker who is a REALTOR themselves and can grant the AGENT access to the local Association of Realtors to as mentioned above get them access to the most recent rules, regulations and contracts/forms.
A Real Esate BROKER can operate as an AGENT unbound to an Association of Realtors if they so choose so you can use a BROKER AGENT if you so choose with confidence they can legally represent you in a sale HOWEVER someone with a Sales Person License (not yet a Real Estate BROKER) is required to be associated with a Real Estate Broker in order to able to conduct Real Estate related business. Likewise what ever that Real Estate BROKER has decided on either being a part of a local Association of Realtors OR to operate independently the Real Estate Sales Person aka AGENT will need to comply in the same manor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 14, 2013
A REALTOR is a lic real estate sales person who is a member of the National Association of Realtors. This means they govern themselves and follow to the strict code of ethic set forth by the National Association of Realtors, as well as their local boards. As a member they have access to the vast resources provided by the National Association of Realtors. They can also use the title "REALTOR" which sets them apart from lic sales persons who do not belong to the national association.

An agent in "common language" is a lic. real estate sales person, who is not a member of the national association.

The true definition of an "AGENT" is a Real Estate Broker, as ONLY a Real Estate Broker can actually act as an AGENT for another. Lic real estate sales persons have to work under a broker.

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 13, 2013
Whow some great answers. National Association of Realtors(tm) It's imperative you do understand the difference between the two. I've been an association member a long time and will continue my membership. The association NAR as it's referred to in short is membership based. The real estate agent pays annual dues. The membership allows the agent to use the word or term realtor(tm) on letter head, advertisement's. The NAR does play an important roll in local, state and national level as lobbying for home ownership and NAR members rights. The NAR has a code of ethics, as to whether theirs is a higher standard I might not totally agree. Of course each state has there own laws but laws have been passed to protect the public, and a member of the NAR or a licensed real estate agent can easily lose their license violating state and federal ethics laws. As for annual continuation training. Most state real estate commissions have continuation education requirement. To the best of my knowledge the only NAR continuation training requirement is ethics which is required by the state real estate commission; which is not a member of NAR. As for the multiple listing service. It is an important tool for the real estate agent, and is maintained by a local Board of Realtor(tm) which requires real estate agents to pay an additional access fee. With today's internet syndication most information is already on the internet and have some real estate agents questioning the valid payment of those access fee's. Hope I did not confuse you.

Disclaimer---The information posted are for informational purposes only and are the opinions of the writer. As with all legal questions everyone is advised to seek proper council.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 13, 2013
Great Question: Realtors are not only held to a higher standard but they are required to take continuing education courses as well. So the short answer is ethics & knowledge

If you have further questions please reach out to me directly I am a Realtor

Endre Barath,Jr.
Prudential California Realty
Beverly Hills, CA
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 13, 2013
A Realtor, has others have said, is a member of the National Association of Realtors and abides by a code of ethics. That is short version. What is also implied in that is that a Realtor has full access to the tools available, such as our Multiple listing service, and can post listings, and access listings from others. There is enforcements to make sure the information is accurate and up to date. Contracts and performance is standardized and monitored for compliance of all state and federal laws. There is constant education available to stay current on issues affecting the real estate market and members are encouraged to avail themselves of these. Many, you will notice, obtain certifications in specialties, such as Certified Distressed Property Expert, Accredited Buyer's Agent, E-Pro....and many more.

An 'agent', I assume, is someone who has obtained a license with the CA Dept of Real Estate but is working on their own. A purchase contract can be signed on a cocktail napkin if you want, but there is doubt that all disclosures (as required by federal and state mandates) may be met. An agent can be compensated on transactions completed either through their direct representation of a buyer or seller, or through referral. There is no monitoring of their performance or expertise.

Sue Archer, Broker
Archer Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 13, 2013
The difference between Realtor (with a capital R ) and a real estate agent is that Realtor is a trademark for use by real estate agent members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) a trade group. When a real estate agent joins NAR they must agree to the group's Code of Ethics & take ethics classes. Like most trade groups NAR provides members with tools and resources to help us do our work, keep up with changing technology and laws. They also have a lobby group to help promote home & property ownership and watch for legislation related to property ownership..

A real estate agent is licensed by the state they are working in and has to work within the laws of those states, but does not have to join NAR.

Each state also has their own association & then local areas within the state have associations too.

To find out more:

(as an aside: is not owned by NAR, long story but NAR licensed the name to the company Move for use an the website)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 13, 2013
Only difference is a Realtor is a part of the National Association of Realtors. This is big because Tealtors have access to market data and information that can make huge difference in buying or selling a home. If you are interested in selling or purchasing a home, please give me a call.

Vaughn W. Boyce
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 13, 2013
An agent could be anybody who is acting on behalf of someone else. A Realtor is someone with a real estate license who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Only licensed members of NAR may call themselves Realtors. A non-NAR member may still act as a real estate agent as long as he/she has a valid real estate license that has been hung with a licensed real estate broker. However, real estate brokers who are NAR members can't employ non-NAR real estate agents. They can, however, have them as referral only agents as long as they have a separate entity that is set up for referral business only.

By the way, the word Realtor is always capitalized and it's a trademark, meaning the term “Realtor” should not be used as a synonym for a real estate agent/broker or to describe an occupation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 13, 2013
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in New Castle, DE
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