Home Buying in Los Angeles>Question Details

 Pearl, Real Estate Pro in Los Angeles, CA

What is the difference between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent? Please explain.

Asked by Pearl, Los Angeles, CA Fri Apr 4, 2014

I was recently told that a Realtor and an Agent are two different types of Licensees.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Pearl,

The license for all sales agents is exactly the same. Realtor is a more specific term to mean that you have joined the national and local association of Realtors and subscribe to their 'higher standard of ethics.

In general, I would generally trust a Realtor a bit more....but there are exceptions to every rule. There are some very legitimate agents who for their own reasons chose not to join the association.

Work with whomever you feel you can trust, communicate with and work with most easily.

Take care.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 4, 2014
Yes, A Realtor is a member of the National and State Association of Realtors and abides by their "standards and ethics". It takes time, and money to be part of the Association and shows commitment on the part of the Agent. Some Realtors have also taken the time to further their education by taking additional classes that are not "required" as part of the licensing. In my professional opinion you can learn a lot about the Realtor, by what they have invested into their career.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 5, 2014
a realtor is a real estate agent that belongs to a particular association. Just send me an email if you have any further questions.

Alex Greer
Loan Officer
NMLS #1056079

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 4, 2014
If a person has a real estate license, and they are affiliated with a brokerage they are a real estate agent. This means they can sell property and receive compensation for their services.

To be a REALTOR, an agent must affiliate themselves with a REALTOR association. Usually there are 3 levels to REALTOR associations, National, State, and Local levels. An agent can be affiliated with one or all levels to be called a REALTOR. Not all agents are REALTORS, only agents that have affiliated themselves with one or all levels of a REALTOR association, and most real estate agents are affiliated with a REALTOR association.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 4, 2014
So if the Real Estate Agent does not have access to the MLS Listings, is this Agent able to collaborate and share commissions with the listings of a Realtor/Broker?

Also, whom do I make a complaint to regarding the questionable ethics of an Agent since this individual clearly is a "wrangler' who abides by no rules and does what he/she wants. He/She does work out of a local Real Estate Office, so is she sharing (illegal) access to the MLS by using someone else's license to view the MLS Listings? And is the Manager/Owner of this Office liable for her possible violations of the Ethics Codes and possible violations of her License since she uses his office phones, his secretaries and his abilities/and other Agents' abilities to view the MLS to generate $$$ for herself and not paying to be a member of the N.A.R.?

Seems unethical in may ways to be allowed to view the MLS and be in an office where there are Realtors, yet she does not have to pay or belong to the N.A.R. since she can view and profit from the MLS anyway. So don't you have a lobbying group against this kind of misuse?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 4, 2014
All real estate professionals have a Real Estate Agent license, which means they can accept compensation for providing real estate related services. A real estate agent does not have access to the MLS.

A REALTOR is a member of the National Association of Realtors and has agreed to adhere to a strict code of ethics in regards to representing home sellers and home buyers. By this agreement they are allowed access to the MLS and to collaborate with other agents who also utilize the MLS.

There is a clear and distinct difference.
Depending on your intentions, one may be more appropriate than the other. One group has a group of professionals who knowingly adhere to clearly defined set of expectations, the other are wranglers who exist in the shadows of the main stream of real estate.

Then there are those who have a Brokers license.

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 4, 2014
A Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors. It is not a job title, just an affiliation. The two types of licenses are salesperson and broker.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 4, 2014
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