What is the advantage of working with real estate agent vs realtor?

Asked by Terry, Virginia Mon Aug 27, 2012

I was contacted by three real estate agents. Two of them claim to be better because they are realtors. Truthfully, I like the real estate agent more. He seems to be more honest and open. What is the difference, if any?

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The Dudley Real Estate Group’s answer
The Dudley R…, Agent, Vienna, VA
Tue May 7, 2013
Hello Terry.

Did you find a realtor and purchase a home, or are you still on the fence?

Shris and I would be happy to help you with any real estate questions. Do give us a call if you're interested.


Chris & Shris Dudley
Long & Foster, Realtors
Licensed in DC, MD & VA
Office #: (703) 556-8600
Office Address: 8227 Old Courthouse Road, Tysons Corner, VA 22182
Chris Cell: (202) 297-3047
Email: chrisdudley@longandfoster.com
Shris Cell: (301) 655-1521
Email: shristhi.dudley@longandfoster.com
0 votes
Anil Khanna…, Agent, CHANTILLY, VA
Mon Aug 27, 2012
There is no difference. Real Estate Agent and Realtor are similar terms. Call me at 703-625-6731 if you need an agent to assist you in your home search. I am located in Reston.
0 votes
Adrienne Dea…, Agent, Cary, NC
Thu Jan 24, 2013
Hi Terry, The "Realtor" is a member of the National Assoication of Realtors and has to abide by a code of ethics. Training and information is readily available to Realtors. Ask for recommendations from all three. Research them to determine how much experience they have and find out what others think of their work. Happy house hunting!
0 votes
Jim Olive, Agent, Key West, FL
Thu Jan 24, 2013
Okay, now that's just silly!! While it's not a bad answer, I see nothing in Anil's answer that would make it the best answer, and it's actually factually incorrect!! Son-in-Law maybe?
0 votes
Jonathan Bro…, Agent, Chantilly, VA
Thu Jan 24, 2013
They can be one and the same. A realtor can be anyone who works in the real estate business. A Realtor (notice the capitalization) is a member or member by affiliation of the National Association of Realtors.

As for your choice, I'd definitely go for the guy you think you can trust. You'll be spending a lot of time with him, relying on him for incredibly important personal advice, and trusting him with what will be one of the biggest financial transactions you'll ever make.
0 votes
Jim Olive, Agent, Key West, FL
Wed Jan 23, 2013
You've heard all about the copyrighted term vs. the non-association agent. You can draw your own conclusions as far as the code of ethics go (I think it's at least a good starting point to know your agent has agreed to live by them, but that's just me). But the real question is access to resources. I'm not sure how an agent who is NOT a member of an association gets widespread access to the properties on the market. As a member of the Association, I get full access my local MLS, which is where almost ALL the inventory is cataloged. Not sure what others would have to show you if they can't get in the MLS?? Best of luck...
0 votes
alane.quien, , Merced, CA
Tue Jan 22, 2013
There is no real difference Terry. The title "Realtor" just means that his/her Broker has joined a Board or Association of Realtor organization that keeps them abreast of changes in the industry, provides training and easy access to real estate forms that have been standardized for the industry. There is also a substantial membership fee to be a part of that Board or Association and every agent has to have the same designation as their broker.

But anyone serious about their career Board or Association affiliated or not will be knowledgeable and work very hard for their professional service commission. I suggest that you work with the person you feel comfortable with as long as thier license is valid and up to date that way you will be satisfied in the end.
0 votes
Erik Weissko…, Agent, fairfax, VA
Wed Aug 29, 2012
My colleagues below have answered the question. I might add..Unfortunately it does not take a Phi Beta Kappa from MIT to become a Realtor or Real Estate Agent. The testing process is little more than checking for a pulse. In addition, most Real Estate firms will hire on anyone. This is what gives Realtors and Real Estate agents a bad name.

Might I suggest you employ someone who has gone above and beyond and spent the time earning some additional credentials as well as has real EXPERIENCE in selling homes.

It costs you nothing to hire a really good experienced agent...but it can cost you plenty if you do not!

I would love to put my 25 years of experience to work for you.

Erik J. Weisskopf,ABR,CDPE,CRS,GRI
Re/Max Distinctive Real Estate, Inc.
0 votes
Faiza Alvi, Agent, Fairfax, VA
Mon Aug 27, 2012
Dear Terry:

With all very good answers below ~
We Realtors® are abide by the code of ethics (see the link below):


In my four years of practicing Real Estate, I have never met any real estate agent here in Northern Virginia who is not a member of Realtor® Association. I am an active member of our Prince William County Association of Realtors®, Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® and National Association of Realtors®.

Being Realtors® we have greater responsibility on our shoulders towards our clients' real estate needs, as members for Realtor® Association we have access to many resources including but not limited to up-to-date real estate news and market trends.

You may want to check with the real estate agent who you've picked/ liked, he/ she might also carry the Realtor® badge.

As always said: I highly encourage the you interview different Realtors® / Agents before you sign a contract to understand your options and to know who will serve you the best.

Hope this information is helpful to you!!

Best Regards,
Faiza Alvi - Realtor®
Prince William Realty, Inc.
703-389-7973 (Direct)
703-580-9995 (Fax)

I believe:
Real Estate is about building relationships
& serving clients with honesty, integrity & passion.
0 votes
John Ginty, Agent, Reston, VA
Mon Aug 27, 2012
While Vicky is correct, keep in mind that both real estate agents and Realtors will still be able to carry out the same functions for you and provide you with the same services. I am a Realtor ready to work with you.
0 votes
Sonal Goda, Agent, Reston, VA
Mon Aug 27, 2012
Hi Terry - I would be surprised if the "real estate agent" you liked was not also a "realtor." You may want to seek that clarification from the agent. In Northern VA, I'm not aware of any brokerage that will allow agents to not also be a member of the National Association of Realtors, and therefore abide by the code of ethics.

Best of luck in your housing search.

0 votes
Vicky Chrisn…, Agent, Purcellvile, VA
Mon Aug 27, 2012
REALTOR(c) is a copy righted service trade mark to describe a licensed real estate sales person who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS(c). To be used properly it's always written in that way - all caps, indicating the copyright.

That's the technical answer.

The real answer is the code of ethics that we subscribe to. It does make a difference. In my area (Northern Virginia) most agents are REALTORS(c), but there is (should be) a difference. See the link for more info on that.
0 votes
John Ginty, Agent, Reston, VA
Mon Aug 27, 2012
I will second what Anil said. The terms are one in the same. I live in Fairfax and would love to earn the privilege of becoming your Realtor (or real estate agent). Call me at 703-307-3449. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
0 votes
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