What’s the Difference Between a REALTOR® and a Real Estate Agent?
Real estate professionals go by many names, but the most common ones are real estate agent and REALTOR®. Whether you want to buy or sell a home, you’ll need some help from a professional. But who should you talk to?
These titles are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two. Keep reading to find out more.
So What’s the Difference?
Real Estate Agents: Someone with a professional license to help people buy, sell, or rent real estate. In most states, they must work for a sponsoring broker or brokerage firm.
REALTOR®: A licensed real estate agent or broker who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The NAR is the largest trade association in the U.S., with nearly 1.5 million members.
Though both real estate agents and REALTORS® are licensed to help you buy, sell, or rent a home, REALTORS® hold themselves to a strict code of ethics.
You might be asking yourself, “What does this code of ethics mean, and why is this such a big deal in the real estate world?” Let’s break it down.
What is the NAR Code of Ethics?
The NAR Code of Ethics is what separates REALTORS® from non-member real estate agents. It requires REALTORS® to cooperate with each other to serve the best interests of consumers and their clients.
You can read this code of ethics for yourself here
but these are the three central tenets:
Duties to Client and Customers: Represent properties appropriately, disclose personal interest, and protect the best interest of the client.
Duties to the Public: Prohibits discrimination, false advertising, and unlawfulness.
Duties to REALTORS®: Establishes that REALTORS® should not make misleading statements about other REALTORS®, that they should not solicit clients already under contract with another REALTOR®, and that disputes shall be settled in arbitration before the Realtor Association.
But What Does This Mean For YOU?
REALTORS® are there to serve your best interest. It’s that simple. Aside from their code of ethics, REALTORS® have a fiduciary responsibility
to their clients. This duty obligates a real estate broker to act at all times solely in the best interests of his principal to the exclusion of all other interests, including the broker's own self-interest.
Your REALTOR® legally has to put your financial interests first. If for some reason they don't, you have recourse in court.
But most importantly, there are ZERO drawbacks to using a REALTOR®. So whether you’re buying or selling a home, a REALTOR® is there to help every step of the way!
Ready to get started? Connect with a local Fargo-Moorhead area REALTOR® today.