People tend to confuse the terms “Real Estate Agent” and “REALTOR®”. Yes, we both hold licenses, and both help you with your real estate transactions, but the two are definitely not the same!
The main difference is that REALTORS® are members of the National Board of REALTORS®. Not every Real Estate Agent you meet is a member of the Association. You can facilitate a real estate transaction and not be a member, but you can’t call yourself a REALTORS®, like me.
REALTORS® are held to a high standard of professional behavior. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR for short) members are required to abide by a very strict code of ethics when dealing with colleagues and customers alike. The Code of Ethics is based on good business practices, fair treatment for all, and to ensure that Agents were working with the customer’s best interests in mind. The Code of Ethics was established a hundred years ago in order to show the public that a Realtor® is worthy of their trust.
NAR requires periodic, and ongoing, training for the members, in order to maintain professionalism and expertise. It also gives its members recourse to resolve disputes between members, resources and tools for listing properties for sale, marketing tools, information/training resources, and so much more. The truth is that, whether you are buying, or selling, having a Realtor®, like me, work on your behalf, instead of a “Real Estate Agent” is to your benefit!
So while any licensed person may be a Real Estate Agent, (and there are many good ones out there!) not every one of them is going to have the tools, resources, integrity, and training, that a Realtor® can bring you. Do yourself a favor, when you need expertise, and advise, in real estate, make sure you are using a Realtor®. I know a good one, and I’m…errr…HE’s waiting for your call!