When people talk about real estate, they often use the terms “Realtor” and “Real Estate Agent” interchangeably. But the two designations are actually different. Here’s what you need to know to ensure you’re working with the best professional for your needs.
First, let’s start with the most common term: Real Estate Agent.
A Real Estate Agent is someone who has passed the required real estate classes and licensing exams in the state where they intend to work. This is how most real estate professionals begin their career. All Real Estate Agents must work under a licensed Broker.
What is a Broker?
A Broker is someone who has taken real estate classes beyond the agent level. They have also passed a broker’s licensing exam. Real Estate Brokers can work as independent agents or have other agents working for them. Agents who have passed the broker exam, but who choose to work under another Broker, are typically called a Real Estate Associate Broker. As you’d expect, the Broker title comes with a lot more responsibility than an agent designation. Brokers are charged with handling the earnest money and depositing and establishing the escrow account. They also oversee the actions of the Real Estate Agents under their supervision.
The Facts About a Realtor
Finally, a Realtor® is a Real Estate Agent who is also a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). To become a member of the NAR, a real estate professional must agree to abide by the association’s standards and uphold its code of ethics. This may sound like an organization that Real Estate Agents join just to appease their Broker. In reality, the NAR’s standards of conducting business are much more restrictive and consumer-focused than the general state guidelines that govern real estate agents. Hence, a Realtor really is part of an elite group of agents who pledge to put the interests of their clients above their own.
All the members of The Pujals Team have the Realtor designation. We have all pledged to conduct business according to the NAR’s code of ethics to ensure our clients have the best possible real estate experience. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, remember that you can always find many great real estate tips on our Facebook page. If you’re thinking about buying or selling your home, we can help! Contact us today!