Difference between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent

Difference between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent

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

You might not be aware that there can be a substantial difference between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent. Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors. Real Estate Agents are simply licensed to conduct real estate in the state of California by the Department of Real Estate.

What is required to be a Realtor?

Realtors must be real estate agents who agree to follow the Realtor Code of Ethics. There are many local associations of Realtors in San Diego County. The most popular is The San Diego Association of Realtors. Jeremy Katz, the broker of San Diego House Hunting, is a member of this local Board.

In addition to taking an oath, Realtors are oriented in specific continuing education that can benefit their clients. These continuing education courses culminate in specific certifications. Examples of these certifications would be the ABR, Accredited Buyer’s Representative or CRS, the Certified Residential Specialist designation.

Why work with a Realtor?

Since the only requirement to become a Realtor is to pay modest dues and to agree to follow a basic code of ethics, how could you possibly entrust a large investment to someone who cannot participate as a Realtor? If you are currently interviewing agents for the job of representing you in buying or selling a property wouldn’t it be smart to simply ask: Are you a Realtor?

After all, if an agent is not a Realtor, then perhaps they CANNOT be a Realtor. Specifically, maybe they have been disciplined for improper conduct by Realtor peers and are no longer allowed to participate in the membership body of the Association.

How can I check if my agent is a Realtor?

The best things to do is to check the license status of your agent as well as their standing with the National Association. Use the above highlighted links. If you cannot find their name, require them to produce the proper credentials before entering into any contracts with them.

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