Is there a difference between a Realtor® and a Real Estate Agent?

16 01 2011

Yep, there sure is.  A Realtor® is a term adopted from the National Association of Realtors.  If a Real Estate Agent is a member of their local/state/national association of Realtors® they are held to different/higher standards than your average Real Estate Agent.  There is mandatory continuing education, various designations, such as GRI or ABR (think of it different masters degrees), and a higher level of accountability.  Remember that code of ethics post from yesterday?  A Real Estate Agent who chooses not to be a Realtor® isn’t accountable to those.  Kinda scary, really.  They also don’t use the MLS (GASP!).  They may (or may not) have years of experience in negotiation & contracts, but as a consumer of services, I’d ask a LOT of questions if someone who sells Real Estate forego’s being a member of the national association.  To make it more confusing, all Realtors® are Real Estate Agents.  It’s just that not all Real Estate Agents are Realtors®  Oh yeah…there is no “i” in Realtor.  The correct pronunciation is REAL-TOR.  That way your agent won’t secretly want to give you a noogie next time you call him/her a “Real-a-ter”.

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