A Realtor is always a broker or agent because
being licensed is a requirement for being a Realtor, but a broker may not always be
a Realtor. That’s because Realtor is a trademarked,
made up title used by real estate brokers who are members of the National Association
of Realtors, otherwise known as NAR, the primary trade association for real estate brokers
in the United States. Essentially, being a Realtor means the real
estate agent went one step further after getting licensed and joined the National Association
of Realtors which is a private trade organization for real estate agents. Realtor vs Real Estate Agent A real estate agent can be a Realtor if he
or she is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), America’s largest trade
group for real estate agents. However, a real estate agent who is not a
NAR member cannot call themselves a Realtor. A Realtor on the other hand, is always a real
estate agent. That’s because being licensed is a prerequisite
for membership in the NAR. Are All Real Estate Agents Realtors? No. Even though the National Association of Realtors
boasts over 2 million members across the United States, not all real estate agents choose
to join and become Realtors. There are many real estate brokers who choose
to operate independently of the NAR. With that said, most real estate agents are
Realtors because most MLS systems across the country are operated by local Realtor associations,
meaning that you have to be a NAR member in order to participate. Since the MLS is critical for a real estate
agent to be able to do business, most agents do in fact join the NAR and become Realtors. What Is a Real Estate Agent? A real estate agent is someone who is licensed
to practice real estate in a particular state. The term real estate agent is rather generic,
and does not provide specifics on what type of license the person has. For example, a licensed real estate salesperson,
a licensed associate real estate broker and a licensed real estate broker are all real
estate agents. A real estate agent is called such because
he or she acts as an agent on behalf of the principal (i.e. the customer) to buy, sell
or rent real estate. As a result, a real estate agent has an agency
relationship and serves the interests of the principal. Difference Between Real Estate Agent and Real
Estate Broker A real estate agent is a general term for
someone who acts on behalf of and in the best interests of a principal, otherwise known
as a customer. The term real estate agent does not reveal
any specifics on the type of licensure that the agent has. In contrast, a real estate broker generally
refers to someone who is a licensed real estate broker, which is the highest form of licensure. A licensed real estate broker can work individually
as a sole proprietor, or start a real estate brokerage company. A licensed real estate broker is able to bring
on licensed real estate salespersons and licensed associate real estate brokers to work for
him or her, generally as independent contractors. In essence, anyone who is not a licensed real
estate broker must associate their license with a licensed real estate broker in order
to use their license. Difference Between Real Estate Salesperson
and Broker A real estate salesperson is the easiest type
of real estate license to get, and does not require any prior experience. In New York, a real estate salesperson must
simply complete a 75 hour pre-licensing course, pass a real estate school exam, and then pass
the state exam, all of which are relatively easy. In contrast, a real estate broker’s license
is much harder to get. You typically need to work as a licensed real
estate salesperson for at least 2 years and have completed a minimum number of deals to
even qualify. Furthermore, you’ll need to take an additional
45 hour course and take an additional exam for real estate brokers. As you can imagine, it’s much more difficult
to become a licensed real estate broker vs just a licensed real estate salesperson. This is why the vast majority of real estate
licensees that you’ll meet will be licensed real estate salespersons vs brokers. Realtor vs Broker vs Agent – Which is Better? Remember that a Realtor is simply a custom
title used by members of the National Association of Realtors. Other than membership, there is no real difference
between a Realtor and a broker or agent who is not a Realtor. Sure, Realtors technically have to abide by
a code of conduct and ethics guidelines provided by NAR. However, just having these additional guidelines
and rules does not mean they get enforced on a regular basis. The main difference will be whether the local
broker database in your area is governed by a Realtor operated MLS system or not. Assuming the local Realtor association runs
the MLS in your area, then it does in fact make a difference whether your agent is a
Realtor or not. Only a Realtor will be able to take advantage
of the MLS, a non-Realtor will generally not be able to. This is a huge disadvantage to not being a
Realtor as you won’t be able to effectively cooperate with other agents. This distinction of course goes away if the
local broker database has nothing to do with NAR, such as the REBNY RLS in NYC.