Real Estate Professionals
The real estate profession is regulated by state governments, which have different requirements for earning a license. In general, though, the titles you may come across include:
Real estate agent: Anyone who earns a real estate license can be called a real estate agent, whether that license is as a sales professional, an associate broker or a broker. State requirements vary, but in all states you must take a minimum number of classes and pass a test to earn your license.
REALTOR®: A real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, which means that he or she must uphold the standards of the association and its code of ethics.
Real estate broker: A person who has taken education beyond the agent level as required by state laws and has passed a broker’s license exam. Brokers can work alone or they can hire agents to work for them.
Real estate salesperson: Another name for a real estate agent.
Real estate associate broker: Someone who has taken additional education classes and earned a broker’s license but chooses to work under the management of a broker.
Why Use a REALTOR®?
More than two million people nationwide have licenses to sell real estate, of which more than one million belong to the National Association of REALTORS®. Only N.A.R. members are entitled to use the term REALTOR®. N.A.R. members must adhere to a strict code of ethics.
By joining N.A.R., individuals have access to a wide range of classes, seminars and certification opportunities. Local REALTOR® groups are active in community service, economic development, local politics, and other neighborhood organizations.
In essence, local REALTORS® are the community experts. They track real estate trends, share neighborhood concerns and participate in local matters. They’re good neighbors who are in the business of helping others buy and sell homes.