What Is the Difference Between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent?

Unlike most occupations, the real estateindustry includes names and titles that might be perplexing at times. The terms realtor and real estate agentare frequently used interchangeably. Apart from the differences in educational qualifications, both vocations necessitate different skill sets.

Here, we'll look more closely at the distinction between a realtor and a real estate agent.

What exactly is the distinction between a Realtor® and a real estate agent?


A Realtor® is a commercial or residential real estate broker, property manager, salesperson, appraiser, or counselor. To qualify as a realtor in the United States, one must be an active member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Realtors must complete some courses, pass the licensure exam, and agree to follow the NAR's code of conduct. This code of ethics requires Realtors to prioritize their clients' interests over their own.

Real estate agent

A real estate agent, on the other hand, is someone who helps people buy or sell commercialor residential real estate. A buyer's agent or a listing agent are two types of real estate agents. The difference between the two is that buyers' agents' aid potential owners in their property search and acquisition, and sellers' agents assist sellers in listing their property. Before they can be licensed, real estate professionals, like Realtors, must finish some training. The classes and exams required of prospective real estate agents vary by state.

A smart real estate agent should be aware of local legislation as well as current market trends. Negotiations are an important component of any real estate agent's job since they act as a middleman between the seller and buyer. 

So, does the term "Realtor" apply to all real estate agents?

Realtors and real estate agents have the same set of competencies as well as obligations in the real estate industry. The answer to this question is that a real estate agent is not the same thing as a Realtor. It is not necessary for a real estate agent to be a Realtor in order for them to buy or sell a property. However, in order to become a Realtor, a real estate agent must first become a member of NAR.

Here are some basic differences:


Before a real estate agent may receive their license, they are expected to complete between 30 and 90 hours of classroom instruction at a school that has been recognized as having high academic standards. A real estate agent who has completed an approved pre-licensing education program and earned a passing score on the associated licensing examination is often referred to as a Realtor.

The NAR Code of Ethics: 

Unlike real estate agents, Realtors are governed by the NAR Code of Ethics, which outlines the rules they should observe when dealing with potential or existing clients, other Realtors, and the general public. This code of ethics was created by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The responsibilities that real estate agents have for their clients and customers are outlined in Articles 1 through 9 of the Realtor Code of Ethics. The responsibilities that Realtors have toward the general public are outlined in Articles 10 through 14, while the responsibilities that Realtors have toward one another are outlined in Articles 15 through 17.

What’s a real estate broker?

It is easy, given the job description for real estate agents, to believe that their function is the same as that of a real estate broker. However, this is not the case. On the other hand, a broker is a self-employed businessperson who frequently deals in the sale of real estate property that is owned by third parties. They can also assist property owners in the management of their properties or in the rental of those properties for a charge. In order to obtain their license and classification as a broker, real estate agents are required to complete further coursework, as well as pass standardized examinations. A broker has the option of working independently or using agents to do their work for them.

A designated broker is in charge of supervising each and every real estate transaction, and this broker is the one who is ultimately responsible for each transaction that is completed by the agents that work for them.

What are the different types of real estate agents?

Seller’s agent (a.k.a listing agent)

People who want to sell their propertyare typically represented by a seller's agent. They will work with you from the beginning of the marketing of your property to the end of the transaction. The following are some of the responsibilities of a seller's agent:

  • Help you stage your property
  • List your property on multiple marketing platforms
  • Show the property to potential buyers
  • Negotiate with the buyers on your behalf

In most cases, the commission for the seller's agent is withheld if the property does not sell. You should plan on paying them between 5 and 6% of the sale price of the property if it closes.

Buyer’s agent

An agent that works entirely for homebuyers and looks out for their best interests is known as a buyer's agent. They walk the customer through each step of the process, beginning with the search and ending with the transaction. A buyer's agent's primary responsibilities include the following:

  • Assisting you in your search for your ideal home
  • Negotiating the best possible price on your behalf
  • Consultation with professionals such as property inspectors
  • Paperwork management

Rental agent

This agent is responsible for all of the responsibilities that are associated with the management of a rental property, as the name suggests. For example, they will assist you in locating successful tenants, will provide services to tenants, and will aid with the maintenance of lease agreements.

How can I find the correct individual to represent me in the purchase or sale of my home?

It is essential to have an understanding of the distinctions between a Realtor and a real estate agent before seeking the assistance of either of these professionals. This is what you need to be aware of:

  • There are two employment options available for real estate agents: working independently or for brokerage firms.
  • Realtors are held to a higher level because the National Association of Realtors (NAR) dictates the guidelines that they must follow.
  • When compared to real estate agents, brokers have more rigorous educational requirements to meet.

Some of the tips you should consider when choosing any of them to include:


Not only should a real estate agent work for and with you, but they should also be familiar with the inner workings of the real estate industry as well as the community and neighborhood in which you're buying or selling property. This is important knowledge to have when buying or selling property. You should seek the assistance of a knowledgeable expert who can guide you through the procedure and ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible. Remember to take into account their fundamental beliefs in addition to their experience.

Negotiating skills

Bear in mind that the representative you pick will serve as a go-between for all of the other parties involved. Since they are acting as a go-between for you, they should be able to give you advice that is free from bias and ensure that your interests are protected throughout the negotiation process.

Knowledge of the local area

The individual you go with should have in-depth knowledge of the neighborhood, which should include information on schools, the rate of crime, comparable properties, closeness to essential amenities, and pricing points. They will also determine whether the prices that have been established are reasonable or competitive for the particular market in which their properties are located.

Professional network

Real estate agents should be able to connect you with other respected industry professionals in addition to the prior customers they've dealt with. Some examples of these professionals include staging businesses, appraisers, and inspection companies.

Real Estate Agent vs. Broker vs. Realtor, How They Are Get Paid?

The relationship that exists between real estate agents and brokers sheds light on the manner in which real estate agents are compensated.

Real estate agents are salespeople who are licensed to operate under the supervision of a designated real estate broker. The broker ensures that the agents follow state and national real estate standards by supervising the agents and ensuring that they comply with the rules. It is against the rules for agents to work independently, and it is also against the rules for agents to receive commissions directly from their clients.

Real estate agents can be hired as workers by brokers who have the ability to work independently. Each real estate office has a single broker working under them. It is required that all commissions be paid directly to a broker, who then distributes them to the many other agents that were involved in the transaction.

Realtor is a title that can be used by real estate agents as well as brokers as long as they are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and follow the NAR's code of ethics. Realtors can be found in both residential and commercial real estate.

To put it in a nutshell, the real estate sector is quite robust, with many people filling a variety of specialized roles within the industry. Whether you decide to deal with a real estate agent or a Realtor, either one of them ought to be able to guide you through the steps involved in the process of purchasingor selling your property successfully. When you get to this point, Realiff will assist you with the rest of the procedure. You might receive a reward of up to 2% on your transactions if you worked with Realiff. Do you want to make some financial savings? Reach out to us.

What Is the Difference Between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent?
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