Realtor vs. Real Estate Agent

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What’s the difference between a REALTOR® and a real estate agent?

Lately I have been out at several events where I have heard folks casually interchange Realtor with real estate agent; these are not the same thing. I have been asked to explain the difference…

By definition, “[t]he trademark REALTOR® identifies only those real estate professionals who are members of the Canadian Real Estate Association and, as such, subscribe to a high standard of professional service and a strict Code of Ethics”.*

A real estate agent is anyone who has gone and written their real estate exam and passed and is not necessarily a member of CREA or a local real estate board.  

To help put the difference into perspective, consider the difference between a lawyer and a notary, both are considered legal professionals, but only the lawyer has gone through the full expanse of legal education and certification and can handle complex litigious matters.

Why does this differentiation matter and what affect does it have on you as a home buyer or seller?

A Realtor is an individual who has the ability to offer you a holistic and full service with all the security, integrity and fiduciary duty that comes with being a member of an organization such as CREA. There are rules, regulations and mandates that we must follow as CREA certified members and that raises the bar on the services we offer and holds us accountable when it comes to providing you with everything you need in a real estate transaction. Though agents who are not CREA members may perform in a high quality fashion, the same standards, expectations and liability for one’s actions are not in place for those who decide not to join the largest Canadian real estate association in the country.

When you select a professional to work with in one of the biggest purchases of your lifetime, make sure you are choosing one who has voluntarily joined a professional body with a high standard of expectation. Be sure to pick an individual who can be held to the utmost measure of quality and service in their work with you as a valued client.

If you have any questions about what a real estate agent SHOULD be doing for you and your real estate goals, contact me today.

Call me now at 250-808-3638 or email me now at

I am always here and happy to help!

~ Helping you SEE Possibilities. Smart, Economic, Environmental Choices. ~


*Definition courtesy of®-and-mls® 

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Justina LeeStolz

Justina LeeStolz

Personal Real Estate Corporation
CENTURY 21 Assurance Realty Ltd.
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