Are the terms “real estate agent” and “Realtor” interchangeable? Many consumers aren’t sure at all what the difference is between a real estate agent and a Realtor, or whether there even is one.
Here’s a guide you can share with clients to help explain how this real estate agent vs. Realtor thing works.
- What is the difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor? The titles “real estate agent” and “Realtor” are often used interchangeably.
- Why do people use the terms interchangeably if they mean different things? Because using the term “real estate agent” can be a bit clunky and wordy, those who may not be familiar with the differences between the two designations often use the term “Realtor” as a shorthand to refer to anyone who is in the business of helping people buy and sell real estate.
- How are they differrent? Although both real estate agents and Realtors are licensed to sell real estate, each title refers to a specific type of real estate professional, and there are notable distinctions between the two.
- What is a real estate agent?A real estate agent is anyone who is licensed to help people buy and sell commercial or residential property. The agent may do so as a sales professional, an associate broker or a broker.
- How do you become a real estate agent? In order to obtain a real estate license, agents must complete a certain minimum number or classes and pass an examination prescribed by the state. State licensing requirements vary.
On an average real estate licensing applicants must complete anywhere between 30 to 90 hours of classroom instruction from an accredited college, university or technical school, depending on the state. Applicants must also pass an exam that covers national as well as state and local real estate law, standards and practices.
All real estate agents must pay an annual licensing fee and renew them every one or two years, depending on the state. In some states, agents may have to complete a certain amount of continuing education courses before their licenses can be renewed.
- What is a Realtor, and why is that title different from real estate agent? A Realtor is a trademarked term that refers to a real estate agent who is an active member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the largest trade association in the United States.A Realtor is a trademarked term that refers to a real estate agent who is an active member of @NAR.
- Where does the term “Realtor” come from? NAR was founded more than a century ago, but it has only used the term “Realtor” for about 40 years. The association was originally founded in 1908 as the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges and changed its name in 1916 to The National Association of Real Estate Boards.
To protect the title from misuse, the association obtained a copyright and trademark on it in 1950. The association adopted its current name in 1974.
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