May 27, 2024

Understanding the Difference


When it comes to buying or selling a property, you might have come across the terms “realtor” and “real estate agent.” While these terms are often used interchangeably, they actually have different meanings. In this article, we will dive into the details and explore the differences between a realtor and a real estate agent.

What is a Real Estate Agent?

A real estate agent is a licensed professional who helps clients buy, sell, or rent properties. They have completed the required education and obtained a license to practice real estate. Real estate agents are knowledgeable about the local market and guide their clients through the buying or selling process.

What is a Realtor?

A realtor is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In order to become a realtor, an agent must adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards set by the association. This code of ethics ensures that realtors prioritize the best interests of their clients and maintain a high level of professionalism.

The Key Differences

While both realtors and real estate agents are licensed professionals who assist clients with their real estate needs, the key difference lies in the membership with the NAR. Realtors are held to a higher standard and are required to follow a specific code of ethics.

Benefits of Working with a Realtor

Working with a realtor can offer several advantages. Firstly, realtors have access to exclusive resources and tools that can help clients find the perfect property or sell their existing one. Moreover, realtors have a vast network of contacts in the industry, including other realtors, lenders, and home inspectors, which can prove to be invaluable during the buying or selling process.

Why Choose a Real Estate Agent?

On the other hand, choosing a real estate agent who is not a realtor may still provide excellent service. While they may not have the same level of accountability as realtors, they are still licensed professionals who can assist you in your real estate endeavors.


In conclusion, the terms “realtor” and “real estate agent” may seem similar, but they have distinct differences. Realtors are real estate agents who are members of the NAR and adhere to a strict code of ethics. However, both realtors and real estate agents can offer valuable services and expertise in the real estate industry.

Remember to Choose Wisely

Whether you decide to work with a realtor or a real estate agent, it is crucial to choose someone who is knowledgeable, experienced, and trustworthy. Take the time to research and interview potential candidates to ensure they meet your specific needs and requirements. With the right professional by your side, you can navigate the real estate market with confidence and achieve your goals.