Distinguishing Between a Realtor & a Real Estate Agent

For most individuals, purchasing or selling property is a significant decision, as the majority of people only buy homes once in their lifetime. The business of property selling and purchasing is known as real estate, and the individual who acts as an intermediary between a buyer and a seller and facilitates the transaction is referred to as a property dealer or a real estate agent. There is another title of realtor that can be confusing for some people, as even realtors are seen performing many of the functions of real estate agents. Of course, there are similarities between the roles of real estate agents and realtors, but there are differences as well, which will be discussed in this article. These differences enable readers to call upon the right person depending on their requirements.

Real Estate Agent

If you are looking to buy a house for your family, having settled in your first job, you know it is a significant decision as it involves a lot of investment. You have arranged for the down payment and intend to get the purchase financed through a bank loan. However, even before the nitty-gritty’s begin, you find that you require the services of a broker to show you properties in desired areas of the city within your price range. The intermediary between the sellers and you as a buyer is the person who is called a real estate agent or broker. These agents work to sell the properties of their clients at the highest possible prices to buyers who are looking for similar properties. Sometimes, real estate agents represent the buyers. Then, sellers of properties become customers while buyers remain their clients.

Real estate agents help in the sale and purchase of property and charge a commission as a percentage of the sale price as their fee. To start as a real estate agent, a person needs to pass the relevant exam in their state and obtain the license.


Realtor is a word that is commonly heard in the field of real estate. We find that many real estate agents use the word in their title, and so it becomes confusing for people as to whether they should contact a simple real estate agent or a realtor for the purpose of buying or selling a property. Realtors are real estate agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Thus, if you see a real estate agent making use of the title of realtor against their name, you can assume that they also happen to be a member of NAR.

NAR has a code of ethics that all realtors have to abide by. It is this code of ethics that distinguishes ordinary real estate agents and those who choose to become members of NAR. A high level of professionalism, honesty, and integrity is expected from realtors, and only a qualified real estate agent can display the title of a realtor on their business card.

Key Takeaways

  • A real estate agent is a person licensed to help in the sale and purchase of property in their state.
  • Some real estate agents are also realtors by virtue of being members of the National Association of Realtors or NAR in short.
  • Members of NAR are expected to abide by a stringent code of ethics, which makes the title of a realtor more attractive than a simple real estate agent.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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