July 20, 2024

Understanding the Distinction

When it comes to buying or selling a property, you may come across the terms “realtor” and “real estate agent” interchangeably. However, there is a subtle difference between the two that can impact your real estate journey. Let’s dive into the distinction between a realtor and a real estate agent.

What is a Real Estate Agent?

A real estate agent is a licensed professional who represents buyers or sellers in real estate transactions. They have successfully completed the required education and licensing requirements in their respective state to practice real estate. These agents have a wealth of knowledge about the local market and can guide you through the buying or selling process.

What is a Realtor?

A realtor, on the other hand, is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The NAR is a professional organization that sets ethical standards for its members and provides additional resources and training. Realtors are held to a higher standard of conduct and are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics, ensuring that clients receive the highest level of service and professionalism.

Code of Ethics

The NAR’s code of ethics includes duties such as loyalty to clients, confidentiality, and honesty in all dealings. This means that realtors are committed to putting their clients’ interests first and providing them with accurate and transparent information. By choosing to work with a realtor, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are working with a professional who is dedicated to your best interests.

Benefits of Working with a Realtor

Working with a realtor offers several advantages. Firstly, realtors have access to a vast network of industry professionals, including lenders, inspectors, and appraisers. They can help you find the right experts to support your real estate transaction. Additionally, realtors have comprehensive knowledge of the local market and can provide valuable insights into pricing, market trends, and neighborhoods.

Realtors also have strong negotiation skills, which can be crucial when it comes to getting the best deal. They will advocate for your interests, whether you are buying or selling a property, and strive to achieve optimal results. Furthermore, realtors have a deep understanding of the paperwork and legalities involved in real estate transactions, ensuring that everything is handled correctly and efficiently.

Choosing Between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent

Deciding between a realtor and a real estate agent ultimately depends on your needs and preferences. If you value the additional training, ethical standards, and professional support offered by realtors, then hiring one could be a wise choice. However, if you are comfortable working with a licensed real estate agent who may not be a member of the NAR, you can still receive excellent service and expertise.


While the terms “realtor” and “real estate agent” are often used interchangeably, there is indeed a difference between the two. Realtors are real estate agents who are members of the NAR and abide by a strict code of ethics. They offer a higher level of professionalism and expertise, making them an excellent choice for those looking for a dedicated and knowledgeable real estate professional. However, both realtors and real estate agents can provide valuable assistance throughout your real estate journey.