Understanding Realtors and Real Estate Agents

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Realtors and Real Estate Agents

Realtors vs Real Estate Agents

The terms “Realtors” and “Real Estate Agents” are often used interchangeably, but they are not synonymous. While both are licensed to sell real estate, there are key differences in their qualifications, responsibilities, and affiliations. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify these roles, helping you make an informed decision when buying or selling property.

Dan Skelly Real Estate Agent CO and FL
Dan Skelly Real Estate Agent CO and FL

What is a Real Estate Agent?

Definition and Licensing

A Real Estate Agent is a professional licensed to facilitate real estate transactions. This includes representing buyers and sellers in the sale or purchase of residential or commercial properties. To become a licensed agent, one must complete a specific number of hours of real estate education and pass a state licensing exam.


  • Property Listings
  • Client Representation
  • Negotiation
  • Transaction Coordination

Benefits of Working with a Real Estate Agent

  • Market Knowledge
  • Time-saving
  • Negotiation Skills

What is a Realtor?

Definition and Affiliation

A Realtor is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This membership requires agents to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, which often goes beyond state laws.


  • Upholding Ethical Standards
  • Continuing Education
  • Market Analysis
  • Client Advocacy

Benefits of Working with a Realtor

  • Ethical Assurance
  • Expertise in Legal Compliance
  • Access to Exclusive Listings

Key Differences Between Realtors and Real Estate Agents

Ethical Standards

Realtors are bound by NAR’s Code of Ethics, providing an additional layer of accountability.


Realtors often have additional certifications and designations, thanks to NAR’s emphasis on continuing education.

MLS Access

While most real estate agents have access to their local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), Realtors often have broader access to listings across multiple regions.

How to Choose Between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent

Assess Your Needs

Consider the complexity of your transaction. For straightforward deals, a real estate agent may suffice. For more complex transactions, a Realtor’s expertise may be beneficial.

Check Credentials

Always verify the licensing and credentials of any real estate professional you consider working with.

Read Reviews

Client testimonials can provide valuable insights into a professional’s performance and reliability.

Making the Right Choice

Understanding the differences between Realtors and Real Estate Agents can significantly impact your real estate experience. While both can offer valuable services, Realtors bring additional ethical and educational advantages to the table.

For more insights into the world of real estate, visit Orson Hill Realty and Foothills Real Property.

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