Thursday, September 23, 2021 / by Michael Haynes
REALTOR® or broker or agent.. what's the difference?
REALTORS® are licensed real estate agents who belong to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). NAR is the largest trade group in the country. Not all agents are REALTORS®, but most are. As a REALTOR®, we are held to higher ethical standards and a formal Code of Ethics unlike a non-REALTOR® agent / salesperson. If you’re unsure if your agent is a REALTOR® you can always ask them if they are a licensed REALTOR®.
Some REALTORS® are brokers (principal or associate), while some are agents. While they are used interchangeably, there are some differences between brokers and agents. Principal brokers represent the brokerage firm and are the person legally authorized to enter into agency contracts with clients and they are responsible for supervising the real estate agents who work for the agency. A principal broker oversees a transaction between a buyer and seller and affiliated agents for which a commission is paid to the brokerage firm once the transaction has been closed and recorded.
Associate brokers are industry professionals who have completed the same requirements necessary to become a principal broker but are not the actual principal broker. Many associate brokers choose to complete the necessary classes and training to increase their level of competence. Some associate brokers may also manage salespeople under the supervision of their principal broker.
An agent / salesperson is an industry professional that has completed all necessary requirements and passed the state and national tests to be able to assist in the sale of real estate for buyers and sellers. Real estate agents are not allowed to work for themselves, they must hang their license and practice under a designated brokerage of their choosing.