Aren’t ALL real estate agents REALTORS®?
NO! ……….So, what is a REALTOR®
Since I am a REALTOR® in California, I will use this States information.
A real estate agent is an individual who has completed all of the courses required to get their license, passed a series of proctored tests and then “sat” for their half day proctored California State’s Real Estate Exam and passed said real estate test. A REALTOR® is this same individual who has continued in their professional career and belongs to their local Real Estate Board, The California Association of REALTORS® and The National Association of REALTORS®. What makes them different is that they subscribe and adhere to the higher standard of the Code of Ethics and have earned the right to use the restricted title of honor - REALTOR®. Unless they are a member of local AOR, CAR and NAR they cannot use the title of REALTOR®.
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In my opinion, most of the REALTORS® in this profession work as hard as any attorney, (especially in California where we do not have attorneys in our transactions and pretty much are the ones to take a hit IF something goes wrong). REALTORS® often times put in as many hours as doctors, because they work 24/7 at times….. Especially when they are first starting their career.
(NOTE: I am NOT saying we are doctors OR attorneys - just that we are as professional.)
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A person can get their real estate license and they are then a real estate agent, but if they do not belong to a real estate board, then they do not subscribe to the local ethics, nor the California Association of REALTORS® Ethics, NOR the National Association of REALTORS® ethics, and are therefore NOT allowed to use the title of REALTOR®. In my mind this is a huge issue and one that many people may not have the information to make the distinction or even knew that there WAS a difference.
So by using the correct title of REALTOR®, we are trying to help the public make an educated decision to work with an agent that goes above and beyond the basic, “get a license and sell”, to agents that intentionally become a REALTOR® and thereby commit to promote our professionalism to a higher standard of care and ethics.
Here is a link to a video if you would like additional information on why the code exists, how it applies, how it's enforced, and what is expected of REALTORS®.
It is my hope that you will remember the next time someone recommends their REALTOR® and question if they are a REALTOR® or a real estate agent. Your helping people recognize the difference will help them too in the long run get a more professional minded agent to help them through their transaction!
Here is the link to the National Association of REALTORS® website where the restrictions and definitions are spelled out: http://www.realtor.org/LetterLw.nsf/pages/TrademarkLogoRulesIf the individual is a REALTOR® Member, the term REALTOR® may be used adjacent the Member's name provided appropriate separating punctuation is also used. The preferred form for the term is all capital letters and the registration symbol "®".
If you have any questions or comments, please reach me at
or my Website www.DawnOneal.com