A Realtor and A Real Estate Agent are both licensed , usually in their own state, to sell homes and properties. There is one very important and unique difference between the two.
A Realtor® is bound by The Code of Ethics and a Member of the The National Association of Realtors, a Real Estate Agent is not.
The Code of Ethics is enforced, it is not just a bunch of words thrown together to make them sound better, you can actually lose your license for not following ‘The Code’. You can be assured that a Realtor will always, always put you and your needs first and they will not just try to make a sale. A Realtor will do everything in their power to disclose all available information on the home or property. You will be treated kindly and fairly. Take a look at the rules a Realtor must follow.
#1) Pledge to put the interests of buyers and sellers ahead of their own and to treat all parties honestly.
#2) Shall refrain from exaggerating, misrepresenting or concealing material facts; and is obligated to investigate and disclose when situations reasonably warrant.
#3) Shall cooperate with other brokers / agents when it is in the best interests of the client to do so.
#4) Have a duty to disclose if they represent family members who own or are about to buy real estate, or if they themselves are a principal in a real estate transaction, that they are licensed to sell real estate.
#5) Shall not provide professional services in a transaction where the agent has a present or contemplated interest without disclosing that interest.
#6) Shall not collect any commissions without the seller’s knowledge nor accept fees from a third-party without the seller’s express consent.
#7) Shall refuse fees from more than one party without all parties’ informed consent.
#8) Shall not co-mingle client funds with their own.
#9) Shall attempt to ensure that all written documents are easy to understand and will give everybody a copy of what they sign.
#10) Shall not discriminate in any fashion for any reason on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
#11) Expects agents to be competent, to conform to standards of practice and to refuse to provide services for which they are unqualified.
#12) Must engage in truth in advertising.
#13) Shall not practice law unless they are a lawyer.
#14) Shall cooperate if charges are brought against them and present all evidence requested.
#15) Agree not to bad mouth competition and agree not to file unfounded ethics complaints.
#16) Shall not solicit another REALTOR’S client nor interfere in a contractual relationship.
#17) Shall submit to arbitration to settle matters and not seek legal remedies in the judicial system.