It is a common thing to hear people mistake real estate agents for realtors. A lot of home buyers and home sellers initially think that the two are one and the same, but they are not. It is crucial to understand that not all realtors are agents, and not all real estate agents are realtors. They are, however, the same in the sense that they need to be licensed in order for them to sell properties. The major difference lies in one aspect: the realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) while the real estate agent is not.
Moreover, the realtor can also become a real estate agent. In addition, he can also function as a managing broker, a broker-associate, or a buyer’s agent who exclusively represents a single client. Before he can proceed with his work, he must first abide by the realtor Code of Ethics that comes with 17 articles. The Code of Ethics, which was formulated and adopted back in 1913 is strictly implemented by the local real estate boards.
Within the 17 articles lie the Standards of Practice that every realtor should abide and follow to the letter. These standards are not just your usual rules and regulations; they are more restrictive in nature, compared to the usual state guidelines that are being followed by the real estate agents.
Though the Code of Ethics does not guarantee 100 percent that all realtors are ethically or morally superior to real estate agents, it still helps regulate the industry. Every sin qgle one of the 17 articles bear weight on the status and reputation of a realtor in relation to how he performs and conducts his work. However, there is one article that really stands out, which realtors are easily reminded of on a daily basis. That particular article states that a realtor must be honest.
Furthermore, a realtor is also expected to perform the following, as he has promised to do when he became a member of the NAR: put the interest of the home sellers and home buyers ahead of their own. Avoid concealing important facts about the property or exaggerating or misrepresenting them. A realtor must also conduct an investigation and provide disclosures whenever the circumstances call for one.
In addition, a realtor must also work hand in hand with agents and brokers if his client’s interests will benefit. He should also disclose his clients if he has relatives and family members who are looking to buy the real estate of their clients or if they own one that a home buyer that they represent is interested in.