When you're looking for help buying or selling property, it's important to remember that the terms "real estate agent" and "Realtor" are not synonymous. Realtors can provide an extra level of service, and to be a Realtor you must be a member of the National Association of Realtors. The NAR is a non-profit trade organization that promotes high professional standards in real estate information, education and professional standards.
The National Association of Realtors also has earned a strong reputation forctively championing private property rights and working to make home ownership affordable and accessible.
Code of Ethics
NAR and CREA members adhere to a strict code of ethics founded on the principle of providing fair and honest service to all consumers. Realtor business practices are monitored at local board levels. Arbitration and disciplinary systems are inlace to address complaints from the public or board members.
This local oversight keeps Realtors directly accountable to the individual consumers they serve. Real estate licensees who are not Realtors, work solely under state/provincial licensing regulations.
A Realtor (or REALTOR) is a licensed real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) a membership organization of some 720,000 real estate agents in the United States. In Canada, the corresponding professional organization is the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). A licensed real estate agent does not have to be a member of NAR or CREA to practice real estate.
In real estate, a broker has earned a broker's license. Many brokers own their own real estate office and are "brokers of record," with other real estate agents "hanging their license" under the broker of record.