Sometimes, people use the terms “real estate agents” and “realtor” interchangeably but in actuality, they are two distinct titles and they perform different functions.
If you are new to the business of real estate or you intend to start one in the near future, you might want to know the difference between a real estate agent and a realtor.
Who is a real estate agent?
A real estate agent is an individual whose job is to rent, buy, or sell properties (residential or commercial) for people. Usually, they initiate and organize the transactions that go on between people who have properties to sell and the ones who are interested in buying these properties, or people who have properties to rent out and the ones who are interested in renting them. For instance, if you have a residential building you wish to sell, what a real estate agent does is find a buyer for that building, and at the end of the day, they receive an agreed amount of money from the sale of the building as commission.
Types of Real Estate Agents
A real estate agent can either be a “listing agent” or a “buyer’s agent”.
- Listing agents:- listing agents are those agents that represent the sellers of properties. They assist sellers in determining the price at which their properties will be sold; developing strategies to increase the value of these properties; marketing the properties; negotiating sales during transactions, to name a few.
- Buyer’s Agent:- buyer’s agents are the direct opposite of listing agents. They represent the buyers of properties. They help buyers find the type of properties that suit their preferences, negotiate with sellers during transactions, prepare and submit required documents, e.t.c.
Who is a realtor?
A realtor is a real estate broker or professional who belongs to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in the United States. They specialize in property management, appraisals, real estate counseling, real estate broking, e.t.c. Most importantly, realtors are called realtors because they belong to the NAR and are licensed to practice real estate management in various capacities.
While people do use “real estate agent” and “realtor” interchangeably, here’s something you should note: “All realtors are real estate agents but not all real estate agents are realtors”. A real estate agent is only considered to be a realtor if they are a member of the National Association of Realtors in the United States.
Similarities between Real Estate Agents and Realtors
Real estate agents and realtors pretty much share the same similarities. They rent, buy, and sell properties to people; they connect buyers and sellers; they assist property owners in setting property prices; they initiate and organize transactions between buyers and sellers; and so on.
Differences between Real Estate Agents and Realtors
As mentioned already in this article, “All realtors are real estate agents, but not all real estate agents are realtors.” The only difference between real estate agents and realtors is that the latter are members of the National Association of Realtors in the United States and are legally licensed to practice real estate management.
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How do real estate brokers get paid?
Real estate agents that work for brokers receive a portion of the commissions that these agents receive. In contrast to real estate agents, they are also paid commissions from their own agreements, but they are not required to split those commissions with “the office.”
Although real estate agents and realtors perform almost the same functions and are usually used interchangeably, they differ in the sense that realtors are legally recognized because they are registered with the National Association of Realtors in the United States.