A Realtor is a real estate agent who is an active member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Founded in 1908, the NAR is the largest trade association in the United States. Active real estate agents who would like to join the organization must have a valid real estate license and an immaculate professional conduct record. Real estate agents have an incentive to join due to its good reputation, which may attract more clients. All Realtors are required to adhere to an extensive Code of Ethics, so consumers may feel at ease knowing that they are working with agents who are thoroughly vetted and have sworn to uphold certain professional standards.
According to the NAR, about half of all real estate agents in the United States are certified Realtors. Many real estate agents choose this path because the organization actively works to protect the interests of its members. As a trade association, the NAR has strong bargaining power in both state and federal governments. This influence can be used to obtain better legal protections and benefits for Realtors across the country. Essentially, while it is not required to become a Realtor some real estate agents will find this path to be in their best interest.
Two other ways Realtors are different than real estate agents is that they abide by a Code of Ethics as well as 17 additional Articles.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) created the Code of Ethics as an enforceable set of ethical guidelines that realtors must uphold, and are strictly enforced by real estate boards. It states realtors’ duties to clients and customers, the public, and to other realtors, which are more limiting than state guidelines.
The Code of Ethics is made up of 17 articles that cover different areas of professional standards of practice that must be upheld. Articles one through nine make up a Realtor’s duty to their clients and customers. Articles 10 through 14 state a Realtor’s duty to the public. And Articles 15 through 17 define a Realtor’s duty to other Realtors.
The following are summaries of the ethical duties realtors promise to abide by:
*The Code of Ethics class and text must renewed every 4 years to remain a REALTOR©
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