What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor?
Can you explain the difference to your clients about the difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor to your clients? There’s a difference between the two, and the difference matters.
Becoming a Realtor
Before a person can sell real estate in Texas, he must be licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) as a salesperson and sponsored by an established broker. He must also take 180 hours of required educational courses and pass the real estate licensing exam. Within two years, the licensee must complete an additional 90 classroom hours of real estate education.
But holding a real estate salesperson or broker’s license from TREC does not make someone a Texas Realtor. After earning the license, many agents elect to join their local association of Realtors, the state-level association, and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Only after all these steps are taken can a person be called a Realtor. Membership in this three-level system gives Realtors (and their clients) advantages over agents who don’t join.
Why use a Realtor?
Realtors must adhere to NAR’s Realtor Code of Ethics, which clearly identifies their responsibilities to the consumer. The Code of Ethics is the cornerstone of what it means to be a Realtor. Realtors pledge that they will treat all parties fairly and protect their clients’ interests. It’s a consumer-oriented code that holds Realtors to a higher standard of professional behavior.
Adhering to the Code of Ethics isn’t the only way Realtors are set apart from real estate licensees. Texas Realtors in particular have a long track record of working with state and local officials, as well as other regulatory bodies. These highly organized and effective efforts are focused on four main areas: keeping the cost associated with real estate transactions reasonable; preserving private-property rights; protecting consumers from proposals that make homeownership more difficult; and maintaining the overall health of the real estate economy.
If that’s not enough, Texas Realtors are plugged into the best information and education, so they know more about the process of buying and selling real estate. The MetroTex Association of Realtors provides educational opportunities for members to further their real estate knowledge and become more proficient in their industry.
Plus, Texas Realtors have exclusive access to more than 100 forms for every type of real estate situation imaginable, which can help keep you out of legal trouble when you’re dealing in real estate transactions. Texas Realtors even have Spanish translations of many of the most widely used forms. Although not legally binding documents, these translations help explain the forms to Spanish-speaking consumers.
It’s a difference that counts
Working with a Texas Realtor can make a huge difference in the level of professionalism and skill clients will receive during the process. Tell them to expect a smoother transaction by working with a knowledgeable practitioner who puts the needs of her clients first.