Thursday, August 16, 2007

Real Estate 101

So, What is the Difference Between Real Estate Agents and Realtors?

Real estate professionals reading this blog might be rolling their eyes about covering such a basic topic, but I still get asked all the time what is the difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor. Most people use the terms interchangably, like calling a tissue a Kleenex or a Canon copier a Xerox.

All Realtors are agents, but not all agents are Realtors. An agent is merely someone who has passed the state licensing requirements to buy and sell real estate. The main difference between a Realtor and an agent is that Realtors (like myself!) follow a strict code of ethics and belong to a Realtor board. Perhaps a good comparison is the difference between a licensed doctor and being a board-certified doctor.

There are 17 rules in the Realtor code of ethics, including such items as:
  • Put the buyers' and sellers' interests ahead of their own

  • Refrain from exaggeration and misrepresentation, and investigate and disclose problems

  • Cooperate with other Realtors, agents and brokers

  • Make sure all written documents and contracts are clear and easy to read and understand

  • And many more. For a complete list of the code of ethics, click here.

In addition to a strict code of ethics, Realtors can help you assess your financial readiness, assist with negotiations, provide market analysis, and more. To see the National Association of Realtors' complete guide and resources, please visit

With such expensive transactions, it is best to work with the highest level of professionalism possible, whether the market is thriving or rocky. Trust a Realtor to help you out. And, yes, I am a Realtor. If you need help buying or selling a home, I would be happy to help. I can be reached at 510-547-5970 x57 or

(PS. Go Danny!)

1 comment:

Don Diltz said...

Hi Mary,
I just stopped by and looked at your blog. Nice job.
Best regards,
Don Diltz