Realtor VS Estate Agent: What's The Difference? *

-This post is in collaboration-

It is generally understood that estate agents and Realtors sell or help to sell houses. But are they the same? Are all Realtors estate agents? Do they offer the same service? Understanding the difference between Realtors and real estate agents is key to knowing exactly who you are dealing with and who you need to work with. For this reason, we are going to break down exactly what each one is and then compare the main differences between them.

What Is A Realtor?

A Realtor is someone who is associated with the National Association of Realtors (NAR.) This means that they are licensed to do their work and they have to comply with the strict code of conduct dictated by the NAR. 

Many people get confused between a Realtor and an estate agent. This is likely because some Realtors are licensed estate agents, however not all of them occupy this position. Realtors can have a variety of property related professions. They can be brokers, salespeople, property managers, estate agents or appraisers.

What Is An Estate Agent?

Real estate agents are people who organize the deals between renters and owners or buyers and sellers of property. They organize the offers/counteroffers of each party and manage the overall transactions. However they generally do not work as both listing and buyers agent for the same transaction as this would cause contention. 

Additionally, they help you through the paperwork, and keep you up to date with everything you need to know throughout the process.

The requirements to be an estate agent vary from state to state however most require a specific exam or license to be acquired and maintained. This does not mean that they are necessarily affiliated with the NAR however.

Final Verdict

A Realtor can be an estate agent but not all of them work in that capacity. If they are an estate agent then they can only call themselves a Realtor if they are certified and licenced by the national association of Realtors. There are many good estate agents who are not Realtors but generally it is an added bonus if you find one that is a Realtor as they will be bound by the NAR code of ethics.

Having your estate agent bound by additional rules makes sure that everything runs smoothly and that they have to be honest and upfront throughout the process. They are also required to work in your best interests.

If you do choose to use a Realtor, make sure that you don't assume that they are an estate agent. Instead, verify their occupation first and then make an informed decision.  

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