What is a Realtor?
And how is it different from a real estate agent?
It should be noted that Realtors can be real estate agents, but not every real estate agent is a Realtor. Of course, there’s a substantial difference between the two; although it’s not always directly perceivable. While both must be licensed to sell real estate, the main difference is that a Realtor must sign a 17 article document of promises that hold them to a higher ethical standard.
17 Promises a Realtor Agrees To:
- Realtors promise to place the interest of buyers and sellers ahead of their own, as well as to treat all parties honestly.
- Realtors must refrain from exaggerating, misrepresenting or concealing material facts about a property; and is obligated to investigate and disclose when situation reasonably warrant.
- They’re required to cooperate with other brokers/agents when it’s in the best interest of the client to do so.
- Realtors are required to disclose if they represent a family member who owns or are about to buy real estate, or if they themselves are a principal in a real estate transaction.
- Realtors must avoid providing professional services in a transaction where the agent has a present or contemplated interest without disclosing that interest.
- Realtors cannot collect any commissions without the seller’s knowledge or accept fees from a third party without the seller’s express consent.
- They cannot refuse fees from more than one party without all parties’ informed consent.
- They cannot co-mingle client funds with the agent’s own.
- Realtors must make an attempt to ensure that all written documents are easy to understand and will give everybody a copy of what they signed.
- Realtors will not discriminate in any fashion for any reason on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.
- Realtors agree to be competent, to conform to standards or practice and to refuse to provide services for which they are unqualified.
- Realtors must be truthful in their advertising and marketing.
- Realtors cannot provide legal advice unless the agent is a lawyer.
- They must cooperate if charges are brought up against them and present all evidence requested.
- Realtors have agreed to not badmouth the competition and/or file unfounded ethics complaints.
- Realtors are not allowed to solicit another Realtor’s client nor interfere in a contractual relationship.
- They must submit to arbitration to settle matters and not seek legal remedies in the judicial system.