What Is a Realtor and Why Should I Use One?
Did you know that the word Realtor is a valuable registered trademark that has been the subject of many court battles? You see, the folks who started using the word created an entire set of criteria regarding who could use the word and what it means in terms of service.
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So according to Investapedia:
What is 'Realtor'A real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors, a professional association. Realtors include agents that work as residential and commercial real estate brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors and other real estate professionals. More than 1 million real estate agents are realtors, and the term is a registered trademark. Realtors must belong to both a local association or board and a state association.
BREAKING DOWN 'Realtor'Realtors are expected to be experts in their field and must follow the NAR's code of ethics, which requires agents to uphold specific duties to clients and customers, to the public and to other realtors. Among its many requirements, the code of ethics says that realtors "shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction;" "shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing and other representations;" and shall "pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client" while treating all parties to the transaction honestly.
So, a real estate agent doesn't need to conform to these principles. Seems to make sense that everyone would want the person working on the largest investment in their financial world to follow the Realtor code.