What is the difference between a licensed real estate agent and a Realtor?
There are a few hoops to jump through in order to become a licensed real estate agent. In the state of Florida, where I hold a license, the first thing to do is look into a state licensed real estate school. The 63 hour class can be taken in person over the course of a week to a few weeks in the mornings or evenings. In addition an application needs to be filed with the state that includes fingerprints.
Once someone is pre-approved by the state and passes the course requirements they are eligible to sit for the state real estate exam. Upon passing the state exam, one is now designated an inactive licensed real estate sales associate. In order to be allowed to practice real estate, a sales associate need to find a broker, in other words a Realty, to put their license with. Once this is accomplished, one can legally practice the business of real estate. Those duties include services of real estate done for another person: buying, selling, leasing, and auctioning properties, and selling and buying businesses.
So what is a Realtor? A Realtor is a licensed real estate agent that has taken the additional step of joining the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and their state and local boards. Unlike a person who only has their real estate license, a Realtor can pay to have access to the MLS (multiple listing service), allowing them to search most all properties for sale, pending transactions, sold transactions and much more. It also allows them access to many other powerful tools that are provided by NAR. These days it would be difficult to do business as an agent without this distinction.
Good Realtors take pride in the designation and the responsibilities that come with it. Realtors operate under a code of ethics that ensure the clients best interests are preserved. That code of ethics also defines how real estate professionals conduct business dealings amongst themselves.
I am a Realtor in the Tampa Bay area. Give me a call at 813-230-1417 for a free consultation on how to get the most money out of your Tampa Bay property. I work all over Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Polk County and Pasco County.