Home buyers and sellers often ask “What is the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®?” There are a number of important reasons why using a REALTOR® is important for receiving the professional, ethical and responsible service you desire in a real estate transaction.
Many people incorrectly use the term REALTOR® in a generic way to refer to all real estate agents. However, all agents are not REALTORS®. REALTOR® is a trademarked word and should only be used when referring to a member of the local, state and national real estate professional associations (like Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association). The term “real estate agent” is a generic term and refers to a sales agent who is responsible to a real estate broker and who is licensed by his or her state real estate commission to assist the broker in the business of buying, selling, exchanging, appraising, and managing property. A REALTOR® is an real estate agent who meets all these requirements, and more.