Ask the REALTOR®: What’s the difference between a REALTOR and a real estate agent?

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Ask the REALTOR® is a new series in which I answer your most commonly-asked real estate questions, with a new Q&A posting every week. If YOU have a real estate question for me, drop me a note here.

This week’s question: What’s the difference between a REALTOR and a real estate agent? Here’s the answer in this brief video, and don’t miss the transcript below.

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Hi, this is Cari McGee with Keller Williams Real Estate in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. Welcome to this week’s episode of Ask the Realtor. Every week I answer questions from buyers and sellers and pretty much everyone in between regarding real estate.

So this week’s question is what’s the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR?

Well, let me answer it this way. All REALTORs are real estate agents, but not all real estate agents are REALTORs. Both real estate agents and REALTORs are licensed to sell real estate in the state where they are licensed. However, the difference is that a REALTOR has also elected to conduct their business according to the Code of Ethics that was instituted by the National Association of Realtors. Currently, the code consists of a preamble and 17 articles. Those articles are mostly split up into three different categories. The first is duties to clients/customers, the second is duties to the general public, and the third category is duties to other REALTORs.

In a perfect world, everyone would always obey all the rules and have everyone’s best interest at heart, etc. We don’t live there, in the perfect world. I am lucky that here in the Tri-Cities, every agent who is selling real estate is a REALTOR here. So we do know that you, as a member of the general public, or a client, or a customer, or myself as a REALTOR, there is recourse. If we find someone has violated one of the articles in the code, there are procedures in place and things that we know that we can do that will kind of help create a better playing field for everyone so that everyone can be assured of getting the absolute best service and everyone … taking care of business according to the best interests of the client.

So that’s the scoop. That’s the difference between a REALTOR and a real estate agent. If you have any real estate questions, by all means, give me a shout by any one of the methods that’s going to follow on the screen after this one. Hope you’re having a really good day. See you next week. Bye!

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About The Author
Cari McGee

My husband and I came to the Tri-Cities in 1994, and we thought it would be a temporary stop on our way to larger cities. He was a television sports anchor at the time, and we planned to go wherever the "next step up" took us. Twenty-plus years later, we're still here and we've loved every minute of it! We have two children now, and we've found the Tri-Cities area is a wonderful place to raise a family. It's a great place to do outdoorsy things -- I like to hike Badger Mountain or run along the river path. I also love reading ... by a cozy fire in the winter or a beautiful picture window in the summer (with the A/C on!). I've been a licensed Realtor since 2004. I earned my managing broker's license in 2016, which means I can run my own brokerage, or create a team of real estate agents and supervise them, which is exactly what I did when I formed the Cari McGee Real Estate Team in 2018! We have administrative and marketing personnel, as well as additional agents to serve you. I became a director of the Tri-Cities Association of Realtors Board of Directors in 2016, became Secretary/Treasurer of the organization, and was elected to Vice President in 2019. Want to talk about real estate? Click here to schedule a meeting with me!

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