What is a REALTOR?

REALTORS® are licensed real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS®, The Voice for Real Estate®. REALTORS® are the most trusted source for real estate information.

The term REALTOR® is not a generic term; it is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a licensed real estate professional who is a member of NAR. The term REALTOR® is NOT synonymous with “real estate agent.” There are approximately 3.2 million licensed real estate professionals in the United States, and 2.0 million of them are considered “active licensees,” but only 1.2 million are members of NAR.  REALTORS® work in both residential and commercial real estate as brokers, salespeople, property

managers, appraisers, counselors and others engaged in all aspects of the real estate industry.

There are more than 1,400 local associations and boards and 54 state and territory associations of REALTORS®. Members join NAR through their local REALTOR® association.

REALTORS® subscribe to NAR’s strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, which aims to protect consumers in the real estate transaction.

The Code stipulates that REALTORS® be honest with all parties involved in a transaction, whether buyer, seller or cooperating agent.  The Code requires REALTORS® to identify and take steps to eliminate practices which may damage the public or which might discredit or dishonor the real estate profession.  REALTORS® must take a refresher training course on the Code of Ethics every four-year cycle. Real estate licensees who join NAR are required to take orientation classes on the Code.

REALTORS® build communities.

The role of REALTORS® in our communities goes far beyond the real estate transaction process of buying and selling. As local business owners and residents, REALTORS® are vested in building healthy and vibrant communities across the country, neighborhood by neighborhood.  As the leading advocates for housing issues, REALTORS® across the country participate in NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program, which provides tools and resources for promoting affordable housing at local, state and national levels.  NAR partners with other real estate industry organizations to promote housing opportunities through the HOPE Awards (Home Ownership Participation for Everyone). The awards recognize REALTORS®, individuals and groups who have made outstanding contributions to increasing minority homeownership.  The Good Neighbor Awards honor REALTORS® who have made an extraordinary commitment to improving the quality of life in their communities through volunteer work. In addition, thousands of REALTORS®volunteer time and resources in community projects organized by their state and local REALTOR®  associations.

REALTORS® add value to the real estate transaction.

REALTORS® handle hundreds, if not thousands, of real estate transactions over the course of their careers, and can counsel and guide sellers through the process.

REALTORS® have the expertise and experience to help sellers protect their investment and help buyers build theirs.

REALTORS® have access to educational opportunities and training in real estate specialties that are not available to other licensees. In these courses, REALTORS® learn to develop skills in guiding clients and customers through the complex real estate transaction process.

NAR offers advanced educational opportunities to its members that allow REALTORS® to offer a more diverse array of services with such accredited sub-specialties as buyer’s representation (ABR®), residential real estate expertise (CRS®), Internet readiness (e-PRO), and senior housing issues (SRES).

Through membership in NAR’s affiliated institutes, societies, and councils, REALTORS® stay abreast of the most recent trends in their fields, remain well-informed of industry developments in their specialized areas, and address industry issues more effectively.

REALTORS® are the leading advocate for private property rights, homeownership and housing issues.

Every year, NAR leads the way on Capitol Hill and in the corridors of Washington to keep homeownership a top national priority.

NAR’s support for the mortgage interest deduction and other federal policies helps keep housing more affordable and makes housing a great investment. Sound housing policies empower home seekers to purchase a home of their own.

REALTORS® care not only about helping people become homeowners, but also making sure families can keep their homes. They are actively engaged in buyer financing education and in pushing legislation that protects consumers in the real estate transaction. Visit www.REALTOR.org/subprime to learn more.