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What is a Realtor’s® job?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Richard Weisser Realty

What is a Realtor’s® job by Richard WeisserWhat is a Realtor’s® job? First of all, being a Realtor® is NOT a job at all.

A Realtor® is a member of the National Association of Realtors. It is a trade organization. It is NOT an employer.

Most members of this trade organization work as real estate agents or brokers. But not all real estate agents and brokers are Realtors®.

So what is the job of a real estate agent or broker? To tell you the truth, very few of them fall into the classification of employee, and there is no job per se.

It is more typical for a real estate broker to engage a client by contract. This contract outlines specific duties and a method of compensation for the serviced to be performed by the real estate broker, or the agent acting on behalf of the broker.

In the state of Georgia, the only duties owed to the client are those specifically defined in the brokerage agreement, or those that are prescribed by law.

A broker may offer ANY level of service that is agreeable to their client.

For another broker or agent to suggest that any broker has any obligation beyond that negotiated level of service could be viewed as anti-competitive.

What is a Realtor’s® job? There is no such thing.

What are the duties of a real estate broker to a client?


Only those agreed to in writing!

Note: Richard Weisser is a real estate agency consultant in Georgia and is available to testify as an expert witness.

Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I see Realtor® as a set of values and principles. As a broker and real estate agent I provide the services my customer and I have agreed to as you stated

Apr 26, 2014 09:57 PM
Ira Bodenstein
PNC Mortgage - Montclair, NJ
NMLS#: 445143

Great perspective thanks for sharing your thoughts. Your love and passion for being a Realtor comes through in this post.  Your clients are lucky to have you as their Realtor. 

Apr 26, 2014 10:03 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Yes to the post point. I like Gary #10 when he mentions the values & principals

Apr 26, 2014 10:15 PM
Marshall Enterprises
Marshall Enterprises - Saint Michael, MN
Antiques, Lawn Care, and Trashouts

Thanks for a great explanation of how to work out specifically what a consumer (like me) would need to do to get the services he or she or they want!

Apr 26, 2014 10:42 PM
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional

When I am contacted by attorney's working on a case my first question is always something like "What are the duties outlined in the brokerage agreement?"

Many times they are surprised because they assume that there are a lot of "default" duties that simply do not exist.

Apr 26, 2014 10:47 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Richard, I agree! The duties of a real estate agent are outlined in the agency agreement between the client and the broker.

Apr 26, 2014 11:06 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Can I help you, provide a service to save you time, money, frustration ?  Whether wearing the blue and gold shiny R, the hardest working letter in the entire alphabet or not, no matter what off color of blazer or yard sign shade combination, we have a license to list, market, sell. With out situational ethics being played out in the background.

Apr 26, 2014 11:23 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Oklahoma has gone to a Transactional brokers agreement, we haven't had agency in many years before this, so this is a newer version of our statute law. What I like about the new law is regardless of how you classify yourself be it full service, order entry, etc. there are now 10 duties you owe to the public regardless. In 25 years I have always felt that the public believes we work for the transaction with fairness, honesty, and hopefully conpetence. Our new law reflects that.

Apr 26, 2014 11:26 PM
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Specialist - Agent

Just a comment on a comment: I like that, Andrew, the R, the hardest working letter in the alphabet. Never heard it before!

Apr 27, 2014 12:28 AM
Jerry Cecil
Bloomtree Realty - Prescott, AZ

You hit on a point that is generally misunderstood by the public.  Most people do not undersand the agent/broker relationship.  They assume that Realtors are employees and the broker is the boss.  

Apr 27, 2014 02:00 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Since most people have a job to perform, it's a good use of the word.  Might not mean, nor does it have to mean, and employer/employee situation.  We have fiduciary duties to our clients.  We have known to the consumer or customer.

Apr 27, 2014 03:05 AM
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

This is why I like our non rep contracts leaves no imagination.

Apr 27, 2014 04:05 AM
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
Irvine Realtor®

It took me a while to understand the difference between a Real Estate Agent and Realtor.  It's something that's not understood until you become one.

Apr 27, 2014 04:13 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I agree with you 100%, of course I also know the laws in Georgia and many people assume we have a fiduciary duty which we do not in our state as provided by our laws and/or contract agreements.  Realtor® is refered to as a designation in a comment, it's not that either.  It's a membership to a trade organization period.  The comment about values and principles made me laugh out loud.  Being a member of said trade organization doesn't have anything to do with values and principles, nor does non membership mean you aren't ethical in your business practice. 

Apr 27, 2014 04:38 AM
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Tammy, yes the National Association of Realtors is a trade organization.  However I think you have forgotten about the Realtor® Code of Ethics.  The Code of Ethics is a statement of principles that are intended to govern the conduct of the organization's Realtor® members and to promote ethical practices.

Apr 27, 2014 05:04 AM
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional

I think that what Tammy is saying is that it is incorrect to assume that all brokers are members of the National Association of Realtors. In GA, our obligation is NOT fiduciary as defined by the law..

The idea is to allow consumers to negotiate for any services they want ... whether or not it is in their best interest.


Apr 27, 2014 09:53 AM
Jeffrey Hogue
Jeffrey Hogue Realtor Group - Reading, PA
Real Estate Pro in Pennsylvania Since 1993

Good post. In Pennsylvania it is the contractual duty to bring the seller a ready, willing and able buyer. That is it no more, no less. Agents have bastardized the industry with their offerings of everything from supplying a moving van to washing their car.

Apr 27, 2014 10:05 AM
Diana White-Pettis
Bennett Realty Solutions - Upper Marlboro, MD
GRI, CDPE, CNE, WHC Upper Marlboro Homes for Sale

Great post.  Thank you for explaining the facts in such a simplistic manner!

Apr 27, 2014 01:18 PM
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee 423-677-6677

Good morning Richard,

Great post and then the discussion afterwards as well.  At first I took offense to Tammies comment and whoo-hooed Eric, than I ready your comment and sat back and had to give this some more thought.  Nice.

Apr 27, 2014 08:53 PM
Doug Rogers
RE/MAX Coastal Properties - Destin, FL
Your Real Estate Resource!

Part of the drama in our industry is when agents (or REALTORS) try to wear too many hats. We are not attorneys, home inspectors, title people, etc...

Apr 27, 2014 11:35 PM