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As a home buyer or seller, you will eventually realize the importance of getting expert help to achieve your goals. You might come across a real estate agent or a realtor, who are professionals who facilitate buying, selling, or renting properties, but they have fundamental differences.

As someone engaging in a property transaction, you will pour vast amounts of effort, attention, and money into it. This is why it is essential to know the differences of each type of profession. Today, we will discuss the key differences between real estate agents and realtors to help you understand who to choose for your journey.



What is a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a licensed professional who assists clients in buying, selling, or renting properties. To become a licensed real estate agent, one typically must complete a certain number of pre-licensing courses, pass a state exam, and undergo a background check. Additionally, agents may need to affiliate with a licensed real estate brokerage and fulfill ongoing continuing education requirements to maintain their license.





How Does Real Estate Agents Earn Money

Real estate agents earn money through commissions, typically a percentage of a property's final sale price. For instance, if a house sells for $300,000 and the commission rate is 6%, the agent would earn $18,000. Agents may also earn additional income through referrals, leasing commissions, or bonuses for achieving sales targets.


What is a Realtor

A realtor is a licensed real estate agent member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and upholds its strict code of ethics. This distinction signifies a commitment to professionalism, integrity, and ethical conduct in all real estate transactions. Realtors can access additional resources, networking opportunities, and continuous education the NAR provides to enhance their skills and serve their clients effectively.

How Does Realtors Earn Money

Realtors primarily earn income through commissions from successful property transactions, usually calculated as a percentage of the final sale price. For instance, if a realtor assists a client in purchasing a property for $500,000 with a commission rate of 3%, their earnings would amount to $15,000. Additionally, realtors may generate revenue through referral fees, leasing commissions, or bonuses to achieve sales targets for their brokerage sets.





Bottom Line

Real estate agents are licensed professionals authorized to facilitate property transactions. At the same time, realtors are agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and adhere to its strict code of ethics. The distinction lies in realtors' commitment to higher ethical standards and access to additional resources and networking opportunities through the NAR, which empowers them to serve their clients better and uphold professional integrity in the real estate industry.

While a real estate agent can serve the same purpose, clients who choose a realtor gain the assurance of working with a dedicated professional who prioritizes ethical conduct and stays informed about industry standards and practices.

If you want to know more about real estate agents and realtors, feel free to reach out to me at (703) 562-1788 or Dan@greetingsvirginia.com. I’d be more than happy to help you!

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About the author:

Dan Rochon is Operating Principal of Keller Williams Realty, Alexandria - Kingstowne, VA and Team Leader with Traci of

Dan and Traci & Consultants with Keller Williams Realty.


Dan and Traci have been featured in local and national news on the NBC Nightly NewsThe Today ShowThe Washington ExaminerThe Washington PostCNBC, and WTOP News and more for their success in selling short sales.

If you are interested in short selling your home in Virginia, Maryland, or Washington DC call us today at 703-562-1791 ext. 2 


John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Hello Dan Rochon very valuable report about how to choose the right Realtor.

May 08, 2024 08:07 PM
Sham Reddy CRS
Howard Hanna RE Services, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Thanks for sharing Dan, great information!!!

Realtors primarily earn income through commissions from successful property transactions, usually calculated as a percentage of the final sale price.

May 09, 2024 04:34 AM