It’s time to buy or sell your home, and you’re looking for a real estate professional to work through the process with you. As you research the various real estate agencies in Southern Maryland and Northern Virginia, you’ll come across three types of professionals: Real estate agents, brokers, and REALTORs.
Most home buyers and sellers use these terms interchangeably, but they’re really quite different.
A real estate agent, U.S. News and World Report explains, is any real estate professional who is licensed by their state to represent buyers or sellers in a real estate transaction. To earn a license, the agent has to take coursework and a test. REALTORs and brokers are also real estate agents.
A broker is an agent who has taken additional training and a test to become a real estate broker. This person can work alone or hire agents to work for them, according to Realtor.com.
Finally, a REALTOR is someone who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). By joining NAR, they have pledged to live up to the association’s standards and abide by its code of ethics.