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Broker, agent or REALTOR? What’s the difference?

Broker, agent or REALTOR? What’s the difference?

Real Estate Agent. Real Estate Professional. Real Estate Broker. REALTOR®*. What’s the difference? This might be something you’ve wondered about (though I doubt it keeps you up at night).

For the most part, ‘a rose by any other name…’ is an apt description of the differences. With the exception of the title REALTOR®, an individual with a Washington State real estate license can choose any number of terms to describe themselves. “Real Estate Agent” is probably the title you hear and use most often.

On July 1, 2010, Washington State implemented a new law that changed the terminology used to identify licensed real estate salespeople; we are now called brokers. Why? I do not know.

To make matters more confusing, there are now two levels of licensure. An individual who has just earned their license is identified legally as a broker. A broker with three or more years of experience can earn the designation of managing broker. The general public will more likely identify us as agents and managers. For all practical purposes, nothing has changed in the relationship between clients and their agents/brokers. To avoid unnecessary confusion, I typically refer to myself as either a REALTOR® (see below) or an agent.

The exception I noted above is an important one, however. A broker cannot use the title of REALTOR® unless they are a paid member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). As a broker who is a REALTOR®, I agree to subscribe to a strict code of ethics which regulates my professional behavior and expresses my personal dedication to represent you and your interests with integrity and honesty. This is why I am proud to identify myself as a REALTOR® working as an associate with Prudential Northwest Realty.

Contact me today for a personal consultation and further explanation of why my status as a  REALTOR® should matter to you.


*NAR rules require that the term REALTOR® be capitalized and followed by a trademark symbol.