What’s a Realtor, anyway?

A real estate brokerage is an entity that is licensed in the state to broker real estate transactions. Every licensed individual in a brokerage operates under the broker’s license. Every brokerage must have an Operating Broker- meaning the responsible broker. Ultimately, a broker is responsible for training salespersons and maintaining accurate records of all transactions and trainings.

Brokers do not have to be Realtors in Georgia, but they usually are. There is a big difference between a licensed salesperson (and broker) and a Realtor! In the state of Georgia, anyone  licensed to sell real estate has gone through rigorous classes, tests, final exam, and additional background checks. Once completed with all of the above, the individual must find a brokerage to sponsor them and hold their license. Once the license is obtained by the state (requiring passing of 75 hours licensing class, passing the state test, and brokerage sponsorship), they are free to list, sell, rent, and show real estate.

So what makes someone a Realtor, since being one isn’t legally mandated? If someone is a Realtor, that means they have agreed to perform additional trainings every 4 years on Ethics. A Realtor pays annual dues to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) as well as to their local Board of Realtors. Not only do Realtors pay additional fees and receive additional training on Ethics, but Realtors sign a pledge, and promise to uphold the highest standards of practice in the industry.

The Pledge we promise as Realtors is first and foremost to “do no harm,” meaning we recognize the privilege of our job and do not take advantage of that privilege. Real estate agents often get a bad reputation for being distrustful and money hungry, and I’m sure there are individuals that fit the stereotype. But the NAR has worked tirelessly for decades to gain the nation’s trust as the reliable source of information regarding real estate. 

Real estate is one of the industries that affects every single person living… because everyone must have a place to live! So it’s vital that the general public has trusted advisors who can help them navigate these choppy but necessary waters. So whether you rent your home, own your home, or are looking for either, you need a Realtor!

As a Realtor, I have a sworn duty to help you and to protect you. Your best interests, by law, are MY best interests. I am legally bound to this, as are all Realtors. 

IF a Realtor violated the Code, they can face fines, license suspension or revocation, and depending on the violation, jail time. The federal government is serious about protecting the general public from fraudulent or ignorant Realtors. 

I said all that to say:
Licensed salespersons in real estate are not automatically Realtors. Realtors are all licensed salespersons in real estate, but also abide by a strong Code of Ethics that we are legally bound to protect. Not doing so can bring a firestorm of legal trouble.

If you’re new here, hi! I’m Hope, I am a Georgia native and live in Houston County, GA with my husband, 2 kids, and 3 dogs.  When I’m not selling real estate, you’ll find me spending time with my family, reading, listening to music, or playing with the dogs. 

I’m a Realtor, an Accredited Buyer’s Representative, and a Military Relocation Professional. I love learning and problem solving… it’s my favorite! I’ve made it my mission to empower my clients to make well-informed decisions.  I’ve worked in real estate since 2012 and love my work family. If you have any questions about real estate in general or about buying, renting, or selling a property, let’s chat

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