Difference between a REALTOR® and a real estate agent?

Do you know the difference between a REALTOR® and a real estate agent? It can be confusing to the public. There are many different titles associated with real estate. A real estate agent is anyone who earns a real estate license. The license can be as a sales professional, an associate broker, or a broker. State requirements vary, but in all states, you must take a minimum number of classes and pass a test to earn your license.

The term REALTOR® has one, and only one, meaning: REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Real estate broker is a person who has taken education beyond the agent level as required by state laws and has passed a broker’s license exam. Brokers can work alone, or they can hire agents to work for them. A real estate salesperson is another name for a real estate agent. A real estate associate broker is someone who has taken additional education classes and earned a broker’s license but chooses to work under the management of a broker.

What does it mean to be a REALTOR®? A REALTOR® is required to have continuing education including Code of Ethics every 3 years. To start your career in real estate in West Virginia, you would be required to take an approved course and state exam. This course can be completed online and is self- paced. There are many resources to help an individual in the process.

What are the benefits of becoming a REALTOR®? You have access to many state and national benefits for education and resources to further your career. If you are a self-motivated individual willing to work long hours including nights, weekends, and holidays then this is the career for you. Do you like helping people? Then this is the career for you.

The West Virginia Association of REALTORS® is the “Voice of Real Estate in West Virginia”. With a membership of over 2,850 REALTORS®, WVAR serves the diverse interest of all who specialize in residential or commercial real estate, including established and new agents, brokers/owners, association executives or board presidents.

On a local level, the Morgantown Board of REALTORS® is a membership group of over 350 real estate agents. The mission is to serve as the public’s liaison for all real estate needs while continuing to support, educate and foster the relationship of its members who serve our communities.

As I write my article on this cool Friday morning, our Morgantown Board of REALTORS® Community Service committee has organized a food delivery drive for us to participate in today. We will be serving 200 families in the Morgantown and surrounding areas.

The holidays are approaching, reach out to those in need if you are able and take care of yourself and your family. Have a wonderful week and remember to do good things!

Stephanie Lemley, 2021 MBOR President

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