You may find real estate titles a little confusing. Sometimes we use these titles interchangeably, but there are important differences between the roles of the professionals, as well as different requirements.
Titles for Real Estate Professionals: The real estate profession is regulated by state governments, which have different requirements for earning a license.
- Real Estate Agent: Anyone who earns a real estate license can be called a real estate agent, whether that license is 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.
- REALTOR®: A real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, which means that he or she must uphold the standards of the association and its code of ethics.
- Real Estate Broker: 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.
- Real Estate Salesperson: Another name for a real estate agent who has an introductory sales professional license.
- Real Estate Associate Broker: Someone who has taken additional education classes and earned a broker’s license but chooses to work under the management of a broker.