Selecting A Realtor vs. Real Estate Agent

Most buyers seek out the assistance of a professional. In fact, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, 8 out of 10 home sales involve the assistance of a real estate professional. Using a Realtor will help expedite the search, and give you a source for answers to many of your questions.

You’ve probably used the term “Realtor®” many times. It’s often used incorrectly to mean real estate salesperson. Companies like Xerox, Kleenex, and Formica have been fighting the same battle for many years. When you hear the brand Xerox used to refer to a copier machine or Kleenex used in place of tissue, you can quickly see how frequently trademarks are misused.

The term Realtor should only be used to define real estate professionals who are members of the National Association Of REALTORS®. You might find it interesting to know that not all real estate salespeople are Realtors. And, there’s a big difference between the two!

Realtors are required to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. This means they have rules to abide by, and have pledged to conduct themselves professionally. In California, most Realtors are members of The California Board of REALTORS®. Through their membership, they are also members of the California State Association of REALTORS®, and the National Association of REALTORS®.

When selecting a Realtor, it’s also important to choose someone who is a participant in The Multiple Listing Service. You may have also heard the terms “Multiple Listing” or “MLS.” And while you will not directly interact with the Multiple Listing Service, it may play an important role in finding the home you decide to buy. There are Multiple Listing Services across the country. On Long Island, the largest is The Multiple Listing Service of Long Island. It is, in fact, one of the largest MLS’s in the country, with a computerized network of over 1,550 real estate offices located throughout Nassau, Suffolk, Queens and Brooklyn. Within this network of real estate offices, there are more than 12,000 licensed real estate brokers and agents who work cooperatively, sharing their listings, and agreeing to conduct themselves and their businesses according to the rules of the MLS, and The REALTOR® Code of Ethics.

When you see the Blue MLS sign in the window, that means that not only is this office a part of the computerized network I just spoke about, but that the agents in MLS participating offices are all Realtors.

By now, you’ve probably surmised, selecting a professional MLS REALTOR® is very important!