A REALTOR® is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, and generally a member of the California Association of Realtors (or the state in which they practice in) and a member of their local Association.
The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
In the real estate industry there are many classifications of people who sell real estate; agents, sales representatives, sales people, sales associates etc. but the term REALTOR® can only be used by those who are members of the Associations above.
Why is it important to hire a Realtor vs. some of the other classifications? Because only REALTORS® are upheld to the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Practice. A REALTOR® must adhere to the Code of Ethics and the Standard of Practice, all other classifications do not.
Why does using a REALTOR® benefit you? The distinctive REALTOR® “R” is your guarantee that you are dealing with the elite of the profession, a professional who deserves your trust. A REALTOR® is expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate.
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000.00. If you had a income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000.00 legal issue, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of an attorney?
Considering the small cost and the large risk, it would be foolish to consider a real estate transaction without the professional assistance of a REALTOR®.