Realtor VS a Real Estate Agent

Updated March 2019:

When you are selling your home you should be careful to make sure your real estate agent (broker) is a member of NAR (National Association of Realtors). The reason is that real estate has always been a business that has attracted many shady characters. Reason is there is good money in it if you are honest and treat people ethically. There is even more money of you lie and are dishonest. The difference between Realtors and just real estate agents is that Realtors have another layer of checks and balances. NAR has the ability to levy fines and boot Realtors that are not performing to a higher level of ethics and standards. It doesn’t mean that a Realtor isn’t doing something wrong but it does give you a bit more comfort than someone that isn’t a Realtor.

Here at Keller Williams Foothills we are all Realtors. We all live by the standards and ethical code set forth by the National Association of Realtors. I personally belong to MMAR and that stands for Mountain Metro Association of Realtors. That is our local NAR chapter. We have many people watching us to ake sure we do the right thing and treat our people right.

So if you are buying or selling your home, be sure to go with the agent that has the most amount of people checking them. To make sure they are doing the best for their clients. Not the ones that have no one (or almost no one) watching over them.

Below is just the preamble, you can find the entire code of ethics (HERE)
Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. REALTORS® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment. I love being an Evergreen, CO Realtor!

Such interests impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty to which REALTORS® should dedicate themselves, and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves. REALTORS®, therefore, are zealous to maintain and improve the standards of their calling and share with their fellow REALTORS® a common responsibility for its integrity and honor.

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In recognition and appreciation of their obligations to clients, customers, the public, and each other, REALTORS® continuously strive to become and remain informed on issues affecting real estate and, as knowledgeable professionals, they willingly share the fruit of their experience and study with others. They identify and take steps, through enforcement of this Code of Ethics and by assisting appropriate regulatory bodies, to eliminate practices which may damage the public or which might discredit or bring dishonor to the real estate profession. REALTORS® having direct personal knowledge of conduct that may violate the Code of Ethics involving misappropriation of client or customer funds or property, willful discrimination, or fraud resulting in substantial economic harm, bring such matters to the attention of the appropriate Board or Association of REALTORS®. (Amended 1/00)

Realizing that cooperation with other real estate professionals promotes the best interests of those who utilize their services, REALTORS® urge exclusive representation of clients; do not attempt to gain any unfair advantage over their competitors; and they refrain from making unsolicited comments about other practitioners. In instances where their opinion is sought, or where REALTORS® believe that comment is necessary, their opinion is offered in an objective, professional manner, uninfluenced by any personal motivation or potential advantage or gain.

The term REALTOR® has come to connote competency, fairness, and high integrity resulting from adherence to a lofty ideal of moral conduct in business relations. No inducement of profit and no instruction from clients ever can justify departure from this ideal.

In the interpretation of this obligation, REALTORS® can take no safer guide than that which has been handed down through the centuries, embodied in the Golden Rule, “Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

Accepting this standard as their own, REALTORS® pledge to observe its spirit in all of their activities whether conducted personally, through associates or others, or via technological means, and to conduct their business in accordance with the tenets set forth below. (Amended 1/07)

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This is not real estate or legal advise. This is just the thoughts of a Realtor!


There is a lot of hub bub about a class action lawsuit against NAR. This is insane:

A class-action lawsuit filed last week by a Minnesota home seller is taking aim at the big four multiple listing services that have transformed the real estate business.

The suit alleges that the National Association of Realtors has driven up costs to sellers and has stifled competition by requiring brokers to offer buyer broker compensation when listing a property on an MLS site.

Filed against the NAR, RealogyHomeServices of AmericaRE/MAX and Keller Williams, the suit alleges that the MLS providers conspired with NAR to require sellers to pay buyer’s broker’s fees at inflated rates in violation of anti-trust laws.

“The conspiracy has saddled home sellers with a cost that would be borne by the buyer in a competitive market,” the complaint states. “Moreover, because most buyer brokers will not show homes to their clients where the seller is offering a lower buyer broker commission, or will show homes with higher commission offers first, sellers are incentivized when making the required blanket, non-negotiable offer to procure the buyer brokers’ cooperation by offering a high commission.”

The suit goes on to allege that the conspiracy has kept buyer brokers’ commissions in the 2.5-3% range despite their diminishing role in the transaction, as “a majority of homebuyers no longer locate prospective homes with the assistance of a broker, but rather independently through online services.”

The suit states that it will represent any sellers who paid a broker commission during the sale of their property in the last four years in areas covered by regional MLS sites, which includes sellers in Texas, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado, Michigan, Florida, Nevada, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Virginia, Utah and Washington, D.C.

A spokesperson for NAR told HousingWire that suit was unfounded.

“The complaint is baseless and contains an abundance of false claims. The U.S. Courts have routinely found that multiple listing services are pro-competitive and benefit consumers by creating great efficiencies in the home-buying and selling process,” The spokesperson said. “NAR looks forward to obtaining a similar precedent regarding this filing.”