When it comes to buying or selling a home, you’ll probably work alongside a real estate agent, broker, or Realtor. While all of them hold licenses to aid in real estate transactions, their qualifications and professional levels can vary. This can get confusing as they are frequently interchanged, despite having clear distinctions.
This holds true in Georgia and any other part of the country when you start searching for a local real estate agent, a broker, or a Georgia Realtor.
Here, we will break down the difference between a Realtor vs a real estate agent, as well as a real estate broker. Understanding these distinctions can help you choose the right professional for your real estate needs.
What is a Realtor?
While all Realtors are real estate professionals, not all real estate professionals are Realtors.
Realtors are real estate agents or brokers who are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). It is a federally recognized membership designation. As a member, they comply with a strict code of ethics set by the NAR. This code emphasizes integrity, professionalism, and client advocacy.
Realtors have the same responsibilities as estate agents or brokers when it comes to assisting home buyers and sellers, but because they must adhere to and follow the NAR code of ethics, they are held to a higher level of business standards.
Being highly ethical and moral is something that means a lot to our Georgia Realtors at Hummel Group. This holds true with our local Realtors, such as our Realtors in Marietta, GA and Metro Atlanta Realtors. We follow a mantra of putting our client’s interest ahead of ours.
Georgia Realtor vs. Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents, also known as associates or salespeople, hold licenses enabling them to assist individuals in buying, selling, and renting real estate. The prerequisites for becoming a licensed agent vary across states. In Georgia real estate, aspiring agents must be at least 18 years old, possess a high school diploma or equivalent, fulfill educational requirements, pass a background check, provide lawful presence verification, and successfully pass the Georgia real estate salesperson licensing exam.
On the other hand, a Georgia Realtor is open to a variety of real estate professionals in the area, not only to real estate agents but including residential and commercial estate brokers, salespeople, property managers, and appraisers. An individual must meet four requirements to be a Georgia Realtor: possess a valid ID and hold an active real estate license, be actively engaged in the Georgia real estate market, not have a record of official sanctions involving unprofessional conduct, and not have filed for any recent or pending bankruptcy. This is to maintain a level of competence, integrity, and financial stability within the Georgia real estate industry.
Following that, individuals must become a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in Georgia by submitting an application and paying a one-time fee, along with annual membership dues to retain their Realtor designation. As Realtors, they pledge to adhere to the NAR’s code of ethics, which emphasizes transparency, honesty, and unwavering commitment to their clients’ best interests throughout all real estate dealings.
Realtors in Georgia and real estate agents commonly operate within real estate brokerages, either as in-house team members or independent contractors. They both play a vital role in bringing buyers and sellers together. Their earnings come from commissions or referral fees, which are generated through successful transactions in the real estate market. Commissions are calculated as a percentage of the property’s sale price. For agents, this means they get a higher compensation for higher-priced sales. As for Realtors in Georgia who are bound by the ethics code that revolves around “treating all parties honestly”, listing or buying a property way beyond or drastically beyond the market value is not part of their good practices.
Realtors collaborate alongside 1,400 local boards and 54 state and territory associations. Unlike real estate agents who need to work with brokerages to collaborate with other professionals. You can verify the legitimacy of both Realtors and real estate agents using the Georgia realtor license lookup.
Georgia Realtor vs. Broker
When comparing a real estate broker to a Realtor, significant professional distinctions come into play. A broker is an individual who has undergone additional education and successfully passed a specialized broker’s licensing examination. The specific content of the broker exam varies across states, covering comprehensive topics such as legal matters, brokerage operations, investments, construction, and property management. A Georgia Realtor often needs to practice for several years before being eligible to take the broker’s exam.
Brokers hold responsibilities such as overseeing real estate firms, managing agents, ensuring compliance with legal requirements, and reviewing contracts. There are three primary types of real estate brokers: a designated broker, an associate broker, and a managing broker.
While the distinction between a real estate agent and a Georgia Realtor is primarily related to professional certifications, the difference between a broker and a Georgia Realtor is much more significant. The roles and responsibilities assigned to each professional are distinct. It is important to note that while Realtors can become brokers (and vice versa), the two terms are not interchangeable.
Who should I work with?
When choosing between a real estate broker, a real estate agent, or a Realtor, consider your specific service requirements and desired level of experience. All three can offer highly professional assistance. Typically, when buying or selling a home, you will collaborate with a real estate agent or a broker associate, who may or may not be a Realtor.
An independent broker can offer certain advantages, such as broader access to properties listed by different agencies. Additionally, a broker may have more flexibility in negotiating fees since they do not have to share a portion of their earnings with an agency. However, the title of Realtor commands respect and provides real estate professionals with exclusive advantages, including access to transaction management services, comprehensive real estate market data, and a host of other benefits. Working with the best Realtors in Georgia comes with many advantages, opportunities, and opens doors to valuable resources.
Georgia Realtor FAQs
Can I buy or sell my house without a Realtor?
Selling your home as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) requires time, research, and self-marketing efforts. If you want to avoid commission fees, it can be more challenging, as a buyer’s agent commission may still be involved in the transaction.
Working with local Realtors gives you the advantage of tapping into the unique skills and expertise that they have. Their experience, location specific knowledge, negotiation, and professional connections, are just some of the things that they can bring to the table.
How can I choose the right Realtor?
Having the right Realtor by your side can greatly impact the process of selling or buying a house. It is important to look for a Realtor with a wealth of experience, strong communication skills, ethical conduct, professionalism, and expertise in networking and marketing. Equally important is finding a Realtor who resonates with your personality and makes you feel at ease.
What are some of the questions I should ask before hiring a Realtor?
When hiring a Realtor, it is crucial to ask the right questions to ensure you make an informed decision. Key inquiries include the Realtor’s experience, particularly in selling homes similar to yours in the area. Their marketing strategy, approach to determining listing price, and commission rates is essential. Inquire whether they work alone or have a team, as both options have their advantages. Clarify their negotiation skills and how they handle contract negotiations.
It’s also important to understand their schedules and availability, to ensure they can accommodate your needs effectively, and that they have a back-up plan if the perfect home emerges while they are away. By asking these questions, you can evaluate the Realtor’s expertise, approach, and ability to meet your specific selling needs, ensuring a smoother and successful selling process.
Find The Best Georgia Realtors With Hummel Group!
The real estate industry thrives with skilled professionals who excel in their respective niches. Whether you choose to collaborate with an agent or broker or undertake the journey of buying a house independently, it is important to recognize and appreciate the significant role played by real estate professionals. Their expertise, dedication, and contributions are instrumental in ensuring successful real estate transactions and serving the needs of buyers and sellers.
At Hummel Group, we ensure that your real estate journey in Metro Atlanta and Marietta, Georgia is not only effective but also enjoyable. Our team of skilled Georgia Realtors is committed to providing exceptional service, keeping you informed and engaged throughout the entire selling process. With years of experience, a strong dedication to client satisfaction, and a focus on ethical and professional practices, we are here to help you navigate the real estate market with confidence and ease.