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What is a Realtor®

What is a Realtor®? If you are for sale by owner, they will come!

They will phone, ring your bell, attend your open houses, drop flyers in your mail box and badger you to list your house.

They have a mission. The mission is to list your house.

You have a mission. Your mission is to "sell my house for sale by owner."


If you will bear with me for a moment, I'd like to explain something about "real estate agents". Over and over you will see the word "realtor" used, especially on websites.

The main purpose of this page on what is a Realtor® is to explain some of the differences of a Realtor®  vs. what is a real estate broker, an agent and a salesperson, plus why you should not be nasty to them when you are for sale by owner.

For more information concerning Realtor's® just select any of the photo links of interest below.

In the United States and Canada, the above words actually refer to different groups of people. Let me explain.

  • What is a Realtor® - These people are members of NAR (National Association of Realtor ) in the United States or members of CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) in Canada.

As members, they have made a commitment to follow a set of rules and regulations, both professional and ethical. Are the rules followed by most Realtors®? More on that later.

  • The word Realtor® is a registered trademark that is suppose

  • be either be spelled REALTOR® or Realtor®. Using just the capital R is acceptable, at least in Canada, last time I checked.

  • realtor - The improper use of the registered trademark word Realtor® or Realtor®.

On this website, I will be using the spelling as Realtor® and MLS® (Multiple Listing Service). It is my opinion that NAR and CREA have lost the protection of their trademark on the Internet, due to not protecting that trademark. I will respect the capital R in Realtor® and use MLS® in capital letters as well.

All Realtors® are real estate sales people but, not all real estate agents or salespeople, are Realtor's®.

  • What is a real estate broker - The real estate broker actually holds the real estate license to list and sell real estate property. Everyone else with a real estate office work as salespeople under the real estate broker's license.

- side note: Some lawyers are also licensed as a real estate broker.

  • What are real estate salespeople - All people that have a real estate license to sell real property and are either a licensed broker therefore with one of the real estate "agencies", or sell real property under a licensed broker. These people may or may not be Realtors.

  • What is a real estate agent - This is a bit murky as the term is also thrown around loosely. I'm not sure for the United States or other countries but, it was decided in Canada that the term real estate agent was reserved for those that held the broker license with one of the real estate agencies. These people may or may not be Realtors®.

All other salespeople that worked under that broker license were actually referred to as, salespeople.

Now that I have totally bored most of you, about what is a Realtor®  :-) let's move on to more important matters shall we?

One more thing about what is a Realtor® OK? I've noticed in many other countries around the world, that they also use the word Realtor®, often spelled "realtor", to describe a licensed real estate salesperson.

I have no idea if these countries have their own associations like NAR or CREA, so I will not attempt to step into that area.

Don't Shoot Yourself in the Foot!

We will be covering many more lessons after this page on what is a Realtor® and how you can use them to your advantage, but let's start here with a common error that for sale by owners sometimes make. Here it is folks.

  • Don't be nasty to those salespeople!

  • You may have had a bad experience in the past.

  • You may be annoyed because every day they are approaching you to list with them.

  • It doesn't matter. Be nice! You may be able to use one of them later to your advantage.

Hey, if I can do it, you can do it. Don't know what I'm talking about? Go to My Story

Being nasty to real estate salespeople accomplishes nothing and may hurt you later.

You are Still in Control

Just because you are nice to the salespeople that come calling, doesn't mean you have to co-operate with them.

Here are a couple ideas of what you might say.

A Visitor's Comment

Your web page has been a lot of help in giving me the confidence to try to market the house myself.

  • Thank you for stopping by Linda, I'll keep your card handy in case I need you. In the meantime, we plan on selling for sale by owner.

  • Thank you for stopping by Linda, If you have an interested buyer to show our house too, I'm sure we could work something out.

  • Thank you for stopping by Linda but if we do list, we will be listing with my brother Sid. In the meantime, if you have a buyer, we'd be happy to try and work something out with you.

You could change those up in your own way for your own situation, but you get the idea, be nice......and smile

For More Information about Using Realtor's®

Just select one of these photo links

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