What is the difference between a real estate agent and realtor?

Also, what is the difference between a real estate agent, realtor, buyers agent, and listing agent?? Cant a real estate agent and realtor be a listing agent and buyers agent? I am SOOO confused?

A Real Estate Agent is an individual licensed by a State or a region to represent clients in Real Estate transactions

A Realtor is a licensed real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors

A Buyer’s Agent is a real estate agent that represents ONLY the interests of the buyer in the transaction

A Listing Agent is a real estate agent is the agent that provides a written agreement between a principal and an agent authorizing the agent to perform services for the principal involving the principal’s property.

Hope this helps…


Being a non-American have to say thought all these were the same thing- thanks for explanation.


Simple and easy explanation.

It is not always that simple. Some people call themselves realtors even without a license. The same with real estate agent. They are not suppose to say either without a license but there are many investors that call themselves “realtor” without any legal credentials. If there is somebody who wants to work with you, ask them who their broker is.
They have to have a broker if they are licensed correctly because all agents are either just agents or broker/agents if they have their own company.

Thanks Keith; quite a good explanation now i get the difference.

Thanks for the useful posts! I agree that there are real estate agents pretending to be realtors. Maybe they think that potential home buyers don’t know the difference between the 2, and they’re right! Before, I thought they’re all just the same. But hopping on a transaction or a deal, it is always best to work with certified realtors to ensure legitimacy in every part of the deal. Good luck!

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