For anyone new to the real estate industry, you may find the various titles real estate professionals can use a little confusing. Which may make you ask yourself, "is there really a difference between the titles?" The answer, yes there is a difference. So what do all these titles mean, and who can use them?
The term real estate agent and real estate sales associate can be used interchangeably. This is a title used for anyone who has completed the State licensing requirements and is now a licensed real estate agent. They can practice real estate in their state, but only under the supervision of a Broker, which we'll discuss shortly.
A person who calls themselves a REALTOR®, has completed all the same requirements as a real estate agent. They however, have also chosen to become a member of the National Association of Realtors, or NAR. To join NAR, the agent must uphold the association's code of ethics, which are 17 Articles that contain various standards of practice. Once the individual has pledged to uphold these standards, he or she is allowed to use the REALTOR® title and advertise as a member of NAR. In order to continue to use this title, each REALTOR® is required to continue their training by completing a code of ethics course every four years. Why would someone want