WHAT is a REALTOR®?
There are approximately 3.8 million licensed real estate professionals in the United States, but only members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® can call themselves REALTORS®.
Approximately 950,000 real estate professionals have taken the additional step to join NAR, The Voice for Real Estate. When choosing a real estate professional, look for the registered trademark, REALTOR®.
Unlike real estate practitioners who are simply licensed by their state to do business, REALTORS® are members of NAR and subscribe to the association's strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
The term REALTOR® stands for competency, fairness, high integrity, and moral conduct in business relations. REALTORS® pledge to adhere to NAR's strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Among other things, membership in NAR obligates them to be honest with all parties involved in a transaction, whether it is the buyer, seller, or cooperating agent. The Code requires REALTORS® to identify and take steps to eliminate practices which may damage the public or which might discredit or bring dishonor to the real estate profession.
All REALTORS® are required to take a minimum of a two and a half hour orientation on the Code of Ethics Existing members must take a refresher training course every four years. REALTORS® enjoy advanced educational opportunities and training in real estate specialties that are not available to other licensees. Most property transactions are complex procedures, requiring the knowledge and expertise of a real estate professional. There may come a time when you need the assistance of a real estate professional who is specially trained in a specific aspect of the business. NAR offers advanced educational opportunities to its members that enable REALTORS® to present the public with such accredited sub-specialties as buyer's representation (ABR), residential real estate expertise (CRS), or Internet readiness (e-PRO).
Through membership in NAR's affiliated institutes, societies, and councils, REALTORS® devote themselves to continuous study of the most recent trends in their respective fields. The affiliates award specialty designations that recognize a member's advanced education and experiences in a particular discipline. Courses offered through the affiliates keep members abreast of developments in their specialized fields and better able to address industry issues. REALTORS® are advocates for homeowners and homeownership.
NAR is the ONLY national lobbying group that looks out for the interests of homeowners. Every year, NAR leads the way on Capitol Hill and in the corridors of Washington to keep homeownership a top national priority.
NAR's support for the mortgage interest deduction and other federal policies helps to keep housing more affordable and makes housing a great investment; through sound housing policies, more home seekers than ever before are enabled to purchase a home of their own. NAR's campaign to increase consumer awareness about the value REALTORS® bring to the buying and selling process features television advertisements that air on national networks and cable. The advertisements, now airing for the sixth season, address the residential and the commercial real estate markets. NAR's public awareness campaign, developed to help increase consumer awareness about the value of using a REALTOR® in a real estate transaction, added a new theme last year: "Work with someone who'll work with you. We're REALTORS®. Real Estate is Our Life." The addition of the sentence, "Work with someone who'll work with you," is designed to appeal to the growing desire of many consumers to work in partnership with real estate professionals.
From 1999 to 2002, according to surveys, the percentage of consumers saying there are benefits to working with a REALTOR®, as opposed to a real estate agent, rose from 42 percent to 61 percent. Consumers who say they are more likely to select a REALTOR® over a licensee average 69 percent for home sellers and 63 percent for homebuyers.
Recent surveys also show that 63 percent of sellers feel that REALTORS® are best qualified to promote the sale of their home, and 60 percent feel REALTORS® get the job done properly. About 59 percent of buyers feel that REALTORS® are best qualified to help find the home that meets their needs, and 58 percent say REALTORS® make homebuying easier.
The NAR Board of Directors has extended a special assessment to support the campaign through 2010.