It’s been several years since you’ve earned your real estate license as an agent. You’ve had many challenges throughout your short career, and there are many more to come in the following years. Not to mention the rewards you’ve earned with your hard work!
This career path demands many sacrifices, which are usually worthwhile at the end of the day. There are numerous great things about this job, such as flexible working hours, excellent annual earning potential, and an opportunity to work with anyone you wish.
However, it is a job you have to commit full time, give all you’ve got, and do your best if you want to triumph. The first few years are always challenging, and every real estate agent must be prepared to work without any income in the first few months. It can be a deal-breaker, but you can lead a very nice life if you are determined to work hard.
So, you’ve been thinking for quite some time about becoming a Realtor. But is it worth it? What are the pros and cons of being a Realtor? What is the big difference between Realtor and real estate agents?
In this article, we’ll answer your questions about the Realtor’s career and its pros and cons. Some information might even surprise you, so let’s get started!
What Is A Realtor?
Many people use the term real estate agent ad Realtor interchangeably. Many people think that these two are the same. However, after a few years in the real estate industry, you’ve noticed that the word Realtor doesn’t apply to just any agent, and you’re still not sure why.
The Big Difference
- To break things down for you, we will have to give some basic definitions. First and foremost, a real estate agent is a licensed professional who has received a state-issued license by passing the real estate exam.
- As you already know, a real estate agent represents buyers or sellers. Put simply, he or she helps the client buy or sell a home or other piece of property.
- On the other hand, a Realtor is also a real estate agent. The difference is that to become a Realtor, you must join the National Association of Realtors (NAR). National Association of Realtors has become one of the largest trade associations in the US since its founding in 1908.
- NAR counts over 1 million members and represents all types of real estate agents – both residential and commercial. Real estate counselors, property managers, and home appraisers can also be members of the National Association of Realtors.
- To become a member of the National Association of Realtors, a person must join a local real estate board or association. Real estate associations are organized by region or county. Therefore, you’ll first need to look up your local board and join.
- Afterward, you must take the online course of ethics and successfully pass the ethics exam. Actually, once you become a member, you will have to do the ethics course every few years. After you get approved, you’ll need to pay fees and dues and have higher standards due to following the code of ethics.
What Do Realtors Do?
Realtors do the same job as the real estate agents do – real estate transactions between the buyer and the seller.
What realtors do for the buyer:
- Research homes and property for sale
- Help find the mortgage lender
- Coordinate a property tour
- Put in the offer
- Assist with the home inspections and negotiate repairs
- Attend the closing
What realtors do for the seller:
- Determine the price
- Assists in staging the house (to look appealing to buyers)
- Put the home or the property on the market
- Schedule showings and open houses
- Market the property and negotiate the offer
- Order a property inspection
- Negotiate repairs
- Verify the appraisal
- Attend the closing
Pretty much everything is exactly the same as with the real estate agents? Well, there is a slight difference. The NAR ethics code is the one thing that separates Realtors from real estate agents. You see, the NAR code obligates realtors to follow the code of ethics and standard of practice.
The code of ethics has a core message that says – ‘Treat all parties honestly.’ By adhering to this code, agents promise they will not mislead or withhold information from anyone involved in the real estate transaction. The idea is that people will opt to work with someone who will treat them fairly and honestly.
How Much Do Realtors Make?
The average salary for a Realtor is $86,500 per year in the US. However, bear in mind that most Realtors work on a commission basis. Hence, the above salary can differ by the current market values, state, and city.
Pros Of Becoming A Realtor
1. More Opportunities To Network
- If you’re thinking about becoming a Realtor, you will have more opportunities to network with different people. If you can manage to have strong relationships with other agents, the transactions may go quicker.
- Also, by becoming a realtor, you will have access to MLS System. Put simply, MLS is a listing on which you can find homes for sale, etc. But we’re not talking about the MLS listings that anyone can search, but about Realtor MLS listings.
- In there, you can find out crucial information (like how much and how long was a property listed and when it was sold) that you won’t have access to as a regular real estate agent. That information might just help you become a better and stronger agent.
2. Prestige And Trust
- Without a doubt, the term Realtor comes with benefits and makes a huge difference when you introduce yourself as a realtor and not a real estate agent. The name will certainly impress the discriminating client who knows the difference between the real estate agent and the Realtor.
- Because the Realtors are held to a higher code of ethics and standard of conduct, people appreciate the fact that they’ve taken the extra step to prove their dedication and invest in their career.
3. Support The Industry
- By regularly paying your taxes to the NAR association, you are investing in your future. You see, NAR uses a big part of membership dues to protect and fight for real estate agent interests!
- This is the best part – by becoming a Realtor, you will get a lot of discounts on any kind of services and products. As a Realtor, you’ll have access to Realtor’s federal credit union, and you will be able to secure loans for businesses and cars. You will also get special Realtor’s credit card, and many office supply services like FedEx offer significant discounts.
Cons Of Becoming A Realtor
1. It’s Time-consuming
- Becoming a Realtor may seem like another race agents have to get through to get to their finish. This step might seem unnecessary, time-consuming, and expensive.
2. It Costs
- Perhaps the biggest con of becoming a Realtor is the money. You’ll have to set aside some a considerable amount of money to become a Realtor. Now, the amount of money will depend on how many and which bards you join. Realtors have to pay dues to national associations and the local board. The more boards you join, the more money it will require.
- You will pay hundreds of dollars to become a Realtor, and you will have to pay annually. That is if you want to stay current.
3. It Requires Hard Work
- Many real estate agents think that by becoming a Realtor, they automatically earn more money. But that’s simply not true.
- While you will definitely have a larger network and many other resources, you will still need to make an effort for every single penny. What’s more, you’ll probably need to work even harder than before because you’re held to a higher standard of practice.