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Using Proper Terminology: Realtor vs. Broker

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Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan

There has been a lot of discussion on this BB regarding proper use of the terms “appraisal”. “recertification”, “update”, etc. as they apply to us in the appraisal industry. I am constantly seeing people refer to LO’s and others who mistakenly use the wrong terms. Well………I have a suggestion to make.

Why don’t we lead the way and begin using the proper terminology ourselves? How can we expect others to do things right when we, ourselves, don’t use the proper terminology?

Let’s begin by using the words “Realtor” and “broker” correctly.

Brokers: Brokers are real estate practioners who offer their services for a fee to the public in the buying, selling, exchange and leasing of real property. Brokers are licensed and regulated by the various states.

Realtors: Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors who abide by the Code of Ethics. They may be brokers, licensed salespeople, appraisers or certain other real estate related occupations. Realtors are not licensed by any state as they are members of a professional organization.

All too often on this BB, there have been posts complaining about “Realtors do this” or “Realtors do that” when in fact what the poster means is that “Brokers do this” and “Brokers do that”.

This misuse is quite frankly, highly insulting to those of us who are Realtors and must be grouped into this wayward grouping when the author meant “brokers” or “salespeople”. Please remember this:

All brokers are not Realtors.

All Realtors are not brokers.


If we expect others to use proper terminology, we must learn to use it ourselves. The use and misuse of the title “Realtor” is a good way to start and this board is as good a place as any to begin.

Thank you

Richard Carlsen
Realtor ®
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
I know you are correct Richard and I agree. But... I know of only 1 real estate broker here that is not a Realtor member and I've never met him. I think there might be a couple brokers that are part of the investors club that are not Realtor members, but I'm not sure.

I agree about making gross generalizations and I promise to try harder not to do that. I do know many honest Realtors.... just not very many right now... not like the ones I knew before.

How about some articles written by us that we try to have published in our local boards newsletters or magazines? A new column titled "Understanding the Appraisal Process" so we can inform the broker/sales person Realtor members.
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
Pam

What you suggest is a good point. It is also one of the reasons that as a Realtor, I sit on the Bd. of Directors of my MLS. It gives appraiser input and oversight into the whole process. Another local appraiser is on the Boards Bd. of Directors.

We try to do our own little part (including making posts like this).
 

larryhaskell

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Nevada
Richard:

Thanks for the info. It makes sense. Just for clarification, can you explain how an individual can be broker but not a realtor. What is the advantage to being a broker but not a realtor? Based on what you have described, because I pay the full fee to my MLS board, I would be a realtor. That would mean that I have to follow the code of ethics. Correct. If I understand your point correctly, there are brokers, salespeople and realtors.
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
Sure I can.

Being a Realtor is a choice. If you are a licensed real estate broker, you can choose to not join a Board of Realtors and just go about doing your business. You will not be able to participate in the local MLS etc. but you do not have to join. You can choose to cooperate or not cooperate with other brokers.

You are also not bound by the Code of Ethics of the National ***'n of Realtors. You cannot use the term "Realtor" in any way; either verbally or in advertising. Realtor is a copywritted trademark of NAR and is only for use of by Realtors.

As an "independent" broker, the only thing you have to follow is state law.
 

USPAP Compliant

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Being a Realtor is simply joing an organization, in this case The National Association of Realtors.

If you join the Rotary club you are a Rotarian, the Elks club you are an Elk.

If you join the Baptist church you are a Baptist.

Joining the NAR means you must sit thru an orientation class, sign and agree to obey all rules (including ethics) and pay dues. Then you beome a Realtor.

As Richard said, Realtor is a copywrited legal term, not simply a descriptive term of someone in the real estate biz.
 

Bobby Bucks

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Professional Status
Real Estate Agent or Broker
State
North Dakota
Richard thanks for the post......all are very good points. Do you recall the details of that lawsuit a
couple years ago regarding the “Realty” “Realtor” issue on a business sign being used by an ex
Realtor? If my memory serves me correctly, John Smith was a broker and a Realtor and had a
good business for many years. John Smith was doing well enough and was in a small enough town
that one day he decided he didn’t need to be a Realtor anymore so he dropped all affiliation with
MLS, the board, and was no longer a Realtor, but was still a broker. The problem was that his
business was called John Smith Realty.........yep, that’s a violation......it’s as illegal as opening up a
pizza joint and calling it Domino’s.......long story short, the goons swooped down and sued him
and made him change the business name because it had “Realty” in it......I can’t remember if they
actually took money from the poor guy......I have to wonder how many other companies with
“Realty” in their name are in the same boat. My biggest beef with the Realtors is that 90% of them don’t know how to pronounce the word. :)
 

USPAP Compliant

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Real------A---------tor This is WRONG!

There AIN"T but one "A' in Realtor.....

it is Realtor

Thanks Bobby......I cringe everytime I hear it.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
I don't remember exactly when, but a couple months ago there was a poem in the Realtor news mag. "There is only one A in Realtor." I'll post the link when I find it.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
North Carolina
Just on additional observation.

One does not need to be a broker to be a Realtor. A licensed or certified appraiser can apply to and become a Realtor.

Not all Realtor's are brokers, some are appraisers and have no other license than an appraisers license.

Regards

Tom Hildebrandt GAA
 
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