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Who's Who in the Real Estate Profession

Real Estate Agent, REALTOR®, Real Estate Salesperson, Real Estate Broker, Real Estate Associate Broker. Buyer’s Agent. Listing Agent. While consumers will sometimes use these titles interchangeably in describing a Real Estate professional, it’s important to note that there are differences between the roles of the various professionals, as well as the requirements needed to earn those titles.

A Real Estate Agent is a title that can be used by anyone who has earned a Real Estate License, whether the license is earned as a Real Estate Salesperson, Associate Broker, or Broker. State governments regulate licensing. In Connecticut applicants must complete the “In Classroom” Real Estate Principals & Practices course (60 hours) and apply for and pass the state exam. In addition, they must be sponsored by a Licensed Real Estate Broker.

A REALTOR® (pronounced REAL-tor, as a two-syllable term with emphasis on the first syllable “REAL”, not REAL-i-ter or REAL-a-ter) is a Real Estate Agent who is also a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, which means that they subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics, and whose members are committed to maintaining the professionalism of the Real Estate business. The National Association of REALTORS® is the largest trade association in the United States, with over 1.1 million members. As part of the National Association of REALTORS®, a REALTOR® is kept well informed about issues that affect the real estate business.

A Real Estate Salesperson is another way to say Real Estate Agent.

A Real Estate Broker must first complete the requirements of a Real Estate Agent. In Connecticut, after they have held an active Connecticut Real Estate Salesperson license for two years, they must then complete the Fundamentals of Real Estate Appraisal Course (30 hours), plus an elective course (30 hours). They must then apply for and pass the state exam.

A Real Estate Associate Broker is a someone that has earned their Broker’s license and has chosen to work under the management of a Broker.

In a Real Estate transaction, you may hear the terms “Buyer’s Agent” and “Listing Agent”. Most likely these roles are held by a Real Estate Salesperson or an Associate Broker, who is acting on behalf of either the “Buyer”, the person that is buying the house (Buyer’s Agent) in the transaction, or the “Seller”, the person that is selling, or listing, the house (Listing Agent). Some Real Estate Professionals focus their business primarily one on aspect of the transaction, either the “buy side” or the “sell side”, most will work with clients that are interested in buying or selling, so their role in the transaction may change dependent on what their client is looking to accomplish with their Real Estate goals.

Whoever you choose to work with in your next real estate transaction, it’s recommended to take the time to interview that agent. After all, regardless of their title, they will be representing your interests in, for most, the largest purchase of their lives.