Although some people use the terms real estate agent and REALTOR® interchangeably, they don’t mean the same thing. Real estate agents and brokers are licensed by the state to help consumers conduct real estate transactions. REALTORS® are real estate agents and brokers who voluntarily join the National Association of REALTORS® as well as their state and local associations of REALTORS®

What’s the Difference?

All licensed agents and brokers must comply with Texas laws, but REALTORS® go beyond those requirements. REALTORS® pledge to abide by a Code of Ethics that holds members to higher standards. REALTORS® also take more classes than the minimum required to maintain a license. And REALTORS® work together to advocate for laws and regulations that benefit property owners, buyers, sellers, landlords, and renters.

For example, REALTORS® in Texas have blocked taxes on real estate transactions that would have made buying and selling property much more expensive. Members of Texas REALTORS® have been the driving force behind lowering property taxes, making home equity laws that protect homeowners from foreclosures, and countless other initiatives that benefit Texans.

A Century of Advocacy

The sole reason real estate professionals formed an association of REALTORS® in Texas in 1920 was to create higher standards for the industry. They fought for 19 years to pass a law requiring licensing of real estate professionals. Texas REALTORS® then worked tirelessly to pass laws to hold unscrupulous agents and brokers to account.

In 2020, REALTORS® are celebrating a century of putting the interests of consumers first and are looking forward to the next 100 years of ensuring that Texans enjoy strong private property rights. 

When you have real estate needs, make sure your agent is a REALTOR®. Even when you aren’t considering a real estate move, rest assured that REALTORS® are working on your behalf for the next time you do.