John 's articles on the real estate practice, and related subjects, appear in local newspapers and business publications. Check out a sample and revisit as new articles will appear. Your feedback is welcome!

Licensee, Realtor, Agent... all the same? (Part II) What is a "Realtor", anyway?

John Doran


Licensee, Realtor, Agent…all the same?
Part II What is a “Realtor”, anyway?

So what does it take and what does it mean to be a “Realtor”?

Although you commonly see the word "realtor" used in print media as if it were synonymous with real estate "agent" or real estate "licensee", such is not the case. The term "Realtor®" is actually a registered trademark, and is supposed to begin with a capital "R" or be in all caps. The trademark is owned by the National Association of Realtors®, one of the largest trade organizations in the world. Use of the term is strictly limited to members of that organization. For perspective, there are approximately 12,000 people in New Hampshire who hold a real estate license, of those licensees, only about 6,000 are Realtors.

Realtors® are licensees who voluntarily join the organization and, in doing so, pledge to conduct their business in conformance with a very well defined "Code of Ethics". Hmmm, isn't that an interesting concept considering the terrible scandals currently plaguing the world of corporate finance in America. The "Code" requires that Realtors® practice at a higher standard than merely obeying the law. Composed of seventeen "Articles" and referencing seventy "Standards of Practice", The "Code" is a living document first published in 1913, regularly amended and updated.

As corny as it may sound, the foundation of The "Code" is "The Golden Rule" - it is the compass by which Realtors® are supposed to set the course of their behavior. Other ideals include a commitment to: the healthy growth of country and community, wise use of land as a resource, wide distribution of real estate ownership, and protection of private property rights. Realtors® are committed to education, service, and a high level of professional conduct - that includes refraining from making unsolicited negative comments about the competition.

The "Articles" are divided into three sections listing "Duties to Clients and Customers", "Duties to The Public", and "Duties to Realtors". Issues covered include: advertising, accurate and honest representation of property, disclosure of agency relationships, conflict of interest, competency, discrimination, respect for contractual relationships, cooperative sales, and so much more.

← Back to Articles

RealtorJohn DoranEqual Housing
REALTOR® / Educator

5 Webster Street
Nashua, NH 03064
Office / Cell: 603-566-9921