Do you know the difference between a licensed Real Estate Agent and Realtors?

Only about one third of all licensed real estate agents in California are Realtors, which means they are active members of the National Association of Realtors (“NAR”).

To become a member of the NAR, the licensed agent must join a local real estate board or association. Real estate associations are often organized by county or region, such as the North San Diego County Association of Realtors (“NSDCAR”) which The Lawhead Team are members of.  Once a licensed agent becomes a member of a local board, they are automatically extended membership into the national organization.

New NAR members must take an online course on the ethics code and pass an exam. Current members are required to take an online ethics refresher course every four years. Membership in a local real estate board or association requires an annual fee that covers membership dues for the NAR and any state-level real estate associations.

To qualify for membership, the agent must agree to adhere to NAR’s strict code of ethics and standards of practice. The official ethics code is revised yearly to reflect the latest issues in real estate law and practice, and its core message is to “treat all parties honestly” [source: National Association of Realtors]. Although the primary responsibility of a buying or selling agent is to his or her client, Realtors take an oath and promise never to mislead or withhold information from anyone involved in the real estate transaction — including the other real estate agent and his or her clients.

realtorsThe NAR ethics code is what separates Realtors from non-member real estate agents. Although the study of ethical principles is included in many state education and licensing programs, the NAR code obligates Realtors to follow the code of ethics and standards of practice discussed earlier. Part of the incentive for becoming a Realtor is to capitalize on the good reputation of NAR members. The idea is that consumers will opt to work with a real estate agent who has sworn to treat all parties fairly and honestly.

We bring this to your attention because two thirds of all the licensed real estate agents in California are not bound by a strict code of ethics and standards of practice.  As Realtors and active members of the NSDCAR and the NAR, The Lawhead Team believes that you should demand and receive professional, ethical representation without exception and we would be honored to assist you or someone you know with your residential real estate needs.