What Is a REALTOR®?

A real estate agent is a REALTOR® when he or she is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, The Voice for Real Estate® -- the world's largest professional association.  The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.


Founded in 1908, NAR has grown from its original nucleus of 120 to today's 720,000 members. NAR is composed of residential and commercial REALTORS®, who are brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors and others engaged in all aspects of the real estate industry. Members belong to one or more of some 1,700 local associations/boards and 54 state and territory associations of REALTORS®. They can join one of our many institutes, societies and councils. Additionally, NAR offers members the opportunity to be active in our appraisal and international real estate specialty sections.


REALTORS® are pledged to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Working for America's property owners, the National Association provides a facility for professional development, research and exchange of information among its members and to the public and government for the purpose of preserving the free enterprise system and the right to own real property.


In Canada a REALTOR® is Defined as


Realtor is a real estate agent who is a member of a local real estate board, and of the provincial real estate association in the Realtor’s province. They may also be a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) however, membership is voluntary.

The CREA represents more than 96,000 realtors in Canada. It is the largest trade association of real estate professionals in Canada, and is tied to the National Association of Realtors in the United States, the owner of the trademarked term, Realtor.


All Realtors in Canada agree to operate under a Code of Ethics prescribed by the Canadian Real Estate Association. The Code of Ethics prescribes, among other things, that the Realtor identifies the relationship in the transaction, whether as a buyer’s agent, seller’s agent or dual broker. In addition, Realtors agree to fully disclose all compensation they receive, including commissions, fees, gifts, rebates and referral fees. Earnest money, or down payments, must be protected by the Realtor. The Code of Ethics is in place to protect consumers.


The CREA also maintains a Code of Privacy. This code requires the Realtor to maintain a degree of accountability, an assurance to collect a minimum of necessary personal information, obtaining consumer consent for the collection, disclosure and use of personal information, to take safeguards to protect personal information and a number of other requirements. This is a very important provision, since Realtors will have access to sensitive financial information.


Realtors are sworn to a code of open competition in the real estate market. Commission rates and fees are set by individual members as they determine, not by the CREA. Advertising is controlled by the individual members, provided it is open and honest. All members are required to meet uniform educational standards, as well as financial prerequisites.

Realtors have access to the Multi Listing Service, a network listing of real estate for sale in a given area. The MLS, as it is called, it compiled by the local real estate board and is probably the largest listing of available real estate on a local level.

The Realtors primary function is to sell a house, whether representing the seller or finding a house for purchase, if representing the buyer. At First Foundation, we have relationships with real estate agents who are members of the CREA, as well as those who are not. The choice of becoming a real estate agent is yours to make, but we are willing to answer any questions you have, to the best of our knowledge.



noun /ˈrē(ə)ltər/  /-ˌtôr/  /ˈrē(ə)lətər/ 
realtors, plural

  1. A person who acts as an agent for the sale and purchase of buildings and land; a real estate agent



Web definitions

  • a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors



  • A person or business that sells or leases out real estate, acting as an agent for the property owner



  • Trademark identifying real estate professionals in Canada who are members of The Canadian Real Estate Association, and as such, subscribe to a high standard of professional service and to a strict Code of Ethics.



  • A copyrighted trade name which can be legally used only by those persons belonging to the National Association of Realtors.



  • A person, also known as a “real estate broker,” that deals with the buying and selling of homes.



  • NAR registered trademark and branding of their Real Estate Agents



  • is a professional who is legally registered with a real estate brokerage firm that provides the services of helping someone find or sell a home.



  • A person licensed to negotiate and transact the sale of real estate on behalf of the property owner.



  • Professional responsible for the work of the salesperson's approach and buyer in a real estate transaction. The qualified broker to exercise the intermediate functions in the commercialization of properties should be enrolled in CRECI (Regional Council of Realtors).



  • a real estate broker or an associate having active membership in a local authority, therefore making it part of the public records.



  • An intermediary who receives a commission for arranging and facilitating the sale of a property for a buyer or a seller. Also called a real estate broker or agent. Click here to find one in your area.



MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.