The Real Estate License Professor

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Everyone who has a real estate license is a realtor. Fact or fiction?
This is a common public misconception. The reality is that there is no automatic connection between being a holder of a real estate license and being a Realtor. The License Law of all US states does not require someone in the possession of a real estate license to be a Realtor, nor does any Licensing Agency grant Realtor status.
Real Estate Boards exist throughout the United States and in order to become a Realtor you must join a local real estate board. Membership in a local board usually includes membership in the specific state's Association of Realtors and membership in the National Association of Realtors. In the United States there are approximately 2 million license holders, half of which are considered active real estate agents.
While membership in the national, state, and local boards provides services and benefits to its members, it also imposes upon them a Code of Ethics that is revised annually which addresses the duties that Realtors have to their clients and customers.
This Code of Ethics comprises 17 Articles consisting of 94 Standards of Practice. Violations may result in required education, suspension and dismissal from membership, as well as financial penalties.
A real estate board does not have any jurisdiction over the real estate agent's license as this is the territory of the State's governing bodies. License holders who do wish to become members of a Board of Realtors must complete training in the Code and submit to periodic education and re-training.
The National Association of Realtor's Code of Ethics is available to anyone by visiting their website. This code is available to the public and is published in many languages.
Posted by Tom Chambers on January 5, 2011
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