Realtors: Who They Are and What They Do 

Real estate agents who use the title Realtor have met a standard of professionalism and integrity established by NAR. The designation identifies them as members of an association that promotes their industry expertise and advocates on their behalf.


A Realtor who is a good fit for your selling needs can be found by personal referrals from friends or family, or through an online search. Regardless of where they are located, a good Realtor will be knowledgeable of local market conditions. Contact Realtor In Tampa for professional assistance.

Real estate agents perform a broad range of functions to help people purchase homes. They advise clients on prices, mortgage options, and market conditions and communicate important information to both buyers and sellers. They also schedule home showings, attend open houses, and communicate with clients throughout the sales process. They may even handle negotiations with clients. Although they are not required to hold a college degree, most real estate agents have at least a high school diploma or equivalent and take state-approved pre-licensing courses.

In addition to completing pre-licensing courses, most states require real estate agents and brokers to pass their state’s licensing exam. These courses provide training in real estate terms, practices, and laws. They also prepare students for the state’s licensing exam, which is usually a multiple-choice test. Some states offer practice exams on their websites, while others require applicants to complete a certain number of hours of training before they can take the exam.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) requires all members to adhere to a strict code of ethics and maintain a high level of professionalism. This code of ethics outlines a Realtor’s duties to clients, customers, the public, and other members. It also explains how to conduct a real estate transaction ethically.

There are a variety of real estate degrees offered at community colleges, universities, and four-year institutions. The majority of real estate degrees are associate degrees, but some schools offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees. These degrees are more specialized and require a longer commitment than an associate degree. They focus on real estate laws, practices, and terminology, as well as business-related topics such as marketing and sales.


Before a real estate agent or broker can begin selling homes, they must be licensed by their state’s real estate regulatory agency. The specific licensing requirements vary by state, but typically include completing pre-licensing courses and passing a state-specific real estate exam. In New York, for instance, agents must complete 77 hours of pre-licensing classes and pass the state’s license exam. Those with college degrees or credentials in real estate may be eligible to substitute some of these hours for other coursework.

Once a person has completed the required number of pre-licensing course hours and passed the state real estate exam, they must apply for their license with their state’s real estate regulatory agency. Often, the application process includes paying an application fee and submitting the results of a background check. The regulatory agency may also require that applicants have Errors and Omissions insurance before approving their license application.

Most states require that aspiring agents and brokers take a state-specific real estate exam, which can be administered by third parties. The exams are usually comprised of 60 to 100 multiple-choice questions, covering both federal and state real estate law. Some states offer sample tests online, and there are many real estate exam prep products available for purchase that cover the specifics of each state’s exam.

Once a real estate agent has successfully passed the state-specific exam and been issued their license, they must activate it by filing a form with their local NAR board of Realtors. This step allows a Realtor to join their local NAR chapter and open up additional local networking and leadership opportunities. It also enables them to access the MLS, which is only accessible by NAR members.


A broker is a real estate professional who can perform many of the same tasks that an agent does, but they also have more in-depth knowledge of real estate laws and finance. Brokers can work independently or with other licensed agents to help buyers and sellers buy and sell property. Typically, to become a broker, you must have been an agent for a certain amount of time and have passed a real estate broker exam. Some states have additional requirements for becoming a real estate broker.

Realtors can advise consumers on property values, taxes, utility costs, municipal services and facilities, proposed zoning changes and other issues that may affect home ownership. They can also suggest repairs to a property that will increase its appeal to a buyer and provide information on financing options for a purchase. They can also recommend other professionals to assist in the buying or selling process.

There are three types of brokers: associate, managing and principal/designated. An associate broker assists with licensing activities for the brokerage firm and handles some transaction support functions. A managing broker oversees all licensed agents in the office and ensures that they are following state and national real estate laws. A principal/designated broker oversees the management of a real estate brokerage firm and ensures that all transactions comply with state law.

When choosing a broker, you should shop around to compare fees and experience. Many online and in-person brokerage firms offer different services, so it is important to find one that meets your specific needs. To open an account, you will need personal information, such as your name, address and phone number, as well as your bank account number to deposit funds.


Real estate commissions are a big part of how Realtors make money. These fees are typically negotiated between buyers and sellers. The standard fee is 6% of the sales price of a home. However, the amount of this fee can vary depending on the size of the property and the location. For example, a luxury home in New York may require a higher commission than a small apartment in Brooklyn.

The commission rate also varies among real estate offices. For example, some offices only pay the agent a portion of the commission while others give the broker a larger share. These differences usually have to do with the office’s structure and how it is run. For example, some real estate offices have designated brokers who oversee all the operations and ensure that all agents comply with real estate law. These brokers are paid a commission on top of a base salary. Other offices have managing brokers who are in charge of running the day-to-day business and hiring agents.

Aside from commissions, real estate agents have to pay taxes and other expenses. These costs can erode a Realtor’s earnings. For example, federal, state, and self-employment taxes take up a sizable chunk of an agent’s total earnings. In addition, dues to real estate associations and multiple listing service (MLS) fees can also eat into an agent’s commission.

While buyers’ and sellers’ agents get the bulk of the commission, referral agents also have a role to play. These agents may connect a buyer or seller with another agent who can better meet their needs. Referral agents sometimes get a cut of the commission as a reward for their work.


The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Code of Ethics outlines the professional standards and obligations that real estate agents must follow. These guidelines include fiduciary responsibilities to clients, truthfulness in advertising and communications, and equitable treatment of all parties involved in a transaction. Breaching these rules can result in fines or even disciplinary action.

NAR’s Code of Ethics is a set of 17 articles that establish enforceable obligations and a standard of conduct for Realtors. It applies to Realtors’ duties to clients and customers, the public, and other Realtors. Realtors must abide by the Code of Ethics in order to retain their membership in NAR. If they do not, they may be subject to disciplinary action by NAR’s Grievance and Professional Standards Committees.

In addition to the requirements laid out in the Code of Ethics, Realtors must also follow state and local laws regarding licensing, taxes, advertising, and property management. Having a good understanding of these rules can help Realtors build trust with their communities and clients, which can lead to long-term success.

The NAR Code of Ethics requires Realtors to disclose any interest they have in a property, as well as any information about the property that would be materially important to the buyer or seller. It also prohibits Realtors from knowingly misrepresenting property conditions or using misleading statements in their advertising. Additionally, Realtors must keep client funds separate from their own money and not make derogatory remarks about competitors or their business practices. These provisions are designed to protect consumers and support the integrity of the real estate industry. Those who believe that a Realtor has violated the Code of Ethics may file an ethics complaint with their local Realtor board.