What is a Commercial Realtor?

What is the Difference between a Commercial Real Estate Agent and a Commercial Realtor®?

For most people, “Realtor®” is a term that’s synonymous with “real estate agent”.  It is confusing for the general public because a Realtor® performs all the same duties in a transaction that a real estate agent does, and has the same licensing requirements and education.  There is, however, a big difference.   Realtors® have to abide by a strict code of ethics which is strongly enforced, whereas a “real estate agent” does not. Why would anyone want to work with a professional adviser that is not bound by a code of ethics?

A Realtor®, must become a member of the National Association of Realtors®; “Realtor®” is, in fact, a trademarked name belonging to NAR.
The logo of a commercial Realtor is below:
RED Commercial Realtor Logo
Founded in 1908, the National Association of Realtors® has more than 1.3 million members and is designed to help maintain a code of standards industry-wide. According to the National Association of Realtors®, Realtor® members must pledge to a tightly-monitored code of ethics.
The pledge to upload the organization’s ethics code is the most significant difference between a Realtor® and real estate agent. Buyers and sellers can find comfort in the fact that NAR practices strict oversight to make sure their Realtor® members are acting ethically and in the best interest of their clients. If not, the Realtor® can be penalized for violating the 17-point ethics code. Members are held to the highest professional and ethical standards, and are expected to adhere to the National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics. This gives buyers and sellers reassurance that the real estate professional they are working with (who is a Realtor® ) is looking out for their best interest. Non-members of NAR (regular Real Estate Agents) aren’t held to these higher ethical standards, though each state does have laws for regulating real estate agents and their activities.

Quick Guide to the NAR Code of Ethics
The Code of Ethics addresses a Realtor’s® duties and obligations to clients and customers, the public and other Realtors®. The code consists of 17-points that outline the following expectations:

1. A Realtor’s® first duty is to protect the interests of their client, and to treat all parties honestly.
2. Realtors® shall avoid concealment or misrepresentation pertinent information in relation to the property or the transaction. Realtors® also may not disclose confidential information.
3. Realtors® shall cooperate with other brokers, except when the cooperation is not in the best interest of their client. Cooperation doesn’t include compensation.
4. Realtors® must disclose any personal share or interest in a property involved in a transaction. In other words, when interested in buying or selling a property they must make it clear that they are representing themselves not a client.
5. Realtors® shall avoid conflicts of interest, and must make their interest known to all parties if they do provide services for a transaction in which they have a personal interest.
6. Realtors® shall not accept a commission, rebate, a fee, or other financial benefit without disclosing it to the client.
7. Realtors® cannot be compensated by more than one party in a transaction without making it clear to all parties.
8. Realtors® must maintain a special account (separate from their own personal account) for escrows, client’s monies, trust funds and the like.
9. Realtors® must assure that contracts, leases, agreements, etc. are in clear and understandable language in writing, and must be explained at the time of signing or initialing.
10. Realtors® cannot deny professional services on the basis of race, religion, sex, family status, handicap or national origin.
11. Realtors® cannot provide services outside of their field of competence (such as a residential realtor working in commercial real estate) without disclosing it to the client.
12. Realtors® must adhere to truth in advertising and marketing, and must disclose their professional status in advertising.
13. Realtors® shall not give legal advice, and shall advise clients to seek legal counsel when applicable.
14. Realtors® shall make full disclosure of all pertinent facts if charged with unethical practice.
15. Realtors® shall not make false or misleading statements about their competitors or their own businesses.
16. Realtors® shall not work outside of the exclusive agreements with their clients.
17. Realtors® agree to arbitration in the case of a violation.

The terms of the National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics are taken very seriously by the organization. NAR exercises their oversight powers, and Realtors® who violate the NAR Code of Ethics will face consequences.

If you are buying or leasing a commercial property why would you not work with a commercial Realtor®” ? The code of ethics is an additional layer of protection for you when you work with a commercial Realtor® . Ask your commercial real estate agent if he/she is a Realtor® and therefore bound by the code or ethics. Don’t buy the lame agrument that a commercial real estate agent may give to justify why he or she is are not a commercial Realtor®”. REal estate involves a lot of money. Would you go to a doctor or attorney who is not bound by a code of ethics? If you are looking for a commercial Realtor® in Tampa Bay, call us
See our special report on questions to ask when you hire a commercial real estate agent

Return to: Tampa Commercial Real Estate
Information provided on this web site is from sources deemed reliable. Broker is not responsible for errors or inaccuracies

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