A Realtor is a realtor who brokers houses to buyers and conducts negotiations for the sale or purchase of such properties. Real estate includes real property consisting of the actual buildings and land on it, and its accompanying natural resources like water, rocks or minerals; immovable real estate of this kind; an obligation to pay rent on the real estate, buildings or house in exchange for the payment of the sales price thereof; or an equitable right to enjoy these advantages, according to the terms of any contract existing between the seller and the buyer.
In plain terms, a realtor facilitates transactions, such as selling or buying real estate by keeping in view various factors, such as location of the actual property being traded, the interest of the seller in selling the property at a certain price, time and price range, and other such factors. Real estate agents, in various countries, have to be licensed by the government in order to undertake the real estate business. They may be independent agents or hired by real estate brokerage firms.
There are many differences between realtor and real estate broker, and between realtor and salesperson. A realtor is an individual or company who, through his professional experience and intuition, identifies the highest probable buyers or sellers of a particular piece of real estate. Real estate agents, on the other hand, are individuals who, having been professionally trained to locate and evaluate properties, advertise for the highest possible sales and seek the best deals for their clients. Salespeople are hired by a brokerage firm or by individual realtors.
Ethics of a realtor or salesperson is the result of the ethical responsibilities of the said individuals as per the laws of a specific jurisdiction. The main concern is the integrity of the transaction and how to carry out the duties entrusted to them without any illegal or unethical behavior. These ethical obligations are primarily based on the realtor's duty of diligence, which is to discover and report any facts or circumstances that might lead to doubts regarding the validity of the transaction. The broker's duty is basically to conduct the transaction impartially among all the parties involved, taking utmost care that no buyer or seller feels disadvantaged or aggrieved during the transaction.
The American Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors have published ethical standards of practice for realtors and real estate agents. The NAALR conducts periodic seminars for its members to enhance their knowledge on ethical obligations and consumer protection. The National Association of Realtors has created a Code of Ethics to provide a guideline for realtors and a set of rules for its members to follow when carrying out their duties. Most states also have developed their own ethical standards of practice and there are ongoing debates on how to further develop these ethical standards to ensure uniformity across the nation. Proponents of greater ethics in real estate commerce generally favor stricter measures to protect buyers and sellers of property and to codify the rights of consumers to fair dealings with realtors and estate agents. See more here.
One of the most common problems that buyers and sellers encounter when they engage in negotiations with real estate professionals is the tendency of the professional to offer lower commission rates to seal the deal. This is especially problematic for inexperienced buyers who may not have enough bargaining power to get the best rate or who do not have a clear understanding of the prevailing market rates. A common solution to this problem is for a realtor to create a template message that he/she will hand out to all potential clients, essentially telling the buyer that the rate offered is the best available, regardless of the buyer's personal financial circumstances. By creating a "commission rate" for buyers, the realtor provides an incentive to the buyer to choose the transaction over other alternatives, while at the same time ensuring that the realtor receives a commission on the sale.
In summary, the realtor should not be judged as some kind of expert on his/her own merit. Instead, the realtor should be viewed as a link between the buyer and seller, an authoritative source of information on property values, trends, and local demographics. While some realtors excel in certain departments, such as negotiating the purchase price, selling the property, collecting monthly rents, etc., the real estate professional should not be expected to handle every aspect of the transaction. As a result, it is important for realtors to choose their clients wisely, allowing them to earn a true living at what they do. View here for more.