Just what does "REALTOR" mean anyway?

While the word "Realtor" is often used by the general public to mean almost anyone selling real estate, but only a state-licensed broker who is also a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is legally allowed to use the title of "Realtor". The NAR is a trade organization which requires every member to abide by a Code of Ethics, a strictly enforced program consisting of 17 articles governing the standards of practice.

In North Carolina, all other state-licensed agents are legally called "brokers" but may also use the term "real estate agent" (as opposed to "Realtor"). All active real estate brokers are required to take continuing education courses annually to stay up to date and well-informed.

According to the Commission, most brokers choose to work for another broker or brokerage firm. They may also elect to operate independently as a sole proprietor if they qualify to be designated as a broker-in-charge by the Commission.

Any state-licensed North Carolina real estate broker will be happy to explain their official, legal designation and relationship within their firm.