How a real estate agent is different from a Realtor

A Realtor and a real estate agent aren't the same thing: There is one significant distinction that could mean a lot when it comes to selling your house.

Photo: buddawiggi/Flickr

Both types of home sellers are licensed to represent you when you buy or sell a home. The difference is that Realtors belong to a national association ( that requires them to follow a strictly enforced code of ethics.

Working with a Realtor also means you have an organization to complain to if you aren’t happy with the service, or feel your home seller isn’t acting professionally or in your best interests – any complaints will be arbitrated until a satisfactory solution is found. If you aren’t sure whether the seller you’re considering is a Realtor, ask for proof of membership in the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). And for more information, log on to