How to Become a Realtor in Georgia
How do you become a realtor in Georgia? It’s simple if you’re a licensed real estate agent. Not sure what the difference is? Read on.
What Is a Realtor (or Should I Say, REALTOR®)?
When people talk about realtors, real estate agents, salespersons, and brokers in the real world, they often use these terms interchangeably. Which is okay! The terminology is rarely a source of confusion between real estate professionals and their clients.
However, in the real estate world, these four terms have distinctly different meanings. A real estate agent is the umbrella term for all agents, whether they are salespersons, brokers, or associate brokers.
Salespersons or sales associates are real estate agents that have passed the Georgia salesperson licensing exam and been granted a salesperson license by the Georgia Real Estate Commission (GREC). It’s the most introductory level of licensure.
Brokers and associate brokers are agents who have passed the Georgia broker exam, met all of the other prerequisites for a broker license (for example, three years of salesperson experience), and been granted a broker license by GREC.
REALTOR® is a term trademarked by the National Association of REALTORS® and is used to denote a real estate agent who is officially a member of that organization.
So What’s the Difference?
REALTORS® subscribe to a stricter code of ethics than what the state of Georgia legally mandates. Their Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice require REALTORS® to hold themselves to a higher ethical standard than the law and mandate a wider range of fair housing protections than national fair housing law.
That’s not to say that a real estate agent is unethical or less-than if they choose not to join a REALTOR® association. Many excellent agents are REALTORS®; many excellent agents are not.
How Do You Become a REALTOR®?
To become a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, an agent must join their local REALTOR® association. There are over 50 local chapters in Georgia, so the one an agent is eligible to join will depend on their location, among other factors.
Salespersons must join the same local association as their managing broker, while brokers can choose which association to join.
To become a Georgia REALTOR®, a person must first earn a Georgia real estate license. They must also pay an annual membership fee and pledge to adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
Every local organization has its own application process. To locate a REALTOR® association near you, visit the Georgia Association of REALTORS® website.
What Do REALTOR® Associations Do for Members?
REALTOR® associations provide many benefits to members, including:
Contract forms for members to use (approved by association legal teams)
A legal helpline
Statistics and other reporting about the local market
Networking and other outreach opportunities
The right to call oneself an official REALTOR®
Most associations provide state-mandated continuing education and post-licensing education classes (for an additional fee)
Looking for Information About Getting Your Real Estate License?
Interested in being a REALTOR® but need to get your license first? Here’s a quick guide to getting your Georgia real estate license.