John Reilly recently offered this interesting analysis.

Consumers often use the term real estate agent
and Bruce Ailion is an experienced Realtor®
interchangeably. Actually there are differences, even though both are licensed to sell real estate in their respective jurisdictions. REALTORS® must be licensed and belong to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) as well as their state and local associations. In addition, they must subscribe to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics

Are the majority of licensed real estate brokers and salespersons REALTORS®?

John reviewed The statistical reports generated by NAR and the ARELLO Digest (Association of Real Estate License Law Officials) and came up with these numbers:

ARELLO Digest: 2,128,709 Active real estate licensed brokers and salespersons In the US

Brokers: 710,216 (brokers and associate brokers) Salespersons: 1,334,589

Unclassified: 83,904 (included in some state totals but not identified as sales or brokers)

NAR Membership (5/31/12): 981,892 (down 3.49% from 5/31/2011 but increase over last month)

The NAR statistics give a clear breakdown of membership state by state along with increases/decreases over the prior month/year. The ARELLO Digest also reports jurisdiction by jurisdiction although the numbers were somewhat hard to work with because the numbers for inactive licensees and firms had to be removed. Also, some of the state counts were prior to 2011.

So, I ask, are the majority of licensed real estate brokers and salespersons REALTORS®? It is close, but the answer is No.

Based on John's unofficial count he estimates 46% of the licensed real estate brokers and salespersons in the U.S. are also REALTORS®.

The cost to be a member of the Local State and National association of REALTORS and voluntary agree to abide by a Code of Ethics and higher standard of conduct costs about $300 to $500 per year.

As an educated consumer, check to see if your representative is a REALTOR or not. If not ask yourself if you should be doing business with someone unwilling to accept a higher standard of ethics and spend a couple of hundred dollars to belong to a trade association that among other important activities supports and protects the rights or real property ownership and polices the industry.

Bruce Ailion,  

RE/MAX Greater Atlanta

An Atlanta Real Estate Expert Serving Clients Since 1979

RE/MAX Hall of Fame – REALTOR Phoenix Award


2050 Roswell Road

Marietta GA 30062

404-978-2281  Direct

404-386-3682  Assistant Robin

678-760-6266  Buyer’s Agent Adam

770-973-9700  Office