What is a REALTOR®

A REALTOR® is a licensed real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, "The Voice for Real Estate" and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of NAR.

Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®.

A licensed professional becomes a REALTOR® by joining the local and state associations of REALTORS®, which entitles automatic membership in NAR, and by subscribing to NAR's Code of Ethics.

There are approximately 2.4 million licensed real estate professionals in the United States, but more than 1 million real estate professionals have taken the additional step to join NAR, "The Voice for Real Estate." When choosing a real estate professional, look for the registered trademark, REALTOR®.

Background

The term REALTOR® was coined in 1916 by a national association official, Mr. Charles N. Chadbourn, a past president of the Minneapolis Real Estate Board. Chadbourn saw the two-syllable term functioning as a collective mark to distinguish members of the national real estate association from nonmembers.

NAR registered the trademarks in 1949 and 1950. They are among the very first trademarks registered after the Lanham Act went into effect.

On March 31, 2004, the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled unanimously in reaffirming that the National Association of REALTORS® has exclusive rights to the terms "REALTOR®" and "REALTORS®."

The term REALTOR® designates the highest standards of professionalism and commitment to NAR's strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

REALTORS® are strong advocates for homeowners and homeownership. NAR is the only national lobbying group that looks out for the interests of homeowners. Every year, NAR leads the way on Capitol Hill and in the corridors of Washington to keep homeownership a top national priority. NAR's support for the mortgage interest deduction and other federal policies helps to keep housing more affordable and makes housing a great investment. Through sound housing policies, more home seekers than ever before are enabled to purchase a home of their own.