Consumers often use the term real estate agent and 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®?
I did some digging into the statistical reports generated by NAR and my subscription to the ARELLO Digest (Association of Real Estate License Law Officials) and came up with these numbers:
Brokers: 710,216 (brokers and associate brokers)
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 my unofficial count (and I welcome clarifying input), I estimate that 46% of the licensed real estate brokers and salespersons in the U.S. are also REALTORS®.
Are you seeing any trend in your area that reflect an increase or decrease in the number of active real estate licensed brokers and salespersons?
By John Reilly