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In the consumers’ minds, there is no difference.  I’m looking at some serious and substantive market research that confirms this. 

The one argument made by those who believe that there is a difference? “Realtors have a Code of Ethics”. 

On this point – 

– If you’re a Realtor, have you ever filed an ethics complaint? 
– If you’re a consumer – ask your Realtor if he or she has ever filed a complaint. If (and when) the answer is no, ask “why not?” Ask how if the Realtors don’t police themselves, how is there any credibility in the system?

I’m ethical, but it’s not because I’m a Realtor. It’s because that’s how I was raised. And this was reinforced at VMI where the honor code is “a cadet shall not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do”.  

The Realtor Code of Ethics is 8 pages long. http://www.realtor.org/mempolweb.nsf/pages/code

Simple.

Until and if Realtors choose to use the vaunted system in place, and until (and if) Realtors can define our value – versus real estate licensees – beyond access to the MLS, consumers will continue to not care about the difference between Realtors and real estate agents. 

Great post by my friend Jim Duncan! But I am curious in my own market… does it matter to you as a consumer, as a realtor, as an agent?

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