In the real estate industry one often comes across many technical and marketing terms which may not make sense to those who are unfamiliar with the industry. Like other industries, real estate has many different professionals who specialise in different aspects of the industry. Here we will be focusing on two terms which are often used synonymously, although they mean different specialisations: real estate agent and realtor.
In normal everyday conversation, when we say realtor we automatically associate it with a real estate agent and vice versa. However these two professionals/terms have very little in common with each other. So how does one differentiate a real estate agent from a realtor?
First of all we need to clarify one thing; in Malaysia when we say real estate agent we are actually talking about a real estate negotiator or REN for short, and when we talk about a realtor, we are actually talking about an REA or a Registered Estate Agent. Also in Malaysia, all real estate professionals need to be registered under the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents (BOVAEA).
A Real Estate Negotiator (REN) is a person who has been hired or contracted by a company to list and market properties, all the while under the supervision of a registered real estate agent. This means that a negotiator cannot work independently and must be supervised by a real estate agent.
A Registered Estate Agent (REA) is someone who is registered under the BOVAEA as an estate agent. In order to become a REA one must first become a Probationary Estate Agent (PEA), and undergo a two year post practical training alongside a registered real estate agent before taking the Test of Professional Competence (TPC). After taking and passing the TPC, the agent may apply to register with the BOVAEA as a full-fledged Real Estate Agent. When it comes to Malaysia, only those who are registered under the BOVAEA may act as Estate Agents. Their services include buying, selling and leasing of properties for clients with the aim of achieving optimum returns. Registered estate agents are also authorised to start their own agency practice should they wish to do so.
The real estate business is filled with serious responsibility which is why Malaysia’s BOVAEA makes a clear distinction between the various terms and forms of professionals in the business, including that of Real Estate Negotiators and Registered Estate Agents.
We hope that this article has helped make clear the distinction between the two and that you can now make a more informed choice when you are dealing in the property market.
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