The mere fact of possessing a salesperson’s or broker’s real estate
license does not make that individual an agent. This is true even though
licensees are usually called agents. To complicate the matter, the terms
agent and Realtor are incorrectly used interchangeably.
A Realtor is a licensee who is also a member of a professional trade
organization, the National Association of Realtors, and its state and local
chapters. An important attribute of Realtors is their adherence to a strict
code of ethics. Not all licensees are Realtors.
Simply put, an agent is someone who represents another (the principal)
in dealings with third parties. Although clients generally think of one
person from a real estate firm as their agent, it is actually the broker
(the company), and not the salesperson, who is the agent.