What Is a Realtist®?

First Time Buyer, First Time Home Buyers, Real Estate

Buying a home is challenging for anyone. For home buyers of color, there are often additional hurdles. These challenges can be based on both historic and current discriminatory practices in the real estate industry and less access to the financial and educational resources that minority and first-time home buyers may need to become homeowners.

A Realtist® is a real estate professional who is dedicated to helping home buyers overcome this inequality in the real estate market. To learn more about these extraordinary real estate pros and why you may want to work with a Realtist®, read on.

Realtist, Defined

The term Realtist® is used to define anyone who is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers® (NAREB®). NAREB® was founded in 1947 as an organization of primarily African American real estate professionals dedicated to increasing Black homeownership.[1]

NAREB® also championed the creation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1964 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and continues to push for legislation that improves access to homeownership for minority home buyers.[1]

In addition to helping Black and other home buyers of color find homes, NAREB® also worked to overcome redlining and other legal and social barriers to homeownership.

What makes a Realtist® unique?

A Realtist® needs to meet the same state licensing requirements as any other real estate agent. They also agree to adhere to a code of professional responsibility, which includes a pledge to:

  • Not discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, familial status or sexual orientation. 
  • Protect the public against misrepresentations, unethical practices or fraud in real estate transactions
  • Offer all properties listed with him/her solely on merit and without exaggeration, concealment, deception or misleading information.

While this should seem self-evident, it wasn’t always the case that real estate agents would abide by these types of rules.



is the current number of NAREB® members. Over 100 local boards/chapters have been chartered in over 35 states.[2]


What is the difference between a REALTOR® and a Realtist®

The term Realtist® is used to define anyone who is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB®). This is similar to real estate agents and real estate brokers who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Both NAREB® and the NAR are industry groups, but while a Realtist® or REALTOR® is likely to be a qualified real estate agent, not all real estate agents are REALTORS® or a Realtist®. However, it’s possible to be both a Realtist® and a REALTOR®.

The Primary Focus of a Realtist®

The primary goal of a Realtist® is to create a functional, inclusive and accessible real estate market. NAREB® promotes these values and tries to ensure that all of its members extend them throughout the community. Working with a Realtist® can help make it easier to access your target home and also ensure you are doing so in an ethical way.

Realtists® also collaborate with community, advocacy and faith-based organizations to promote diversity and inclusion in housing while helping to build wealth in Black and other minority communities.

The NAREB® 2Mn5 Program

There’s a 30% gap between Black and white homeownership in the U.S. NAREB®’s 2Mn5 program aims to bridge that gap and create 2 million new homeowners within 5 years.[3]

What can a Realtist® do for you?

Working with a Realtist® can help make it easier to access your target home and also ensure you are doing so in an ethical way.

A Realtist®: 

  • Is a qualified real estate agent who will work with their clients to help them buy or sell a home at a fair price within an accessible market. 
  • Understands the challenges facing minority and first-time home buyers and can help them navigate the added complexities these home buyers face.
  • Knows how to work with buyers who have limited credit or access to money for a down payment. They can help these buyers navigate different conventional and government-backed loan options, community development programs and down-payment assistance options available to them.

In general, people choose to work with a Realtist® because they believe they are exceptionally qualified, have a transparent buying and selling process and a tradition of helping overcome barriers to home buying.

How To Find a Realtist®

The best way to find a Realtist® is through the NAREB® website. From there, you will be able to easily sort your options by name, state and ZIP code. If you are looking at agents on other platforms, be sure to check if they are NAREB®-certified.

There Is Help in the Real Estate Market

If you’re a home buyer of color facing an uphill battle when looking for a home, help is certainly within your reach. A Realtist® is ready to help you and may be the answer to your home buying prayers.

  1. National Association of Real Estate Brokers®. “Our History.” Retrieved July 2022 from https://www.nareb.com/our-history/

  2. National Association of Real Estate Brokers®. “FAQ Archive.” Retrieved July 2022 from https://www.nareb.com/faq/

  3. National Association of Real Estate Brokers®. “Two Million New Black Homeowners Program (2Mn5).” Retrieved July 2022 from https://www.nareb.com/2Mn5/

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