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Real Estate Agents and Brokers


Three factors contributed to the rise of the modern real estate business: first, the general increase in the total population and in the number of pieces of real estate for sale, second, the growing percentage of people owning property, and third, the complexity of laws regarding the transfer of real estate. These factors led to the need for experienced agents, on whom both sellers and buyers increasingly rely.

Professionalization of the real estate field developed rapidly in the 20th century. In 1908, the National Association of Realtors was founded. This huge trade group has encouraged the highest ethical standards for the field and has lobbied hard in Congress for many of the tax advantages that homeowners and property owners now enjoy. The organization, which also serves as a self-regulatory organization for the real estate brokerage industry, had 1.4 million members in the early 2020s, making it America's largest trade association.