Realtor: Meaning, how to become one, regulation, and more

The laws and practices of real estate transactions can be daunting, it is this way in almost every country in the world. Real estate practice over the years has been a free-for-all practice with some of the most unethical actions taking place in the industry. 

Realtors and real estate agents play significant roles in the property market. Most often both terms are used interchangeably, nonetheless, under the estate context, a Realtor and a real estate agent have varying meanings. 

This article details all there is to know about Realtors, how to become one and regulations.

Meaning of a Realtor

Realtors are professionals in the real estate industry that assist persons to undertake transactions in the industry. A Realtor is skilled in the art and practice of real estate transaction engagement and has been licenced by the appropriate authorities to undertake such responsibility in the state.

The real estate business is broad and arguably one of the most lucrative in the country today, with opportunities ranging from selling properties, to leasing and others. Realtors function in the capacity of agents acting on behalf of the homeowner to secure tenants or purchasers of the property. 

How to become a Realtor

In Nigeria, the appropriate authority for registering Realtors is the state. The State in which one seeks to practice can register one as a Realtor. There are 36 states and a Federal Capital Territory in Nigeria, before registering in a state as a Realtor, the following listed requirements must be met.

You will have to check on your country and know the agency responsible for the registration of Relators.

1. Train as a Realtor

A Realtor must be trained in the art and skill of the real estate laws and businesses of the state in particular, and Nigeria in general. Every state has its separate tenancy laws. Also, each state has its specific law it aligns with for the sale or conveyancing of properties.

For instance, the South south, southeast, North, and Abuja use the Conveyancing Act for the sale of Land, this excludes the states of Edo and Delta. The Southwest, Edo, and Delta states use the Property and Conveyancing Law for the sale of Land, while Lagos uses its own enacted Sale of Land law.

Other relevant laws to be trained under include the real Estate transaction laws of states of the Federation, the laws of contract, and recovery of estate laws of states. 

A Realtor must be trained in line with the various laws relating to the property transaction. The required knowledge from Realtors is sufficient enough to ensure the protection and trust of the property owner and other parties in the property transaction on the professionalism of the Realtor.

2. Register a Real Estate business

Before seeking a licence from the states in which you intend to practice, most states require evidence of the registration of a real estate services business or at the very least the intended Realtor being an associate of an already established real estate business.

If an associate, the real estate business must be made of a firm of already licensed agents by the state. 

A real estate business can be registered as a business name or as a limited liability company through the Corporate Affairs Commission’s platform. 

3. Join the Realtors association in the state

Some states require Realtors to join professional real estate associations, examples are the state of Lagos. Professional real estate organizations have a presence in all states of the federation and offer continued training and update on information on the changes under the laws of the state. 

Some of the associations to join is the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, which is a foremost association for most Realtors practising in states within Nigeria.

4. Apply through the state’s real estate department

Every state has a real estate licencing department usually contained in its Land registry. To be licenced, the Realtor must pick up the required form from the state’s real estate board. The form is available upon the payment of a prescribed fee to the board.

While applying, the Realtor must meet all requirements necessary for the licencing of Realtors in the state, a clear understanding of the requirements must be obtained before registration, hence, the need to train before licencing with the state’s real estate department.

Regulation of Realtors

As stated earlier, Realtors are regulated under state laws in Nigeria. All states of Nigeria have varying laws regulating the practice and procedures of Realtors in one form or the other. Every country differs. So check on your country’s regulation laws if you are from a different country.

Lagos State recently released the Real Estate Regulatory Authority Law 2022, which came into force on February 17th, 2022. Varying changes which had a significant influence on the real estate sector in Lagos were introduced by the new law. The new law established a new Realtor regulatory agency known as the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) which was saddled with the authority of ensuring real estate transactions in Lagos are devoid of unethical practices. 

The law also provides the requirements needed to register as a Realtor in Nigeria. The new law identifies two types of Realtors, individuals and corporate Realtors. The law also provides for validity permits which is a permit by the LASRERA to Realtors which is renewable every five years. In addition, real estate transactions involving foreigners are detailed under the new law with techniques to be followed appropriately.

Other Laws regulating Realtors in Nigeria

1. Tenancy Laws of states: State tenancy laws are sufficient regulatory guides for Realtors in Nigeria. The Tenancy laws of states in Nigeria guide tenancy transactions and are a source of control for Realtors offering services to tenants.

2. Recovery of Estate laws of States: every state in Nigeria has a recovery of real estate law which specifies the procedures and practices of recovering properties from clients within the state. 


Realtors have a strong perception of being highly trained professionals who offer services in the real estate industry. Other laws regulating Realtors in Nigeria include the Nigerian constitution, the Conveyancing Act, the Poverty and Conveyancing Law, the Land Use Act and various decisions of courts of Nigeria on Land Use Matters. 

Is a Realtor the same as a Real estate agent?

Both names are often used interchangeably in discussions of real estate businesses. Nonetheless, according to the best international real estate practice, a Realtor is professionally licenced by the authorities to be a Realtor.

Who is to pay Realtors’ commission fees?

The payment of the Realtors commission fees is dependent on the person hiring the Realtor. And varies from country to country. Nonetheless, in Nigeria, the tenant or the purchaser is made to pay the fees, irrespective of who hires the Realtor.

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Richard Okoroafor

Richard Okoroafor

Richard is a brilliant legal content writer who doubles as a finance lawyer. He brings his wealth of legal knowledge in corporate commercial transactions to bear, offering the best value that exceeds expectations.

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