Is applying for a new gTLD the same as buying a domain name?

No. Individuals and organizations can get and use second-level and sometimes third-level domains through the various registrars available to the public. The application for a new gTLD is not for a domain name but rather the opportunity to create and operate a registry for the new gTLD, and accept the responsibility for operating a significant piece of the Internet’s infrastructure. While .realestate domains will eventually be available from multiple registrars, REALTORS® have exclusive access to .realtor™ domains, and limited priority access to unrestricted .realestate domains, through their own websites and, where members of NAR and CREA can manage and register new .realtor™ and .realestate domain names.