REALTOR®: What does that really mean...and what do all those letters and designations listed after my name mean? If you really care about the person you have hired to help you buy or sell your home, this is really important.
When I first embarked on my career as a real estate agent, the only reason I was aware of the difference between ‘agents’ and a ‘REALTOR®' is due to the fact that I worked as IT Director for Re/Max Alliance Group for more than 10 years. Since my job entailed working with the technology needs of all of the staff and agents there, I learned a lot about the real estate business. But the average buyer or seller does not usually know that there is a big difference between an Agent and a REALTOR®, so I thought it important to depart from my usual hometown stories and do my best at explaining this. Associated with the REALTOR® designation are others that are very important for a potential client to know. I happen to have several of these designations and to most people, it’s just kind of an ‘alphabet soup’ of letters after my name. And they are very important. So here we go, beginning with what a REALTOR® vs a Real Estate Agent really is, followed by a description of my other designations:
REALTOR® vs Real Estate Agent: A REALTOR® is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, which means that he or she must uphold the standards of the association and its code of ethics. There are so many types of real estate agents that even agents confuse themselves sometimes. To stand out in a crowd, some agents add titles after their names. They could be an associate, a real estate consultant, salesperson, or a REALTOR®, but they are all real estate agents. I am a REALTOR®-Associate and my Broker is Peter Crowley at Re/Max Alliance Group. Real estate brokers can work as agents but agents cannot work as a real estate broker without a broker's license. Agents who give real estate advice must have a real estate license. Most states, including Florida, maintain an online site where consumers can look up an agent's name, get a license number and check on violations filed against an agent. Feel free to look me up.
REALTOR®: I am proud to say I am a REALTOR®. People use the terms REALTOR® and real estate agent interchangeably, but that is incorrect. Not every real estate agent is a REALTOR®. There are differences between REALTORS® and real estate agents. They are not the same. Although both are licensed to sell real estate, the main difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR® is a REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. REALTOR® must subscribe to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. There are 17 Articles in the Code of Ethics. To many consumers, this matters. Click here to read more.
REALTOR® and MLS: This is important - You can't get MLS access without being a REALTOR®. A multiple listing service is an effective home selling tool. One convenient way of selling your home is to engage the services of a real estate broker. Brokers are highly skilled at helping home-buyers find more homes than they'd find on their own. MLS® allows a REALTOR® to work together with other REALTORS® (even those from other companies!), to sell that property. It’s important to understand that the public is not accessing a complete Multiple Listing Service database, which may contain confidential information about properties, such as the owners' schedule, security issues or other showing-related details. MLS listings seen by consumers include only particulars that will help buyers in their home search. RE/MAX has undertaken a massive effort to create a single access point to MLS listings from across North America. The result is one of the most powerful online home search tools in the industry where you can search for millions of homes for sale.
SFR: Following the 2008 economic downturn, for many real estate professionals short sales and foreclosures became the new “traditional” real estate transaction. Knowing how to help sellers maneuver the complexities of short sales as well as help buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities are not merely good skills to have in today’s market — they are critical. I have successfully guided many buyers and sellers through this murky water thanks to the knowledge I gained by studying and receiving the SFR designation.
GRI: REALTORS® with the GRI designation have in-depth training in legal and regulatory issues, technology, professional standards, and the sales process. Earning the designation is a way to stand out to prospective buyers and sellers as a professional with expertise in these areas. Buying property is a complex and stressful task. In fact, it's often the biggest single investment you will make in your lifetime. At the same time, real estate transactions have become increasingly complicated. New technology, laws, procedures and the increasing sophistication of buyers and sellers require real estate practitioners to perform at an ever-increasing level of professionalism. So it's more important than ever that you work with an agent who has a keen understanding of the real estate business. The GRI program has helped the best and the brightest in the industry achieve that level of understanding. GRI’s are:
- Nationally recognized as top performers in the real estate industry
- Professionally trained
- Dedicated to bringing you quality service
- A GRI can make a difference
CDPE: A Certified Distressed Property Expert® has a thorough understanding of complex issues in today's turbulent real estate industry and knowledge of foreclosure avoidance options available to homeowners. Because I have the CDPE desigantion, I can provide solutions, specifically short sales, for homeowners facing market hardships.
CNHS: Now that the real estate market has turned around, there are many new home developments sprouting up in Sarasota and the surrounding areas. The Certified New Home Specialist designation is recognized as Real Estate's #1 certification representing professionalism in working with Builders & New Home Buyers. More than 25,000 brokers, builders, managers & sales associates have earned this designation nationwide. Associates such as myself who earn this designation gain increased knowledge in the following areas:
- Understanding today's buyers
- Understanding the builder’s perspective
- Broker services most important to builders
- Important elements of new home contracts
- Construction financing options and considerations
- Residential construction from the ground up including materials, methods, terminology and the step-by-step building process
- Architectural design, blueprint reading, understanding site design & topography
- New home marketing strategies
- Sales center design and demonstration techniques
- The new home design process & organizing buyers' design information
- Strategies for effectively selling quality design & construction