Why Choose a Realtor Over a Real Estate Agent?

Purchasing or selling a home is a very emotional situation. The average American will buy or sell a home only 2-3 times during their lifetime and for many people, it will be the largest investment they make. This transaction is a significant event for anyone and because of that, it’s important that it’s done correctly. Choosing the right individual or organization to be your representative will have an incredible impact on the end results of your home purchase or sale.

Many real estate agents are professionals, but not all of them are REALTORS®. Some people believe that anyone who sells or buys real estate is a Realtor, but that is incorrect. The term “real estate agent” can generically describe someone licensed by the state that makes their living by buying and selling property on behalf of others. Only real estate licensees who are members of the National Association of Realtors® can call themselves a REALTOR®.

The similarities between a Realtor and a real estate agent are great. They both minimize the inconvenience a buyer or seller will experience in during the transaction, saving time, money, and frustration. Both may advise, assist, and represent the client in negotiating, presenting an offer or counteroffer, financing, inspections, and closing. They both must apply for licenses in order to buy or sell real estate within the state in which they practice. But this is where the similarities end.

First, let’s talk about qualifications. Realtors are expected to maintain a high level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling property. Realtors are expert consultants, who complete education classes regularly in order to keep current with local and federal laws, ethics, fair housing, and all matters related to real estate.

Next, let’s talk about honesty and integrity. Realtors subscribe to high professional standards and a strict Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics contains rules of fairness and honesty that govern a Realtors conduct. A home buyer or seller that chooses to employ the services of a Realtor is assured loyalty, confidentiality, and lawful handling of monies. The Code of Ethics also provides access to arbitration and dispute resolution to help settle differences between sellers and buyers, and between consumers and real estate practitioners, without costly and time-consuming litigation.

Finally, there is specialization. The National Association of Realtors® offer 21 officially endorsed designations and certifications to their members. A Realtor® that has a designation or certification has a particular expertise in a given area. Some examples are as follows:

ABR - Accredited Buyer Representative

ALC - Accredit Land Consultant

CCIM - Certified Commercial Investment Member

CRS - Certified Residential Specialist

GAA - General Accredited Appraiser

A full list of the different designations and certifications can be found here.

We here at Barker & Hedges are proud to say that we are e-PRO® certified! That means that we are Internet Professionals! In this electronic era, it’s imperative that real estate marketing practices adapt to the changing times. We have been fully trained in all ethical, legal, and regulatory standards of conducting business over the Internet. In addition, we’ve mastered the art of using technology like e-mail and websites to market your home and communicate efficiently with connected clients.

We’re also working to become Accredited Buyer Representatives. ABR® designation is the standard of excellence in buyer representation. This designation is awarded by the Real Estate BUYER'S AGENT Council of the National Association of REALTORS® to real estate practitioners who meet the specified educational and practical experience criteria. We haven’t quite finished the work necessary for this yet, but as soon as we’ve finished it, you’ll certainly read about it on this blog.

Real Estate is a very competitive industry. Choosing the right representation is important. When you are searching for a Twin Cities Realtor, please choose carefully. And be sure to consider the expert team at Barker & Hedges to help you settle into the home of your dreams.

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