Many home buyers and sellers use the term “Realtor” to describe all real estate agents, but there is a big difference. Realtor have more training and accreditation than the average real estate agent and can draw upon more resources to get the best deal for your real estate investment.
Becoming a Realtor
Realtor have a membership in the National Association of Realtor (NAR), which oversees practices and cooperative efforts between more real estate agents than any other organization in the world. NAR has more than one million members in 60 countries worldwide and is based in Washington, DC. This is where it lobbies the government on behalf of the real estate industry and buyers and sellers.
NAR also conducts extensive research on the economic, political, and structural effects of changes in the real estate industry, and passes those findings onto its members. Realtor have the opportunity to network with each other and compare notes on regional industry conditions at regular NAR events. Additionally, NAR provides representation and education for its members, which enhances their real estate expertise.
Perhaps NAR’s greatest value is that it upholds a well-established code of ethics which covers every practice in real estate. NAR’s Code of Ethics is updated every year to keep pace with changes in the industry and is followed by its members around the world. Some examples of such guidelines are:
- Treat all parties honestly and protect the interests of their clients
- When attempting to secure a listing, they cannot purposely mislead the owner as to the market value
- When managing a property, they must exercise due diligence in ensuring the against contingencies and losses protection of the property.
- They must cooperate with other brokers except when cooperation is not in the client’s best interest.
There are 17 articles total in this document with several standards of practice. The overall outline is split up into three main categories, which include: Duties to Clients and Customers, Duties to the Public, Duties to Realtor. These rules help promote a common standard for real estate beyond NAR and maintain trust between consumers and real estate professionals.
To further prove their dedication to serving the client with to the best of their abilities, many Realtor take courses offered by the NAR’s Realtor University, which provide education on things like foreclosure markets, second-home markets, and real estate safety. By taking these courses, the pledge to serve the code of ethics and to maintain a professional reputation.
MLS and Realtor
When looking to buy or sell a property, you will most likely encounter an MLS (Multiple Listings Service). Many Realtor consider this to be the brain of the real estate business. When working with a client, a Realtor has the opportunity to access and post homes on each MLS community. Clients who are looking to buy or sell a home are unable to access this, as it is only limited to those in the real estate profession who pay a membership fee. This means a broader expansion of resources available to the client.
Buyers and sellers working with a Realtor also get an upper hand on the rest of the market, with access to more MLS data. Realtor enable their clients to list their home on the MLS and view other homes for sale, whereas other real estate agents may not be able to provide access to this service. Realtor partnerships also enable buyers and sellers to view “homes for sale” data across the nation and the world, so they can get to know the market faster.
Realtor have the best interest in mind when it comes to their clients. They have a wide variety of resources available and can easily navigate their way through offers and counter-offers. By making an informed decision about a Realtor, the benefits could carry you a long way in your journey with your home. The educational skills and background that Realtor have are unmatched and ultimately ensures you with the most safety and protection when making a big commitment such as selling or buying a house.