Most home buyers and sellers use the term “REALTOR®” to describe every real estate agents, but there is actually a big difference. Realtors have more training and higher standards than “just” a real estate agent. Realtors also have access to more resources to ensure you get the best real estate deal possible.
Realtors have membership in the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which oversees practices and co-operative 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, where it lobbies 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.
Members of NAR have the opportunity to network with each other and compare notes on regional industry conditions at regular events, including an annual conference and expo with more than 500 exhibitors. In effect, 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. These rules help promote a common standard for real estate beyond NAR, and maintain trust between consumers and real estate professionals. In order to meet the code of ethics many Realtors take courses offered by the NAR’s REALTOR® University, which provide education on things like foreclosure markets, second home markets, and real estate safety.
Buyers and sellers working with Realtors also get an upper hand on the rest of the market, with access to more Multiple Listings Service (MLS) data. Realtors 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. The vast majority of homes through the MLS because that’s where Realtors search for homes when they work with a buyer.
Next time you get ready to sell or buy a home please work with a designated REALTOR® like me!