There is a difference between a Real Estate Agent and a Realtor. A Real Estate Agent is someone that has completed the required schooling and testing by the state. A Real Estate Agent can only list your home exclusively and cannot list a home on the multiple listing service.
Realtors are Real Estate Agents that can list homes on the Multiple Listing Service. By listing a home on the Multiple Listing Service, this gives the home much more exposure. There are thousands of Realtors in Maricopa county. When a client calls on a Realtor to help them find the right home, the Realtor can look in the MLS for certain criteria- price, size, no. of bedrooms and baths, pool, location, certain school district. The Realtor can then show the client each of the homes in a given area. Realtors have a special “Code Of Ethics” they must follow- Real Estate Agents do not.
Many Realtors continue their education and have further designations that show greater skill in working with buyers and/or sellers.
CRS is the highest residential real estate designation that a Realtor can obtain. CRS stands for Certified Residential Specialist. Only 10% of the Realtor’s in the United States have this designation. To become a CRS agent within the first 5 years of getting a real estate license, the licensee must sell a minimum of 75 homes or sell $25 million dollars in residential real estate. CRS agents must take an extra 64 credit hours which is close to 3 times the recommended hours that all Arizona Realtors are required to take every 2 years. CRS Realtor’s success shows as they are the highest paid residential Realtors in America.
The GRI designation is the 2nd highest designation for residential Realtors. GRI means Graduate Of Realtor Institute. The slogan for GRI’s is “The Mark Of Excellence”. Realtors take 90 hours of class instruction. Only 19% of Realtors nationwide have the GRI designation.
The designation for a Buyers Realtor is ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative). The slogan for the ABR is “Someone You Can Trust”. These Realtors have received special training to help buyers. As designated buyer representatives they are taught to represent only your best interest as a buyer. Only 15% of Realtors have the ABR designation. When you choose to buy a home, it is a good idea to work with a Realtor that has the ABR and the CRS designations at the very least.
When buying or selling a home you owe it to yourself to work with a professional Realtor. The most professional Realtor’s have worked extra hard to earn designations such as the CRS, GRI and ABR. You don’t want to trust your largest investment(s) with a part time Realtor or someone with little experience.