Thursday, September 13, 2007

R is for REALTOR(R)

I know I'm being picky, but this needs to be said.

All REALTORS(R) are real estate agents, but all real estate agents aren't REALTORS(R).

One becomes a real estate agent by passing a test. One becomes a REALTOR(R) by joining the National Association of REALTORS(R). In order to join the NAR, a REALTOR(R) must attend special ethics training, and agree to abide by the NAR Code of Ethics. As a consumer, if interested in what this means, feel free to look at the NAR website for more info.

Not only are all real estate agents not affiliated with the NAR, according to the NAR, only about half are. And yet, the very vendors we deal with, as well as consumer experts (like Clark Howard) use the terms REALTOR(R) and real estate agent interchangeably. I'm just picky, personally. However, I have been through the NAR ethics training, and I feel that it is my duty to deal with ALL others in a transaction in an ethical manner. I pay my dues (one reason that many choose not to join).

To be sure, I want to state for the record that there are MANY fine real estate agents that are NOT members of the NAR. Their personal ethics are as good as any member of the NAR. There are also REALTORS(R) that are far less ethical than the NAR Code of Ethics require. (At this point I would like to say that any consumer should get to know their real estate agent, whether they are a member of the NAR or not, and make sure that their agent is really working on their behalf). A big advantage of working with a REALTOR(R) is that there is an extra layer of accountability. Not only am I accountable to the the state real estate commission, but I am also accountable to the local and state associations.

I am a member of the DeKalb Association of REALTORS(R), as well as the Georgia Association of REALTORS(R), and the NAR (it's a package deal, really).

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