Buying or selling a property can be a stressful and dramatic experience. So you want to make sure that you find a real estate agent who can really help you with your needs. It’s actually quite easy to become a real estate agent. This article from Realtor.com explains how to become a Realtor®. It requires taking a course, passing a test, and hanging your license with a broker. Every four years a real estate agent has to take continuing education. But is that really enough?
When looking for an agent, how can you look for a real estate agent who has taken continuing education to better themselves in their field?
You need to look for a real estate agent with real estate specific designations and certifications.
There are a lot of designations and certifications a Realtor® can get, and many of them are quite specific to niche real estate. You can read all about them here: National Association of Realtors Designations and Certifications
These designations require the agent to take courses, tests and some even require them to have a certain number of sales and experience to attain.
What are some examples of designations and certifications?
Ever since I became a Realtor® I have focused on continuing my education. I felt that containing my education was important to deliver excellent service. Continuing my real estate education past the basic licensing was important to me, so that I could deliver superior customer service to my customers. Hence, I got the designation/certifications that enable me to understand better the real estate transaction process, markets and tools available so that I can close all of my transactions on-time while saving my clients money and minimizing the hassle of real estate purchase/sale process.
Here are the designations and certifications that I have:
A CRS REALTOR® is a Certified Residential Specialist—one of the top 3 percent of real estate agents in the U.S. CRS agents have more experience and training than the average REALTOR® and they are part of a community of REALTORS® dedicated to improving the real estate industry for homebuyers and sellers everywhere.
GRI is the Graduate, Realtor Institute is a nationally recognized professional real estate designation. This designation may only be earned after successfully completing a rigorous educational program.
ALHS stands for Accredited Luxury Home Specialist and it is for agents who focus on servicing luxury home buyers and sellers and it enables agents to market the luxury home properties better.
Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) The ABR® designation is the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. This coveted designation demonstrates to peers and consumers a commitment to providing outstanding service to real estate buyers. The designation requires coursework and demonstrated transactions as a buyer's agent.
Seller Representative Specialist (SRS®) Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) designation is the premier seller agency designation in the country. The SRS is conferred by the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB) and is an official credential of the National Association of REALTORS®. The designees are part of an elite group of real estate professionals in North America earn the SRS designation. All are required to successfully complete a comprehensive course in seller representation, pass a comprehensive exam and subscribe to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.
ePRO® is the technology certification. In today’s fast paced world, I always try to refer to ePRO agents, because they have the best response times.
Certified Home Marketing Specialist (CHMS) Realtors who have been awarded the CHMS designation have the skills necessary to turn listings into sales. CHMS Realtors integrate marketing and staging to help every seller increase buyer appeal.
How do you find agents who have designations and certifications?
The easiest way is to review real estate agent's bio and look for designations. You can google search with your city, state and designation/certification.
Also, you can just keep it in mind when you are comparing real estate agents.
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