A Difference That Matters
Many people use the word “REALTOR®” to describe someone who is a real estate agent or broker. However, there is a difference between a real estate agent or broker who is a REALTOR® and one who is not. There are significant advantages for clients who hire a REALTOR®.
All Texas real estate agents and brokers must be licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission to assist consumers with buying and selling property. However, only those licensed agents and brokers who choose to become REALTORS® commit themselves to a higher standard of professional conduct known as the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. The code consists of 17 articles that outline a REALTOR’S® obligations to clients, the public and other REALTORS®. Each article is broken down into several standards of practice that outline the conduct expected of a Realtor.
The Code of Ethics is more than a list of goals. It is actually enforced through the REALTOR® organization to ensure the interests of clients, the public and other REALTORS® are protected. As a matter of fact, anyone can charge a REALTOR® with violating the Code of Ethics, and procedures are in place to determine if the code has indeed been broken. If the Realtor is found to have violated the code, punishments range from mandatory education to hefty fines and sometimes even suspension of membership in the organization.
Head of the Class
Another distinguishing feature of REALTORS® is how much value we place on education. You may have seen a business card or webpage and noticed a string of letters, such as GRI, CRS or ABR, after a REALTOR’S® name. Those letters represent professional designations offered through the REALTOR® organization or affiliated institutions.
As a buyer or seller, you can benefit from a Texas REALTOR’S® in-depth industry knowledge gained from earning designations. Each designation represents a different type of expertise such as buyer representation, affordable housing, property management and others.
A Difference that Matters
So, REALTORS® are more than just real estate agents and brokers. They are professionals who abide by a strict ethical code, are obliged to treat all parties fairly, and pursue education beyond what the law requires.
We hope you’ll consider hiring a REALTOR® for your next real estate transaction. It’s a difference that matters-for many reasons.
Source: Texas Association of REALTORS®