Andrew Wetzel's Musings

May 27, 2017

REALTOR: Realtors Earn A Living Taking On Responsibility

Filed under: Uncategorized — awetzel @ 4:29 PM

What is a REALTOR?  Unfortunately, for those of us who are really REALTORS, the term has been mistakenly used to refer to all Real Estate Agents.  While both terms, REALTORS and Real Estate Agents, have much in common, there is one significant difference:  a REALTOR is a member of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) and that means we subscribe to a formal Code of Ethics.  That is the “responsibility” referenced in the title phrase.  This may or may not mean that the average REALTOR is more ethical than the average Real Estate Agent but I would respectfully question why a consumer would entrust what is perhaps their biggest financial transaction to someone who (1) is NOT required to honor a formal Code of Ethics and (2) who is not a member of the largest professional association in the United States?

Through the National Association of REALTORS, the REALTOR community has consistently advocated legislation that helps to promote and to protect home ownership.  For example, NAR has been instrumental in preventing politicians from raising the “Realty Transfer Tax”, saving both Buyers and Sellers lots of money.  Many Buyers struggle to accumulate money to pay their “closing costs” and any savings makes buying a home more likely.  Sellers should be able to have their equity protected rather than adding to the government tax collection.  Space does not permit me to go on but there are countless other success stories.

Hiring a REALTOR also means that you are working with an Agent who is committed to a formal Code of Ethics.  Should you have reason to believe that your Agent failed to abide by the Code, you may file a complaint with your local Board of REALTORS.  As a former Co-Chair of my Board’s Grievance Committee (we reviewed complaints to decide which moved forward to a formal hearing) and as a current Co-Chair of our Professional Standards Committee (we hear the “cases” and evaluate whether a violation of the Code of Ethics occurred), let me tell you that we take complaints very seriously.  Our reputation is hard earned and too easily compromised.  If your Agent is not a REALTOR, there are ways to file a complaint but that is more difficult and there is NO Code of Ethics.

If you would like a copy of the Code of Ethics, please contact me or search online.  It is NOT a secret even if your Real Estate Agent never mentioned it.

In closing, the fee you agree to pay your Agent is negotiable but there is no added cost to hire a REALTOR.  However, there may be a difference in the delivery of service.  Does it make sense to take that risk with your largest asset?

HIRE WISELY!

Thank you for reading.

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