You're looking for a Realtor®. But did you know that the term "Realtor" is proprietary? It's not a general term for real estate agent. Yes, all Realtors are licensed real estate agents but the term Realtor is derived from the National Association of Realtors and only those that are a member can actually call themselves "Realtors".
What it means to be a Realtor is that you are part of a group of agents and brokers that have committed themselves to the code of ethics that the Realtor promises, however, not every individual agent has the choice on becoming a Realtor. In Washington state, that responsibility falls to the brokerage, not the actual agent. So, if the brokerage requires their agents to be Realtors, they all must do so. If a brokerage doesn't become members, the agents do not as well.
Does this mean that agents that are not Realtors don't hold themselves to the same standards? Of course not! But the kicker is the other way around too; regardless of whether they are a Realtor or not, you can still find the bad apple in the box.
In every profession there is one that gives the industry a bad name. It doesn't matter whether they took the code of conduct and ethics seriously because they had to under their brokers requirement. It really comes down to the individual agent.
I've spoken to many homeowners and buyers that have stated they have to work with a Realtor. Only most don't even understand what that means. Anyone that takes the test to become a licensed agent can buy and sell real estate on behalf of another. The term "Realtor" is only given to those that pay an extra fee each year to be a member of a group.
Now, the membership does offer different perks like forms, legislative action and support but for the average homeowner, the term means nothing more than a title. It's the actions, character and ethics of the individual that the consumer should be aware of. A Realtor could be no more than a wolf in sheep's clothing and a licensed agent without the title could be the best negotiator and agent in town. The title is really meaningless if the agent does not hold themselves to the proper standards.
All this being said, the bottom line is finding an agent you trust, has experience, knowledge and great negotiating skills, regardless of their title or the amount of letters after their name.
If you're serious about buying or selling a home in Ballard Washington, contact me today. Use my website, which is updated daily to search for homes in Ballard and when you need the trusted confidence of a skilled and seasoned agent, contact Kris Swierz. I look forward to talking to you today!
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