January 18th, 2011 4:23 PM by Wendy Thomas
I follow a blog from one of the leaders in the real estate industry, Steve Harney. When I received his blog today, I realized it was something that I wanted to expand on. I try not to use my blog or Facebook page to "sell myself", but to bring you interesting and usable information; I'll try not to make this one any different, so I apologize in advance if it sounds that way.
The blog today was about why you need a real estate expert in today's market, not just an agent. This is a very different market than I've ever seen (in the 14 years I've been a Realtor), and from what I hear from others who have been in the business longer, the market has NEVER been like this. To be a real estate agent, a person has to take real estate classes about laws, ethics, and real estate basics, and pass a state exam. That's it. To be a Realtor, he or she must become a member of the Association of Realtors. That's it. At either point, that person may then begin to sell houses.
Any further education is up to the agent. Depending on the company that you decide to work for (Allen Tate requires their agents to go through a couple of weeks of training that is excellent-- I started at Allen Tate years ago, left, then came back to the company). Others let you begin to work without any further training. I personally have ABR (Accredited Buyers Representative) and CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) designations. Any designations require additional classes and training. Even at that point, though, do all agents keep up with the market, and what's going on with the economy? I would venture to say no.
My point is, you truly need someone who knows what is going on in the market. Your agent needs to know what the leaders in the industry are saying, what the banks and lenders are doing, and what is going on in your local area. You need an expert, not just an agent.
To read the Steve Harney blog on this, to go http://kcmblog.com/2011/01/18/you-need-an-expert-not-just-an-agent/
I didn't write this to talk badly of anyone who does not have any further training or designations... I do, however, think it's important, as in every job, to continue to learn and grow to become a better professional.