CCAR The Voice of Clark County Real Estate: Why Choose A REALTOR?
Posted April 21, 2019 in Special Features
Like Kleenex is to facial tissues and Post It notes to small, sticky pieces of paper, REALTORS have tended to become synonymous with licensed real estate brokers. However, not all licensed brokers are actually REALTORS. In short, a REALTOR is a member of the National Association of REALTORS, an organization that implements its own series of professional standards and priorities separate from those outlined by state licensing agencies.
So what’s the difference between a licensed broker and a REALTOR? As mentioned above, the professional standards are what immediately set REALTORS apart from the rest. There is a strict Code of Ethics which create a higher standard of conduct both with clients as well as their fellow professionals. Those who violate the Code of Ethics risk penalties levied by a panel of their peers, ranging from fines, to ethics classes, to a suspension from activities. These long-standing standards help build trust not just with their fellow professionals, but also help ensure that by doing business with a REALTOR, a client’s best interests will be managed with the utmost care.
Locally, the Association of REALTORS has part ownership of the Regional Multiple Listing Service, or RMLS, which is a comprehensive database of listed properties that is easily accessible for REALTORS and the public. By being a REALTOR, members can deliver this powerful tool to their buyers and sellers, and by utilizing the platform can ensure that the professionals they interact with that also list on the service are fellow REALTORS that subscribe and abide by the higher professional standards that they do.
One major impact that REALTORS have on the community that separates them from licensed brokers is their advocacy efforts. REALTORS engage on the local, state, and national level on issues that relate to homeownership, property rights, taxation, and fair housing. On the national stage, REALTORS have been champions of the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing transactions based upon race, gender, religion, and a host of other protected classes. REALTORS have also been advocating for updates to flood insurance, protection of the mortgage interest deduction, and net neutrality. On state and local levels, REALTORS have been on the front lines of the affordable housing crisis, advocating for policies that create more opportunities for housing. In recent years, REALTORS have promoted adjustments to the Washington Condominium Act to promote more condo development, pushed for Accessory Dwelling Unit inclusion in local codes, and for adjusting density standards in areas where higher density development can help ease the burden on housing supply.
In short, when using a REALTOR, a client is choosing to work with a professional who holds themselves and others to a higher standard and reinvests in the industry and their community to promote the opportunity for homeownership to as many as possible. To learn more about what REALTORS are doing in our communities, visit ccrealtors.com.
Public Affairs Director
Clark County Association of REALTORS®