I didn’t know until I entered the real estate profession that an “agent” and a “realtor” are not the same. A general real estate agent is also required to be state-licensed in the state they work, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. When you hire a REALTOR, you can be sure that you have a trained, experienced, qualified and licensed real estate advocate working for you. And the benefits of partnering with a Realtor who lives, breathes, walks, talks and eats in Grand Rapids, you’ve got a super-specialized professional who can even better find you the place you’re looking for – wherever in Grand Rapids that might be.
There are six tenants of “agency” – also referred to as the Code of Ethics – that Realtors are required to provide clients under a client relationship contract. And in order to retain the Realtor designation, we are required to complete continuing education courses annually, so we stay up-to-date on market trends, review possible legal issues, learn of new new regulations/legislations, e.g. Here’s a Realtor’s Code of Ethics:
Obedience: We work hard for you and short of anything illegal, do whatever you ask of us. Want to look at 600 properties before making an offer on one? Absolutely. Interested in only certain neighborhoods or ranch-style homes. Not a problem. Your wish is our command.
Loyalty: Your Realtor has a vow to be loyal to you, acting with only your best interest in mind. While of course we enjoy the commission that comes with providing our service, that is not a consideration when it comes to how long you need us or how hard we work for you. Every client we begin a relationship with is priority one.
Disclosure: Because honesty is the best policy – especially in real estate – your Realtor is bound by our code of ethics to tell you everything we know about a property. Sometimes it’s something we notice that we weren’t aware of that we know from experience is a potential issue. You can trust our knowledge and eyes to work for you and act with full disclosure.
Confidentiality: Are you in a situation where you’ll actually accept less than listing price because you’re ready already to sell? We won’t share that with potential buyers – unless, of course, you want us to. Are you nearly impossible to please? That’s not something your Realtor will share with colleagues or on Facebook. What you share with us and what we know about your situation is confidential.
Reasonable care & Diligence: We know the right questions to ask in order to identify potential pitfalls. Surveys are a good example. While it’s nice to have a sketch of the property with the boundary lines drawn, we take it a step further to verify that it is correct before you make your offer. It’s your Realtor’s duty to take on the additional responsibility and act diligently to ensure all bases are covered.
Accounting: Your Realtor has a fiduciary responsibility to manage your earnest money deposit appropriately and accurately account for its deposit, distribution, and also return to you in the event that is necessary. Your money is safe in the hands of your Realtor.
Selling and purchasing a property are big transactions with many legalities and steps to navigate. Having a licensed Realtor – and even better, a Grand Rapids Realtor – to walk you through the experience can make all the difference between a dream and a nightmare. Never hesitate to contact me with any questions you have about what else my professional services provides to you.