When I was first starting to out as a Real Estate agent, I didn't think being a Realtor was important. Even as a Real Estate appraiser, I did not see the value in an agent being a Realtor. And, I imagine, most of the people reading this won't see it as a big deal either.
Now, that I am in the business, I realize that a Realtor is a cut above. A Realtor has made the commitment to be a professional and to invest in their career and invest in themselves.
As a Realtor, I have agreed to uphold the NAR code of ethics, which are at a higher level than those of state requirements. I have attended training that is required to be a Realtor, but not to be licensed by the state.
Perhaps the most important, is that being a Realtor in my state gives me access to the best Real Estate contracts, which are not to be used by someone who is not a Realtor or does not license the contracts separately. These contracts are better written and defined than the general contracts used by non Realtors.
So, why don't all agents become Realtors. Well, I would hope it isn't because they don't want to be held to a higher standard of ethics, although, that could be a reason for some. I think the bigger issue is that they don't want to spend $400.00 every year to be a Realtor.
Frankly, an agent not wanting to spend $400.00 a year to ensure they are better equipped to represent their clients in the purchase or sale of a home that would be in the 100's of thousands is difficult to understand.
Now, does hiring a Realtor ensure that you will get a top notch professional? No, but it definitely increases the odds.
As always, I hope this article helps you make the wise move.