Buying Your New Home
TYPES OF REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS
As you interview and speak with real estate agents and Realtors, you’ll start noticing acronyms such as CRS and ABR on these professionals’ business cards. What exactly do these designations mean to you and the homebuying process? Once you’re aware these specialties exist, it may influence your selection process.

Certified Relocation Professionals (CRP)
Through training courses, a real estate agent can become accredited as a Certified Relocation Professional (CRP), Senior Certified Relocation Professional (SCRP) or a Global Mobility Specialist (GMS), which entitle the agent to include the professional designation of CRP, SCRP or GMS after his or her name. These specialists are experienced in assisting families in their relocation needs, whether the move is within the United States or international. In addition to helping you find a home, a relocation specialist can provide information about schools, daycare and senior care, recreation opportunities, spouse employment, cross-cultural issues and cost of living. Usually, each large real estate firm has relocation professionals on staff to assist relocating families.

Certified Residential Specialists (CRS)
CRS specialists have completed advanced training in residential real estate and in related areas, such as finance, technology and marketing. These specialists have a proven track record of sales transactions required to earn the CRS designation. In addition, less than 4 percent of all licensed Realtors are CRS designees. In working with a CRS specialist, buyers are glad to know that every CRS designee is required to maintain membership in NAR and to abide by its strict subheader of ethics.

Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR)
An ABR designation represents best-in-class buyer services because they have made an extra effort to raise the bar with additional training in serving you, the homebuyer. A buyer’s agent is someone who represents only the buyer’s interests in the negotiations and has the understanding to better recognize homebuyers’ particular needs. Plus, a Realtor who has an ABR designation also has an established track record with proven experience in representing the concerns of homebuyers.

Real estate agency relationships, like all business relationships, can be formed in a number of ways. To help talk through your options, here are several questions to ask your buyer’s representative:
  • Do you represent buyers, sellers or both?
  • What services are provided to (or excluded from) me, based on my status as a buyer-customer or buyer-client?
  • When does representation begin? When does it conclude?
  • If I’m not ready to commit to your normal term, can you offer me a one-day buyer agency agreement or a 24-hour opt-out clause?
  • How is dual agency addressed in your firm?

Once you’ve formalized an agency relationship, typically by signing an agreement with a buyer’s representative, you should expect him or her to understand your specific needs and to locate appropriate properties. The representative often previews and/or accompanies you when viewing properties and researches these properties to identify any problems or issues you should consider. The buyer’s representative will be able to assist you in determining how much you can afford if you have not already prequalified your mortgage and advise you in formulating your offer as well as developing your negotiation strategy. It is typical for the buyer’s representative to provide a list of potential qualified vendors, such as inspectors, attorneys and lenders, for other related services that may be needed. All details of the entire transaction, from closing to beyond, should be tracked by the buyer’s representative.

   
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