Real estate agents must be licensed in order to ensure that clients are working with someone who will uphold their fiduciary responsibility, or work towards their best interests when dealing with large amounts of money and confidential information.
This means that when handling large transactions like home sales, they are honest, trustworthy and knowledgeable. They maintain client privacy, and have unquestionable integrity.
What Standards Must Licensed Agents Be Held To?
Although the standards are different by state, the general purpose is the same. Holding agents to a standard that is protecting consumers and ensuring the least amount of possible legal issues.
What is Fiduciary Responsibility?
There are many fields requiring a fiduciary duty to clients. Usually in fields where large amounts of money is changing hands. Scrutinizing these fields leads to higher levels of professionalism, including state oversight and regulation.
In real estate, the fiduciary responsibility of a licensed agent is to always be acting in the best interests of the client. This means acting in their best interest even when it is not the best option for the agent.
Finding ways to save clients money, making sure nothing is overlooked, and doing everything possible to be a good steward of the client’s finances and trust.
Does a State License Hold an Agent to High Enough Standards?
Wondering if your state’s license is holing agents to a high enough standard? Great questions! Lots of consumers have been wondering the same thing, and this is the problem that REALTORS® are solving since the overwhelming opinion has been “no”.
By taking the existing standards, and implementing additional requirements, they are lifting up the real estate industry. In doing so, they are holding their members accountable and ensuring consumers have a way to vet their agents.
Checking a state’s website to see if someone has their license is okay, but checking to see if they are a REALTOR® in good standing holds much more weight. Finding a licensed REALTOR® when buying or selling real estate is providing you peace of mind that you are in good hands.
What is the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)?
The National Association of REALTORS®, or NAR, is a professional organization for licensed real estate agents.
The NAR holds its members to a higher standard, and requires them to abide by a much stricter Code of Ethics. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires members to work towards their clients’ best interests while working together cohesively.
Is Everyone with a Real Estate License a REALTOR®?
Although not everyone with a real estate license is a REALTOR®, all REALTORS® have a real estate license.
The difference? REALTORS® agree to abide by and are adhering to higher standards of practices set forth by the NAR. Because of this, they are bringing a higher level of service to the table. This is where the Code of Ethics comes into play.
When a REALTOR® violates the Code of Ethics, they are being held responsible for their violation. Accountability for ethical violations ensures that only the best are staying in business and working with clients.
The Benefit of Having a National Association of REALTORS®
What is the benefit in having a professional organization for real estate agents? Is it helping the agents, the consumers, or both? How is this helping people who have a real estate sales agent license?
A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats
In reality, the NAR is a professional organization that is protecting consumers. Because of its core mission to raise standards, it also protects agent members.
The NAR is also lobbying for REALTORS®, property owners, and the industry as a whole. They are the largest national proponent for maintaining integrity, honesty, and fairness in the real estate industry which is ultimately benefitting everyone.
The NAR’s actions are helping both agents and consumers. By raising the bar, they are increasing the level of service that consumers can expect from their REALTOR® members and providing incredible resources to help their members succeed. A consumer using the services of a REALTOR® can expect someone representing them to have their best interests in mind in everything they do.
Other Real Estate Careers That Require Licensing
Besides a sales agent, there are plenty of real estate careers that require state licensing. For example, Texas requires state licensing for inspectors and appraisers as well.
Besides these few, there are countless career opportunities within the real estate economy. We are compiling information on all of them to make it easier for you to make the leap to a new career.
If you are ready to make the leap to a career in real estate, check out your state’s real estate website for licensing requires.