Does it Matter if My Real Estate Agent is Certified?

Have you ever seen a Realtor’s name presented like this?


Yep, those are all certifications. Each certification means the agent passed a test after going through a set number of class hours on a specific subject. These classes are meant to provide skills that will enrich their business and the services they provide for clients. Many of these classes are provided by the National Association of REALTORS®. Some are provided by an organization in the association’s extended family, but all are approved by the governing body of Realtors®.

So, say you’re getting ready to sell a property – does it matter if the agent you choose is an Accredited Land Consultant or a Certified Distressed Property Expert? It really depends on the circumstances. Most properties – homes and land – can be sold without need for any special certification, because the knowledge needed to do so is provided through core classes and continuing education required by the state real estate commission, as well as day-to-day experiences.

Where these certifications really pay off is in highly specialized real estate segments, like distressed properties (short sales, foreclosures, etc.). Financial and government institutions have put in place a lot of requirements and steps for selling distressed properties – forms to use, a timeline of submission, restrictions on when offers can be made, who can approve a contract, how parties need to sign paperwork, where the documents need to be uploaded, what repairs can be made, etc. It can get to be very confusing (and frustrating). Training on how to handle distressed properties can help the whole transaction go smoother.

Another highly specialized segment that can see the benefits of a certification is luxury properties. These higher priced properties often come with a specific target market and marketing plan that agents don’t see in the more active lower priced properties. Training can provide an agent with a better understanding of the needs of the buyers and sellers in this price range, as well as the extra features that accompany these types of homes.

One more segment that could benefit from a certificate is military relocation. Unless a real estate agent is or was a military member, chances are they won’t be fully educated on the processes and procedures for relocating with the United States Military. Training can help a real estate agent guide members of the military through the decision-making process, including the services available specifically to them.

If an agent’s certification isn’t related to the above segments, it doesn’t mean that it’s any less valuable. Every course is an opportunity for a real estate agent to improve their skills and gain knowledge that will garner more money and a smoother transaction for their clients, as well as a better experience for everyone else involved (co-broke agents, lenders, attorneys, etc.). We just want to assure you that the lack of a certification does not mean that your agent isn’t good or doesn’t know what they’re doing. Some of the best knowledge comes from real world experience and the training provided right within their brokerage (Coldwell Banker, Re\Max, etc.).

Want to know more about buying or selling real estate in the Wilmington area? Give us a call at (910) 202-2546 or send us a message through our Contact page.

Real Estate Agent Certifications & Abbreviations

ABR – Accredited Buyer Representative
– At Home with Diversity
ALC – Accredited Land Consultant
– Accredited Management Organization
– Broker Price Opinion Resource
– Coldwell Banker Previews
– Certified Buyer Representative
– Certified Commercial Investment Member
– Certified Distressed Property Expert
CHMS – Certified Home Marketing Specialist
– Certified International Property Specialist
CLHMS – Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
CNS – Certified Negotiation Specialist
CPM – Certified Property Manager
CRB – Certified Real Estate Broker
– Counselor of Real Estate
– Certified Real Estate Team Specialist
– Certified Relocation Specialist
CRS – Certified Residential Specialist
– Certified short sale Specialist
e-PRO – Internet Professional
GREEN – National Association of Realtors Green Designation
GRES – Graduate Real Estate Society
GRI – Graduate REALTOR® Institute
MRP – Military Relocation Professional
NAR – National Association of Realtors
– Performance Management Network
– Pricing Strategy Advisor
– Member of the National Association of Realtors
RENE – Real Estate Negotiation Expert
RPAC – Realtors Political Action Committee
– Resort & Second-Home Property Specialist
– Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource
SRES – Senior Real Estate Specialist
– Seller Representative Specialist

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About the Author
Meghan Henderson
Meghan is the Marketing Specialist for The Cameron Team and a published author of two young adult books. She also creates digital and printable planners and trackers, as well as coloring pages for Larkspur & Tea.