If you’re thinking about buying or selling property, the first thing you want to do is ask your real
estate agent…“R® you High?”
NO! Not that!
To paraphrase The Princess Bride I don’t think that means what you think it means. For a start,
it sounds MUCH more shocking and less professional than it actually is.
Let me explain…
Currently, the National Association of REALTORS® is running a consumer education campaign
entitled That’s Who We R®. The campaign highlights the professional, educational and ethical
differences between a REALTOR® (a member of the National Association of REALTORS®)
and a real estate agent.
While a REALTOR® and an agent have to take the same pre and post licensing courses for
their state and they have to pass the same state exams to achieve licensure, REALTORS® are
held to a higher standard than a real estate agent and literally swear an oath, agreeing to be
bound by the REALTORS® Code of Ethics and committed to the NAR® Standards of Practice.
Every REALTOR® you meet has pledged to put the well-being of their client and other
consumers at the center of their business through performance and service. REALTORS® also
pledge to seek pathways of professionals with their peers when it comes to issues of courtesy
A “regular” real estate agent has no such commitment.
Additionally, most state and local boards require their members to also be members of the
National Association of REALTOR®. If a real estate agent is not a member of a local
association, there is a good chance they will not be able to offer you access to the Multiple
Listing Service. Trying to buy or sell a home without the local MLS is at best, difficult. In a
volatile market, it can be nearly impossible.
All of these are very important reasons why the R® is critical to your success in buying or
selling real estate in any market.
But the High? Well, obviously, part of the High Country…more specifically, a member of the
High Country Association of REALTORS® MLS system.
Your Great Aunt Edna might be a REALTOR® in Charlotte or your OK Aunt Alice might be a
REALTOR® in Raleigh. Edna or Alice might tell you that the internet makes it a small world and
as long as she has a real estate license in North Carolina, she can list or sell a home anywhere in North Carolina. While, technically, Edna (or Alice), is correct, that isn’t the best thing for you,
Do they know which communities are on municipal water and sewer? Which ones have the best
access to nature trails? Does a certain subdivision’s POA handle snow removal? Is a POA
different than an HOA a neighborhood might have in Charlotte or Raleigh? Are long term rentals
allowed in this neighborhood? What about short term rentals? What’s the best elementary
school if your child is interested in science? Do Alice and Edna understand how the more
frequent winter weather events impact the roads? Do they know how to determine who is
responsible for road maintenance? Are they aware of the difference in radon levels between
different elevations and how important radon testing is in the mountains?
Do Alice and Edna have the tools and resources to be able to give you, their client, the best
advice for one of the biggest investments of your life? If they don’t know the local geography or
the impact of the local geology or aren’t a member of the local association, then they aren’t
going to be able to give you the best information for the locale of your investment.
Simply ask Edna or Alice for a referral; tell them you want to make sure your R(EALTOR)® is
High (Country savvy).
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