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Introduction to Realtor Designations By Dennis Mahafkey

February 6, 2013

Whether you are buying or selling property, the process of finding the right real estate agent to suit your specific needs can often be daunting. To help with this process, there are a number of designations set forth by professional real estate organizations to better inform consumers about the type and level of training achieved by a given agent. You will often see these designations as an acronym following your Realtor’s name. This guide offers a brief introduction to some of the major designations.

GRI (Graduate, Realtor Institute) – Graduates of this foundational and comprehensive series of real estate courses earn this nationally recognized designation.

CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) – This designation, as put forth by the Residential Sales Council of the National Association of Realtors, signifies excellence within the field of real estate. This title is awarded to Realtors with years of advanced training and experience.

CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist) – Members of the Certified International Property Specialist Network receive special training to help them successfully broker international property deals. Unique considerations for the international market include exchange rates and cultural differences.

ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative) – Realtors who successfully complete this course provided by REBAC (Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council) are awarded the ABR designation. This training gives Realtors valuable insight into the nature of the market and how it relates specifically to buyers.

RAA (Residential Accredited Appraiser) – Highly trained appraisers whose education and experience exceed state regulation earn this title.

This list is by no mean exhaustive, but it will offer some guidance toward finding the right Realtor for you.

Dennis Mahafkey is the founder and a practicing Senior Real Estate Consultant for Your Find Homes Team, located in Fairfax, Virginia. With over 30 years experience in the field, Mr. Mahafkey has earned a number of awards and recognitions. Among his other qualifications, Dennis Mahafkey is GRI-certified and a qualified CRS.


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