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What are Designations?     Are they important to me, the
consumer?    Should I care?

In most cases buyers and sellers get into an agreement with an agent

and have no idea of the qualifications of the agent they have selected.

They might use several sets of criteria to make their decision. This

information may assist them in the decision or at least have them

realize that all agents are not created equal. Some have spent

years educating themselves to assist buyers and sellers.

Four of the more popular designations most buyers and sellers

 should know:        CRS     GRI      e-pro       ABR 


 Check to see if your agent has graduated to one of these



      The Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is the highest

Designation awarded to sales associates in the residential sales field.

The CRS Designation recognizes professional accomplishment in both

experience and education.

Since 1977 the Council of Residential Specialists has been conferring

the CRS Designation on agents who meet its stringent requirements.

There are over one million REALTORS® in business today.

So if you want to find that one-in-a-million REALTOR®, start with the

 over 39,000 who hold the Certified Residential Specialist

Designation. CRS is the symbol of excellence in residential real

estate. Our members have proven they have the experience, training

and commitment to be among the best in their profession.

Requirements to become a CRS.


Why Choose a REALTOR® With a GRI designation?

Buying property is a complex and stressful task. In fact, it’s often

the biggest single investment you will make in your lifetime.

 At the same time, real estate transactions have become increasingly


New technology, laws, procedures and the increasing sophistication

of buyers and sellers require real estate practitioners to perform at an

 ever-increasing level of professionalism.

So it’s more important than ever that you work with an agent who has

a keen understanding of the real estate business. The GRI program

has helped the best and the brightest in the industry achieve

that level of understanding.

GRIs are:

  •   Nationally recognized as top performers in the real estate industry
  •   Professionally trained
  •   Knowledgeable
  •   Dedicated to bringing you quality service

A GRI can make a difference

When you see the letters “GRI” after an agent’s name, you can count on receiving the knowledge and guidance you need to make your transaction go smoothly. In short, you can count on getting the best service available from a real estate professional.

Requirements to become a GRI.


The vision for the future of e-PRO Certification is to create a

well-trained, core group of real estate professionals who are

thriving in the on-line-based real estate industry. The e-PRO

Internet Professional belongs to a special community of highly skilled

and continuously trained real estate professionals who collaborate to

enjoy deeper satisfaction and greater financial rewards as the result of

their e-PRO Certification status.

This Program will teach the REALTOR® about Internet business

principles required to remain in the center of the real estate transaction,


  • Options and requirements to Get Connected
  • E-mail Communication and Marketing Practices
  • WWW Marketing Strategies and Practices
  • Creating and Maintaining Personal Technology Plan of
  • Action and your Internet Marketing Plan.

Requirements to become an e-Pro.


The Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®) designation is

the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. This

coveted designation is awarded to real estate practitioners by the

 Real Estate BUYER’S AGENT Council (REBAC) of the

 National Association of REALTORS® who meet the specified

educational and practical experience criteria. 

Requirements to be an ABR.


 Grand Rapids Ada Real Estate  ~ Five Star Real Estate



The last few years NAR has been investigating the possibility of having a

National Data base of all properties in the United States. Filled with

tax information, Insurance documents ( like the Clue report), survey, title

information, anything to do with the subject property. The purpose is to have

a place to go to get all information about a property with one click.


While the project is still in it’s infancy, the final product would be available

to members of NAR and not to the public. The MLS Issues and policy

forum heard from Dale Ross who is chair of the RPR (Realtors Property

Resource). He indicated they have contracted with to consult with

NAR to bring the RPR to reality.


Inman News also reported on the presentation.


Opinions I have heard vary from:” finally a system that will be helpful” to

“there they go again spending our dues dollars to build something that the

local market may already have.”


I think we have a bigger issues that should be solved first.  We need to

have systems in place that offer the consumer programs similar to the

Zillows and Trulias of the Internet and let the brokers and title offices

continue to offer property detail.

I don’t think we need a national MLS but we need to get away from the small

local MLS’s that can not offer all the bells and whistles that are available.

But that is another blog post.


Grand Rapids Ada Real Estate ~ Five Star Real Estate

Copyright 2008 All rights reserved

You know the saying about good guys finishing last, well, I’m not so sure.

This recent scenario is pretty typical of a dilemma the real estate

agent faces every day.

I recently went on a listing appointment. It was a referral from a very happy

past client, the home was about 6 years old, professionally decorated and

had many extras. A very nice house to have listed.

EXCEPT…the seller didn’t want to move right away, they wanted to

list this spring and move in November.

I did my CMA and told them their price would be around $300K as the BEST

possible outcome.  The house next door just sold for $270K and

they included a $10K item of furniture to seal the deal!

I was firm about my price, but I conceded we could start at 310K or 315K,

if they wanted to test the market for a few months.

They interviewed two other agents who had also been recommended.

They went with the agent who told them it would sell for $330K. That is what it

is listed for on our MLS now.

Real estate agents have to make a decision at the presentation.

Do we want to buy the listing at the higher price and deal with a disappointed

seller for 6-15 months?

The other option is to be firm and if the business comes your way it will be

salable and you will get paid for your efforts.

I recently listed a home for the correct price and it sold in three

weeks for full price.

If I had been the Good Guy wearing the White Hat and agreed to

their $330K price, I know I could have gotten the listing. Then during

the 5-6 months when they weregetting really serious about selling, we

could have lowered the price and it would eventually sell, maybe by

spring 2009.

What is the right thing to do?

Telling the seller the truth cost me a listing??           Yes.

My Deduction:

Listening to the client —+— Motivation —+ — Price

All of these go hand in hand to come to an understanding

with the seller. I wasn’t patient enough to offer the option of setting

a higher price and waiting with them to realize their price was unrealistic.

This has been the case with so many listings over the last year and a half.

So I suppose I’m wearing the Black Hat in this Situation.

Or will I be wearing the Black Hat when I list at their price and

it still hasn’t sold in 11 to 12 months?  You betcha.

I will be the one who has failed to sell the house even though

the sellers set the price.

Copyright by Terry Westbrook 2008

Contact me: 1-888-240-1968 x 0 toll free

Grand Rapids Real Estate ~ Westbrook Realty


Grand Rapids Photos


August 2020