The Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is the highest Designation awarded
to sales associates in the residential sales field. The CRS Designation recognizes
professional accomplishments 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. Currently,
there are more than 34,000 active CRS Designees
Why Use a CRS?
Today, home buying and selling is faster, more complex, and more competitive
in every way. Our goal is to make the process a little easier for you. The
first step is choosing the right REALTOR®.
- Experience - To earn
the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designation, every REALTOR®
must have significant experience and volume of real estate transactions.
Ethics - Every CRS Designee
is required to maintain membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
and to abide by its strict Code of Ethics.
- A Focus on Home Buying
and Selling - To help make the home buying and selling process more rewarding,
every CRS Designee must have a proven track record in the business, as well
as advanced education in related areas like finance, technology and marketing.
Work with the top 4 percent.
- Technology Expertise
- The training available to CRS Designees includes a strong focus on technology
and its applications in the real estate business.
What are the special
benefits, if any, of using a Realtor® with a CRS designation?
Buying or selling a home
is one of the most significant financial transactions of your life. In all
areas of life, we rely on specialists for their advanced expertise and skill.
For example, if we need medical or legal advice, we consult a specialist who
has the credentials to address our specific needs. Similarly, to fill the
specific residential needs of home buyers and sellers, the Council of Residential
Specialists of the National Association of Realtors® represents a class
of expert real estate professionals designated as Certified Residential Specialists
The Council created the CRS designation, considered the "CPA" of
residential real estate, to give home buyers and sellers an easy way to identify
agents who have significant experience and demonstrate higher volume of real
estate transactions or gross sales, as well as complete rigorous, advanced
Approximately 35,000 Realtors® have earned the CRS designation, equaling
only 4 percent of all Realtors® in the world.
What special qualifications
will a CRS bring to my transaction?
These are among the distinctive
values offered by CRSs:
- Realtors® with
the CRS designation have taken the initiative and time to expand their education
beyond what is just required by law for licensing purposes.
- CRSs maintain professional
affiliation with thousands of other real estate professionals on the local
and national levels.
- CRSs have up-to-the
minute industry information with respect to taxes, investments, legislation
and other areas of critical importance.
- CRSs provide the highest
level of residential expertise in your market area.
Who are the key players in a residential real estate transaction?
Buying and selling a home is a very segmented and specialized process. Apart
from the buyer and the seller, the key players typically are the Realtors®,
lenders, home inspectors, appraisers and attorneys.
What's the difference between appraised value and market value?
Appraised value is an
opinion of a property's market value, based on an appraiser's knowledge, experience
and analysis of a property. Comparative market analysis is an informal estimate
of market value performed by a real estate agent or broker. It is based on
sales of similar homes in the area and generally offers a range of values,
including probable market value.
Do I need a lawyer when buying or selling a home?
Local customs dictate
whether it's legally mandatory to have an attorney complete a real estate
transaction. So check on what's applicable in your state. Consider, however,
that since buying or selling a home is among the largest transactions people
will make in their lifetime, many experts believe that using a qualified real
estate attorney - particularly if any problems are anticipated - is a prudent
course of action.
What percentage of homebuyers and sellers use the services of a real estate
According to the latest
survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors®, about 70 percent
of homebuyers and 80 percent of home sellers in 2001 used a real estate agent
in their transactions. The percentage of for sale by owner (FSBO) transactions
has steadily declined since 1997 and comprised only 13 percent of sales in
If I use a real estate agent, what fundamental obligations are owed to
Typically, the common law obligations owed to you are to:
- Put your interests
above anyone else's;
- Keep information confidential;
- Obey your lawful instructions;
- Report anything that
would be useful; and
- Account to you for
all money involved.
Nonetheless when you start
working with a Realtor®, ask for a clear explanation of your state's current
regulations so that you know where you stand on these matters.
Are commissions negotiable?
The commission, the fee charged by a real estate broker or agent for negotiating
a real estate transaction, is negotiable.
Who pays the real estate commission, the buyer or the seller?
Traditionally, both buyers'
and sellers' agents are compensated by the seller. However, a buyers' agent
may accept payment from both the seller and the buyer, as long as full disclosure
is made to all parties. Some feel the transaction pays the compensation, to
which both buyers and sellers contribute.