808 Oahu Realtor (Ryan Riggins) License #RS-74740

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Why Use a REALTOR®

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A REALTOR® is a licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of REALTORS®, the largest trade group in the country.

Every agent is not a REALTOR®, but most are. If you’re unsure, you can ask your agent if they’re a licensed REALTOR®.

REALTORS® are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a Code of Ethics.

Some REALTORS® are brokers, while some are agents. Unfortunately, people use the term interchangeably: there are some differences.

Brokers are usually managers. They run an agency and have agents working under them as salespeople. They might own a real estate brokerage or manage a franchise operation. They must take additional courses and pay additional fees to maintain their state-issued broker license.

An agent, on the other hand, is a salesperson selling on behalf of the broker.

Agents are also state licensed and must pass a written test before legally acting as a real estate agent. Each state has its own licensing laws and standards.

Some states—like Illinois—have eliminated the real estate salesperson license and mandate all agents take additional course work and pass another test to become brokers. They are broker associates still selling under a managing broker.

The Typical REALTOR®

There is a stereotype of the typical REALTOR® that must be dispelled: the stereotypical agent works a few hours a day and makes millions of dollars a year. Reality TV shows perpetuate this myth.

On television, buyers find the perfect house after visiting just three homes—and write an offer that is accepted immediately. The next thing you know, they’re moving in!

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The typical buyer searches with a REALTOR® for about 12 weeks and looks at about 10 properties before selecting a home, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. They then wait about 30 days—on average—or the deal to close. The agent is only paid once the deal closes.

If the buyer decides to sign another lease—or not to buy—that agent is not compensated. The same is true of listings. If the listing does not sell, the agent is not paid.

The average agent earned $47,700 in 2013, according to the National Association of REALTORS® Member Profile 2014.

Selling real estate is a commission-only business. That means an agent can work with a buyer for months without ever making a commission—because deals fall though and not every listing sells. It’s a business run on trust and faith.

Also, many people see the commission check at the closing table and have no idea how that money is split. They think their agent walks away with all of it—that’s just not true.

Remember, agents work for brokers. The commission check is made payable to the brokerage which then cuts a check to the listing agent and the selling agent. Both agents also must pay a percentage of their earnings to their broker.

Generally, agents also are responsible for paying their own federal and state income taxes, social security tax, and health insurance.

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Author: Ryan Riggins (RA)

Ryan started building his businesses at the age of 18, and he hasn't stopped since. He is a successful Real Estate Agent and Investor. He not only has rehabbed properties, but also holds properties as rentals. Ryan has made money by building his real estate investment business, learning on his own, and finding mentors willing to share their knowledge with him. Ryan is a true Entrepreneur. When Ryan Riggins found himself making a change to Real Estate in 2006, he looked back to his first open house at the age of seven with his Mentor/Broker and father John Riggins. In 2006 Ryan was living in Ohio, he realized it was time for a change. He packed up and moved to Port Lavaca, Texas. He literally rolled into town on his last tank of gas, and lived in a old burger joint, and knew he needed to come up with money to pay his Mortgage. Ryan teamed up with his father and started rehabbing Mobile Homes. Ryan kept working until he had put systems in place for all phases of the business. He has a system for finding properties, to finding contractors for remodeling Flipping and Renting. Ryan continues to works as a Realtor with his father John Riggins as his broker and Rehabbing homes, doing about 4 deals a month. This is his passion. He loves the adrenalin rush, and yes Rehabbing can be a little stressful. In fact, Ryan says: "You've got to have ice water running through your veins." In the course of Rehabbing, Ryan manages to beautify his properties, and the surrounding neighborhoods one step at a time. Ryan enjoys helping others Build Wealth through Real Estate. Whether it be the first time home buyer or the experienced investor or helping distressed home owners sell to avoid Foreclosure. To Ryan its all about building life long friendships.

4 thoughts on “Why Use a REALTOR®

  1. Thanks for writing this!

    Is the word “realtor” really a registered trademark?

    -john

    • great question. I’m not sure is it?

      • It actually looks like it is! If you are a member of the National Association of Realtors then you can use “REALTOR®” on your website and when referring to yourself or your firm.

        Here’s something from their FAQ:

        “3. Isn’t the definition of REALTOR® anyone who has a real estate license?

        No. The definition of a REALTOR® is a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. The marks should not be used inadvertently and improperly to denote a vocation or business. A good rule to follow is if the term “Member” cannot logically be substituted for the term REALTOR®, then the term should not be used. Appropriate substitutions might include the phrases “real estate broker,” “real estate agent,” “real estate salesperson,” “property manager,” etc.”

        That’s about as much of the letter of the law that I read, and for all I know I may even have interpreted it wrong. But you should probably definitely read this!

        You can read more about it here:

        http://www.realtor.org/letterlw.nsf/pages/trademarklogorules

        I had no idea it was so complicated!

        So are you a member of the National Association of Realtors?

        -john
        -john

      • Sweet that’s so awesome. Thanks for all the cool information. And yes I am part of NAR because my Broker who’s is my father has been a part of NAR since 1977. Thanks again for the awesome info Aloha

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