A real estate agent can refer to themselves as a REALTOR® when they are a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, The Voice for Real Estate® -- the world's largest professional association. The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
The GRI designation is a mark of distinction that earns a REALTOR® the respect and confidence from their peers and the general public. Members in the residential market earn the designation after completing a 90 hour comprehensive education program covering subjects such as contract law, professional standards, sales and marketing, finance and risk reduction.
A buyer's agent represents the buyer in a real estate transaction for a fee, just as a seller's agent is hired to obtain the price and sale terms sought by the seller. A buyer's agent is hired to get the best possible price and terms for the buyer. Buyer agency assistance also may include helping the buyer obtain legal assistance to review proposed contracts or structural inspectors to examine the property. ABR® designees complete a two-day intensive course that covers the legalities and issues surrounding representation as a buyer's agent, and must pass a written exam upon completion of the course. The ABR® is the only nationally recognized designation for buyer's agents.