I will probably not be making any friends with this post, but I think it is important to educate buyers and sellers on the difference between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent.

I knew there was a difference, but it wasn’t until a recent transaction with a Real Estate Agent that my eyes were opened!

Why You Should Use a Realtor vs a Real Estate AgentMy buyers called me about a property that they randomly drove by and asked me to show it to them. I searched our MLS and could not find it, after googling the address I came upon the selling Agent.

I called her and asked her if we could get in to see the property. I asked her if she would bring the property disclosure, lead base paint disclosure and any other documentation to the showing so I would be able to present it to my buyers.

We met her at the property and as we walked through the home, my buyers had several questions and she was unable to answer any of them. I was familiar with Adobe homes, so I was able to answer most of the questions. The property also had irrigation rights.

The listing agent knew nothing about how to water or where the water came from. Again, because I am familiar with water rights, I was able to find the valve and the water line. And, Oh by the way, she did not bring any documentation! She did confess that she only had the listing a few days and did not have any documentation! It is bad form to put a property on line without the required documentation, like Lead Base Paint.

My buyers made an offer and the seller wanted to counter. The agent, was using forms that were 4 years old, so they were not current at all and I had to provide her with a counter form! We all know that our forms change from year to year because of law suits!

We get the property under contract, 2 days later she sends me an email telling me that the property was once a gas station and gas tanks were removed and the ground was remediated at that time. Can you say disclosure?

Fortunately, my buyers were not concerned with that, but it could have been a deal breaker. My point? If you are listing your house or seeking someone to help you find a home, be sure to ask the right questions and get a Realtor, not just a licensed agent. Realtors are held to a much higher standard and know how to protect the buyer or seller from what could be a very costly lesson.