It seems to me that Real estate agents speak in a different language than the average consumer.  It occurs to me that our language makes perfect sense to us, but what about “regular” people do you understand what we are saying?  And, more importantly do you know what it all means for you?  The following are some designation clarifications which I hope will assist you with your real estate needs.


Let’s start here!  A REALTOR is a licensed real estate agent who has taken an oath to adhere to a code of ethics written by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR).  There are many Articles and Standards of Practice, but I believe the upshot, as addressed in the Preamble, is to treat all parties in a real estate transaction fairly.  You can read the full content of the REALTOR Code of Ethics at


The Graduate REALTOR Institute designation is a NAR sponsored REALTOR designation.  It requires that the real estate agent take some additional 90 hours of continuing education in 3 parts on various topics including;  finance, tax, land planning, construction, real estate contracts, etc.  All attendees must take a test at the end of each session and score a minimum of 70%.  As I just completed GRI-1, I can tell you that it is intense…I still have 2 more segments to go!  Once earned, this designation stays with an agent throughout their career.


The Senior Real Estate Specialist is a designation a REALTOR earns for classes attended on servicing the needs of the over 50 crowd.  The class trains a REALTOR to meet the special needs of maturing Americans and offer those of this generation counsel on such matters as relocating, refinancing, housing and lifestyle choices.  You can find out more at


The Accredited Buyer Representative Designation is a real estate agent who has taken further classroom hours on the subject of buyer representation and their specific needs during a real estate transaction.  The ABR designated agents job is to fully represent a buyer in a real estate transaction.  You can find out more about this designation at


Now, this is not a Realtor designation, but it is the central nervous system of the business.  Most of Connecticut is  using Connecticut Multiple Listing Service which gives your agent access to listing information throughout the state.  We just recently added cooperative access to RI and I hear that Massachusetts is not far behind (that is very cool!)  Soon CTMLS will have a public web site..big news here (I will be linking it to the blog)!  What is important about MLS is that once your property is listed for sale, every agent in the state can access it and has the opportunity to sell it.   (FYI:  please make sure you review a copy of your MLS print out for accuracy, quality of photos and marketing to REALTORS).

There are many more specialties of the real estate business and many more designations, though I think I have addressed the most common.  Let me know if I missed any of interest.