If you see any agent’s card, it may often look like alphabet soup.

No worries….here’s what some of those letters mean:

-REALTOR: If an agent hasn’t joined NAR (National Association of Realtors) and for Californians, the CAR (CA Association of Realtors), s(he) can only be called an agent or Broker. There are numerous courses that must be updated periodically to maintain the REALTOR designation. Plus it’s a lobbying group which focuses on home ownership. I’m a REALTOR.

-CRS: ‘Certified Residential Specialist’ member of RES (Residential Real Estate Specialist). They went through a big name change last year. It used to be CRS. A Realtor needs to pass several courses to maintain that membership. I’ve got this set of initials. I’m a CRS.

-e-Pro: another version of the above. This involves technology. I’ve got this set of initials. I’m an e-PRO.

-CCIM: this is specifically directed to commercial agents (apartment buildings, shopping centers, commercial leases, etc). 3 of us took this multi-week course around the US, and it was tough. The best of the best have CCIM designations: ‘Certified Commercial Investment Member.’ But we wanted to get some knowledge, and this makes everything else out there look like chump change. I passed each test the first time. But because I didn’t have a book of business meeting their requirements, I settled on the knowledge, not the initials.

So if you are interviewing agents, ask to see their biz card. It may help you gain some confidence in their brain power, but most of it is ‘learned by doing.”

OH…best of all! You can look on the California Bureau of Real Estate (BRE) aka California Department of Real Estate (DRE), to see if those agents have any bad marks against their names. Ethics is one you want to look out for. If there is anything that is wrong, you should find it on the state website.

Alameda Real Estate this week

New 13

PCH price change 1

Pending 15

Sold 22

Total active listings 45

Total pending listings 47

Memorial Day is now upon us and Monday is a holiday. Despite the rhetoric, despite the aggravation of war…we owe so much to those who gave so much so we still have our freedom.

poppies_full_width.jpg

In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Carry on. marilyn