What is a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)?

The Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is a real estate designation for professionals with a specialty in residential real estate transactions. Managed by the Council of Residential Specialists, the CRS designation is designed to demonstrate to clients that an agent is an expert and professional when it comes to residential real estate transactions.

Four Tracks to Earn the CRS

Agents looking to earn the CRS designation have multiple tracks depending on your experience. There are two standard tracks suitable for most real estate agents.

Agents with an active license for at least 10 years are able to complete the Pro-Program track. Real estate managers are able to complete the Manager track after completing at least 4 years as a real estate manager.

Regardless of the track, upon completion of all requirements a $75 fee is required to activate your CRS designation. You can complete the requirements below over any period you choose. There is no time limit once you begin working on your designation.

How Agents Earn the CRS

The Option A track requires a mix of both real world and classroom experience. To be eligible for Option A, an agent must have completed 75 transactions within any five-year time or complete transactions totaling at least $25 million within a five-year period.

In addition to transaction requirements, agents must earn 32 education credits, of which at least 16 much come from CRS classroom courses or CRS eLearning courses. On top of those 32 credits, an additional 32 elective credits are required for a total of 64 credits.

Agents with less transaction experience should consider the Option B track. This option requires 25 completed transactions over any period or a minimum of $8 million in transactions with at least 10 completed transactions in any two-year period.

Because less transaction experience is required, Option B requires more course work. 48 CRS education credits are required of which 16 must come from CRS courses. In addition, 32 elective credits are required. 80 total credits are required for Option B.

The Pro-Program is available for very experienced agents with at least 10 years of active licensing as a Realtor or Realtor Associate. To begin the Pro-Program, an agent must have completed at least 150 transactions over any period or an average of $1 million per year with at least 40 transactions completed.

Because real world experience to complete the Pro-Program is so high, course credits required are much lower. All that is required are 16 credits, all of which must come from CRS classroom or eLearning courses.

For non-selling managers, the Manager option allows you to earn the CRS designation without closing transactions as the lead agent. To qualify for the manager option, managers must directly oversee at least 400 closed residential transactions, directly oversee $80 million in closed transactions, or have four years of real estate management experience.

Coursework requirements are the same as Option B above. To qualify, you must complete 48 CRS education credits, of which 16 are from CRS classroom or eLearning courses. 32 additional elective credits are required. This option requires a total of 80 credits.

Once you complete your CRS and pay the $75 fee, to maintain your CRS designation you must remain an active Realtor or Realtor Associate through the National Association of Realtors. In addition. A $150 annual membership fee to the Council of Residential Specialists is required.

In addition, CRS designees must adhere to a code of conduct set forth by the Council of Residential Specialists.

Why Should I Look for a CRS Designated Agent?

If you are looking to buy a home, choosing a CRS designated agent will ensure your agent is qualified, experienced, and educated on all of the nuances of residential real estate. They have gone above and beyond most agents to prove that they are truly an expert in their field.

A CRS agent can help you do any of the following, plus more:

  • Understand the local housing market
  • Know that you are not overpaying for your home
  • Help you find the right home to meet your requirements and your budget
  • Assist you with your mortgage, inspection, and appraisal
  • Lead you through the entire purchase process from searching to closing

With a qualified agent at your side, you  do not have to worry when making the biggest purchase of your life.

How to find an CRS Designated Agent

Are you buying a home and want to be represented by an CRS designated agent? Look no further than AgentHarvest, where our powerful agent search tool can help you find a trustworthy, qualified agent in your town.

If you are buying or selling a house and are looking to hire a successful real estate agent to help you through the process, take a look at AgentHarvest's list of top-ranking local Realtors in your area. We found these agents by examining their sales track records, awards, rankings, client testimonials and by conducting personal interviews.