Designations/Certifications 2018-03-19T16:42:01+00:00

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and its affiliated Institutes, Societies, and Councils provide a wide-range of programs and services that help members increase their skills, proficiency, and knowledge. Designations and certifications acknowledging experience and expertise in various real estate sectors are awarded by NAR and each affiliated group upon completion of required courses. Below is a list of designations and certifications PWAR will be offering in 2018 as well as links to online courses offered through NAR’s Designation Courses & Certification Courses.

PWAR Offerings in 2018


2018 Dates: August 15 & 16

Who is it for?

The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation is for real estate buyer agents who focus on working directly with buyer-clients at every stage of the home-buying process.

What You Gain

  • Valuable real estate education that elevates your skills and knowledge in the eyes of home buyers.
  • Ongoing specialized information, programs, and updates that keep you knowledgeable on the issues and trends facing home buyers.
  • Access to members-only publications, marketing tools and resources (link is external).
  • Networking and referrals

How to Earn It


  • Complete the two-day core designation course.
  • Complete one of the ABR® elective courses.

Take the course (link is external).*
Take an elective (link is external).

Work Experience

  • Documentation of five completed transactions in which you acted solely as a buyer representative.

Professional Affiliation

  • Membership in good standing in REBAC
  • Membership in good standing in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

o Exception: International members of REBAC do not have to be members of NAR.


Pass the ABR® core designation course exam with an 80% or better score.
Pass the exam for the ABR® elective course of your choice with an 80% or better score.


  • Submit the designation application along with documentation of five completed transactions.


  • Cost of courses
  • REBAC Dues

o First year of REBAC membership is free
o Second year is $110, but prorated based on the month you joined REBAC
o $110 per year thereafter

For more information, visit the REBAC website (link is external).

Course Criteria

Why work with an Accredited Buyer’s Representative?  This designation is to prepare real estate professionals to represent buyer-clients in real estate transactions and provide the quality of service and degree of fidelity to buyers that sellers have customarily enjoyed. In addition, this course will offer ideas and methods for building a buyer representation business.

The Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®) designation is the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. Your first step in becoming a ABR designee is to become an ABR candidate.

Only REALTORS® who have met all requirements for the designation are permitted to call themselves an ABR® and use the ABR® logo.

  • By successfully completing this comprehensive two-day ABR® course and passing the written exam, you will have reached the status of ABR candidate. ABR® candidates cannot use the ABR® logo or refer to themselves as an ABR®. (You have up to three years to complete).
  • Demonstrating practical experience by completing and closing five real estate transactions in which the practitioner functioned as a buyer’s representative.
  • Maintaining membership in good standing in the National Association of REALTORS® and in the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council.
  • Successful completion of one approved elective course and passing the written exam.

As an ABR® candidate, you receive a one-year free membership to REBAC (from the date of your ABR course). After that, you will be billed $110.00 ($US), for the next calendar year will be due on January 1st and will be prorated to reflect the number of months remaining after this first 12-month period. No payment is needed at time of ABR candidacy application.

In order to hold the ABR designation, it requires continued membership in REBAC.


Career Path
Candidacy Application

Course Fees:

Member: 2-day Course – $315 PWAR Members
Non-Member: 2 day Course – $325 Non-Members

$20 cancellation fee applies. Click here for cancellation policy.

GRI_largeWhat is the Graduate REALTOR® Institute?

The Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI) is an education program and designation sponsored by Virginia Association of REALTORS® (VAR). GRI is nationally recognized by NAR and is one of the most popular designations among REALTORS®. This program focuses on developing and increasing participants’ professionalism and skill level in ways that positively affect their bottom line.

While licensing courses and most post license education teach you how to manage your risk in the business and complete transactions, GRI provides you with the skills needed to be successful in real estate.

To see the GRI Course Overview, please click here!


We understand that our current students have many questions about where they stand in completing their designation. If you have a specific inquiry or concern about the GRI, please contact

2018 Course Schedule:

Please find PWAR courses listed below. Click on each course to view more information.

ATTENTION: Current GRI students, if your 5 year completion deadline was in 2014, 2015, or 2016, VAR will grant you an extension to 2017. We will work one-on-one with all students to make sure that you have the courses needed to complete your designation within a timely manner. We thank each of you for your patience as we work to provide the best GRI to Virginia.

Click here to view the GRI Regional Overview of offerings in our area.

Designation Requirements:

To earn the GRI designation in Virginia, you must:

  • complete the required coursework within five (5) years.
  • receive a passing grade for each course and you may not miss more than 15 minutes of any one module session.
  • hold membership in the National Association of REALTORS®.
  • complete the GRI designation application and pay the one-time application fee.

Once you have completed all the steps listed above, you may make use of the GRI designation on business cards, stationary, etc.

The Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI) symbol is the mark of a real estate professional that has made the commitment to provide a high level of professional services by securing a strong educational foundation.

Buying property is a complex and stressful task. In fact, it’s often the biggest single investment you will make in your lifetime. At the same time, real estate transactions have become increasingly complicated.

New technology, laws, procedures and the increasing sophistication of buyers and sellers requires real estate practitioners to perform at an ever-increasing level of professionalism.

GRI designees:

  • Have pursued a course of study that represents the minimum common body of knowledge for progressive real estate professionals.
  • Have developed a solid foundation of knowledge and skills to navigate the current real estate climate—no matter what its condition.
  • Are recognized nationally.
  • Act with professionalism and are committed to serving their clients and customers with the highest ethical standards.

2018 Dates: May 3

The goal of Military Relocation Professional Certification Core Course is to educate real estate professionals about working with current and former military service members to find the housing solutions that best suit their needs as sellers or buyers and take full advantage of military benefits and support. Students will learn how to provide the real estate services at any stage in the service member’s military career that meet the needs of this niche market and win future referrals.

Topics Discussed: Business Building, Buyer Representation, Listing, Military, Military Relocation, Niche Marketing, Relocation, Residential Real Estate, Seller Representation

Important Information Regarding Certification:

  • You must be in good standing with the National Association of REALTORS®
  • Complete the one-day Military Relocation Professional (MRP) Certification Core Course
  • Complete a pre-class reading—a 15-page PDF that provides background information on the military including important acronyms and understanding military culture *
  • Complete 2 one-hour Webinars, which will be archived and available at
  • Submit an application, along with a one-time application fee of $195 to the National Association of REALTORS® **Fees are subject to change, check for price changes***

psa2018 Dates: April 10June 14 & October 18

The new Pricing Strategies: Mastering the CMA course covers the nuts and bolts of a comparative market analysis (CMA), including its purpose, key principles of valuation that impact these analyses, and important valuation terminology. Participants will understand the purpose of appraisals, how they differ from CMAs and the scope of the appraiser’s role. After completing the course, real estate professionals will be able to effectively address client concerns about pricing, choose appropriate comparables, prepare and present a superior CMA and generate ideas for working constructively with appraisers.

The Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA) course counts as one REBAC elective course to be applied towards the ABR® designation. After the completion of the class you will complete an online application for NAR and submit a one time fee of $179 and the certification is yours for life-no annual fees!

2018 Dates: September 26-27

Adults aged 50+ represent more than 20% of the U.S. population. For most senior adults, the homes that they live in are their largest asset and account for most of their net worth. Completion of the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®) Designation Course is an essential step for REALTORS® in understanding the distinct real estate goals, concerns, and needs of seniors today. This course looks at key differences in housing options, from age-restricted communities to age-in-place design to assisted living; applications of the Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA); the ins and outs of reverse mortgages; the use of pensions, 401k accounts, and IRAs in real estate transactions; and developing a team of senior specialists, including estate planners, reverse mortgage lenders, clutter and staging specialists, and more.

Students who complete this course and score at least 80% on the exam will become members with the SRES Council. Please note that in order to be eligible for membership with the SRES Council, students MUST maintain membership with the National Association of REALTORS® or, for students outside of the U.S., maintain membership with one of the NAR’s cooperating associations, including the Canadian Real Estate Association. The first year of membership with the SRES Council is included in the price of the course.

The course material and exercises train REALTORS® to:

  • Identify the power of generational demographics
  • Develop and maintain relationship marketing skills
  • Counsel rather than sell to the 50+ market
  • Understand the implications of tax laws, probate and estate planning.

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