The work ethic and dedication that are inherent qualities in Realtors have been maligned in letters by Karen Gutmann and Melissa Sherwood.

They dismissed the pivotal role agents have in legal closings and believe that an understanding of property and real estate law to be inadequate and unrelated experience to the probating of wills.

What do they think the largest assets in a will usually are, if not property?

Gertrude Mahan in her letter this week mocks the code of ethics that Realtors pledge to be overvalued in the 2010 mass appraisal.

There is a big difference between a real estate licensee and a Realtor. In South Carolina, licensees are required to meet educational, testing and continuing education requirements; while Realtors meet all of those plus additional annual training and operate under 88 standards of practice and the 17 article Realtor Code of Ethics.

Many of these principles are also in the Code of Judicial Conduct. Realtors work with people at every phase of life where compassion and understanding are paramount.

Analytical skills, management abilities and attention to detail that they must have is definitely related experience for the administrate office of Probate.

Realtors maintain confidences, protect clientsí interests and know how to compromise.

As a licensee myself, I know the difference between just doing what you need to stay licensed and doing the maximum to stay current and to perform at a higher level of professionalism.

The choice is: do you accept the minimum efforts because that is all you have ever had or do you choose the maximum level of service and engagement that a Realtor provides.

The current judge has been just a licensee, while Jane Page Thompson has been a Realtor and gone beyond that to be an accredited land consultant.

Thompson is smart, her work skills are related to the probate office and her vision will provide more for Aiken County as Realtors provide more in their service to clients.

Phil BlackAiken