Code of ethics sets Realtors® apart
When you think of professionals who follow specific codes of ethics, what comes to mind? Doctors, lawyers, engineers – all are professionals who pledge to follow a strict code of ethics. For important life issues like your health and legal matters, it makes sense to have relationships with professionals who follow such a code. The Glenwood Springs Association of REALTORS encourages you to consider a similar relationship when it comes to real estate transactions.
Realtors – more than 1,000,000 real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of Realtors – pledge to adhere to NAR’s strict code of ethics and standards of practice. Among other things, membership in NAR obligates them to be honest with all parties involved in a transaction, whether it is the buyer, seller or cooperating agent.
“The NAR code of ethics is the public’s assurance that they are dealing with a professional who has their best interests in mind,” explains Shannon Kyle, president of the Glenwood Springs Association of REALTORS. “Realtors are subject to disciplinary action and sanctions if they violate the duties imposed by the NAR code of ecthics.”
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It is important that consumers understand the difference between Realtors and other real estate practitioners, Kyle says.
There are almost 4 million licensed real estate professionals in the United States, but only members of the NAR can call themselves Realtors. Real estate practitioners are simply licensed by their state to do business. The term “Realtor” stands for competency, fairness, high integrity and moral conduct in business relations.
According to Kyle, people looking to buy or sell a home should consider Realtors their best advocates in the marketplace. When choosing a real estate professional, look for the registered trademark, REALTOR®, she adds.
Because the Code of Ethics is so important, all Realtors are required to take a minimum of two and a half hours orientation on the code of ethics. A newly adopted NAR requirement calls for existing members to take a refresher training course every four years.
Adopted in 1913, the code includes 17 articles and related standards of practice that outline the professional duties of every Realtor to clients, customers, the public and other Realtors.
Here’s a general overview of just a few of the key principles Realtors willingly agree to under the code:
– Realtors avoid practices which may harm the public.
– Realtors do not exaggerate, misrepresent or conceal facts related to property or transactions.
– Realtors protect and promote their clients’ interests and treat all parties fairly.
– Realtors represent themselves truthfully in advertising and other public forums.
– Realtors receive compensation from only one party, except where they make full disclosure and receive informed consent from their client.
– Realtors respect the exclusive, professional relationship that other Realtors have with their clients.
– Realtors give equal professional service to all clients and customers regardless of race, color, religion, sex, disability, family status or national origin.
– Realtors willingly participate in ethics investigations and enforcement actions.
For more information about the code of ethics and its enforcement, Kyle recommends consumers speak with a Realtor or contact the Glenwood Springs Association of REALTORS.
“When considering their obligation to their clients, Realtors use the golden rule as their guide: ‘Do unto others what you would have them do unto you,'” explains Kyle. “Realtors accept this standard as their own and pledge to observe its spirit in all of their activities.”
The Glenwood Springs Association of REALTORS is one of more than 1,600 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. As the nation’s largest trade association, NAR is “The Voice of Real Estate,” representing more than 1,000,000 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.
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