People use the term REALTORS® and real estate agents interchangeably, but that use is actually incorrect. There are big differences between the two. Although both are licensed to sell real estate, the basic difference is that a REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, which entails much more than simply being licensed to sell real estate. All REALTORS® must subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics.
The REALTOR® Code of Ethics contains 17 Articles and various underlying Standards of Practice that are to be upheld and adhered to at all times. The Standards are much more restrictive and confining than those governing agents who hold a real estate license.
Here are the 17 REALTOR® Code of Ethics:
- Pledge to put the interests of buyers and sellers ahead of their own and to treat all parties honestly.
- Shall refrain from exaggerating, misrepresenting or concealing material facts; and is obligated to investigate and disclose when situations reasonably warrant.
- Shall cooperate with other brokers / agents when it is in the best interests of the client to do so.
- Have a duty to disclose if they represent family members who own or are about to buy real estate, or if they themselves are a principal in a real estate transaction, that they are licensed to sell real estate.
- Shall not provide professional services in a transaction where the agent has a present or contemplated interest without disclosing that interest.
- Shall not collect any commissions without the seller's knowledge nor accept fees from a third-party without the seller's express consent.
- Shall refuse fees from more than one party without all parties' informed consent.
- Shall not co-mingle client funds with their own.
- Shall attempt to ensure that all written documents are easy to understand and will give everybody a copy of what they sign.
- Shall not discriminate in any fashion for any reason on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
- Expects agents to be competent, to conform to standards of practice and to refuse to provide services for which they are unqualified.
- Must engage in truth in advertising.
- Shall not practice law unless they are a lawyer.
- Shall cooperate if charges are brought against them and present all evidence requested.
- Agree not to bad mouth competition and agree not to file unfounded ethics complaints.
- 16) Shall not solicit another REALTOR'S client nor interfere in a contractual relationship.
- Shall submit to arbitration to settle matters and not seek legal remedies in the judicial system. The National Association of REALTORS® was founded in 1908 and has more than one million members.
So next time you're in need of a real estate professional, whether for sales or rental, it may be in your best interest to use a REALTOR®. You'll be getting not only a state licensed real estate agent, but also one who has taken a solemn vow of honesty and integrity in all their dealings.
All licensed agents at Siebert Realty, both in sales and property management (rentals), are members of the National Board of REALTORS® and have attended courses to learn about ethics. Our trained and dedicated agents stand ready to represent you in all your real estate dealings and vow to work on your behalf, and with other real estate professionals, in an honest and ethical way. It's a promise we make not only to the Board of REALTORS®, but to you, our customers and clients. If you are in need of our services, simply give us a call at 877-422-2200 / 757-426-6200.
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We look forward to serving you.
Siebert Realty - The Beach People
877-422-2200 / 757-426-6200
Sandbridge Beach, Virginia Beach, VA
Sandbridge Beach, Virginia Beach, VA