It’s gets confusing, even for those of us who are around it everyday. But REALTORS are more that just licensed real estate agents and we should be proud of the difference. Here’s a good list I found that describes what makes REALTORS more accountable and responsible to buyers and sellers.
Here are 17 things that a REALTOR® promises to do, which non-affiliates don’t:
- Pledge to put the interests of buyers and sellers ahead of their own and to treat all parties honestly.
- Refrain from exaggerating, misrepresenting or concealing material facts about a property; and is obligated to investigate and disclose when situations reasonably warrant.
- Cooperate with other brokers/agents when it’s in the best interests of the client to do so.
- 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.
- Avoid providing professional services in a transaction where the agent has a present or contemplated interest without disclosing that interest.
- Not collect any commissions without the seller’s knowledge nor accept fees from a third party without the seller’s express consent.
- Refuse fees from more than one party without all parties’ informed consent.
- Not co-mingle client funds with the agent’s own.
- Attempt to ensure that all written documents are easy to understand and will give everybody a copy of what they sign.
- Not discriminate in any fashion for any reason on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.
- Be competent, to conform to standards of practice and to refuse to provide services for which they are unqualified.
- Engage in truth in advertising and marketing.
- Not practice law unless the agent is a lawyer.
- Cooperate if charges are brought against them and present all evidence requested.
- Agree to not bad mouth competition and agree not to file unfounded ethics complaints.
- Not solicit another REALTOR’S® client nor interfere in a contractual relationship.
- 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 its members number more than one million. If an agent is not a member, often it’s because they don’t do enough business to justify the expense of membership.
Full disclosure: Elizabeth Weintraub is a REALTOR®.
At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, CalBRE #00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.