Real Estate News

Ethics In The Real Estate Business

Written By: Bob Hunt
Monday, December 11, 2017

Its no secret that real estate salespeople do not, by and large, enjoy a very good reputation. Indeed, the true professionals in the business are discomforted by the fact that opinion polls regularly show that the public ranks real estate sales pretty low on the list of occupations whose practitioners are to be admired.

More particularly there are common perceptions that, in the course of their business, many real estate people cannot be depended on to tell the truth, and that they do not hesitate to manipulate others for their own self interest.

Yet the National Association of REALTORSreg; NAR, and its state and local affiliated organizations, persistently claim that accountability to a Code of Ethics is a central and predominant fact of membership.

Whats wrong with this picture?

One wrong answer should be laid to rest immediately. It is not the case that the unethical real estate people are predominantly those licensees who dont belong to NAR, whereas those who are members can almost always be depended upon to be pure and good.

Anyone who has been around the Realtorreg; associations for a while is aware of the fact that it is a perennial complaint from within the organization that ethical standards are not sufficiently adhered to, and that "something ought to be donehellip;"

Nor is the point that the Code of Ethics itself needs fixing. The REALTORSreg; Code of Ethics along with its supplementary Standards of Practice is both comprehensive and >

The Realtorreg; organization has a >

One possible answer is ignorance. Perhaps there is insufficient knowledge among real estate salespeople as to what they should and should not do. In certain cases there is some plausibility to this. Certainly, there are, so to speak, finer points of some ethical matters where one just doesnt know what the right course of action might be. But, clearly, this does not apply to the vast majority of cases where right or wrong may be determined by central and well-known principles.

More plausible is the claim that the disparity between behavior and the Code of Ethics is a result of the fact that the Code is not sufficiently enforced. No doubt there is some truth to this. Realtorreg; organizations do not have an ethics police. Although there is a fairly elaborate quasi-judicial system for dealing with violations of the Code of Ethics, that whole system only comes into play when complaints are filed. And, frankly, the filing and pursuit of an ethics complaint is a time-consuming and not particularly pleasant process for the person who has been wronged. Most people would prefer simply to move on.

For reasons of cumbersome process alone, it is unlikely that enforcement at the organization level will ever have much influence on the inclination of practitioners to adhere to the Code of Ethics.

Moreover, if one thinks about it, the point of enforcement in ethics is not to get people to behave in a certain way because they fear punishment. Think of training a child. The point is to demonstrate that the principles are taken seriously; and the aim is that the learner will internalize the values

The ethical behavior of real estate salespeople will improve only when salespeople are shown that their peers, and most importantly, their trainers and employers, take ethical principles seriously. That kind of demonstration cannot be done by the Realtorreg; association. It can only occur at the level of individual companies and offices.

Bob Hunt is a director of the California Association of Realtorsreg;. He is the author of Real Estate the Ethical Way. His email address is .

Copyright© 2018 Realty Times®. All Rights Reserved


Map SearchClick here for a free Market AnalysisBuyers: Search here for your Dream HomeSubscribe! Sign up to recieve our Newsletter!Real Estate Outlook
Facebook linkedin twitter youtube googleplus
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018

12 Ways Buying New Construction Is Better, Worse, And Way Different From Other Homes

Buying a new home isnt the same as buying an existing home. The more you know going in, the more prepared youll be to roll with the process - or run from the process.

> Full Story

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Media Room

Most households have a room where the main activity is watching television. Were well beyond needing simply an electrical outlet and a pair of rabbit ears to entertain ourselves at h...
> Full Story

HOA Meetings By Design

Meetings are the venues wherein homeowner association business decisions are made. Since these meetings are usually infrequent, the importance of the decisions made cannot be underst...
> Full Story

Condominium Mailing Lists Are Public Documents

Question. I live in a large condominium complex. Many of the owners are becoming increasingly upset with the practices and the conduct of our Board of Directors. Our annual me...
> Full Story

No Such Thing As Real Estate Ethics?

A delightful little book by John Maxwell is provocatively titled, Theres No Such Thing as Business Ethics. Now some might simply think, "no kidding." But for the curious, or those in...
> Full Story

Canadian Mortgages Under Scrutiny As Stress Test Kicks In

Canadas new mortgage stress test requires anyone who is getting a mortgage from a federally regulated financial institution to qualify at two percentage points above the Bank of Cana...
> Full Story

Renovation Reality: Actual Costs Of Four Popular Redos

So you want to redo your kitchen. Great Now you have to do is pick out your new appliances, countertops, backsplash material and other assorted finishes, figure out what to do with y...
> Full Story

Black Stainless Steel: Is It The Next Big Thing?

Stainless steel has ruled the appliance world for many years, with no serious contenders on its heels. But now, here comes black stainless steel, fighting for dominance in the kitche...
> Full Story

Boost Your Property Value: 4 Smart Features Worth Adding

Your home may be your castle ndash; but what that means for each person can be very different. Some people prefer light colors, some dark. Some want a location that lets them walk ev...
> Full Story

What Is Real And What Is Pure PR About The Tesla Solar Roof?

Tesla rocked the solar power world when it acquired Solar City for 2 billion. The entire industry waited with baited breath to see what grand machination Tesla CEO Elon Musk had cook...
> Full Story

Copyright ©2018 - Realty Times®
All Rights Reserved.