At some point in your real estate career, someone will ask you to do something unethical. It may be a vendor, a buyer, seller or even another agent. Here's a 3 step plan to handle the situation.
- Explain your concern. Describe your position without accusing the other person. "I am not sure that this is the best way to solve the problem. I think there may be another solution, let's talk about it."
- Offer an Alternative. Suggest an ethical way to accomplish the objective. For example: "We both want to make this work, I think we can do it by ____________."
- Ask for confirmation. With your reputation on the line, be sure that both parties agree to proceed ethically.
The Realtor® Code of Ethics training is an important guide for Realtors® and strengthens the values of the real estate industry. The Code was adopted in 1913 and created to recognize real estate as a profession, not as "peddlers" as real estate agents were referred to at that time. The best part about the Code of Ethics is that it is adaptable and adjusts with our business. Article 15, entitled Duties to Realtors®, Standard of Practice 15-2 is the obligation to refrain from making false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, includes the duty to not knowingly publish, repeat, retransmit, republish false or misleading statements in writing or in person and was amended years ago to include electronic media and the internet as forms of communication.
Article 12, Standard of Practice 12-3 is another popular answer to a question I get frequently. The offering of premiums, prizes, merchandise discounts or other inducements to list, sell, purchase, or lease is ethical, but Realtors® must exercise care and candor in any such advertising so that the interested party has a clear, thorough and advance understanding of all the terms and conditions of the offer.
Many of you have already been reminded by the Boards and Florida Home Realty staff that you are required to take the Code of Ethics training before the end of the year. You can attend the class at the board or take the course on line. NAR requires all Realtors® to complete an approved Code of Ethics course at least once during every given period (4 years). Effective 2017, we will be required to complete our training every two years.