From the time we started kindergarten, we were taught to be kind to others and to be honest. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” was a common theme in my home. I have adopted that as my motto. In a world where we can be anything, be kind.
Did you know that REALTORS® are also told to be kind and trustworthy and they are held to a Standard of Practice called the Code of Ethics? The first code was approved in 1913 at the Annual Convention in Canada. There are 17 articles written into the Code of Ethics. The 17 Articles of the Code establish standards of conduct which the REALTOR® must satisfy. These Articles govern the REALTORS® conduct in everyday business dealings with clients, customers, and other REALTORS®. Failure to observe these standards can result in disciplinary action.
Professionalism in Real Estate practice is taught so the REALTOR® is aware of their ethical obligations, to ensure a smooth transaction. We are trained to uphold the Code of Ethics in our everyday business dealings. Our duties to work with other REALTORS®, represent our buyers and sellers in their best interest and be ethical, always, is the foundation for our business.
Our duties are to the clients and customers, the public and other REALTORS®. The clients and customers should always be represented to the best of their interest. It is our obligation to submit all offers, disclose what we know and to never mislead or misrepresent in the transaction. It is the duty of the REALTOR® to preserve confidential information provided by their clients in any agency relationship. This is our duty to the client and customer.
Article 10 of the Code of Ethics states that REALTORS®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS® should be honest and truthful in their real estate communications of advertising, marketing and other representations. The REALTOR® must make clear to the public their Broker information when advertising. This is our duty to the public.
REALTORS® shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, their businesses, or their business practices. This is stated in Article 15 of the Code of Ethics. We are taught not to contact the other parties in the transaction, to work diligently to ensure the transaction runs smoothly and to treat each other with respect. This is our duty to other REALTORS®.
So, what is the takeaway from all of this? It is simple. Be kind, be honest, be ethical and respect those around you. Spring is here! The birds are singing, and the flowers are blooming! I hope you remembered to set your clocks ahead one hour! Have a great week and remember to do good things!
Stephanie Lemley, 2021 MBOR President