All REALTORS® must abide by The National Association of REALTORS© Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice which outlines duties that REALTORS® have to clients and customers, the public, and other REALTORS®.
While the Code of Ethics establishes obligations that may be higher than those mandated by law, in any instance where the Code of Ethics and the law conflict, the obligations of the law must take precedence.
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Helping consumers understand why working with a REALTOR® is the best choice for this life-changing experience goes way back to 1913.
That’s when National Association of REALTORS® began to set their members apart by adopting a Code of Ethics that still guides the business decisions of 1.3M REALTORS® today. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics isn’t just words on a page, but is a pledge of honesty, integrity, professionalism, and community service. Partnering with a REALTOR® delivers the peace of mind that comes from working with a real person…a real advocate…a real, trusted professional who is committed to their clients’ futures and neighborhoods just as much as they are.
It’s the Code of Ethics that helped to inspire NAR’s ad campaign, “That’s Who We R”. The campaign demonstrates the value of a REALTOR® and distinguishes REALTORS® from Real Estate Agent or Salesperson. Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® has over 1,000 members dedicated to professional and ethical service to their real estate clients.
1. Ethical Treatment
Every REALTOR® must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a REALTOR®'s client, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. The first obligation is to you, the client.
2. An Expert Guide
Buying a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes. Also, there's a lot of jargon involved, so you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.
3. Objective information and opinions
REALTORS® can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools and more. They also have objective information about each property. REALTORS® can use that data to help you determine if the property suits our needs.
4. Expanded search power
Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A REALTOR® can help you find opportunities not listed on the home search sites and can help you avoid out-of-date listings that might be showing up as available online but are no longer on the market thus maximizing the use of time during your home search.
5. Negotiation knowledge
There are many factors up for discussion in a transaction. A REALTOR® will look at every angle from your perspective, including crafting a purchase agreement that allows enough time for you to complete inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase.
6. Up-to-date experience
Most people buy only a few homes in their lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. Even if you've done it before, laws and regulations change. Most REALTORS® handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career.
7. Your rock during emotional moments
A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they will ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you.
The Real Estate Transaction in 180 Steps
What your REALTOR® does for you
Most home buyers and sellers are not aware of the true value a REALTOR® provides during the course of a real estate transaction. This list was prepared by Belton Jennings, CEO of the Orlando Regional REALTORS® Association. It shows 180 typical actions, research steps, procedures, processes and review stages in a successful residential real estate transaction that are normally provided by full service real estate brokerages in return for their sales commission. Depending on the transaction, some may take minutes, hours, or even days to complete, while some may not be needed. More importantly, they reflect the level of skill, knowledge and attention to detail required in today's real estate transaction, underscoring the importance of having help and guidance from someone who fully understands the process - a REALTOR®.
1 Make appointment with seller for listing presentation
2 Send seller a written or e-mail confirmation of listing appointment and call to confirm
3 Review pre-appointment questions
4 Research all comparable currently listed properties
5 Research sales activity for past 18 months from MLS and public records databases
6 Research "Average Days on Market" for this property of this type, price range and location
7 Download and review property tax roll information
8 Prepare "Comparable Market Analysis" (CMA) to establish fair market value
9 Obtain copy of subdivision plat/complex lay-out
10 Research property's ownership & deed type
11 Research property's public record information for lot size & dimensions
12 Research and verify legal description
13 Research property's land use coding and deed restrictions
14 Research property's current use and zoning
15 Verify legal names of owner(s) in county's public property records
16 Prepare listing presentation package with above materials and HomeTrack™ information
17 Perform exterior "Curb Appeal Assessment" of subject property
18 Compile and assemble formal file on property
19 Confirm current public schools and explain impact of schools on market value
20 Review listing appointment checklist to ensure all steps and actions have been completed
Listing Appointment Presentation
21 Give seller an overview of current market conditions and projections
22 Review agent's and company's credentials and accomplishments in the market
23 Present company's profile and position or "niche" in the marketplace
24 Present CMA Results To Seller, including Comparables, Solds, Current Listings & Expireds
25 Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgment and interpretation of current market conditions
26 Discuss Goals With Seller To Market Effectively
27 Explain market power and benefits of Multiple Listing Service
28 Explain market power of web marketing, IDX and REALTOR.com
29 Explain the work the brokerage and agent do "behind the scenes" and agent's availability on weekends
30 Explain agent's role in taking calls to screen for qualified buyers and protect seller from curiosity seekers
31 Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan
32 Explain different agency relationships and determine seller's preference
33 Review and explain all clauses in Listing Contract & Addendum and obtain seller's signature