Understanding the Realtor Code of Ethics

As a Realtor, ethics are going to play a large role in your business dealings. Many people might think that all real estate professionals are obligated to follow a code of ethics. However, this is simply not the case. If you are a real estate agent, that does not necessarily mean that you have a code of ethics to live by. There is a difference between real estate agents and Realtors. Realtors belong to the National Association a Realtors. This means that they have to go through additional training and pay a membership fee. This means that Realtors are held to a higher standard of ethics.

Code of Ethics

The most important part of being a Realtor is the code of ethics that they have to abide by. This code of ethics has a preamble that introduces the basic ideas in the code. From there, there are 17 principles that Realtors have to live by in their business dealings. 


Many of these principles deal with how their clients are treated. For example, the first principle is that Realtors have to put the needs of their clients ahead of their own. This means that they always have to do what is in the best interest of the client, no matter what. Another one of the principles says that the Realtor has to work in conjunction with other real estate agents if it can help their client. 


As part of the code of ethics, Realtors are not allowed to discriminate against anyone that they come in contact with. This includes discrimination as a result of age, sex, religion, handicap, or familial status. Realtors have to treat everyone equally and they have to provide everyone with the same level of service.


Another theme that keeps coming up in the code of ethics is truth. Realtors have to always engage in truthful practices and this applies to many of the principals in the code. For example, one of the principles states that the Realtor cannot misrepresent any facts about a house that they are selling. They cannot exaggerate anything or leave any important facts out. They have to engage in full disclosure when it comes to selling a house.

They also have to engage in truthful advertising. This means that they cannot make any claims that are designed to generate business unless they are completely true. They also have to disclose the fact that they are representing a family member in a real estate transaction, or if they are buying property themselves. They cannot withhold any important information when it comes to dealing with real estate.


The code of ethics also has some rules when it comes to dealing with the competition. For example, they are not allowed to speak negatively about any other real estate agents. In addition, they are not allowed to try to take customers from any other real estate agent in the area. Competition should be fair.

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