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Real Estate Ethics: A Quick Overview

Real estate ethics aid in ensuring every person involved in a home journey receives the same level of courtesy, professionalism, due-diligence and dedication, regardless of their background. But what exactly are the ethics of real estate? What role do they play for real estate agents? What does the Code of Ethics mean for a client?

Here is a quick guide to understanding the basics of the Code of Ethics for real estate professionals.

What is the Real Estate Code of Ethics?

The Real Estate Code of Ethics is a set of rules and regulations put into place to help maintain a fair and even structure among real estate professionals, their brokerages and their clients. This Code of Ethics places honesty and competency at the seat of its standards.

This code was created in the early 1900s to ensure licensed real estate professionals were acting in an honest and transparent way. According to the national association, this code was a standard that was to be observed by practicing agents to ensure discriminatory acts or acts of corruption stayed out of every day business between agents, other real estate professionals and their customers.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) typically only requires licensed real estate professionals to follow the standards outlined in the articles of the Real Estate Code of Ethics. However, best practices dictate that all practicing real estate professionals follow the standards put forth by the Code of Ethics, regardless of the licensure held by the real estate agent.

How the Code of Ethics relates to the public

Real estate agents ensure the public can invest in their future homes without having to worry about discrimination for race, creed, lifestyle or other classifications a client or customer may identify with. Real estate agents are to support their clients, provide optimal service and ensure all information being distributed between other real estate agents and their clients is accurate and falls within the ethics code.

Real estate agents also ensure listings and information regarding the listings are wholly accurate, so they don’t hinder the sale of a home or other property asset.

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Code of Ethics and clients

Working with clients is at the core of the real estate profession. Ensuring individuals can trust real estate agents with their sensitive information, such as financial dealings, credit information and sensitive identifying information, are professional standards that every agent, regardless of license status, is expected to have. However, it’s also important to acknowledge the stress of the clients during a home sales transaction.

For many clients, the process is long and filled with twists and turns that aren’t necessarily well-understood. That’s when they turn to a real estate professional who has a firm grasp on best business practices, preferably those outlined by the national association. These ground rules ensure everyone is also legally covered. When dealing with a detailed document as sensitive as contracts, it’s vital that all parties involved can be trusted to follow a strict code to help the clients feel comfortable and prepared during their transactions.

Real estate ethics are serious

The Code of Ethics was put into place to ensure all professional responsibilities were handled with integrity. Ethics violations are considered serious and can carry hefty fines and disciplinary actions for licensed real estate professionals. However, depending on brokerage or local association, even those who aren’t fully licensed may incur some sort of reaction to a violation.

Being an agent is about communicating with others and helping your clientele progress to the next step in their journey. You are their guide, helping them maneuver the process, and your professional standards will have a heavy impact on them. Make sure you’ve always got a great team behind you that can help you build and maintain those professional standards while helping you grow into a successful and reliable real estate professional.

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