Tag Archives: code of ethics

Effective Immediately: Discriminatory Speech and Conduct Outside of REALTORS® Practice is Prohibited

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Board of Directors approved a change today expanding the Code of Ethics’ applicability to discriminatory speech and conduct outside of members’ real estate practices.

OnlineEd Blog

(November 13, 2020)

 

Salem, Oregon November 13, 2020 – NAR’s Board of Directors today strengthened REALTORS®’ commitment to upholding fair housing ideals, approving a series of recommendations from NAR’s Professional Standards Committee that extend the application of Article 10 of the Code of Ethics to discriminatory speech and conduct outside of members’ real estate practices.

Article 10 prohibits REALTORS® from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity in the provision of professional services and in employment practices. The Board approved a new Standard of Practice under the Article, 10-5, that states, “REALTORS® must not use harassing speech, hate speech, epithets, or slurs” against members of those protected classes.

The Board also approved a change to professional standards policy, expanding the Code of Ethics’ applicability to all of a REALTOR®’s activities, and added guidance to the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual to help professional standards hearing panels apply the new standard.

Finally, Directors approved a revision to the NAR Bylaws, expanding the definition of “public trust” to include all discrimination against the protected classes under Article 10 along with all fraud. Associations are required to share with the state real estate licensing authority final ethics decisions holding REALTORS® in violation of the Code of Ethics in instances involving real estate-related activities and transactions where there is reason to believe the public trust may have been violated.

The Board made these changes effective immediately, though the changes cannot be applied to speech or conduct that occurred before the effective date. NAR has produced training and resource materials to assist leaders with understanding and implementing the changes and will be rolling those out in the coming weeks.

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Coaching Tips 5: Navigating Multiple Offers (Part 1)

To imply that multiple offers exist, when no such offers do exist, is a violation of professional ethics and the law

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

moral compass(December 2, 2015) – When faced with multiple offers, the real estate brokers involved must be sensitive to the needs and direction of their client, whether the buyer or seller, as well as to their fiduciary duty to provide fair and honest dealings to all parties. presenting_offers_1For the listing broker, this means that to create a fiction  or implication (to lie) that multiple offers exist, when no such offers do exist, is a violation of professional ethics and the law.

A listing broker cannot disclosure any offer without the seller’s express consent. Likewise, terms of offers, including price or hinting if the price is above, at or below listed price also needs client consent. And, the listing broker should not present offers in a manner designed to show favoritism to a particular offer, buyer or cooperating buyer broker.

  • REALTOR® Code of Ethics, Standard of Practice 1-5: REALTORS®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property.
  • REALTOR® Code of Ethics, Standard of Practice 1-6: REALTORS® shall submit offers and counter-offers objectively and as quickly as possible.

While there is no standard for presenting multiple offers, the listing broker should make sure to present every offer to their seller for consideration, unless the seller issues written instructions to the contrary. The broker is not to discourage or reject offers for the seller just because he or she thinks another offer is better for the seller.

A listing broker should not present offers with favoritism or in any way designed to manipulate the seller into accepting one offer over another. The best practice is to present all offers before engaging in discussions with the seller about which offer is best.

  • REALTOR® Code of Ethics, Standard of Practice 1-7: When acting as listing brokers, REALTORS® shall continue to submit to the seller all offers and counter-offers until closing unless the seller has waived this obligation in writing.

Listing brokers are to help get their client get the highest price and most favorable terms for the property, while the buyer broker is to help get the property at the lowest possible price and terms favorable to the buyer. Regardless of these competing dynamics, the real estate broker cannot make disclosures and representations that end up not being true. The broker must act honestly and fairly toward all parties and must put their client’s interest above everyone else’s.

These are some different ways for a seller and their broker to deal with multiple offers:

  • Inform all buyer brokers that other offers do exist and ask them to ask their clients to deliver their “highest and best” offers.
  • Inform all buyer brokers that there are multiple offers, all of which will be presented on a date and time certain.
  • Counter-offer one offer while making the other offers wait for the outcome.
  • Counter-offer one offer and reject all other offers.Accept the best offer and reject all other offers.

While each of these options has pitfalls that may result in buyers pursuing other properties, the listing broker should discuss each option with their seller. Remember, it is not up to the listing broker to decide how multiple offers will be presented, rather it is up to the seller. The listing broker can only offer advice and cannot make the final decision.

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Stay tuned for Part 2 or just sign up for my coaching tips here.

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers, visit www.OnlineEd.com.

 All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained by third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.