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REALTOR® vs. Real Estate Agent

I am passionate about real estate and am a featured contributor in the National Association of REALTORS® Little Blue Book of Rules to Live by for Realtors

Although they are oftentimes used synonymously, a REALTOR® is not the same as a real estate agent. A REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of Realtors a/k/ As a member of NAR, a REALTOR® must adhere to the Code of Ethics, which is strictly enforced and pertains to a clearly defined code of conduct for all NAR members. The industry makes this effort to regulate and govern all REALTORS® as a valued service to all individuals seeking real estate services.

The Code of Ethics is a broad sweeping, comprehensive instrument created to raise the level of excellence of performance for its membership. Here are some of the pledges a REALTOR® has agreed to adhere to in the provision of exemplary services

- Pledge to put the interests of buyers and sellers ahead of their own and to treat all parties honestly;

- Shall refrain from exaggerating, misrepresenting or concealing material facts; and is obligated to investigate and disclose when situations reasonably warrant;

- Shall cooperate with other when it is in the best interests of the client to do so;

- Have a duty to disclose if they represent family members who own or are about to buy real estate, or if they themselves are a principal in a real estate transaction, that they are licensed to sell real estate;

- Shall not provide professional services in a transaction where the agent has a present or contemplated interest without disclosing that interest;

- Shall not collect any commissions without the seller's knowledge nor accept fees from a third-party without the seller's express consent;

- Shall refuse fees from more than one party without all parties' informed consent; - Shall not co-mingle client funds with their own;

- Shall attempt to ensure that all written documents are easy to understand and will give everybody a copy of what they sign;

- Shall not discriminate in any fashion for any reason on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin;

- Expects agents to be competent, to conform to standards of practice and to refuse to provide services for which they are unqualified;

- Must engage in truth in advertising;

- Shall not practice law unless they are a lawyer;

- Shall cooperate if charges are brought against them and present all evidence requested;

- bad mouth competition and agree not to file unfounded ethics complaints;

- Shall not solicit another REALTOR'S® client nor interfere in a contractual relationship;

- Shall submit to arbitration to settle matters and not seek legal remedies in the judicial system;

So, when you see the REALTOR® logo on a real estate agent’s business card, ad or sign rest-assured it is not merely a random association, it is an entity established in 1908 with a long-standing reputation for raising the bar of excellence for all who make up its membership.

Copyright: 2012 Valerie Anne Martinetti

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