You have probably heard that real estate agents are not realtors. What separates the agents from the realtors is a list of things called the "17 Codes of Ethics" and a membership in a national organization that attempts to keep home selling services honest. Here is the short version of their code of ethics, and what it means for home buyers like you.
Do Not Discriminate
If a wealthy Asian American family wants to move into a predominantly Caucasian, upscale neighborhood, the realtor is withheld from passing judgement, discrimination, and/or attempting to dissuade or prevent that family from buying a house here. Most realtors follow this policy, but there are a few bad apples who may have refused or discouraged a family of another ethnicity or race from moving into a particular neighborhood. As a realtor, that is verboten (forbidden). The realtor could lose all of the money you gave him/her to help you find a house. Better still, it means that you will not be faced with any discriminatory behavior if the realtor expects to keep his/her license and good standing in the national realtors' association.
Do Not Lie, Cheat, Steal, Manipulate or Put One's Interests Ahead of the Buyers and Sellers
This condensed version encompasses about three or four of the Codes of Ethics. Essentially, the realtor has to be an upstanding citizen and business person and has to provide you with the best home buying experience possible. If he or she has a vested interest in the properties shown (i.e., the realtor owns the properties or family members own the properties) he or she has to disclose that while showing the properties. The realtor is also prohibited from misrepresentation of a property and is required to do a full disclosure on every property, good or bad as the information may be.
Comply in All Legal Matters and Avoid Legal Issues with Other Realtors/Competitors
If you sign a contract with one realtor, that is the realtor you have until you buy your home. You cannot sign another contract with another realtor without breaking your contract with the first realtor. Realtors themselves get into huge legal battles when they attempt to take other realtors' clients.
If you do not like your first realtor for some reason, you have to read your contract to find a reasonable reason to break your contract with him/her. Any other legal matters involving your realtor require that your realtor act in a compliant and professional manner. In short, you should get zero legal problems with your realtor so long as you both abide by the Codes of Ethics.Share