In today’s economy, REALTORS® need to use every tool in their arsenal to remain competitive. As a result, the amount of knowledge that is necessary to do that can be overwhelming. You continually are in the teaching and learning process to help promote yourself and your business. In addition, it is your obligation to help your customers and other REALTORS® become more knowledgeable and strive to be informed about the issues effecting real estate. This knowledge begins with the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and is the legal backbone for all real estate professionals.
The REALTOR® Code of Ethics is a list of 17 articles and related standards of practice. Article 2 is one that frequently overshadows your day-to-day business pertaining to honesty and integrity. It holds a REALTOR® to the highest standards stating “REALTORS® shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property of the transaction.” It does, however, also acknowledge that you cannot know everything and are not responsible for anything out of your realm of experience or expertise. It’s a fine line to walk where you can be helpful with any information you are aware of, but also having too much information, more than what you are qualified to reveal, can be detrimental.
Article 2 has the smallest amount of information in the Code of Ethics but it has the strongest amount of relevant substance in today’s real estate market. By always abiding by the code of ethics, it will help REALTORS® properly conduct themselves, work honestly and protect them from disclosure issues.
Some key Article 2 Standards relevant to today’s market include:
Standards of Practice 2-1:
REALTORS® shall only be obligated to discover and disclose adverse factors reasonably apparent to someone with expertise in those areas required by their real estate licensing authority.
Standards of Practice 2-5:
Factors defined as “non-material” by law or regulation or which are expressly referenced in law or regulation as not being subject to disclosure are considered not “pertinent” for purposes of Article 2.
Click here to read the NAR Code of Ethics and Professional Standards document.