The Importance of Being Ethical as a Realtor
Both new and experienced real estate professionals have an obligation to their clients and community to be ethical.
Scott Gordon, who is one of our licensed real estate instructors and brokers with over 25 years of experience in the real estate industry had this to say: “Ethics is the real estate industry’s foundation and the framework. Upon it is strengthened by our professionalism, morals, and integrity.”
The below is not legal advice, but a few reminders on how to seal any cracks in your foundation and remain ethical in real estate.
Put Your Clients First
As an agent, you have a duty to your clients and customers to provide them with excellent service and informative resources. All clients deserve equal attention.
Unfortunately, some people give real estate agents a bad name by focusing only on wealthy clients. Sometimes they do this in the hopes of boosting commissions, but to focus only on their outcome is counterintuitive to helping the client.
Ditch the Exaggerated Sales Pitch
While walking through a home that needs some tender love and construction to bring it up to a better condition, it’s easy to slip into a sales-y pitch. Sometimes we want to encourage a customer to ignore the glaring faults with a property, but that isn’t realistic. While there is no obligation to find issues outside of your purview, you must share what you do know. It is crucial to disclose facts about the property and the future transactions that you know, but your client is unaware of.
Honesty is the best policy and so is great communication. Honing your communication skills with clients and the general public is vital, but it’s also important with fellow agents. Building a rapport with them could make or break a future transaction. By being forthright and honest, you’re able to build a communicative relationship with your client and future clients.
Trust us, they’ll appreciate it and similarly communicate with you because they feel they can trust you. For example, being open about what neighborhoods they want to move to, or the type of home they imagine growing old in. All these facts will help you to help them.
Fair Housing Practices
While you can make suggestions, or explain pricing expectations, in the end it’s the client’s decision to put in an offer. You can’t disregard what they’ve told you, or put your feelings before them. A real estate agent cannot allow their own biases to get in the way, or the client isn’t being treated equally, fairly, or ethically. It’s important to avoid discriminatory practices and honor what they’re communicating.
Always Play Nice
Sometimes we don’t warm up to someone right away, numerous reasons why we wouldn’t hang out with someone on personal time. While those personal feelings can be valid, you must remain ethical in your treatment of fellow realtors, agents, and brokers. According to REALTORS, “you are obligated to share information about a property and allow other agents or brokers to show a property you’ve listed as available.”
Remember, our first priority is the client. So avoiding another agent around town might conflict with the client’s best interests and would be unethical. Now if you’re aware of unethical or even illegal actions, it’s important to go through the right channels and report them to the local real estate board.
There are still so many important things to remember so you can continue being ethical and keep your license. We hope you’ll join us for our Code of Ethics class via Zoom on July 13th at 12 pm. From the comfort of your couch or home office, you can stay up to date and earn continuing education units for New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts.