People ask me all the time: “What is a Realtor versus a real estate agent?” I find that people frequently use the terms interchangeably, but there are major differences between the two. Although both are licensed to sell real estate, the major difference lies in the license itself. A Realtor® is a member of the National Association of Realtors® and must subscribe to the Realtor® Code of Ethics. But what does this mean to a homebuyer or home seller?
Established in 1913, the Code of Ethics contains 17 Articles that guide Realtors®, members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, in their daily professional lives. I am a Realtor®. As such, here are 17 things that are inherent in my nature but I am also obligated to do for my clients:
#1) Pledge to put the interests of buyers and sellers ahead of my own and to treat all parties honestly.
#2) Refrain from exaggerating, misrepresenting or concealing material facts; and am obligated to investigate and disclose when situations reasonably warrant.
#3) Cooperate with other brokers/agents when it is in the best interests of the client to do so.
#4) Disclose if I 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.
#5) Shall not provide professional services in a transaction where I have a present or contemplated interest without disclosing that interest.
#6) Shall not collect any commissions without the seller’s knowledge nor accept fees from a third-party without the seller’s express consent.
#7) Shall refuse fees from more than one party without all parties’ informed consent.
#8) Shall not co-mingle client funds with my own.
#9) Shall attempt to ensure that all written documents are easy to understand and will give everybody a copy of what they sign.
#10) Shall not discriminate in any fashion for any reason on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
#11) Conform to standards of practice and refuse to provide services for which I am unqualified.
#12) Engage in truth in advertising.
#13) Not practice law.
#14) Cooperate if charges are brought against me and present all evidence requested.
#15) Agree not to bad mouth competition and agree not to file unfounded ethics complaints.
#16) Not solicit another REALTOR’S client nor interfere in a contractual relationship.
#17) Submit to arbitration to settle matters and not seek legal remedies in the judicial system.
Make sure your dreams are in good hands. By choosing a Realtor®, you are selecting a professional who voluntarily holds themself to a higher ethical standard. The National Association of Realtors® was founded in 1908 and has more than one million members. If you want to find out if your agent is indeed a Realtor®, visit this page of Realtor.com.
If you are searching for a private estate, winery or vineyard in Napa Valley or Sonoma please contact me at 707-738-4820 or email [email protected]. As a top producing Realtor® in Napa Valley, I have access to some extraordinary wineries, vineyards, estates and homes in Napa, Yountville, Saint Helena and Calistoga that are not on the open market, as well as a deep knowledge of some exceptional overlooked on-market offerings. The inventory is extraordinary right now and each and every property has spectacular views. I look forward to helping you buy or sell your property in this beautiful part of the world!