From state to state Realtors continuing education requirements vary, but the core course and the Ethics course are mandatory in most states that require continuing education for licensing and licensing renewal. In a recent class we had a fair amount of discussion about the preamble which was written 100 years ago. It is elegant, simple, patriotic, inspiring and lays out the basic understand of the golden rule. Do on to others as you would have them do on to you.
The Code of Ethics and Standards is not the Declaration or Independence or the Gettysburg Address…it wasn’t written by Jefferson or Lincoln…but the tenets set forth in this preamble and all 17 Article contain in it should be required reading for every politician running for office (or reelection).
Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. REALTORS® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.
Such interests impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty to which REALTORS® should dedicate themselves, and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves. REALTORS®, therefore, are zealous to maintain and improve the standards of their calling and share with their fellow REALTORS® a common responsibility for its integrity and honor.
In recognition and appreciation of their obligations to clients, customers, the public, and each other, REALTORS® continuously strive to become and remain informed on issues affecting real estate and, as knowledgeable professionals, they willingly share the fruit of their experience and study with others. They identify and take steps, through enforcement of this Code of Ethics and by assisting appropriate regulatory bodies, to eliminate practices which may damage the public or which might discredit or bring dishonor to the real estate profession. REALTORS® having direct personal knowledge of conduct that may violate the Code of Ethics involving misappropriation of client or customer funds or property, willful discrimination, or fraud resulting in substantial economic harm, bring such matters to the attention of the appropriate Board or Association of REALTORS®. (Amended 1/00)
Realizing that cooperation with other real estate professionals promotes the best interests of those who utilize their services, REALTORS® urge exclusive representation of clients; do not attempt to gain any unfair advantage over their competitors; and they refrain from making unsolicited comments about other practitioners. In instances where their opinion is sought, or where REALTORS® believe that comment is necessary, their opinion is offered in an objective, professional manner, uninfluenced by any personal motivation or potential advantage or gain.
The term REALTOR® has come to connote competency, fairness, and high integrity resulting from adherence to a lofty ideal of moral conduct in business relations. No inducement of profit and no instruction from clients ever can justify departure from this ideal.
In the interpretation of this obligation, REALTORS® can take no safer guide than that which has been handed down through the centuries, embodied in the Golden Rule, “Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them.”
Accepting this standard as their own, REALTORS® pledge to observe its spirit in all of their activities whether conducted personally, through associates or others, or via technological means, and to conduct their business in accordance with the tenets set forth below. (Amended 1/07)
I promise not to bore you with the rest of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice...but I recommend you read it every couple of years to remind yourself what we agreed to when we bacame Realtors.
Articles 1-9 Duties to clients and Customers (constituents)
Articles 10-14 Duties to the Public (all effected by your actions)
Articles 15-17 Duties to Realtors (colleagues and business associates)
We agree to conduct ourselves Ethically as defined by these Articles or face possible arbitration, fines or removal of our rights to practice our trade and we are bound by the board we are members of…I think we got it right.