The countdown is on. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ ethics requirement gives us (all NAR members) until Dec. 31, 2012, to take an approved ethics course. Our local associations are doing everything they can to avoid holding eleventh-hour ethics courses for hundreds, or even thousands, of members in December. It will do us all good to remember our Code and what we should and should not do ~ what to say and how and when to say it. We’re all human, we need to be reminded ~ myself included!
The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ Board of Directors last year made several enhancements to the NAR Code of Ethics that took effect this year to help ensure the Code remains up-to-date as practitioners confront new situations. Here are four changes we need to make note of:
1. Authorized use of property
The duty of fidelity to clients’ interests was advanced through a new Standard of Practice interpreting Article 1 as prohibiting members from accessing or using, or permitting others to access or use, listed or managed property on terms or conditions other than those authorized by the owner or seller.
2. False statements against others
Article 15’s obligation to refrain from knowingly or recklessly making false or misleading statements was expanded to cover “other real estate professionals, their businesses, and their business practices.” These changes are also reflected in Standards of Practice 15-2 and 15-3.
3. Mediating disputes
The dispute resolution scope of Article 17 was enhanced to include the duty to mediate otherwise-arbitrable disputes in cases where the association of REALTORS® has established a duty to mediate.
4. Waiving mediation and arbitration
Standard of Practice 17-2 (which interprets and explains Article 17) was amended to make it clear that REALTORS® are not obligated to mediate or arbitrate in cases where all parties to the dispute choose not to have it mediated or arbitrated through the association.
Sometimes we need to sit back and remember that our Code of Ethics sets us apart as real estate professionals…sets standards for dealing with consumers (our customers) and our fellow REALTORS®. Every four years is not too often to sit through a full Code of Ethics Class, sometimes I think it’s not often enough. So as I end every blog with: Let’s be good to each other…Let’s be REALTORS®…let’s remember Our Code!
Until next Monday…