Is The Realtor Code Of Ethics A Crock?

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  • March 22, 2010

Realtor Code Of Ethics Is A ShamA few days ago I called out the National Association of Realtors  for not giving their members clear and concise info and for hiding behind their desks.

Well the saga continues in regards to many NAR members having no clue as to how to execute short sales, much less understanding how to seriously profit from them.

I’ve known for awhile that the Realtor Code of Ethics was bullshit…but, this time, it’s not just me who has had enough.

A video was brought to my attention that you have to see. I’d like you to take a look and tell me what you think. I’d love to hear your comments as to what the guy in the video says.

What the guy in the video is mad about is something we encounter almost daily and no one seems to do anything about. I feel for the young guy. He’s out there trying to conduct business and make a dollar and he’s running into the same old tomfoolery that we are all confrionted with on a daily basis.

I get so frustrated it makes me want to scream. The worst part is I get emails and calls from many agents who are simply afraid of speaking out. So I am giving this guy an open forum here on Real Estate Radio.

This kind of stuff needs to be shouted from offices across the Country. Get mad and tell the brokers harboring these idiots that you’re not going to take it anymore.

Why would everyone simply turn a blind eye to this. I love the fact that the guy in the video is speaking out. For all of the Realtors who say I always bash agents, mark this day down. I herewith salute and applaud this guy!

So take a moment and check this out and then you tell me…is the Realtor Code of Ethics a crock or what!

About Barry Cunningham

Remember us? was one of the co-hosts of the long-running, truly goundbreaking, and arguably the #1 online radio show about real estate investing. Real Estate Radio USA was on the air 5 times per week before podcasting became cool. But now, we're back as a full multi-media operation and we're aggressively buying houses again! We're back baby!

9 Comments

  • First off, let me just say that I am no fan of the banks. Nonetheless, Michaels assesment of the situation is a little short sighted. Any agent has an obligation to submit all offers to his/her client. In other words, any offer that comes in prior to acceptance must be submitted to the client. It is then the clients right to accept, reject or counter any offer in any way they see fit. The potential buyer may then accept, reject or counter in return. They may also rescind their offer prior to acceptance and are not legally bound to the offer once it’s expiration date has passed. Also, the corvette analogy is erroneous. Unlike corvettes, each property is unique in that no other exists that is exactly the same. And I have never seen an agent tell a potential buyer that “we can’t sell you this one but I have another house for a few dollars more”.
    Were Michael could have made a valid point is in the “highest/best” situation. Essentially, the listing agent lists the property under market value in an attempt to initiate a bidding war (see my blog for a more indepth discription). This practice (atleast in NV) is illegal and certainly unethical.
    Finally, to say that the “Realtor Code of Ethics is bullshit” is reactionary and close minded. I have been a Realtor for almost 5years and I would like to think that I have conducted myself in a professional and ethical manner. In fact, a few months ago I spoke with Janice Copple (she sits on the state disciplinary committee) and she basically told me that the vast majority of agents who are in violation of the law do so through ignorance and not malice. Yes there are agents out there who have not the vaguest notion of morality, but they are the exception to the rule!

  • Hi Patrick..thanks for stopping by and thank you for your comment. I can’t speak for Michael, and I’m sure he feels he has a valid point. Do I agree with him? Well let’s just say that as an investor, dealing with the lack of professionalism of Realtors is more par for the course than exception.

    Like I have told other commenters, my generalizations may be too encompassing but There are many ..many..more bad apples than good and the NAR, brokers and colleague agents do nothing…or seemingly do nothing but beat the “we are realtor drum” and take offense to the negative exposure rather than admit the reality.

    As for the comment that the COE is bullshit…c’mon, it’s feces fodder at best. While YOU may be ethical… it’s an individual’s decision. You have pride and integrity and no document instilled that.

    You underscored my sentiment by your response that “the vast majority of agents who are in violation of the law do so through ignorance and not malice“…that actually may be worse.

    In real life ignorance of the law doesn’t get you a pass. As a so-called “professional”, it is imperative that one should at minimum know the COE under which they are supposed to be governed. But I guess…well I know…that it’s not a prerquisite for getting a license. So in that regard it is patently useless and in my mind, wholly bullshit!

  • […] had some of the most vile emails and voice mails left by Realtors (you’ll see how fast the Code of Ethics goes out the window) that it would make your head would spin and even the most hardened Teamster […]

  • ladysss says:

    Unethical realtors? Nobody cares.
    Example: When I called one listing agent, and asked him if he has presented my cash offer, he told me that my offer was deleted because he felt it is too low. By the Code of Ethics he has to present all offers. I had to resend my all cash offer with proof of funds, but he said that he can not present my offer to the bank since I need a preapproval letter. He is in the business for 20 years! I did not get my offer through him, every time he made me change something that” this bank is not going to accept” and he “can not submit the offer like that”. Finally I talked to his broker, his friend obviously, who totaly covered for him.The house was still sitting on the market and a week later it was pending.The realtor was covering for someone, probably. Or he had a buyer. Should I go and file a complaint to NAR? May be not, may be I should go and kick his butt…Unethical? Nobody cares, the realtor is still working in the same office.

  • Hi Lady SSS,

    Thanks for the comment and for stopping by. Personally I’d opt for the butt kicking but we don’t want you getting in trouble. Turnabout is fairplay. As for a complaint…what’s it gonna do? As long as he is paying his dues I doubt they give a hoot. Besides, they know what’s going on. They all just look the other way. They got away with it for so long it was easy. Now with this whole Interjungle thing..the light is shining on them like cockroaches. Trust me what you have been experiencing is WIDESPREAD and no one cares to clean it up. So we all suffer.

    However, keep plugging away, there are indeed some good agents out there and some who want to be ethical..you just have to dig hard to find them.

  • Larry Lowenthal says:

    It’s interesting to note that, although the first sentence on this page contains an “I” and the last sentence a “me,” the author’s name does not appear anywhere.

    He tries to make a case against the Code of Ethics itself and presents no evidence whatsoever to support his position. The video is a worthless rant, and I regret wasting a few minutes of my life watching it in hope of finding a glimmer of useful comment.

    I expected better, but there is nothing of value here.

  • Hi Larry, Thanks for your comment and for stopping by.

    You must be new here…no problem..welcome. In the last 48 hours we completely changed the design of this site and we’re still working on it. Of course we place an author inf on the articles. This new design requires some additional code so it will be there soon. In the interim, most who visit here know who we are and if not, there’s always the about us button at the top of the page.

    If you’re not familiar with blogs, let me fill you in a bit. This wasn’t an article that was designed to be a follow-up to a previous article. Please notice the link in the first paragraph or so. This article was published because I was asking a question and I was giving others a chance to respond. I think the title clearly asks a question and the last line invites commentary. So I am not debating the COE’s viability or cedibility. I’ve made my opinion known in post after post and in radio episode after radio episode. There’s absolutely no question as to where I stand.
    Maybe you might want to avail yourself of some of the preceding content that will provide for you the substantiation that you seek.

  • Ed Urbaniak says:

    This guy is way off base. This has nothing to do with the code of ethics. If so, please state the article.

    A home for sale has a listing price, not a for-sale price. In a multiple-offer situation, the seller picks the best offer (not simply the best price).

    Which would you pick:

    Offer 1: Full price, settling in three years.
    Offer 2: Full price, but buyer’s credit is suspect.
    Offer 3: Less than full price, qualified buyer, quick settlement.

  • I know which of your 3 options I would choose. But since you disagree with the guy in the video, the more important question is which option would YOU be willing to advise your client on…and secondly, if YOU were in your client’s situation, which scenario would you choose for yourself?

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