by Emily Merkley, association executive, Cache-Rich Association of REALTORS ®
The experience of buying and selling a home or property can be stressful and make you feel financially vulnerable, so choosing the correct agent to represent you is of utmost importance. How do you make that decision? Who will truly have your best interests in mind?
The practices and policies that regulate real estate services are similar to those of medicine, law and engineering professions. In 1913, the National Association of REALTORS® adopted the Code of Ethics that has since governed and distinguished its members. For you, this means a REALTOR® is committed to and voluntarily subscribes to a strict code of ethics based on professionalism and the protection of the public. With your best interest at the forefront of every transaction, REALTORS® are committed to the ethical practice and elevated standards of real estate service as they strive for the “creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.”
“There are several differences between real estate agents and REALTORS® as not all real estate agents are REALTORS®,” said Kristen Seedall, associate broker at Century 21 N & N REALTORS® . “REALTORS® are members of local and state associations and the National Association of REALTORS®. As members of these associations, we subscribe to the Code of Ethics, which consists of numerous duties that elevate professionalism. It is a higher standard of practice to be a REALTOR®.”
Being a REALTOR® carries a specific distinction, and members take great pride in their work as their professional guidelines are designed to support the community and clients they represent. Robert Brown, principal broker at Cornerstone Real Estate, enjoys the camaraderie REALTORS® share and emphasizes that they “put relationships first and work together as a team, encouraging and helping one another.”
This focus on honest relationships and adherence to lofty ideals of moral conduct in business means that the term REALTOR® has come to connote competency, high integrity and fairness. The trademark is nationally recognized and symbolizes a professional in the field of real estate.
“REALTORS® are a great resource for community information and support,” said Lanis Duke, principal broker at Brokers Group Real Estate. “We are held to a standard that really directs our attention and efforts to the clients and the community. We continuously strive to remain informed on issues affecting real estate, which we willingly share with all members of the association, therefore helping and protecting the consumer.”
It’s an undeniable patriotic duty that underlies the foundation of the Code of Ethics, and while promoting the interests of their clients and protecting their communities, REALTORS® have become the embodiment of The Golden Rule.