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January 9, 2019

Realtors®, Real Estate Professionals, and Ethics

By Kim Bass, ABR, CNHS, GREEN, RCC

2019 President, Greater Chattanooga Realtors®

 

As I prepare to lead the Greater Chattanooga Realtors® into 2019 as their elected President, I’ve been reflecting on what is means to lead. I believe that leading is listening. I call it “leaning in.” I’ve been leaning in to learn from my clients, my colleagues, and my community.

One topic I’ve been “leaning in” to is what sets us, as Realtors, apart from other real estate professionals.

Did you know that not all real estate professionals are Realtors®? Yes, we both must be licensed in our state to participate in a real estate transactions, but there’s more. Realtors operate under a strict Code of Ethics that imposes duties above and beyond those imposed by law which apply only to real estate professionals who choose to become Realtors®.

Ethics and accountability matter when the public trusts us to handle something as financially significant as buying or selling real estate. In fact, The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) released a study that shows the massive impact that home sales have on our economy. In Tennessee alone nearly $58,000 affect our economy from just a single home sale.

NAR adopted their Code of Ethics in 1913, and ensures consumers are served by requiring Realtors to cooperate with each other in furthering clients' best interests. Article 1 of our Code of Ethics states that “...when serving a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant or other party in a non-agency capacity, Realtors remain obligated to treat all parties honestly.”

NAR believes so strongly in abiding by the Code of Ethics that they require each of the 1.3 million members (which is also the largest trade organization) to complete Code of Ethics Training every two years. If a Realtor fails to comply with this requirement, they risk suspension and termination of membership.

And, in the event that there is a complaint, there is a formal process to have these issues addressed. The Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) registers and regulates all real estate brokers, affiliate brokers, and real estate firms, and also makes and enforces rules addressing the professional conduct and standards of practice for the profession.

So what does all of that mean to you?

That means that we, as Realtors, are your trusted source for any information regarding real estate. We have a multitude of resources to make sure we are well equipped to serve you and your family’s real estate needs.

We are experts in real estate locally and statewide, and the Greater Chattanooga Realtors® are the voice of real estate in the greater Chattanooga area.

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