Friday, May 18, 2012


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®

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 Rules, “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 and to conduct their business in accordance with the tenets set forth below

Article 1
When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, other client as an agent, REALTORS®
 pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client. This obligation to the client is primary, but it does not relieve REALTORS® of their obligation to treat all parties honestly. When serving a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant or other party in a non-agency capacity, REALTORS® remain obligated to treat all parties honestly.
Article 2
REALTORS® shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction. REALTORS® shall not, however, be obligated to discover latent defects in the property, to advise on matters outside the scope of their real estate license, or to disclose facts which are confidential under the scope of agency or non-agency relationships as defined by state law.

Article 3
REALTORS® shall cooperate with other brokers except when cooperation is not in the client’s best interest. The obligation to cooperate does not include the obligation to share commissions, fees, or to otherwise compensate another broker.

Article 4
REALTORS® shall not acquire an interest in or buy or present offers from themselves, any member of their immediate families, their firms or any member thereof, or any entities in which they have any ownership interest, any real property without making their true position known to the owner or the owner’s agent or broker. In selling property they own, or in which they have any interest, REALTORS® shall reveal their ownership or interest in writing to the purchaser or the purchaser’s representative.

Article 5
REALTORS® shall not undertake to provide professional services concerning a property or its value where they have a present or contemplated interest unless such interest is specifically disclosed to all affected parties.
Article 6
REALTORS® shall not accept any commission, rebate, or profit on expenditures made for their client, without the client’s knowledge and consent.

When recommending real estate products or services (e.g., homeowner’s insurance, warranty programs, mortgage financing, title insurance, etc.), REALTORS® shall disclose to the client or customer to whom the recommendation is made any financial benefits or fees, other than real estate referral fees, the REALTOR® or REALTOR®’s firm may receive as a direct result of such recommendation.

Article 7
In a transaction, REALTORS® shall not accept compensation from more than one party, even if permitted by law, without disclosure to all parties and the informed consent of the REALTOR®’s client or clients.

Article 8
REALTORS® shall keep in a special account in an appropriate financial institution, separated from their own funds, monies coming into their possession in trust for other persons, such as escrows, trust funds, clients’ monies, and other like items.

Article 9
REALTORS® , for the protection of all parties, shall assure whenever possible that all agreements related to real estate transactions including, but not limited to, listing and representation agreements, purchase contracts, and leases are in writing in clear and understandable language expressing the specific terms, conditions, obligations and commitments of the parties. A copy of each agreement shall be furnished to each party to such agreements upon their signing or initialing.

Article 10
REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation.
REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation. REALTORS® , in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation

Article 11
The services which REALTORS® provide to their clients and customers shall conform to the standards of practice and competence which are reasonably expected in the specific real estate disciplines in which they engage; specifically, residential real estate brokerage, real property management, commercial and industrial real estate brokerage, land brokerage, real estate appraisal, real estate counseling, real estate syndication, real estate auction, and international real estate. REALTORS® shall not undertake to provide specialized professional services concerning a type of property or service that is outside their field of competence unless they engage the assistance of one who is competent on such types of property or service, or unless the facts are fully disclosed to the client. Any persons engaged to provide such assistance shall be so identified to the client and their contribution to the assignment should be set forth.

Article 12
REALTORS® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a  true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations. REALTORS®  shall ensure that their status as real estate professionals is readily apparent in their advertising, marketing, and other representations, and that the recipients of all real estate communications are, or have been, notified that those communications are from a real estate professional

Article 13
REALTORS® shall not engage in activities that constitute the unauthorized practice of law and shall recommend that legal counsel be obtained when the interest of any party to the transaction requires it.

Article 14
If charged with unethical practice or asked to present evidence or to cooperate in any other way, in any professional standards proceeding or investigation, REALTORS®  shall place all pertinent facts before the proper tribunals of the Member Board or affiliated institute, society, or council in which membership is held and shall take no action to disrupt or obstruct such processes.

Article 15
REALTORS® shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, their businesses, or their business practices.

Article 16
REALTORS® shall not engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with exclusive representation or exclusive brokerage relationship agreements that other REALTORS® have with clients.

Article 17
In the event of contractual disputes or specific non-contractual disputes as defined in Standard of Practice 17-4 between REALTORS ® (principals) associated with different firms, arising out of their relationship as REALTORS®, the REALTORS® shall mediate the dispute if the Board requires its members to mediate. If the dispute is not resolved through mediation, or if mediation is not required, REALTORS® shall submit the dispute to arbitration in accordance with the policies of the Board rather than litigate the matter.

In the event clients of REALTORS® wish to mediate or arbitrate contractual disputes arising out of real estate transactions, REALTORS® shall mediate or arbitrate those disputes in accordance with the policies of the Board, provided the clients agree to be bound by any resulting agreement or award.
The obligation to participate in mediation and arbitration contemplated by this Article includes the obligation of REALTORS® (principals) to cause their firms to mediate and arbitrate and be bound by any resulting agreement or award.

Monday, January 23, 2012® International® is Going Global®, the #1 homes-for-sale website in the United States, has launched a new global site to extend its lead as the world’s largest online destination for real estate listings.® International will strengthen the site’s presence in international markets, attract more international visitors and increase the exposure of U.S. real estate listings currently on® to global markets. The site includes listings from international data providers, as well as language translation services and currency and unit conversion features to support the needs of international buyers.
Key features of® International

    All for-sale and rental listings on® will automatically be displayed on the® International site, along with listings from international data providers.
    Consumers will be able to search listings in 11 languages: Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
    Visitors' may save their default language, measurement, and currency preferences to facilitate future visits.
    Searches may be made by city name or map search, using a drill-down feature to select a geographical region. Visitors will not need to be familiar with all the local area names to find the property they seek.

Benefits of® International

To REALTORS® and buyers in the U.S.,® International provides:

    True global exposure: The global site will increase visibility of the site around the world and allow millions of Americans buying abroad to view property listings in the familiar® format.
    A customized experience: Buyers from all over the world will be able to view properties in their preferred format—language, currency and units of measurement.
    No additional cost for listings: U.S. listings displayed on® are displayed on the International site at no additional cost.
    Automatic inclusion of non-U.S. MLS listings already on®, in multiple languages: members with MLS listings outside of the U.S., that are already being provided to®, will find these listings under the U.S. inventory on the International site. The listings may be viewed/translated into multiple languages and are available for members to print or email to interested consumers.

To Non-U.S. Real Estate Agents and Buyers® International provides:

    More opportunities for global business development than ever before: For the first time, property listings from outside the U.S. will be available on®.
    Listings from various locations around the world: These listings will be available in 11 languages, with area and currency conversion features to make browsing easier for consumers no matter where they reside.
    Aggregated non-U.S. listings: Move, Inc. and NAR are working with various organizations to aggregate non-U.S. listings.

7 Tips for Working with Foreign Real Estate Buyers

7 Tips for Working with Foreign Real Estate Buyers
March 2006

With immigrants and foreign business entities looking beyond the coasts, the opportunity to work with foreign buyers isn’t limited to certain markets or to practitioners who travel overseas. Here’s how to succeed.

1. Remember that foreign clients may know real estate but not U.S. real estate. You need to explain local market conditions and U.S. legal issues. But be careful not to talk down to them, cautions Gustavo Lumer, CIPS, CRS®, with Lumer Real Estate in North Miami Beach, Fla.

2. Focus on clients from one or two countries, especially when you’re just getting started, suggests Carmela Ma, CCIM, CIPS, president of CJM Associates Inc. in Beverly Hills, Calif. In that way, you can become more familiar with the culture and establish a wider network of contacts, more rapidly.

3. Recognize that factors such as currency fluctuations and a need for market stability may influence buying decisions, says Pius Leung, CCIM, CIPS, president of Charter Equity in Houston. Leung recalls a client who bought a building, left it vacant for three years, then sold it for about what he paid originally. Yet, the client was happy because the currency in his home country had devalued by 50 percent over that period. So just by parking the money in the United States, the owner had made a profit, says Leung.

4. Take it slowly. Recognize that some cultures require more consultation and time to make a decision.

5. Develop a group of tax, legal, and other experts in foreign ownership of U.S. real estate you can offer foreign buyers as a resource, suggests Ma. Once you’re seen as a trusted adviser, offshore clients will often look to you for assistance in other parts of the transaction, such as finding legal advice.

6. Help bridge differences, suggests Alan Berger, CIPS, of Breslin Realty in Garden City, N.Y. Simple things such as converting a price from dollars to euros or square feet to meters can make a foreign buyer more comfortable, says Berger.

7. Get your Certified International Property Specialist designation from NAR’s International Division. It’s a great way to acquire skills needed to work with foreign clients and to network. “The CIPS network represents the best-kept secret around for making contact,” says Lumer.

More: Market to international buyers using the Distinctive Properties Advertising Service from REALTOR Benefits(sm) Program partner

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