Janis Peterson, GRI, ABR, CSP Realtor®
Philadelphia Main Line Homes and Real Estate
Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester Counties
A recent National Association of REALTORS® survey of home buyers and sellers showed that 70 percent of Americans would definitely use their real estate professional again if they had a need for their services. That's a good sign that most real estate professionals are performing well for their customers. The key to a positive real estate experience goes beyond merely following the ethical requirements enforced by regulators and professional associations like the National Association of REALTORS.
Most national real estate companies place great emphasis on the importance of ethical behavior in real estate. The message is clear that building trust and acting with integrity are fundamental to the practice of real estate. What should you expect from your real estate professional in terms of ethical conduct?
You should demand the truth. Both the National Association of REALTORS® in the United States and the Canadian Real Estate Association, for example, require truthfulness from real estate professionals. They are required to avoid misrepresentation or concealment of pertinent facts. But what should consumers do when they suspect unethical behavior on the part of a real estate professional?
First, you should contact your attorney immediately and be prepared to share the facts of your situation. If you have been lied to, discriminated against, discouraged from seeking legal counsel, or physically intimidated, you should definitely seek legal protection. Fortunately, such occurrences are rare but it is always smart to be on the lookout for unscrupulous persons in any profession.
If the real estate professional with whom you are working is a member of a local realty board, then you may be able to pursue an action with that body.
Of course it is preferable to avoid these situations altogether. How can you select a real estate professional with a commitment to integrity? Start by thoroughly interviewing any real estate professional with whom you may wish to work. Ask for references. Check with other professionals in the community to see if the company and professional you are considering have a good reputation. It is also a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau.
By working with experienced professionals at established firms, you gain some assurance that you are working with someone with a track record in a positive environment. Many real estate organizations that promote full-time professionals, extensive training opportunities and ethics awareness are doing a lot to improve the reputation and performance of the real estate industry.
In the final analysis, receiving the ethical service you demand is a matter of trust. By consistently acting in a highly ethical, open and truthful manner, your real estate professional should be able to prove trustworthiness and contribute to your happiness with the overall real estate transaction experience. Don't be afraid to tell your real estate professional that you expect ethical conduct on your behalf and that your satisfaction is key to your willingness to refer other business to them in the future.
"Real Service in Real Estate." For a personal consultation on buying or selling real estate, Janis Peterson, GRI, ABR, CSP Realtor® can be reached at (610) 642-3744, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors® is an independently owned and operated member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.
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