Enduring Ethics and the Real Estate Code of Conduct

Enduring Ethics and the Real Estate Code of ConductWe may have come a long way from the days of philosophers such as Socrates, Kant and Nietzsche, but when it comes to the ethics they shaped and espoused, they are as relevant today as they were in their day. Defending the concepts of right and wrong conduct amidst a wealth of moral and personal diversity forms the bedrock of ethics in real estate, as much as it does in wide society. When it comes to the world of real estate, though the ideas must be forged in a different way to encompass the complicated nature of our business, the same basic tenets apply, or at least they should.

As a realtor of many years, I am acutely aware of the need for ethics and uncompromised professional conduct in the real estate business. Though the majority of those involved in real estate work are honorable, honest and hard-working professionals, the world of realty is no more immune from the scourge of misconduct than any other profession. Thankfully, the code of ethics is there to outline and, in the rare case it is needed, enforce these rules of the game, so to say.

From law to medicine, law enforcement to the military, codes of conducts and ethical guidelines are imperative. In Real Estate terms, the code of conduct is very much aligned to the concept of applied ethics, embracing the notion that a person is obligated to act in a specific way in a particular arena, such as a business transaction, in our case, anything involving real estate. It would be disingenuous to suggest that the real estate industry is free from ethical misdemeanors, but equally unfair to suggest that it does not continue to make great strides towards higher ethical standards.

For realtors, this code is the cornerstone of our business practice, I am proud to see how it is treated with respect by so many professionals. Such guidelines are there not only to protect the people within and reputation of the real estate profession, they are there to reassure clients. Buying or selling a home can be a traumatic, life-changing and complicated process, especially for those who have no experience. Whether it is the purchase of a family home in a new area, a first step onto the property ladder or an investment purchase for the future, these decisions are rarely taken lightly.

When looking for a realtor to assist in these seminal and financially important decisions, being safe in the knowledge that any such help or counsel will be trustworthy is imperative. Essentially, when a person is looking to secure the services of a real estate professional, we are selling ourselves well before we are selling the home.

Sadly, as with other professions, when one rotten apple is found to be in the basket, the entire basket is sometimes perceived to be equally nefarious. It has been said that it takes years to build a reputation and mere moments to damage or destroy it. Thankfully, my experience over the years tells me a positive story, full of realtors who are proud of their integrity and cherish the code of ethics which guides, and is fastidiously observed by members of the real estate profession. For home buyers and sellers, our code of ethics is a point of reference, as well as a statement which outlines the integrity of the profession.

It has been said that moving home is one of the most stressful life events, so for us, it is both personally and professionally important for our clients to have confidence in our business, our practices and our ethics.

To anyone who has no experience with or is somehow nervous about dealing with a real estate agent, having a code of ethics is highly reassuring.  My profession is something of which I am proud and ultimately, it is all about helping clients find their dream home, their ideal residence, or their first real property.

The code of ethics within the real estate world goes beyond honesty and integrity. Though such things are important and clients always need to be given the courtesy of these things, professional practices are important for the internal well-being of the profession, something which leads to a greater confidence for clients.

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