Real Estate Laws: What Constitutes a Violation and How to Proceed

Buying a home can be a complex and arduous process, one rifled with quite a lot of policies, rules, and regulations. Luckily, realtors and real estate agents follow what they call the Realtor’s Code of Ethics. This a a ethics guide created by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) that realtors must follow, otherwise, they risk both upset buyers and sellers filing a lawsuit to recover any alleged losses. The problem with lawsuits is that they waste time, money, and harm a realtor’s reputation, most realtors do try their best to abide by the Code of Ethics. However, there are some individuals out there who elect to disregard the code, whether intentional or not, and risk finding themselves at the other end of a lawsuit.

Why Should a Realtor Follow the NAR’s Realtor’s Code of Ethics?

The Code is there to protect all parties involved in a potential sale. It is designed to prevent lawsuits on the realtor’s end, as its intended purpose is to cover most of the proverbial bases that a potential lawsuit could be arise from. If he or she follows the code, there is less of a risk for the clients as well. It creates a fair buying and selling environment, where both sides are aware of the process, and of the kind of property they purchasing or selling.

What Are Some of the Codes That Realtors Abide By?

There is multiple page document that clearly states the Codes in print for the realtors, however anyone it is available to anyone, either by download or hard copy, available in many languages. Some of rules of the Code includes the following:

  • If representing a client, the realtor’s first and foremost responsibility is to protect and promote the client’s interests. This means that the client’s interests must be put above the realtor’s own, while making sure that all of the parties are treated fair and honestly.
  • Realtors must disclose any known or latent defects on a property to avoid being accused of misrepresentation. Furthermore, he or she should not comment in regards to areas outside of their knowledge and expertise.
  • Agents must also protect the client’s confidential information, and not disclose it to any party.
  • Realtors cannot lie or otherwise deliberately falsify any information that determines part of a property’s listing value.
  • Real estate agents must disclose in writing if there is any conflicting interests in a particular property or listing they have.

If there is some impropriety, most buyers and sellers will not file an ethics complaint, instead electing to sue their realtor for alleged loss of compensation. Some customers do not know that they can even file a complaint, and even if they do, many seem to find it more effective to file a lawsuit instead.

Contact a Real Estate Attorney Today

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to a real estate attorney today such as the real estate lawyer Sacramento CA locals trust. He or she can go over any questions you may have and can explain your specific state laws to you as well.

Thanks to authors at Yee Law Group PLLC for their insight into Real Estate Law.