Ethics is not a black or white issue.
There are many varying shades of gray. The important concept to remember is that doing the right thing, will remain the right thing, even if it doesn’t always pay out for you in the end.
However, as an agent you have to be able to look at a situation and draw a conclusion that feels right for you. Ethics is not a team sport, it’s an individual effort.
Our line of work is filled with tough choices, and thinking ethically about them means that you’re going to have to do what is right for us, our client, the public and other agents.
What is the difference between ethics and legality?
Ethics is based upon morality, and legality is based upon ethics. Both are used to judge one’s behavior as being right or wrong.
Legality is a little more cut and dry because there are laws and an entire justice system to enforce them. Ethics are more along the lines of social guidelines. You aren’t going to go to jail for stiffing the waiter on the tip, but it isn’t always the most ethical thing to do.
In real estate, agents are expected to follow a code of ethics.
Being a real estate agent on the Costa del Sol is not always easy because in Spain no training or recognition is required to get started in the real estate sector. There are many, including a lot of “cowboys” who do not always take a close look at professional ethics. To distinguish ourselves from this, we have joined AIPP (Association of International Property Professionals).
Let me clarify what you can certainly expect as a customer of your agent.
- Realtors protect and promote their clients’ interests while treating all parties honestly.
- Realtors refrain from exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts related to property or transactions.
- Realtors cooperate with other real estate professionals to advance their clients’ best interests.
- When buying or selling on their own account or for their families or firms, Realtors make their true position or interest known.
- Realtors make sure that contract details are spelled out in writing and that parties receive copies.
- Realtors give equal professional service to all clients and customers irrespective of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation.
- Realtors paint a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations.
- Realtors make only truthful, objective comments about other real estate professionals.
- Realtors shall adhere to the highest standards of honesty and professional integrity both in their dealings with the public and in their dealings with each other.
Thanks to my mentor Josh Flagg who brought the ‘ethics’ topic so well during my MDA training. Respect ethics!