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Front Page - Friday, January 18, 2019

Realtors, real estate professionals and ethics

As I prepare to lead Greater Chattanooga Realtors into 2019 as its elected president, I’ve been reflecting on what it means to lead. I believe leading is listening. I call it “leaning in.” For example, I’ve been leaning in to learn from my clients, colleagues, and community.

One topic toward which I’ve been leaning is what sets Realtors apart from other real estate professionals.

Did you know not all real estate professionals are Realtors? Yes, we both must be licensed in our state to participate in a real estate transaction, but there’s more. Realtors operate under a strict Code of Ethics that imposes duties above and beyond those imposed by law which apply only to real estate professionals who choose to become Realtors.

Ethics and accountability matter when the public trusts us to handle something as financially significant as buying or selling real estate. In fact, the National Association of Realtors released a study that shows the massive impact that home sales have on our economy. In Tennessee alone, each home sold has a nearly $58,000 impact on our economy.

The NAR, which adopted its Code of Ethics in 1913, ensures consumers are served by requiring Realtors to cooperate with each other in furthering the best interests of their clients. Article 1 of our Code of Ethics says “... when serving a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant or other party in a non-agency capacity, Realtors remain obligated to treat all parties honestly.”

The NAR states it believes so strongly in abiding by the Code of Ethics that it requires each of its 1.3 million members (the NAR is the largest trade organization) to complete Code of Ethics training every two years. If a Realtor fails to comply with this requirement, they risk suspension and the termination of their membership.

Also, when a complaint is made, there’s a formal process to have the issues addressed. The Tennessee Real Estate Commission registers and regulates all real estate brokers, affiliate brokers, and real estate firms, and makes and enforces rules addressing the professional conduct and standards of practice for the profession.

So, what does all that mean to you? That Realtors are a trusted source for any information regarding real estate. We have a multitude of resources to make sure we’re well equipped to serve you and your family’s real estate needs.

We are experts in real estate locally and statewide and the voice of real estate in the greater Chattanooga area.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors is a regional organization with more than 2,000 members and one of some 1,300 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visitwww.gcar.net or call 423 698-8001.