Consumer Reports Report
by Betty Winn on 04/26/15
Last month (March 2015 issue) Consumer Reports ran an article titled "Money-Saving Secrets Realtors Don't Want You to Know" on the front cover. But, once inside the magazine, the article titles changed. In one such writing, the author indicates that "86% of the Realtors surveyed witnessed other agents engaging in poor business practices". In all only 303 Realtors were surveyed. As of March 2015, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has 1,086,081 members.
Although there was some valuable and even interesting information covered in the article some of it was very misleading. The indication that there is a typical commission charged is outrageous. Every real estate licensee in the country knows that would be a violation of the Sherman Anti Trust Act... they call it Price Fixing.
The caution to interview a few Realtors before hiring one is prudent. But to say that Realtors are "supposed to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics". Let's just say that we are a self policing association and we apply the code in a way that can severely punish its members if need be. In many cases the licensing authorities through out our nation consider the NAR Code of Ethics as the standard for the entire industry; even if the licensee is not a member of the association.
One needs only to inquire with the NAR to find that we are one of the most educated professions in the nation and that we have one of the largest lobbying groups fighting for private property rights for all. The National Association of Realtors was formed in 1908 and our Code of Ethics was first adopted in 1913 making it one of the first industries in our country to not only have an association, but create a standard of practice for its members to follow. Every since that time, the NAR has continued to raise the bar through educating their members, supporting many charities throughout our communities and enforcing the standards of practice found in the Code of Ethics.
It is articles like these, that only show how a few can taint the many in an industry of professionals that are passionate about serving their clients needs, and yes, making a living. I am proud to be an American licensed in an industry that helps our economy and to be an educator assisting our real estate community to stay informed and ethical in its practices.