At this very moment, my poor wife is in a class, completing her quadrennial Realtor’s Code of Ethics (COE) training.
Now in and of itself, there is clearly nothing wrong with getting a refresher on the COE. Though really, it’s not like you can teach someone to be ethical. They either are or aren’t, and the real ethics “training” starts shortly after birth.
What is making this particular course difficult for my lovely bride is Mr. “Ethics” Instructor is providing opinion on some things that to Francy push, if not over-step, the bounds of her ethics.
Little nuggets like this:
“It is unethical for a Broker to say his agents can not practice dual agency”
For those that don’t know, “dual agency” is the practice of one agent representing both the buyer and seller in the same transaction. While it is technically legal in the state of Arizona, Francy and I abhor the practice.
I won’t go on a long-winded rant about why, in my opinion, dual agency is evil — I’ll save that for another day.
Suffice it to say it is our belief that there is no way one person can truly and fully represent both sides in a real estate transaction. It’s not fair to the buyer, the seller, or our agent to get in that position.
And if I want to make a rule in my brokerage that we don’t practice single-agent dual agency, well, then that’s the rule I will make (and I have). There may be exceptions, but they will be few and far between.
Who is this guy to spout that such a rule is unethical? Not to sound snotty, but it is my brokerage, and agents can agree to my terms, or they can hang their license somewhere else.
Someone may be saying, “But agents are independent contractors! They can do whatever they want as long as it’s legal!”
Not so fast Sparky. The whole “Independent Contractor” thing often becomes a crutch. Being an IC does not give one free reign to work however they see fit, rules be damned. I will, do and have let my agents have almost complete control over how they run their business. The rules we set in place are few and far between. But there are places where we go over-and-above what the Realtor Code of Ethics or the law requires. There is a higher Code, that being the Human Being Code of Ethics. THAT is the “code” we live by.