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Test your ethics: Are these Realtors right or wrong?


March 20, 2017 – Three situations and three ethics complaints. Are they right or wrong?

1. You have a listing and lose three buyers because their lender refused them a loan due to low appraisals. Your seller is adamant: He will not lower the sales price and does not want you to disclose that the appraised value is lower than the sales price.

When one of the cooperating brokers discovers that his buyer is the third one to waste money on non-refundable appraisal fees, he's furious. He files an ethics complaint naming you as a respondent. Is this an ethics violation?

Answer: No, it's not a violation. The seller has a right to sell property at the price of his choosing.You are under no obligation under the Code of Ethics to disclose the property is listed over appraised value.

2. Your seller isn't happy with the offer he accepted and wants to reduce both the listing and selling commission. As a result, you change the offer of compensation in the MLS after the offer for sale and purchase has been submitted. An ethics violation?

Answer: It's possible. Article 3, Standard of Practice 3-2, says any changes in compensation must be communicated prior to the time the offer is submitted unless the cooperating broker has agreed to the compensation change.

3. Another Realtor posted false statements about you on Facebook. He claims you're unreliable and have a habit of not showing up for showings. The online comments are starting to affect your business – and besides that, it's not true. An ethics violation?

Answer: It's a possible violation. Article 15 states that Realtors shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, their businesses or their business practices.

© 2017 Florida Realtors


Related Topics: Florida Realtors Legal News