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code of ethics

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Donald Bradbury
Bradbury Team Prudential Patt, White Real Estate - Quakertown, PA
e-PRO, Realtor - Bucks County PA - 610-952-3578

I enjoyed reading your article on ethics.  It was very interesting.

Don Bradbury

Oct 10, 2007 02:08 AM #1
Robert Sole

Good article, Todd

I would like to add something.  The realtor code of ethics says that first and foremost, the realtor shall work in the best interests of their client, whether that be a home buyer or seller.  There is a practice going on that conflicts with this and I am sure that many honest and ethical realtors do not even realize that it causes them to violate these codes.

This is the practice of creating so called "Preferred Vendor" or "Associate" lists and using them exclusively.  At first glance you may not think that this raises an ethical question.  If you recommend the Home Inspector that is on that list, you are probably going against your code of ethics.

As a home inspector, I belong to a national association, the National Association fo Certified Home Inspectors.  The association also has a code of ethics that you can see here:

This code of ethics was created for the same reasons as the realtor code of ethics, to enhance the professionalism of the profession and to protect our clients, the home buyers and sellers.  It tries to do this by making sure that we all live up to a high standard and that we do not create a conflict of interest that could lead to a situation where the client's interests are not served.

So how does this cause a problem?  In the interest of making sure that the client is properly and honestly served, the major Home Inspections Associations have specifically prohibited paying to be on these "preferred" lists.  

I recently stopped by a Real Estate office to make sure they still had my brochures and was told that they only allowed vendors who joined their list and paid to advertise in their magazine that was distributed to their realtors to leave brochures and business cards.  They went on to try to sell me on joining their program and showed me the magazine that they had.  There was only one home inspector listed in the magazine.  They tried to explain that since I would be only one of two inspectors listed there that it would such a great opportunity for me to join their program.

Think about it.  The only Home Inspector the realtors working for that company had to recommend was an inspector who had already demonstrated that he would throw out his code of ethics to get an inspection referral.  If he was not going to abide by the COE so he could get a referral, where else would he ignore his ethics?  Just think what an attorney could do with that!  The home inspector violated his code of ethics and by recommending him, the realtor violated their code of ethics $$$$$.

I for one will not go that route.  I may miss out on a few inspections but I can sleep at night and know that I am honestly and ethically serving my clients.

Robert Sole 

Dec 06, 2007 12:28 AM #2
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Todd C. Menard

GRI, rCRMS, CNE, CSSPE, CE Instructor
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