There are many who will tell you they trust a REALTOR just about as much as they trust a used car salesman. That certainly makes a point, however, it is not based in reality. Since 1913 REALTORS have been held to a Code of Ethics; ours was the fourth profession in the country to establish such a code behind doctors, lawyers, and engineers. Used car salesman to date have no such code. In fact, the Code of Ethics sets our profession apart from any other sales position.
As with any profession you will always find a bad apple, you will certainly find someone who does not adhere strictly to the code, and you might just happen upon an agent who is ignorant of the code's required action in a given situation. However, you should rest assured there are penalties assessed on a daily basis when complaints are filed and investigated.
The Preamble of the Code references such things as "grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty:" that is a pretty lofty set of ideals for a professional equated with those who kick tires. We do hold ourselves to a high standard and take the tasks with which we are charged most seriously. "Fiduciary duty" is a term which rolls easily off our tongues, and immediately causes one to sit up and take notice. "Is this in the best interest of my client?" must be our principal thought from initiation of a listing, through closing and beyond.
Beyond the Preamble there are seventeen articles of the Code, each dealing with a specific aspect of our profession. These run the gamut from misrepresentation of facts, to the unauthorized practice of law, to truthful advertising. The volume of information discussed therein might be looked upon as overwhelming and an easily violated. However, the purest direction to follow, with which one will never be wrong, both personally and professionally, is noted near the end of the Preamble:
"In the interpretation of this obligation, REALTORS can take no safer guide than that which has been handed down through the centuries, embodied in the Golden Rules, "Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them."