Professional Ethics are not subjective.

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Richard Weisser Realty

Professional Ethics are not subjective by Richard WeisserWe often hear the word “ethics” bandied about when there is a disagreement among agents.

Sadly, too often the term ethics is applied incorrectly to the situation in an misguided effort to weigh opinion in favor of the speaker.

Professional Ethics are NOT subjective. They are clearly defined in writing and AGREED to by voluntary participation OR they are mandated by law, rule or regulation.

Personal ethics ARE subjective. One can impose upon themselves any standard they wish.

One does NOT, however, have the right to impose their personal standards on anyone else.


It may be a tough pill to swallow, but it is what it is.

Comments (9)

John G. Johnston
John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC - Westcliffe, CO
An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO

Richard  I only hope everyone's 'personal ethics' are higher than the required 'professional ethics'.  Great blog and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Jan 09, 2015 12:39 AM
RVA HomePRO Michael Hottman
RVA HomePRO Realtor with Keller Williams serving Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfiled and Richmond, Virginia - Glen Allen, VA
Helping you achieve goals in life & real estate

Ethics are our responsibility above and beyond what the law allows. Just because something is lawful does not make it ethical. That's one of the benefits/distinctions behind being a REALTOR - being held to a ethics standard above the law all agents have to follow.

Jan 09, 2015 12:48 AM
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


However, it is not up to to us to impose them. Thanks for the comment.


Not all agents are REALTORS. Here in GA< it's about 50%-50%. So one can not impose ethics to another party that has not agreed to adhere to them. Thanks.

Jan 09, 2015 01:13 AM
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Alliance 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

Richard, It's "fun" to read in some of the real estate FB groups how often the term "unethical" is thrown around.  When in doubt, question the agent's ethics seems to be the default.

Jan 09, 2015 01:44 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Other than "badmouthing another agent" I don't think there is anything in the Realtor COE that isn't also covered by Georgia Real Estate law or rules and regulations.  That being said I think I should only impose personal ethics on myself. I do however reserve the right to think less of people when I think their behavior is not above board and to "watch my back" when I happen to be doing business with them which is sometimes not easy to avoid.

Jan 09, 2015 05:00 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

The Code of Ethics is something I follow with great pride.  And my personal standards are probably higher than most would be comfortable with.  I don't like working in gray areas that, to me, are questionable.

Jan 09, 2015 08:54 AM
Vern Eaton
Askov, MN
Realtor 651-674-7449

Ethics can be hard to swallow but once down seldom come back up to haunt you.

Jan 13, 2015 06:49 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I have never had an issue come back to me when I kept the ethics out in front.

Jan 16, 2015 05:16 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

Ethics should not be used as a weapon to make others feel badly.

Jan 17, 2015 10:44 AM