The NAR Code of Ethics is Unethical and Other Unethical Practices

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Whittier BRE# 01724300

The follwing is excepted from an email I sent my association pro standards person today.

Open competition might actually help produce a better service product. Instead of worrying about  how soon we have put a listing into the MLS, or what self promotion we have in the listings , or why an "auto sold " listing can create fines, lets raise realty to a new level. If agents knew they can lose the listing, they would perform better and brokers would do quality checks.


There is a lot of talk about ethics these days but I am emailing you because I think this industry needs to learn more about customer service.
I have 25 years experience working in Home Depot (retail) and understand customer service is key. The NAR code of ethics is not customer service friendly
In the past few days I have experienced:
In case #1
Agent says deadline for offers is last Wednesday. Property is still on hold as of today. Agent, has no contact number in the MLS and does not answer her email. I wanted to discuss my offer's merits. My buyer gets discouraged because I cant get her an answer on it. Her only other email is for offers.
In case #2
I request to another agent on Saturday 430  to show property on Sunday . She says that is fine. Yesterday before showing I verify MLS... Property is on hold . I look up history and it was changed 730 pm on Saturday (why could not she text me back to cancel?) It text her and she says go ahead and show, but sellers are reviewing offers . At the property, I actually have my buyer sign the offer and text listing agent my offer is incoming.  She says seller accepted an offer. I texted her about why did she tell me to show ? After texting back and forth , she calls me and explains showings got out of control  (agents taking keys and showing late, etc.) and seller told her to hold.
I eventually sent offer anyway which is my duty.
In Case 3#
A neighboring seller visits my open house and laments her agent is late (no phone call) . I always call if I'm running behind.
I eventually visit the competing open house to check on things and see that the home is cluttered and not ready at all to and a batting cage in back yard. House is really not ready to go. Naturally I don't criticize the agent.
What I see is this... a better opportunity for service.
Yet because of NAR I can't tell the seller I can do a better job.
Cell phone companies always do this to each other and have even offered to buy out the customer's contract sometimes.
  • Why cant an agent manage showings much better?
  • Why do agents not  price property correctly? (Low pricing to create buyer interest is a disservice because it creates a feeding frenzy and disappointed buyers .) Id rather price it high and come down , contrary to training. (In addition  to this, Short sales, the bank usually approves a much higher price which is realistic)
  • Why cant agents actually provide a means of communication that is effective?
  • We need to be able to  compete and give the clients an expected premium level of service.
I wanted to bring better customer service standards to this business by joining the board twice but was never selected.
Maybe provide for a fine or pricing penalty if the best offer is more than 2% over list price from the agent's commission.
I hope to hear from you concerning these matters. We need to improve everyday operations and give service that elicits " a champion relationship"   with our clients. This was all in in the last TWO DAYS!
Its not all about US.

Comments (3)

Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

Your article is confusing. Lazy behavior by an agent is just bad behavior. Incompetence is incompetence. But neither is "unethical."

The Three Stooges were incompetent but they weren't unethical.

Unethical by definition is "not conforming to a high moral standard; morally unacceptable".

The Code of Ethics is an attempt to hold agents to a standard by defining acceptable practices. Some agents just do not seem to be able to meet the standard.

Apr 16, 2018 03:28 PM
John Accornero

So it is morally justifyable to be lazy?

There was once a Three Stooges segment wheras they were made to join the armed forces and were in charge of a canon. They evenually fired the canon at the admiral's flagship and were held accountable. We laugh at it but if that happened in our Navy today it would be dereliction of duty or at least an investigation .Indeed modern day naval ship captains have been demoted even when their ship collides with another unitentionally. Depending on your beliefs , there are mortal or serious sins and venial or less serious sins. In the  end , they are all sins or human mistakes.

Apr 16, 2018 04:54 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I totally agree with Joseph.  We need some guidlines or everything would be amuck

Apr 16, 2018 06:02 PM
Jim Smith
The Property Management Company - Round Rock, TX

Ethics establish and define a moral standard; however, they are not supposed to create step-by-step rules on how we do business.  If they did, then we would likely be subject to a Department of Justice investigation.  There are always 'Best Practices' which we can adhere to; and that is what sets us apart from those who chose to take lazier paths.

Apr 17, 2018 06:19 AM