Monday, November 2, 2009

Do you know if your agent is an expert in the areas your looking in?

What are Realtors Boundaries/Market areas today? Do we follow the Code of Ethics?

As a Realtor we are all bound by the National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics and I have concerns we may be stepping over the boundaries. These codes are how we as professionals are to operate our day in and day out business. Or at least we raised our right hand and swore that we would.

With the emergence of the internet, Regional MLS systems, blogging, agent and company web sites, IDX, soon to be in some areas State Wide IDX or Vow's and rumors of potential State wide MLS systems, what is your agents working territory?

So we all put ourselves out to you the public as experts in our area that we call our market area, but our web sites paint a different picture. The question we all need to answer is how far out is this area? With the scarcity of client-customers these days I see agents extending the boundaries beyond what they should be, in hopes of making a sale?

Having been in the business since 1975 and worked 3 to 5 counties over those many long years does this make me an expert and a knowledgeable agent in all of those areas? I think not. I have attached Article 11 of the Code of Ethics as a reminder to all of us about what our boundaries are. I know we are licensed in a state and can sell anywhere in the state, but could I sell 250 miles away and follow Article 11?

Sure I could, but would I want to? Think about it how would I know some 430 miles away or further who would be the best attorney's surveyors, inspectors. I worry more about what might be going on down the street that would harm our customer and so on, or not knowing the community is in trouble financially etc. In short I can assure you I know my area but yours I can't so referrals is the best and safest way to go so I can continue to work for many more years without fears of law suits.  

As buyers and sellers per the statics 80+ percent of you search the internet for properties and then choose an agent. I encourage you to ask the questions to the agents you call like, what is your area of expertise? This could be the property type you're looking for, the territory they serve, are they confident showing you properties in multiple counties and if so, do they know the critical contacts to assist you to closing.

Article 11
The services which REALTORS® provide to their clients and customers shall conform to the standards of practice and competence which are reasonably expected in the specific real estate disciplines in which they engage; specifically, residential real estate brokerage, real property management, commercial and industrial real estate brokerage, real estate appraisal, real estate counseling, real estate syndication, real estate auction, and international real estate.

REALTORS® shall not undertake to provide specialized professional services concerning a type of property or service that is outside their field of competence unless they engage the assistance of one who is competent on such types of property or service, or unless the facts are fully disclosed to the client. Any persons engaged to provide such assistance shall be so identified to the client and their contribution to the assignment should be set forth. (Amended 1/95)

·  Standard of Practice 11-1    

•1.  identification of the subject property

•2.  date prepared

•3.  defined value or price

•4.  limiting conditions, including statements of purpose(s) and intended user(s)

•5.  any present or contemplated interest, including the possibility of representing the seller/landlord or buyers/tenants

•6.  basis for the opinion, including applicable market data

•7.  if the opinion is not an appraisal, a statement to that effect (Amended 1/01) 

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