The words “REALTOR®” and “real estate agent” are not interchangeable, although some real estate agents might like them to be.
What sets CREA members—REALTOR® members—apart? Their adherence to the REALTOR® Code: the standard of conduct that helps to ensure the protection of the rights and interests of consumers of real estate services.
As REALTOR® members are aware, CREA’s REALTOR® Code has been the measure of professionalism in organized real estate for many years. The first code was approved in 1913; members approved the first code of ethics specific to CREA members in 1959. The Code has since been amended many times, most recently in 2014, to reflect changes in the real estate marketplace, the needs of property owners and the perceptions and values of society.
REALTOR® members can be justifiably proud of their Code.
Like any set of principles, the Code is only truly valuable if incorporated into day-to-day practice. But what, you may ask, is the best way to go about doing that? In an ideal world, REALTOR® members would pick up the Code and refresh their memory on its various nuances, from time to time.
However, only a lawyer could take pleasure in reading a detailed set of articles and interpretations. (What’s the difference between an accountant and a lawyer? Accountants know they’re boring.)
That’s why CREA created the REALTOR® Code of Ethics Course.
The course is designed to help increase awareness and understanding of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics amongst REALTOR® members, by presenting the code in a user-friendly manner, using practical examples and quizzes to help ensure the knowledge sticks, and providing members with up-to-date information on the most recent changes to the Code.
For example, did you know that in March of this year, the Code was amended to include, among other things:
- A new commitment to civility;
- A new Interpretation to reinforce the obligation on members that they are responsible for the improper use by businesses partners of CREA’s trademarks; and
- A new Article with respect to unbecoming conduct (A REALTOR® shall not engage in conduct that is disgraceful, unprofessional or unbecoming of a REALTOR®).
Pop quiz: do you think this clause would apply if another REALTOR® member was curt with you? Take the course to find out! Hint: the answer is a two letter word starting with ‘n’ and ending with a vowel.
Members don’t need to take the course all in one sitting. If you’re feeling rusty on one aspect, just take the portion that you need a refresher on and see if you’re up to par.
Speaking of par, a golfer hooked his tee shot over a hill and onto the next fairway. Walking toward his ball, he saw a man lying on the ground, groaning with pain. “I’m a lawyer,” the wincing man said, “and this is going to cost you $5,000.” “I’m sorry, I’m really sorry,” the golfer replied. “But I did yell ‘fore’.” “I’ll take it,” the lawyer said.
I can hear the groans from here. Just remember, if you pass by me on the street, the new upmost civility commitment applies to me as well.
The article above is for information purposes and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.