In conjunction with our Shareholders' efforts to promote standards of professional action among MLS Subscribers and their REALTOR® members, and to also promote a positive perception of REALTORS® among consumers, we are pleased to continue to share these REALTOR® Etiquette & Professional Courtesies tips with you.
Our goal in promoting these simple yet critical good business practices and courtesies is to raise awareness of them among Realcomp REALTORS®. Our hope is that this information will serve you well as a component of your successful career!
1) Always follow the “Golden Rule”. Treat others as you would like them to treat you.
2) Real Estate is a reputation business; show courtesy, trust, and respect to all.
3) Communicate with all parties in a timely fashion. Respond promptly to inquiries and requests for information.
4) If a prospective buyer decides not to view a home, promptly explain the situation to the listing broker and the owner, if present.
5) Present a professional appearance at all times in your dress and vehicle.
6) Advise clients of other brokers to direct questions to their agent or representative.
7) Communicate clearly; do not use jargon the general public does not readily understand.
8) Be aware of and respect cultural differences.
9) Promise only what you can deliver, meet all deadlines, and keep your promises.
► SHOWING THE PROPERTY
1) Schedule appointments as far in advance as possible. Call if you are going to be delayed or must cancel an appointment.
2) Always identify yourself and your company when inquiring about a property and when talking with another REALTOR®.
3) Punctuality and courtesy go hand-in-hand.
4) Use the sidewalks and remove shoes and boots, when appropriate (such as bad weather and seller requests).
5) When showing a home, always ring the doorbell and knock before entering. Knock and announce yourself before entering any closed room.
6) Be responsible for open house visitors. Keep your party together during showings.
7) When you enter someone’s home, be considerate of the seller’s property - do not allow anyone to eat, drink, or smoke.
8) Never criticize property in the presence of the occupant.
9) If occupants are home during a showing, ask permission before using the telephone or bathroom.
10) Never allow buyers to enter property unaccompanied.
11) Don’t discuss financial details, terms, or price with another broker’s client.
12) Be courteous if another agent is showing the property when you arrive.
13) Leave your business card, or sign the showing register, when showing properties.
► AFTER THE SHOWING
1) If sellers are present, inform them when you are leaving after a showing.
2) Make sure that the house is left the way that you found it. Replace key in lockbox and make sure it is locked.
3) If you are the showing agent, call the listing broker to advise of any inaccuracies in the listing information, and report anything that appears to be wrong with the property.
4) Respond to feedback requests as soon as possible.
► PRESENTING THE OFFER
1) The selling agent should deliver a legible offer to purchase, required disclosures, and supporting documents to the listing agent as soon as possible. Prior buyer financial qualification is expected.
2) The listing and selling agents should explain all details of the terms of an offer to their clients, including an estimate of potential settlement costs.
3) Agents shall promptly convey the seller’s or purchaser’s response to the offer to purchase, whether accepted or rejected.
► AFTER ACCEPTANCE
1) It is extremely important for the listing and selling agents to remain as cooperative liaisons between the seller and buyer to ensure a smooth settlement process.
2) Keep cooperating agents informed of any problems or complications that develop with contract contingencies in a timely manner.
3) Prepare all amendments when necessary, not at the last minute.
4) Resolve conflicts and problems prior to closing.
5) Listing agent to coordinate closing date as far in advance as possible and notify all parties in a timely manner.
6) All access of property should be coordinated through the listing office, for example: inspections, appraisals, insurance, etc.
► NAR CODE OF ETHICS
REALTORS® believe in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Code of Ethics. Complying with the Code is a core requirement to be a REALTOR®. Beyond ethics, an important aspect of being professional is learning the business practices or “courtesies” that are essential to making a transaction smooth and building good relation-ships with clients and fellow REALTORS®.
This list has been compiled to set a standard for basic good practice and common sense guidelines to help new and veteran REALTORS® in their dealings with each other and the public. These guidelines are voluntary and not a part of the mandatory Code of Ethics. Following them is an excellent way to build a reputation for professional behavior that will enhance your standing and relationships with colleagues and clients.
These practices are simple; many are common sense. They are critical to maintaining an environment of respect for all those involved in a real estate transaction.
Note: Members may not file complaints against one another for failure to adhere to REALTOR® etiquette and courtesies.
This information is brought to you by Realcomp II Ltd. and several of our Shareholder Boards and Associations of REALTORS®. We also thank the following REALTORS® for lending their shared knowledge and efforts towards the creation of this material:
Vince Brennan, Re/Max New Trend
Karen Brown, Re/Max 100
Bonita Crawford, Keller Williams F.H.
Ron Jasgur, Homesource Real Estate
Ann Shahin, Century 21 Town & Country
Gordon McCann, 2013 MAR's REALTOR® of the Year
While quantities last, request a pocket-size booklet version of these tips from Realcomp or your Board or Association of REALTORS®.