A realtor is the designation accorded to a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). NAR is the largest trade association of America. It has about 1 million members. The membership to the association is voluntary therefore it contains many other group members apart from the realtors. The idea behind the formation of this union is to utilize the land in a wise and best possible way.
The real estate professionals who are members of the NAR have to adhere to a code of ethics. The code of ethics is inclusive of duties to clients, customers, public and other realtors. The main motive is to promote the best interests of the client, be it the buyer, seller, landlord or tenant. The realtors are expected not to mislead their clients in order to book higher profits. The realtor is entitled to represent both the parties, seller and buyer; and landlord and tenant in case of full disclosure to both of them.
It is mandatory for the realtors to submit the offers and counter-offers as soon as possible. The realtors are not supposed to disclose information about the clients, which works to their disadvantage, or in case a third party stands to benefit from that information. However, realtor can disclose confidential information in the following cases: upon consent of the clients or the order of court or to disclose the ulterior motives of the client or to defend themselves against wrong accusations.
The clients should know the fact that the fees for preparing appraisals or valuations do not depend upon the amount of appraisal or valuation. Although realtors are expected to avoid misstating the facts or hiding useful information it is not obligatory for them to find out the defects in the property. Hence it is important to get the property checked by a third party inspector.
In case the realtor seeks information from other realtors it is mandatory for them to disclose their realtor status and clarify the nature of interest, whether it is personal or on the behalf of a client. The realtors are not supposed to misrepresent the availability of access to a particular property. When acquiring properties from their immediate families or friends the realtors have to disclose their true position to the concerned parties.
You are entitled to know the financial fee or benefits that the realtors get on the basis of recommending real estate products or services such as insurance or mortgage financing. The realtors are expected to give equal services to every person regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.