Ethics Guidelines for Real Estate Brokers
Governing all practitioners of real estate service, the National Code of Ethics and Responsibilities for Real Estate Service Practice, or RESA Law as it is popularly known, provides ethical reminders as well as a detailed enumeration of their responsibilities. These guidelines have sanctions tied to them in instances of violation and thus, must be taken seriously. Much of RESA Law focuses on the conduct of a real estate broker, both in their behavior and in the manner they perform their work.
Here are some particularly important aspects of RESA Law that every real estate professional should not only remember but also practice.
- The Golden Rule of Real Estate
Art. II, Section 5: The Golden Rule which reads, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” shall be observed in all the dealings and relation of the practitioners with clients, fellow practitioners, the organizations to which they belong, and the public.
It’s pretty simple: treat others the way you want to be treated. For young brokers especially, value each and every connection that comes your way. This isn’t just limited to meeting fellow brokers. Your network will expand and will consist of sellers, buyers, interior designers, architects, and more. These relationships could be beneficial to you in the long run, and it’s important not to turn a blind eye to the possibilities that can emerge from continuing to build and nurture them. The Golden Rule is a reminder to treat others with respect, kindness, and empathy.
- Responsibilities to the client
Art. III, Section 3a: The Practitioner in accepting any authority, listing and/or assignment to act for and in behalf of a client shall be obliged with prudence, integrity, loyalty, fidelity and good faith in protecting and promoting the interest of the client without sacrificing the legitimate interest of the other party in the transaction which shall not be contrary to the law, good morals and public interest.
Art. III, Section 3c: The Practitioner shall charge or collect standard professional fees which are fair and reasonable in accordance with real estate industry practice in similar transactions but not lower than the agreed minimum professional fee as recommended by the accredited and integrated professional organization based on the existing standards of real estate service practice.
Being critical in earning the trust of clients and the respect of others, integrity should be at the forefront of every move that a real estate professional will do. There should be a balance between catering to the needs of the clients without sacrificing the wants of the sellers. One way you can work through that is to meet clients with the utmost professionalism, without bias or prejudice, especially when charging fees.
- Responsibilities to fellow practitioners
Art. III, Section 4d: The Practitioner shall not engage in slander, oral defamation, gossip, or criticize publicly a fellow practitioner and/or competitor nor volunteer a negative and damaging opinions of a competitor and/or fellow practitioner in any means (SMS, electronics mails or letters, etc. of similar nature). And if one’s opinion is essentially sought for common good, the Practitioner shall render it with prudence, truth with professional integrity, courtesy and respect to a fellow practitioner cautious in safeguarding the latter’s human rights and good reputation and credibility.
Art. III, Section 4e: The practitioner shall not seek unjust and unfair advantage over his/her fellow practitioners by organizing or sowing discord, spreading and bad mouthing against other practitioners particularly officers and members of their association or APO or even other associations.
Art. III, Section 4g: The Practitioner shall conduct ethical and professional practice with honor, dignity and integrity to avoid any controversies with fellow practitioner
It should be a unified goal between all practitioners in the real estate industry to establish a culture of cooperation, encouragement, and respect. Sowing discord among fellow brokers could only result in a negative image of the businesses and of the persons involved. Maintaining integrity as a broker doesn’t just mean being honest and true to your clients – it’s being the same to your fellow brokers.
- Responsibilities to the public
Art. III, Section 2b: The Practitioner shall cooperate with the government in protecting the public against deceit, misrepresentation, unfair, relevant information and other related unethical and immoral practices and malpractices of unlicensed and unauthorized real estate service practitioners.
As a professional in a position of influence, brokers should realize the impact they can make in society. There are many negative repercussions to being involved in a dirty deal. Whenever brokers meet people and do business, they must keep an open eye for unethical practices from their clients that could potentially jeopardize their work and their reputations. Thankfully, they can warn other brokers and buyers about these dubious people to avoid working with, which could pave the way for a safer real estate industry.
Any violations of the Code of Ethics will result in suspensions of 2 to 4 months. Numerous reported offenses could even result in a suspension or cancellation of license at the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service (PRBRES) and at the Professional Regulation Commission. Additionally, brokers with ethical violations may be reported to the real estate networks they are associated with and could face sanctions within those organizations.
Real estate professionals are expected to do their work – and to do it well. Ethical guidelines exist as reminders of the standard of professionalism brokers must exhibit in every aspect of their work. Over time, diligence, perseverance, and integrity are the characteristics that will reap good dividends. When you’re known to be an honest broker, your reputation will precede you, and you can expect your career to prosper.
For a copy of the RESA Law, check: https://aboutphilippines.ph/doc-pdf-ppt-etc/RA-9646-resa-law-code-ethics.pdf