Honesty Should Not Be Tough For Real Estate Agents

honesty for real estate agentsAgents need to be truthful when asked if they have shown a property to their buyers if, for no other reasons, than the California Bureau of Real Estate makes honesty a requirement for a license and the REALTOR Code of Ethics demands it. You would think being honesty for real estate agents is a no brainer but some apparently disagree. The dishonest sort tend to twist honesty into a pretzel and a format they recognize, something they can rationalize, but there really is no rationalizing the truth. You are or you aren’t. You did or you didn’t. You did not have sexual relations with that woman. You are not a crook. You’re just some whack job driving a white Bronco very slowly.

We all get it. We all wish it would stop.

Except, sometimes, the people who perpetrate and give life, meaning and clarity to the unfortunately descriptive word: asshole. This sort doesn’t give a crap.

The California Bureau of Real Estate created bare-bone requirements to become a Sacramento real estate agent. You must be 18 (you do not have to be a high school graduate), you must complete 3 real estate courses, and an applicant for a real estate license must be TRUTHFUL and HONEST. Right there, that requirement probably knocks out at least 1 person out of every 5, yet they still get a real estate license because if they are untruthful, do you think they will admit it? Ack.

In the REALTOR Code of Ethics, the very first article a REALTOR pledges is to treat all parties HONESTLY. Yes, honesty for real estate agents is a prerequisite.

Yet, when a listing agent asks a buyer’s agent who submitted an offer the sellers want to accept if the agent showed the property to the buyers and the agent responds, “Yes, she loved it,” when the agent did NOT show the property, well, what do you make of that? When presented with the facts such as maybe the sellers were home all day and did not possess a business card from that agent, only then might the buyer’s agent admit that the buyer did not actually view the inside. Inferring, btw, that the buyer was outside of the property with the agent, which probably did not happen, either.

It’s the writer’s instinct in me, I ask questions and probe.

Agents, you might be tempted to “fudge” the facts even if you don’t see it as outright lying, but please don’t. Dishonesty is against the law, it’s against the Code of Ethics, and sellers might ignore your buyer’s offer when they find out what you did. I will tell them. It’s in my fiduciary to disclose what I know to my sellers. Just be honest. Why is honesty for real estate agents so tough?

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