The Realtor Code of Ethics established in 1915, consists of fifteen ‘articles’ outlining the responsibilities of its Realtor members in their practice of real estate .
There are fifteen “articles” in the Code. The first article outlines the Realtors duties to clients and customers. When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, Realtors® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client. This obligation to the client is primary, but it does not relieve Realtors® of their obligation to treat all parties honestly. When serving a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant or other party in a non-agency capacity.
As used in the Code of Ethics, ‘client’ means the person whom a Realtor has an agency relationship. A ‘customer’ is a party to a real estate transaction who receives information, services, or benefits but has no contractual relationship with the Realtor.
Today’s home buyers and sellers gain the greatest benefit when they become ‘clients’ of the Realtor or Realtor firm. Sellers’ client relationship is outlined in a writing called a Listing Agreement. Buyers typically engage their Realtor with a Buyer Representation Agreement. In each instance the Realtor’s relationship is one called a fiduciary relationship where their Agent Realtor is looking out for their best financial interests.