Code of Ethics Pop Quiz: Duties to Other REALTORS®

Code of Ethics Pop Quiz - Duties to Others


You attend an event and meet a couple that would like to sell their home. They are very friendly and you start talking about helping them sell their property. You find out that they are already working with another REALTOR® under an exclusive contract. Do you:

a.) Proceed with helping them sell their house and help them get out of their contract with the other agent

b.) Tell them you can’t help them but suggest they switch to a better agent with more credentials

c.) Wish them the best of luck with their current agent and tell them you might be able to help them when their current contract ends


If you answered C, then you are correct!

The best thing you could do in this situation is to reinforce the contract these buyers already have with the other REALTOR®. Although we have a duty to our clients, we need to support other REALTORS® by respecting their contracts and efforts. You should not ever disparage another REALTOR® to a client or potential client and you should not encourage clients to break contracts with other REALTORS®.

What does the Code of Ethics Say?
The REALTOR® Code of Ethics states that REALTORS® have a duty not only to their clients but also to other involved parties. It is important to treat each group fairly and with respect. (Article 1)

Our code of ethics also states that REALTORS® not interfere with exclusive representation agreements of other brokerages and shall not knowingly make false or misleading statements about other REALTORS®, their business practices, or their brokerages. (Article 15, and Article 16) However, you can offer to take on a listing once the exclusive listing contract expires or if you are offering a real estate service that is unrelated to the service outlined in the exclusivity contract. (Articles 16-3 and 16-4)

Resources for Duty to REALTORS®

NAR Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics Articles 14 & 15 [Start at 6:30]

Code of Ethics Article 16, PT 1

Code of Ethics Article 16, PT 2

Golden Rules for Being a Good Peer Graphic

Golden Rules for Duties to Other REALTORS