3 Ethics Changes You Need to Know About

July 5, 2016

Both the world of arbitration and the Twitter-verse are both having an impact on the way the REALTORS® Code of Ethics are being carried out. Make sure you're up-to-date. 

1. Your firm’s name, in tweets. In the age of microblogging, you can meet the longstanding requirement to disclose your firm’s name in online advertising by linking to a display that contains the required information. Now you don’t have to squeeze the information into the small format required by microblogging platforms like Twitter.

2. Quick review of complaints. Requirements have long been in place for association grievance committees to review complaints in a timely fashion. But now there’s a specific time frame they have to meet: 45 days.

3. Payment due. If you’re the losing party in an arbitration proceeding, you have to pay the prevailing party within 10 days. Even if you want to challenge the award, you still have to come up with the money, but instead of giving it to the prevailing party, you give it to the association to hold in an escrow account while your challenge is pending. In a change to reduce the chance that payments are disregarded, the burden of initiating litigation that challenges the award is shifted from the prevailing party to you. Another change requires associations, if they don’t escrow funds because of the cost, to adopt their state’s “aggressive and cost-effective” procedures for enforcing arbitration awards. In short, the pressure is on the losing party to successfully challenge the award or else release the money.

—Rob Freedman, REALTOR® Magazine