You may be considering listing with a Realtor or selling by owner, either way you should know what to look for when working with a Realtor.
What can you do to pick a Pro?

Most Realtors follow and adhere to the Realtors’ National Code of Ethics and their professional organizations, local, state and nationally. All of them subscribe to this Code of professional behavior.

As in any profession there are the few bad apples. It is these few that give Brokers a public trust rating just above that of used car salesmen.

So what can you, the public, do to insure that you are working with a Pro and not a “No” Realtor.

1. What to look for

Taken from the Code of Ethics; “The Broker shall not disparage other companies.”
Most Brokers, if asked about a competitor, say something like ABC is a fine company, Now at my Brokerage we . . .
If you get a response such as, “ Well, nobody works with that company. No Broker will work with Flat Fee companies.”

Comments such as these are violations of the code and are illegal. And it is also against the Federal Fair Trade and Antitrust laws.
These are serious violations which can warrant loss of license and perhaps jail time.

2. Baiting you with a high valuation of your property

The Code states that Realtors shall avoid exaggeration and over inflating your property value just to get a listing.
A high price may be music to your ears but you will sit on the market and get limited showings. Avoid this type of Broker. Over pricing does not sell houses and is a violation of the Realtor code.

Go with the Broker who tells you the truth and backs it up with documented sales.

3. The Code specifically forbids a Broker from soliciting you listing while you’re listed with another company. Such a Broker may offer to advertise your property even though you are not listed with them. The code says they must have written authority to advertise you property. Like having a written contract.

Be aware of Brokers who Go around a listing Brokers’ sign.
Any attempt to gain unfair advantage of competitors is a violation of the National Code of Ethics.

4. Commissions are always negotiable and determined by the seller. Beware of the Broker that tells you real estate commissions are set by law or a Broker that refuses to talk about negotiating commission.

Their office may have a set commission policy; however the seller is ALWAYS the one who decides what commission they will pay.
Look for someone who is willing to negotiate.

5. Do not let yourself be pressured into signing a contract until you are ready.

Be wary of a Broker who pressures you to sign the contract immediately.

Brokers spend a lot or time in classes that teach them how to close, how to get your signature. There is nothing wrong with that; however, you have the right to sleep on your decision.
Don’t be bullied into signing before you’re ready.


Most Brokers are ethical and provide professional service, they are the Pros. The five points made here refer to the bad apples, not the whole bushel.

The few who engage in these practices, discredit their profession and are not representative. You need to protect yourself from them. These are the “No” Brokers.

The behaviors I’ve described are in direct violation the Code of Ethics.

Brokers’ lack of ethical behavior does not connote competency, fairness and high integrity.

No Broker should behave in a manner contrary to their professional Code. No inducement of profit or desire to grab a commission should justify their departure from the Code. The Code of Ethics is based on the golden rule.

Be Alert

Be Aware

If a Broker shows any of the above behaviors - Run Away.

Be aware of these five points. Know how to pick a Pro.

1. No disparaging remarks about other companies
2. Inflating your property value to get a listing
3. Soliciting another Brokers’ listing
4. No fixed commission
5. No pressure to sign before you’re ready

If a Broker shows you any of these behaviors, run away, don’t walk, run from any Broker you feel is exhibiting these behaviors.

You can help clean up the real estate profession if you report these violators to the local board of Realtors.

Copyright © Wee Dilts 2010

Author's Bio: 

Wee Dilts is the originator of Flat Fee MLS. In business since 1983. She has helped thousands of FSBOS save commission dollars. Get the information you need to effectively sell without a broker. Register in Colorado for Flat Fee MLS. Read Free articles or buy her “How to Sell Real Estate by Owner” Ebook, visit: