Code of Ethics Case Studies
Case #1-1: Fidelity to Client
Client A complained to a Board of REALTORS® that two of its members, REALTOR® B and his sales associate, REALTOR-Associate® C, had failed to represent the client's interests faithfully, proposing to various prospective buyers that a price less than the listed price of a house be offered. His complaint specified that REALTOR® B, in consultation with him, had agreed that $137,900 would be a fair price for the house, and it had been listed at that figure. The complaint also named three different prospective buyers who had told Client A that while looking at the property, REALTOR-Associate® C, representing REALTOR® B, when asked the price had said, "It's listed at $137,900, but I'm pretty sure that an offer of $130,000 will be accepted."
REALTOR® B and REALTOR-Associate® C were notified of the complaint and requested to be present at a hearing on the matter scheduled before a Hearing Panel of the Board's Professional Standards Committee.
During the hearing, REALTOR® B confirmed that he had agreed with Client A that $137,900 was a fair price for the house, and that it was listed at that figure. He added that he had asked for a 90-day listing contract as some time might be required in securing the full market value. Client A had agreed to do this but had indicated that he was interested in selling within a month even if it meant making some concession on the price. The discussion concluded with an agreement on listing at $137,900 and with REALTOR® B agreeing to make every effort to get that price for Client A.
REALTOR-Associate® C said in the hearing that REALTOR® B had repeated these comments of Client A and he, REALTOR-Associate® C, had interpreted them as meaning that an early offer of about 10 percent less than the listed price would be acceptable to the seller, Client A. Questioning by the Hearing Panel established that neither REALTOR® B nor REALTOR-Associate® C had been authorized to quote a price other than $137,900.
Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 1, what do you think the hearing panel concluded? Show Answer