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Code of Ethics Case Studies

Case #3-5: Refusal to Extend Cooperation In Sale of New Homes

REALTOR® A, who operated a brokerage business in many areas of the city, was also a home builder. For homes he built, he maintained a separate sales force and consistently refused to permit other REALTORS® to show his new homes.

This practice came to the attention of an officer of the Board of REALTORS® who made a complaint which was referred to the Professional Standards Committee by the Grievance Committee. At the hearing, the Hearing Panel asked REALTOR® A to answer charges that his policy violated Article 3 of the Code of Ethics.

REALTOR® A's defense was that Article 3 requires REALTORS® to cooperate with other brokers "except when cooperation is not in the client's best interest." He contended that in selling his own new homes there was no client; that he was not acting in the capacity of a broker, but as owner-seller; and that, under the circumstances, Article 3 did not apply to his marketing the houses he built.

What do you think the hearing panel concluded? Show Answer