Do we need adult supervision in the real estate profession to protect consumers like you from unethical, illegal, fraudulent, or just incompetent behaviors? Doesn’t the profession already have plenty of adult supervision? As a retired attorney and real estate broker, I can tell you the answer is, “Not so much,” and here’s how to protect yourself when you buy or sell a home.
Adult Supervision in Real Estate
There are many layers of organizations purporting to protect you as a consumer, which includes the local real estate association, the state association, the national association with it’s own Code of Ethics, the local MLS (multiple listing service) with its rules of conduct, the state department of licensing, the state real estate enforcement division, and the consumer protection division of the state. But do all of these associations, agencies, and organizations personally protect you?
Adult Supervision Protects Consumers?
The challenge is that no matter how many laws and rules are in place to protect consumers like you, honesty and integrity are a personal character trait, not an industry trait. You cannot legislate honesty, and even with required “continuing education courses,” you cannot force real estate agents to be well educated, professional, and so on. It all boils down to one individual–the one you hire. This is why I strongly recommend doing your online research on agents you are considering, and that is easy to do and costs nothing. You’ll find a tremendous number of free resources on this blog, and if you search, you will also find checklists and interview questions for agents.
Your due diligence just takes some time and effort on your part, but believe me, it will go a long way to protect you even when there is no adult supervision to protect you.
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