by Linda Dort
When it comes to providing information about a property or transaction, Realtors should stay away from exaggeration, giving false facts, or covering up or avoiding facts. Don’t use Photoshop if the grass is brown, or there is a power line in the backyard.
Realtors are only obligated to disclose adverse factors that are reasonably apparent to someone with expertise in the area of real estate you practice. We aren’t obligated to make discoveries about existing issues in a property, or to give advice on anything outside our area of real estate or give up a confidentiality no matter if it is in an agency or non-agency relationship.
Real estate transactions are unilateral agreements – another word both parties are giving something of value to the other. As REALTORS we cannot be involved in the appearance of short changing the other party to the transaction.
Read all of Article 2 from the REALTOR® Code of Ethics below
Article 2 (Case Interpretations for Article 2)
REALTORS® shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction. REALTORS® shall not, however, be obligated to discover latent defects in the property, to advise on matters outside the scope of their real estate license, or to disclose facts which are confidential under the scope of agency or non-agency relationships as defined by state law. (Amended 1/00) [listen]
- Standard of Practice 2-1
REALTORS® shall only be obligated to discover and disclose adverse factors reasonably apparent to someone with expertise in those areas required by their real estate licensing authority. Article 2 does not impose upon the REALTOR® the obligation of expertise in other professional or technical disciplines. (Amended 1/96)
- Standard of Practice 2-2
(Renumbered as Standard of Practice 1-12 1/98)
- Standard of Practice 2-3
(Renumbered as Standard of Practice 1-13 1/98)
- Standard of Practice 2-4
REALTORS® shall not be parties to the naming of a false consideration in any document, unless it be the naming of an obviously nominal consideration.
- Standard of Practice 2-5
Factors defined as “non-material” by law or regulation or which are expressly referenced in law or regulation as not being subject to disclosure are considered not “pertinent” for purposes of Article 2. (Adopted 1/93)