by Sha Hinnant, REALTOR®
An Explanation of Article 15
REALTORS® shall not knowingly make any statements against other Realtors®, their business or their business practices that may be false. REALTORS® may not make comparisons or opinions about their fellow competitors, either. It is our ethical responsibility to make sure that we take the time to confirm any information we plan to use in advertising is factual and accurate.
As REALTORS®, we must be true to our profession, but also we must remember the Golden Rule which is “do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.” We want to have a cooperative relationship with other REALTOR® members, but if we make negative, inaccurate information about them, it may be quite difficult to work with that REALTOR® when the time presents itself. We must present a positive, collaborative front to the public, our clients, at all times.
The hearing panel has entertained cases where Article 15 was cited. In each case an agent has made disparaging remarks on paper, on social media or to another agent. REALTORS® must remember to “be kind” to one another.
Read below for Article 15 of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics
Article 15 (Case Interpretations for Article 15)
REALTORS® shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, their businesses, or their business practices. (Amended 1/12) [listen]
- Standard of Practice 15-1
REALTORS® shall not knowingly or recklessly file false or unfounded ethics complaints. (Adopted 1/00)
- Standard of Practice 15-2
The obligation to refrain from making false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, their businesses and their business practices includes the duty to not knowingly or recklessly publish, repeat, retransmit, or republish false or misleading statements made by others. This duty applies whether false or misleading statements are repeated in person, in writing, by technological means (e.g., the Internet), or by any other means. (Adopted 1/07, Amended 1/12)
- Standard of Practice 15-3
The obligation to refrain from making false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, their businesses, and their business practices includes the duty to publish a clarification about or to remove statements made by others on electronic media the REALTOR® controls once the REALTOR® knows the statement is false or misleading. (Adopted 1/10, Amended 1/12)