Ethical San Diego Buyers Agent: What Makes an Ethical Realtor?
Finding an ethical San Diego realtor is important when you’re buying a home. Throughout my years in the San Diego real estate industry, I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. This industry is like any other... There are many ethical realtors AND some not-so-great realtors. When you’re considering hiring a buyer’s agent, it’s important to get a sense of whether or not your realtor will act ethically on your behalf.
What are ethics in the real estate industry? Essentially, they’re like ethics anywhere else... Doing what is right and fair AND treating others the way you'd want to be treated. Realtors are bound by the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, while Exclusive Buyer Agents are bound by the NAEBA Code of Ethics (although in both cases, not everyone always abides by these codes). At Globella Buyers Realty, I’ve added an additional layer of accountability with my own Globella Code of Ethics.
All these codes hold realtors and exclusive buyers agents responsible for such duties as:
- Fiduciary Responsibility (i.e. agents should put clients’ best interests first and not pretend to represent a client if there’s an obvious conflict of interest);
- Care and Competence (i.e. agents should act with professionalism and diligence, have a valid real estate license, and should document and be accountable for all substantive events);
- Loyalty and Full Disclosure (i.e. agents should keep all sensitive client information private from other parties and should relate all information about the sellers and the property to clients); and
- Obedience (i.e. agents must follow all reasonable, lawful instructions from their client and obey all State laws and regulations).
I served on the San Diego Association of REALTORS® Grievance Committee for three years, during which time I reviewed complaints from the public about poor ethics or unethical behavior by different San Diego real estate agents across the County. This experience gave me a unique perspective and a deeper understanding of what makes an ethical San Diego realtor. It also gave me a lot of different ethical topics to think about as I built my own business!
One such ethical topic concerns the way real estate agents choose to handle dual agency situations (where the agent or the company represents both the buyer and the seller on one transaction). Some agents seek out dual agency transactions, because they can make more money in less time (unethical). Most realtors I've talked to try their best to avoid practicing dual agency, as it’s usually not in the best interests of the clients. This is one of the main reasons that Globella never takes listings (never represents sellers). Globella's clients NEVER have to worry about dual agency conflicts of interest.
Another ethical topic concerns the way real estate agents get paid. When a buyer and seller agree on a real estate transaction and that transaction closes, the real estate agent or Exclusive Buyer Agent typically receives a commission. If the transaction does not close, buyer's agents usually will not receive this commission. Oftentimes, this will mean that the short-term interests of the real estate agent - getting a commission for their time and effort - will conflict with the best interests of either the buyer or the seller - getting the best deal possible. An agent may try to keep a transaction moving toward closing in order to get paid even if it’s not the right situation for one of the parties. However, in the long run that strategy will backfire because word of unethical behavior gets around! If an unethical buyer’s agent or realtor routinely works against the best interests of their clients, people will take notice and that agent’s business will start to hurt. In other words, good ethics are good business! Read more about how Buyers' Agents get paid.
I take my Code of Ethics seriously, and I try to treat my clients the way I'd want to be treated as both a homebuyer and a consumer. If you have any questions about hiring an ethical San Diego exclusive buyer’s agent or about any step in the homebuying process, you can expect me to treat you with transparency and professionalism.
Also Read: What Is an Exclusive Buyers Agent?
Also Read: Real Estate Agency Disclosure
Also Read: What is a Buyer Strategy Session?
Also Read: How Does a Buyer's Agent Get Paid?
Also Read: 5 Reasons You'll Be Thrilled at Closing
Justin Gramm is the founder and principal broker of Globella Buyers Realty, your San Diego Exclusive Buyer Brokerage.
Exclusive Buyer Agents do not list homes for sale and never represent sellers. They have no "inventory" to try to sell you. They can represent you in purchasing any home. They are specialists at representing buyers only on the buyers' side of the transaction. Exclusive Buyer Agents work to get buyers the best price and terms when they buy a home.
If you have excellent credit and plan to buy a home or condo in San Diego County within 90 days, contact Justin Gramm to hire an agent on your side of the transaction. Call Justin at 858-437-2662 or E-mail.
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