Licensees are not permitted to make false representations of value in an attempt to secure listings or entice buyers to pay more than is justified by market data. - In attempting to represent a buyer or tenant, a REALTOR must not mislead the buyer or tenant as to potential savings or benefits that might be realized through the use of a REALTOR. Although a buyer or tenant who is represented by a REALTOR will benefit from the relationship, the buyer or tenant might end up paying more for the property when the seller or landlord includes the REALTOR's fee in their pricing. A misrepresentation occurs in listing situations when a licensee tells a seller that his office has buyers for the property when they don't have any. The specific intent of inducing the seller into a listing contract by dangling a false and quick sale is unethical and a misrepresentation.
Commission Warnings – Seller and Buyer paid Commissions are negotiable For example, the listing agent may take a listing at 6% and then offer to pay the selling broker a 2% commission without disclosing to the seller that the listing agent is keeping 4%. A licensee cannot state or imply to a property owner during listing negotiations that the licensee is precluded by law, regulation or rules of any organization other than that of the licensee’s firm, from charging less than the commission or fee quoted to the owner by the licensee
Failure to submit offers - As a general rule, a licensee must present all written offers to the owner of a property prior to the closing of a sale of the property, unless instructed not to by the seller in writing.
Preserving Confidential Information - Information that is not material and is confidential cannot be revealed to prospective buyers or their agents. Some examples of confidential information that cannot be revealed are the following:
- Seller's reasons for selling the property
- Seller's minimum acceptable sales price
- Seller's current financial condition
- Fact that seller is about to face foreclosure of the property offered for sale
Unauthorized Practice of Law - Advising a seller on how to complete a seller's property disclosure statement where issues of disclosure or non-disclosure have legal liability or implications.
Making False or Misleading Statements About Competitors - A licensee should never make or repeat false or misleading statements about any competitors' business or business practices.
Agents Duty to Disclose - The best advice any licensee can give to the seller with respect to what should be disclosed, is that everything should be disclosed, even former problems or defects that have or have not been remedied. It is a failure to make a disclosure that inevitably leads to lawsuits when facts of prior defects and remedies are later discovered. Disclosure is the best roadblock to litigation.
In my nearly 20 years of Residential Real Estate experience in the Oregon Real Estate market, these are some of the most important laws to know that Realtors must follow, that Buyers and Seller should know to protect themselves.