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Real Estate Agency Code

Real Estate Agency Code

The Real Estate Agency Code comprises high level principles. Together the principles outline a culture of fairness and transparency which should underpin all activities undertaken by real estate agents within whichever country they practice.

The Code allows real estate agents flexibility in how they achieve the required outcomes. There is no intention to impose a prescriptive set of rules. Agents may work differently with different clients, and different agents are likely to work in different ways.

Agents and companies providing agency services must approach all their activities in accordance with the overarching principles.

The Code and the associated standards apply to the selling, buying, letting and renting of real estate - commercial, residential and rural.

A number of the principles apply to agents' conduct towards the public generally, both clients and non-clients. However, while everybody who deals with agents is entitled to be treated properly, it is acknowledged that agents have particular duties and responsibilities towards their clients.

Many agents already belong to professional bodies, which have their own professional standards, and this Code and the supporting standards consolidate existing best practice.

In order for the Code and the associated standards to operate effectively, both individual agents and companies who provide real estate agency services must take responsibility for compliance with the core principles. Senior managers of companies which provide agency services must ensure that internal systems and procedures are in place to support these principles.

The Real Estate Agency Code replaces the previous Property Standards Board Consumer Charter.

Agents adopting the Code undertake: 

1.

To conduct business in an honest, fair, transparent and professional manner.

2.

To carry out work with due skill, care and diligence, and ensure that staff employed have the necessary skills to carry out their tasks.

3.

To ensure that clients are provided with their terms of business which are fair and clear, incorporate details of complaints handling procedure and, where existing, an appropriate redress scheme, and meet all other legal requirements and relevant codes of practice.

4.

To do the utmost to avoid conflicts of interest and, where they do arise, to deal with them openly, fairly and promptly.

5.

Not to discriminate unfairly in any of their dealings.

6.

To ensure that all communications are fair, clear, timely and transparent in all dealings with clients.

7.

To ensure that all their advertising and marketing material is honest, decent and truthful.

8.

To ensure that any client money is held separately from other monies and is covered by adequate insurance.

9. 

To have appropriate professional indemnity/errors or omissions insurance to ensure customers do not suffer loss as a result of any negligent act.

10. 

To ensure that it is made clear to all parties for whom you are acting the scope of your obligations to each party.

11.

Where provided as part of the service, to give a realistic assessment of the likely selling, buying or rental price, or associated cost of occupancy, to the client based on market evidence and using best professional judgment.

12.

To ensure that any property viewings are carried out in accordance with the client's wishes, having due regard for the security and personal safety of all parties.