Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of Goa Association of Realtors (GAR)
While the code of ethics establishes obligations that may be higher than those mandated by law, in any instance where the code of Ethics and the law conflict, the obligations of the law must take precedence. GAR MEMBERS should recognize that the interest of the nation and its citizens require the highest and the best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful and sustainable environment. Such interests impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty to which GAR MEMBERS should dedicate themselves and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves. GAR MEMBERS therefore, are zealous to maintain and improve the standards of their calling and share with their fellow GAR MEMBERS a common responsibility for its integrity and honour. In recognition and appreciation of their obligations to their clients, customers, the public, and each other, GAR MEMBERS continuously strive to become and remain informed on issues affecting real estate and knowledgeable professionals; they willingly share the fruit of their experience and study with others. They identify and take steps, through enforcement of this Code of Ethics and by assisting appropriate regulatory bodies, to eliminate practices which may damage the public or which might discredit or bring dishonor to the real estate profession. GAR MEMBERS having direct professional knowledge of conduct that may violate the Code of Ethics involving misappropriation of client or customer funds or property, willful discrimination or fraud resulting in substantial economic harm, bring such matters to the attention of the appropriate local Real Estate Association in which they hold membership in good standing. Realizing that corporation with other real estate professionals promotes the best interests of those who utilize their services, GAR MEMBERS must urge exclusive representation of clients; do not attempt to gain any unfair advantage over their competitors; and they refrain from making unsolicited comments about other practitioners. In instances where their opinion is sought, or where GAR – PROFESSIONAL PRACTIONER believe that comment is necessary., their opinion is offered in an objective, professional manner, uninfluenced by any personal motivation or potential advantage or gain. The term GAR MEMBER has come to the connote competency, fairness and high integrity resulting from adherence to a lofty ideal of moral conduct in business relations. No inducement of profit and no instructions from clients ever can justify departure from this ideal. In the interpretation of this obligation, GAR MEMBERS can take no safer guide than that which has been handed down through the centuries, embodied in the Golden Rule, ‘’Whatsoever you would desire that others should do to you, you should do to them’’. Accepting this standard as their own, GAR MEMBERS who have successfully attended and passed the entrance pre-requisite educational requirement and training course and who have joined as a member of the respected city based Member Association of GAR and who now pledge to observe its spirit in all their activities and to conduct their business in accordance with the tenets set forth below.
Duties to Clients and Customers
- When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, GAR MEMBERS pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client. This obligation to the client is primary, but it does not relieve GAR MEMBERS of their obligation to treat all parties honestly. When serving a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant or other party in a non-agency capacity, GAR MEMBERS must remain obligated to treat all parties honestly.
- GAR MEMBERS shall avoid exaggeration, mispresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction. GAR MEMBERS shall not, however, be obligated to discover latent defects in the property, to advise on matters outside the scope of their real estate business knowledge or to disclose facts which are confidential under the scope of their agency agreement if any.
- GAR MEMBERS shall cooperate with other brokers / other GAR MEMBERS, except when cooperation is not in the client’s best interest. The obligation to cooperate does not include the obligation to share commissions, fees, or to otherwise compensate another broker.
- GAR MEMBERS shall not acquire an interest in or buy or present offers from themselves, any member of their immediate families, their firms or any member thereof, or any entities in which they have any ownership interest, any real property without making their true position known to the owner or the owner’s broker. In selling property they own, or in which they have any interest, GAR MEMBERS shall reveal their ownership or interest in writing to the purchaser or the purchaser’s representative.
- GAR MEMBERS shall not undertake to provide professional services concerning a property or its value where they have a present or contemplated interest unless such interest is specifically disclosed to all affected parties.
- GAR MEMBERS shall not accept any commission, rebate, or profit on expenditures made for their client, without the client’s knowledge and consent.
- In a transaction, GAR MEMBERS shall not accept compensation from more than one party, even if permitted by law, without disclosure to all parties and the informed consent of the BROKER’S client or client’s.
- GAR MEMBERS shall keep in a special account in an appropriate financial institution, separated from their own funds, monies coming in to possession in trust for other persons, such as escrows, trust funds, client’s monies, and other like items.
- GAR MEMBERS for the protection of all parties shall assure whenever possible that agreements shall be writing, and shall be in clear understandable language expressing the specific terms, conditions, obligations and commitments of the parties. A copy of each agreement should furnished to each party upon their signing or initialing.
- GAR MEMBERS shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. GAR MEMBERS shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
- The services which GAR MEMBERS provide to their clients and customers shall conform to the standards of practice and competence which are reasonably expected in the specific real estate discipline in which they engage, specifically residential real estate brokerage, real property management, commercial and industrial real estate brokerage, real estate Appraisal, real estate counseling, real estate syndication, real estate auction and international real estate.
- GAR MEMBERS shall not undertake to provide professional services concerning a type of property or service that is outside the field of competence unless they engage the assistance of one who is competent on such types of property or service, or unless the facts are fully disclosed to the client. Any persons engaged to provide such assistance shall be so identified to the client and the contribution to the assignment should be set forth.
- GAR MEMBERS shall be careful at the times to present a true picture in their advertising and representation to the public. GAR MEMBERS shall also ensure that their professional status (e.g.: Broker, appraiser, property manager, etc.) or their actual status is clearly identifiable in any such advertising.
- GAR MEMBERS shall not engage in activities that constitute unauthorized practice of law and shall recommend that legal councel be obtained when the interest of any party to the transaction requires it.
- If charged with unethical practice or asked to present evidence or to cooperate in any other way, in any professional standards proceeding or investigation, GAR MEMBERS shall place all pertinent facts before the proper tribunals / arbitration boards of the Member Association or Affiliated institute, society or council in which membership is held and shall take no action or disrupt or obstruct such process.
- GAR MEMBERS shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about competitors, their business, or their business practices.
- GAR MEMBERS shall not engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with the agency or other exclusive relationship recognized by law that other GAR MEMBERS have with clients.
- GAR MEMBERS shall not engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with the laws of the land.
- GAR MEMBERS shall give optimum service to their clients and should not charge more than the recommended brokerage fixed by the respective city association.