Friday, June 20, 2008

National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics of the National Association of Realtors is the promise to the public that when dealing with a real estate agent that is a REALTOR, they can expect honext and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. Only REALTORS pledge to abide by the Association's Code of Ethics and only REALTORS are held accountable for their ethical behavior.Some of the basic principles of the Code of Ethics include:

~ Protect and promot your client's interests, but be honest with all parties

~ Avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation and concealment of pertinent facts. Do not reveal facts that are confidential under the scope of your agency relationship.

~ Disclose present or contemplated interest in any property to all parties.

~ Avoid side deals without your client's informed consent.

~ Accewpt compensation from onl one party, except with full disclosure and informed consent.

~ Keep the funds of clients and customers in escrow

~ Assure, whenever possible, that transactional details are in writing

~ Provide equal service to all clients and customers

~ Be knowledgeable and pempetent in the fields of practice in which you ordinarily engage. Obtain assistance or disclose lack of experience if necessary.

~ Do not engage in the unauthorized practice of law.

As you can see as a consumer, We are dedicated to serving America's property owners and have a strong commitment to follow the Code of Ethics. The National Association of Realtors is the largest professional association at over 900,000 members strong.

So whether you are buying or selling, look for that trademarked "R" of which we are so proud of and look for a REALTOR, as not all licensees are REALTORS.

Karen Villa Schweinfurth, REALTOR, ABR, CRS, SRES, e-PRO, ACRE

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The Buying Process in Washington State

Many of you think that when we find your dream property, write an offer and get it accepted, the Realtor's job is done. Far from that point.....our job is just beginning.
In addition to helping you find your dream home through the listings we have sent you, making appointments to show you these listings, we are always working FOR you.

When we first met we gave you a copy of the "Laws of Real Estate Agency" that describes your legal rights in dealing with a real estate broker or salesperson in Washington State. It describes the duties of a licensee, a seller's agent, a buyer's agent, a dual agent, compensation, vicarious liability, imputed knowledge and notice and interpretation. You also received my buyer book that contains information on your purchase process and an introduction to my team of professionals; my transaction coordinator, my lender, my title company representative, my escrow officer, and my inspectors.

As a buyer's agent we are to: Be loyal to the buyer by taking no action that is adverse or detrimental or the buyer's interest in a transaction; to timely disclose to the buyer any conflicts of interest, to advise you to seek expert advice on matters relating to the transaction that are beyond our expertise, not to disclose confidential information from or about the buyer, except under subpoena or court order, even after termination of the agency relationship and make a good faith and continuous effort to find a property for you, the buyer, except that a buyer's agent is not obligated to: seek additional properties to purchase while the buyer is a party to an existing contract to purchase, or show properties as to which there is no written agreement to pay compensation to the buyer's agent.

We then begin the process of negotiating the contract in your best interest. Once we reach mutual acceptance, we send the contract to our assistant who will set you up on an internet web-based program so that we can communicate through emails what is happening on your transaction. You have 24/7 access to this file. We contact the selling agent, lender, title company, escrow company and they all become a party to this transaction.

We set up your inspection by coordinating that with your inspector and the seller. We negotiate after the inspection is completed and make sure all parties are aware of what's happening.

We follow up regularly with the lender to make sure they are on track with ordering the appraisal, getting paperwork to the underwriter and getting final loan approval.

We provide you with utility information and advise you when to contact the companies to get local utilities in your name.

We then make sure that the lender gets their paperwork to the escrow officer in a timely manner so that they can schedule your signing appointment. Remember, we talked about this, this is where you sign closing papers, deposit your funds to close. The paperwork is then sent back to the lender for a 24 hour review. Once the lender releases the package for recording, we follow up with the escrow office to make sure they are going to the court house to record your documents. Once that happens and we receive recording numbers, the escrow officer releases the fund and you CLOSE. You then are awarded keys according to the terms of the purchase and sale agreement.

We meet with you and hand over keys. You have your beautiful home, finally. We then follow up with post closing instructions to make sure there are no details left to discuss.

Phew, you say, you didn't realize we did all that. Yes, we do, and with zest, as you see provide you with the American Dream - home ownership and if we can do that successfully, our job is well done.

Congratulations, on your purchase. You'll be receiving a welcome home gift from my team. We wish you many years of happiness. "Oh, by the way, if you know of a friend or family member that could use our services, we'd be happy to speak to them and offer them the same level of service we gave you." Good Luck in your new home!

For Buyer Agency in Washington State contact: Karen Villa Schweinfurth, ABR, CRS, SRES, ePRO, ACRE
Your Snohomish County Expert

An ABR, (Accredited Buyer Representative) designation from the National Association of Realtors

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