In an effort to make ethics violations and the disciplinary process more transparent, starting August 1, 2014, C.A.R. will be publishing the names – and the other information listed below – of members who are found in violation of the Code of Ethics. If a member is found in violation of the Code, and the discipline is anything other than a letter of warning or stand-alone education, the following information will be published by C.A.R.:
1. The name and photo of the member found in violation If the member’s name is similar to another member’s, their real estate license number and/or office address may also be included in the publication;
2. A list of the Articles of the Code of Ethics that were violated and possibly the applicable standards of practice;
3. A brief factual synopsis of the matter, with the names of other parties removed;
4. The discipline imposed;
5. The effective date and duration of discipline imposed; and
6. The hearing Panel’s rationale for the discipline imposed, if applicable.
The name of the real estate firm will not be published. The name of the responsible broker will be published, only if the broker was also named and found in violation. This information will be published on the members-only section of car.org and local associations will be free to republish the information in their local members-only publications. Local associations will begin requiring respondents named in an ethics complaint to submit a photo at the time of filing a response to the complaint, or allow their picture to be taken before the hearing begins.
Now is the time to make sure you know the rules. There are three free or low cost options for becoming more familiar with the requirements of the NAR Code of Ethics. First, you can take an ethics course as part of your 12 FREE Hours of Online CE Courses as a member benefit from C.A.R. This satisfies the Ethics requirement for your CA license renewal, http://store.car.org/12freece. Or, if you have already used your 12 free hours, you can purchase the California Ethics course in the CE Catalog or through C.A.R. Education at OnlineEd at a member price of $19.99, http://store.car.org/car-education/onlineed/licenserenewal/ethics.html. Another option, is the free Code of Ethics Course through NAR, however it does not offer CE credit and does not fulfill the CA license renewal requirement, http://www.realtor.org/code-of-ethics/code-of-ethics-training-home.
Did you know that most violations are related to advertising violations? However, members surveyed overwhelmingly cite problems with failure to cooperate with other agents (unavailability to show, misrepresent availability, give their buyers priority, failure to present all offers, etc.). Make sure you know the rules, so your name is not on the list!