The Realtor Code of Ethics is nothing more than a membership agreement to a membership that its membership does not want. Realtors overwhelmingly state that if they could be members of the MLS without being a member of a local or national board, they would do so. I for one am in strong agreement with my peers on this matter.
What brings this up again is the Danilo versus Kaufman controversy where Mr. Kaufman argues that Danilo has violated the sacred code of ethics of the NAR. I’m certainly not here to debate that position, but I will, for the record, maintain that it is absurd. NAR’s need to regulate its own once again proves that it oversteps its value and its authority to attempt to regulate freedom of speech. I would also submit to you that the code of ethics is in many cases subjective- for example, to act fairly and honestly, means what? To many it means many different things, especially out of context. I digress in that the code does have some very good policy, but it should not be represented to supercede the law.
I think that NAR should take a firm position not to get involved in what citizens do with their speech or how they apply it, even in the case of an agent with a Realtor membership. I say this with a certain context, and that context is, if a complaint has nothing to do with a real estate purchase or transaction then NAR has no authority-none. Their response to Mr. Kaufman especially acting as a public official should be a swift and direct “not our problem.”
Could you imagine a world where every public official flamed in an op-ed piece could sue a paper? Legally threaten the writer using the paper’s policy? A public official answers to the public even if he is a so-called Realtor- and in this case the county should be doing just that, not hiding behind some code or policy. We’re a country of debate, a public official should not fear a great debate, they should cherish the opportunity to educate.
All citizens should speak up loudly and clearly on this issue.
What say you?