REAS Code of Ethics

The object of this code is to increase the accountability of real estate agents for their actions in carrying out the business of a real estate agent. These rules set minimum standards of conduct and client care that all REAS members are required to meet when carrying out real estate agency work and dealing with clients.

This Code of Ethics is a public statement of the principles, values and behaviour expected of REAS members. The objective of the code is to promote and encourage a high standard of ethical practice by the members and their employees in their dealings with fellow members, other agents, their employees and members of the public.

INTRODUCTION

The REAS Code of Ethics’ ethical obligations are based on moral integrity, competent service to clients and customers, and dedication to the interest and welfare of the public.

01. Knowledge of the Code

It is the responsibility of the member agency to ensure that all their managers and staff know and understand these rules and ethics and apply them in all of their trading activities.

02. Members of the REAS

(1) Are consciously well integrated into their community.
(2) Have a passion, belief and knowledge for the area in which they sell property.
(3) Share the belief that the REAS is positive for themselves, fellow members, the community and the people who they serve.
(4) Recognise the REAS’ selfless nature and are keen to work and participate in its growth and evolvement.
(5) Are honest, honourable and transparent with their clients, staff, fellow members, competitors and anyone else with whom they do business.
(6) Avoid aggressive and exaggerated marketing, instead make every effort to be accurate and professional above all else.
(7) Work with a spirit of goodwill towards their fellow members, competitors and the community in general.
(8) Treat their clients’ interests with discretion and sincerity.
(9) Have pledged to abide by the established rules and code of ethics at the REAS

03. Conditions of Membership

In order to be accepted as a member, the agent must:

(1) Be active in the industry with established premises of work.
(2) Have a minimum of three years active experience both in the industry and in the area in which they are currently based.
(3) Be financially stable and solvent.
(4) Have no criminal record.
(5) Be prepared to display the REAS Accredited Agency Logo on their letterhead, business cards, property detail sheets, advertising etc.
(6) Keep all their staff fully informed of REAS rules and ethics and be responsible for their staffs’ professional behaviour.
(7) Pledge to abide by the REAS Code of Ethics.

04. Obligations to Buyers and Sellers

(1) Must always act in a client’s best interests unless it is unlawful or unreasonable to do so. Must always act in accordance with a client’s instructions unless it is contrary to this code or otherwise unlawful to do so.
(2) Encourage both the buyer and the seller to seek independent fiscal, legal or structural advise and furnish them with suitable introductions should they be requested.
(3) Present all properties for sale in a truthful and honest manner and not cause or create false impressions or misunderstandings of the property’s characteristics.
(4) Conduct all negotiations and respond to enquiries in a timely and efficient manner, ensuring that all points are as clear as possible and understood by the recipient.
(5) Not offer for sale or advertise a property at any price other than that agreed with the vendor or the legal representative of the vendor, ensuring that their listing contract states that the agreed price is the same as shown by all other agencies.
(6) Hold an account in a recognized financial institution (bank), separate from their own working funds, in which any client / customer monies are held, for whatever reason.
(7) Declare an interest openly should any REAS member or member of their family be involved in either a purchase or a sale of a property that is being contractually handled by that REAS member agency. This should be done by notifying the vendor or purchaser and/or their lawyer in writing prior to or simultaneously to the offer of sale/purchase being made.
(8) Unless clearly stated otherwise, it is understood that REAS members represent the vendor of a property. Should they be retained and paid by a purchaser to acquire a property, this fact must be openly declared in writing to the vendor in advance of any negotiations.
(9) Never recommend or suggest to a client the use of the services of another organization or company in which they have financial interests, without first disclosing this fact at the time of such recommendation or suggestion to the client.
(10) Disclose all information available on costs of any transactions to their client fully and in a fair and accurate manner. The terms and conditions of their charges must be explained and agreed prior to any transaction being commenced.
(11) Avoid exaggeration, falsification or distortion of relevant facts relating to a property or transaction. Disclose concealed or underlying defects of property should they become known to the member.
(12) Ensure their listings and commission agreements are in writing and clearly defined and agreed, preferably in a standard ‘REAS’ format, prior to the property being listed.
(13) Ensure that any of their staff who, at time to time, meet with the public to promote, sell, display, advise or provide information about their products are fully knowledgeable of the subject in question and if not, openly declare their inability to speak on such subject.
(12) Respect at all times the agreed commission rates with their clients and not deal on a ‘net receipt’ basis to enhance the commission profit.
(13) All REAS members shall treat all information and facts that become known to them about their vendors and purchasers during the process of their work with the utmost confidentiality, within the existing criteria of the law. These obligations shall continue after the completion of business dealings with any one person. REAS members shall never, during or following the completion of their professional relationship with a person, use any information or facts for gossip, gain or mischief. Information or facts known shall only be given by the member if:
(a) The person concerned consents to the disclosure.
b) They are required to by court order.
c) It is requested by authorities during investigation into a crime or that the member genuinely believes the information or facts known could be criminal in their nature.
d) It is necessary to defend themselves and/or their staff or fellow agents against accusations of wrongful conduct.
(14) REAS members must offer equality of professional service to any person,
regardless of their race, creed, sex or nationality.
(15) Agree to abide by the rulings of the REAS Disciplinary Panel in the event of any dispute or breach of these rules and ethics.

05. REAS Disciplinary Panel

(1) The REAS Disciplinary Panel shall be elected by majority vote of the REAS Panel of Advisors on an annual basis. On receipt of any complaint or dispute between members the committee will arbitrate and their decision will be final.
(2) All complaints received from the public will be investigated by the REAS Disciplinary Panel and if any member is found to be in breach of the above rules, the REAS Disciplinary Panel shall decide upon any action that should be taken. This can vary from reprimand or fine to suspension of membership and even expulsion.
(3) In all cases of mediation, investigation and matters concerning internal discipline the REAS Disciplinary Panel will act with the utmost level of diplomacy and discretion. On matters that may need to be made public, the decision to do this will be made by the REAS Disciplinary Panel.

06. Obligations to other REAS Members

(1) Respect a colleague’s listing after having viewed it for a minimum period of three months, even if the vendor has subsequently approached the member directly.
(2) Do not directly solicit another member’s listing after recognising the property from the database, through an advert or a ‘for sale’ sign.
(3) Do not interfere with other agents’ negotiations in order to gain a client or a sale for themselves. Respect other member’s work.
(4) Do not directly solicit or poach members of staff from other REAS members. Any transfer of staff must be openly declared and transparent in its origin.

PUBLICISING CODE

01. Publicity about code

(1) A real estate agent must prominently display a notice of the existence and availability of this code in the public area of each of the agent’s offices.
(2) If asked by a client or customer, a real estate agent must promptly tell the client or customer where to obtain a copy of this code.

COMPLAINT RESOLUTION

01. Agent to have complaint handling procedure

(1) The agent must have a reasonable, simple and easy to use procedure in place for handling complaints by clients or customers of the agent.
(2) The agent must have information readily available to inform clients and customers of the procedure.
(3) The agent must consider every complaint made by a client or customer and accept the complaint, whether wholly or partly; or reject the complaint in writing.

The duties imposed by the REAS Code of Ethics encompass all real estate-related activities and transactions whether conducted in person, electronically, or through any other means. Failure to uphold these professional standards is grounds for temporary suspension or revocation of membership. While the REAS Code of Ethics establishes obligations that may be higher than those mandated by the Spanish law, in any instance where the REAS Code of Ethics and the law conflict, the obligations of the law must take precedence.