Carol Carnevale • DRE# 00946687 • 650.465.5958
Nicole Aron • DRE# 00952657 • 650.740.7954
Have you ever been confused by the “alphabet soup” of designations for professionals? Real estate professionals have them too!
In order to sell real estate in the state of California a real estate license is required. It comes in two basic forms: a broker’s license and a sales license. Licensees must complete some basic college level classes and pass a written test in order to receive their licenses. Those with sales licenses must operate under the supervision of a licensed broker. Passing the test is not to be confused with actually knowing the practice of real estate, any more than passing the written driver’s license test qualifies you to actually drive a car! The practice of real estate is learned through experience.
The title “Realtor” is trademarked and a Realtor is a real estate licensee who is also a member of the National Association of Realtors. Members must embrace the tenets of the Realtor Code of Ethics which establishes high ethical standards by which licensees conduct the business of real estate. Enforcement of the Code of Ethics is done at the local association level by fellow professionals, specially trained for their duties. Alleged violations of the code are referred to the Grievance Committee for action, and if members of this committee believe a violation may have occurred, they refer cases to the Professional Standards Committed for a hearing. This committee has the authority to recommend disciplinary action to the Board of Directors of the local Board of Realtors.
An example of unethical behavior by a Realtor would be a Realtor operating outside of their field of expertise. The code’s list of fields of expertise includes residential real estate brokerage, property management, commercial and industrial brokerage, and land brokerage as well as a few other categories.
Some years ago Carol chaired the local Grievance and Professional Standards committees, and one of the cases coming before these committees involved the sale of a family-owned business which was listed for sale by a local residential Realtor who was not experienced in the sale of a business. While a skilled residential sales professional, the agent lacked the knowledge and expertise needed to value and market a business. The owner of the business brought the case to the attention of the local Board of Realtors claiming that the agent’s lack of knowledge had been detrimental to his ability to sell the business. Ultimately the business owner’s concerns were referred to the licensee’s broker for resolution.
Given the importance of every real estate transaction, a good rule to follow is to make sure your representative is also a Realtor and that they are sufficiently qualified and experienced to support your real estate needs.
And for those curious readers who’d like to actually read the Code of Ethics:
Carol & Nicole
Alain Pinel Realtors