Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice
While the code of ethics establishes obligations that may be higher than those mandated by law, in any instance where the Code of Ethics and the law conflict, the obligations of the law must take precedence.
The term APPCC MEMBERS has come to the connote competency, fairness and high integrity resulting from adherence to a lofty ideal of moral conduct in business relations. No inducement of profit and no instruction from clients ever can justify departure from this ideal.
Duties to Clients and Customers
- When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, APPCC MEMBERS pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client. This obligation to the client is primary, but it does not relieve APPCC MEMBERS of their obligation to treat all parties honestly. When serving a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant or other party in a non-agency capacity, APPCC MEMBERS must remain obligated to treat all parties honestly.
- APPCC MEMBERS shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction. APPCC MEMBERS shall not, however, be obligated to discover latent defects in the property, to advise on matters outside the scope of their real estate business knowledge or to disclose facts which are confidential under the scope of their agency agreement if any.
- APPCC MEMBERS shall cooperate with other brokers / other APPCC MEMBERS, except when cooperation is not in the clients best interest. The obligation to cooperate does not include the obligation to share commissions, fees, or to otherwise compensate another broker.
- APPCC MEMBERS shall not acquire an interest in or buy or present offers from themselves, any member of their immediate families, their firms or any member thereof, or any entities in which they have any ownership interest, any real property without making their true position known to the owner or the owner’s broker. In selling property they own, or in which they have any interest, APPCC MEMBERS shall reveal their ownership or interest in writing to the purchaser or the purchaser’s representative.
- APPCC MEMBERS shall not undertake to provide professional services concerning a property or its value where they have a present or contemplated interest unless such interest is specifically disclosed to all affected parties.
- APPCC MEMBERS shall not accept any commission, rebate, or profit on expenditures made for their client, without the client’s knowledge and consent.
- In a transaction, APPCC MEMBERS shall not accept compensation from more than one party, even if permitted by law, without disclosure to all parties and the informed consent of the brokers, client or clients.
- APPCC MEMBERS shall keep in a special account in an appropriate financial institution, separated from their own funds, monies coming into possession in trust for other persons, such as escrows, trust funds, clients monies, and other like items.
- APPCC MEMBERS for the protection of all parties shall assure whenever possible that agreements shall be in writing, and shall be in clear and understandable language expressing the specific terms, conditions, obligations and commitments of the parties. A copy of each agreement shall be furnished to each party upon their signing or initialling.
- APPCC MEMBERS shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. APPCC MEMBERS shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
- The services which APPCC MEMBERS provide to their clients and customers shall conform to the standards of practice and competence which are reasonably expected in the specific real estate disciplines in which they engage; specific ally residential real estate brokerage, real property management, commercial and industrial real estate brokerage, real estate Appraisal, real estate counselling, real estate syndication, real estate auction and international real estate.
- APPCC MEMBERS shall not undertake to provide specialized professional services concerning a type of property or service that is outside the field of competence unless they engage the assistance of one who is competent on such types of property or service, or unless the facts are fully disclosed to the client. Any persons engaged to provide such assistance shall be so identified to the client and the contribution to the assignment should be set forth.
- APPCC MEMBERS shall be careful at all times to present a true picture in their advertising and representation to the public. APPCC MEMBERS shall also ensure that their professional status (e.g. broker, appraiser, property manager, etc.) or their actual status is clearly identifiable in any such advertising.
- APPCC MEMBERS shall not engage in activities that constitute unauthorized practice of law and shall recommend that legal counsel be obtained when the interest of any party to the transaction requires it.
- If charged with unethical practice or asked to present evidence or to cooperate in any other way, in any professional standards proceeding or investigation, APPCC MEMBERS shall place all pertinent facts before the proper tribunals / arbitration boards of the Member Association or Affiliated institute, society or council in which membership is held and shall take no action or disrupt or obstruct such processes.
- APPCC MEMBERS shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about competitors, their businesses, or their business practices.
- APPCC MEMBERS shall not engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with the agency or other exclusive relationship recognized by law that other APPCC MEMBERS have with clients.
- APPCC MEMBERS shall not engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with the laws of the land.
- APPCC MEMBERS shall give optimum service to their clients and should not charge more than the recommended brokerage as practiced in the local market.