This year marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. The history of how the ethics code came to be is an interesting one and worth exploring further. While I would love to expound on the history of the code, a member of the REALTOR® board of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Bay East Association of REALTORS® has posted an informative video on the topic (See below).
The video, produced by Doreen Roberts, who is also a member of the National Association of REALTORS® Professional Standards Committee, starts by establishing the context of the adoption of the first ethics code by describing the world in 1908.
At this time, the video explains, 75% of Americans lived in rented apartments in overcrowded cities. However, with the invention of the affordable automobile, made possible by Henry Ford’s invention of the assembly line, city-dwellers could finally live outside these cities. This resulted in the rapid expansion of cities and towns to the country and the birth of the suburb.
In the early years of the 20th century, one didn’t need any kind of license to sell real estate, leading to the prevalence of unscrupulous real estate swindlers, which highlighted the need for a professional standard. This video is a great history of the birth of those higher standards for real estate professionals that is worth a look. Keep in mind that not all real estate agents are REALTORS® even today.
If you are planning on buying or selling a home in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, make your first call to Michael Seward at 413-531-7129 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.