Hippocratic Oath for REALTORS®?

Real estate agents who become REALTORS® must abide by the REALTOR® Code of Ethics – kind of like a physician’s Hippocratic Oath.  Although I observe the majority of REALTORS® practicing ethically and trying their hardest to provide the best value to their clients, it is obvious that one REALTOR’S® ‘best’ cannot necessarily be compared to every other REALTOR’S® ‘best’.  The same goes in the medical field.  Ill-feeling patients suffering with flu-like symptoms often visit their MD in hope for a quick fix for their ‘bug’.  Upon the doctor recommending that they get bed rest and drink lots of fluids for their virus, the patient often insists that the doctor give them a prescription for an antibiotic.  Often times, the doctor whips out his pad and writes it up knowing that it will not cure the patient, but instead will make them feel like they received value out of the doctor’s visit.  This is called ‘patient appeasement’.  Unfortunately, appeasing the patient today can be harmful to the patient’s health in the future.

The same happens in Real Estate.  Listing agents often practice ‘seller appeasement’.  They know that sellers will list with the agent who tells them two things: 1) That their home is worth more than the other agents said it is worth; and 2) That their commission is less than the other agents.  After all, once the contract is signed, the agent can always go back and get a price reduction in order to sell the home.  It is a win/win situation…right?  The seller gets what they want and the agent ensures that the time they took to meet with them is rewarded with a listing contract each and every time.

Let’s go back to the medical scenario now.  If the doctor was highly skilled and highly ethical, and his patients asked for medication that could ultimately hurt their body instead of help it, he would never compromise and consider giving into his patient just to be popular or go with the status quo.  As a result, some of his patients would look for another doctor who would give them exactly what they asked for.  This doctor might have a smaller practice, but it would be filled with happy and healthy patients who spread world all over town about how good their doctor is.

Doing the right thing is often hard and it doesn’t necessarily pay all the bills…but the good feeling that comes from doing the right thing us immeasurable.  Here is how this relates to the way I do business:  Over the years I have practiced many buyer and seller systems, gone to seminars, received special designations, served as a six-year Director of the Orange County Association of REALTORS® and honed my skills to accomplish the following two goals:  1) To help buyers get their offers accepted AND pay the smallest price possible for homes; 2) To help sellers sell their homes in the shortest amount of time, with the least inconvenience and for an unbelievable price – at the end of the day, putting considerably more money in their pocket than if they went with a real estate agent who compromises both their commission and their seller’s home price.  As the result of my experience, I have developed a Seller System that is unparalleled in the industry. It is completely different from the way other agents sell homes, yielding my sellers significantly more money than if they chose a traditional agent. The results are proven and the years of data and seller testimonials back it up seamlessly. 

It takes a lot of courage to present this non-traditional method to my sellers, when they are simply looking for an ‘antibiotic’.  My interpretation of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics dictates that I MUST promote this system.  It would be wrong for me to appease sellers by telling them what they want to hear in order for me to secure the listing, when I am confident that if I risk getting the listing by telling them my uncommon Seller System, they are guaranteed a higher profit.  That is my ‘Hippocratic Oath’.  Unfortunately at times, I may fail to communicate my System’s value, or my sellers cannot quite see the vision.  That is understandable.  The seller is the ultimate decision maker.  My responsibility is simply to demonstrate how my ‘best’ brings sellers more money than a traditional agent’s ‘best’ and then go with the method they select is ‘best’ for them.  🙂

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