Code of Ethics and Conduct
for Standards of Practice
Fort Wayne Listings© of Fort Wayne, IN
Effective January 1, 2005 revised January 1, 2020
Where the word FortWayneListings.com© and Fort Wayne Listings® is used in this Code and Preamble, it shall be deemed to include members and employees of Fort Wayne Listings® and affiliates including The EZ Homebuyers Program © and WhyWaitToBuy.com
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 following Code of Ethics should be adhered to by all Fort Wayne Listings® employees, including officeholders:
Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. Fort Wayne Listings® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.
Such interests impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty to which Fort Wayne Listings® should dedicate themselves, and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves. Fort Wayne Listings®, therefore, are zealous to maintain and improve the standards of their calling and share with their fellow Fort Wayne Listings® a common responsibility for its integrity and honor.
In recognition and appreciation of their obligations to clients, customers, the public, and each other, Fort Wayne Listings® continuously strive to become and remain informed on issues affecting real estate and, as knowledgeable professionals, they willingly share the fruit of their experience and study with others. They identify and take steps, through enforcement of this Code of Ethics and by assisting appropriate regulatory bodies, to eliminate practices which may damage the public or which might discredit or bring dishonor to the real estate profession. Fort Wayne Listings® having direct personal knowledge of conduct that may violate the Code of Ethics involving misappropriation of client or customer funds or property, willful discrimination, or fraud resulting in substantial economic harm, bring such matters to the attention of the appropriate Board or Association of Fort Wayne Listings®.
Realizing that cooperation with other real estate professionals promotes the best interests of those who utilize their services, Fort Wayne Listings® urge exclusive representation of clients; do not attempt to gain any unfair advantage over their competitors; and they refrain from making unsolicited comments about other practitioners. In instances where their opinion is sought, or where Fort Wayne Listings® believe that comment is necessary, their opinion is offered in an objective, professional manner, uninfluenced by any personal motivation or potential advantage or gain.
The term Fort Wayne Listings® has come to 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.
In the interpretation of this obligation, Fort Wayne Listings® can take no safer guide than that which has been handed down through the centuries, embodied in the Golden Rule, “Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them.”
Accepting this standard as their own, Fort Wayne Listings® pledge to observe its spirit in all of their activities whether conducted personally, through associates or others, or via technological means, and to conduct their business in accordance with the tenets set forth below.
Duties to Clients and Customers
When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, Fort Wayne Listings® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client. This obligation to the client is primary, but it does not relieve Fort Wayne Listings® of their obligation to treat all parties honestly. When serving a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant or other party in a non-agency capacity, Fort Wayne Listings® remain obligated to treat all parties honestly.
- Standard of Practice 1-1
Fort Wayne Listings®, when acting as principals in a real estate transaction, remain obligated by the duties imposed by the Code of Ethics.
- Standard of Practice 1-2
The duties imposed by the Code of Ethics encompass all real estate-related activities and transactions whether conducted in person, electronically, or through any other means.
The duties the Code of Ethics imposes are applicable whether Fort Wayne Listings® are acting as agents or in legally recognized non-agency capacities except that any duty imposed exclusively on agents by law or regulation shall not be imposed by this Code of Ethics on Fort Wayne Listings® acting in non-agency capacities.
As used in this Code of Ethics, “client” means the person(s) or entity(ies) with whom a Fort Wayne Listings® or a Fort Wayne Listings firm has an agency or legally recognized non-agency relationship; “customer” means a party to a real estate transaction who receives information, services, or benefits but has no contractual relationship with the Fort Wayne Listings® or the Fort Wayne Listings firm; “prospect” means a purchaser, seller, tenant, or landlord who is not subject to a representation relationship with the Fort Wayne Listings® or Fort Wayne Listings firm; “agent” means an employee of Fort Wayne Listings® and “broker” means an owner of Fort Wayne Listings®.
- Standard of Practice 1-3
Fort Wayne Listings®, in attempting to secure a listing, shall not deliberately mislead the owner as to market value.
- Standard of Practice 1-4
Fort Wayne Listings®, when seeking to become a buyer/tenant representative, shall not mislead buyers or tenants as to savings or other benefits that might be realized through use of the Fort Wayne Listings services.
- Standard of Practice 1-5
Fort Wayne Listings® may represent the seller/landlord and buyer/tenant in the same transaction only after full disclosure to and with informed consent of both parties.
- Standard of Practice 1-6
Fort Wayne Listings® shall submit offers and counter-offers objectively and as quickly as possible.
- Standard of Practice 1-7
When acting as listing brokers, Fort Wayne Listings® shall continue to submit to the seller/landlord all offers and counter-offers until closing or execution of a lease unless the seller/landlord has waived this obligation in writing. Fort Wayne Listings® shall not be obligated to continue to market the property after an offer has been accepted by the seller/landlord. Fort Wayne Listings® shall recommend that sellers/landlords obtain the advice of legal counsel prior to acceptance of a subsequent offer except where the acceptance is contingent on the termination of the pre-existing purchase contract or lease.
- Standard of Practice 1-8
Fort Wayne Listings®, acting as agents or brokers of buyers/tenants, shall submit to buyers/tenants all offers and counter-offers until acceptance but have no obligation to continue to show properties to their clients after an offer has been accepted unless otherwise agreed in writing. Fort Wayne Listings®, acting as agents or brokers of buyers/tenants, shall recommend that buyers/tenants obtain the advice of legal counsel if there is a question as to whether a pre-existing contract has been terminated.
- Standard of Practice 1-9
The obligation of Fort Wayne Listings® to preserve confidential information (as defined by state law) provided by their clients in the course of any agency relationship or non-agency relationship recognized by law continues after termination of agency relationships or any non-agency relationships recognized by law. Fort Wayne Listings® shall not knowingly, during or following the termination of professional relationships with their clients:
1) reveal confidential information of clients; or
2) use confidential information of clients to the disadvantage of clients; or
3) use confidential information of clients for the Fort Wayne Listings advantage or the advantage of third parties unless:
- a) clients consent after full disclosure; or
- b) Fort Wayne Listings® are required by court order; or
- c) it is the intention of a client to commit a crime and the information is necessary to prevent the crime; or
- d) it is necessary to defend a Fort Wayne Listings® or the Fort Wayne Listings employees or associates against an accusation of wrongful conduct.
Information concerning latent material defects is not considered confidential information under this Code of Ethics.
- Standard of Practice 1-10
Fort Wayne Listings® shall, consistent with the terms and conditions of their real estate licensure and their property management agreement, competently manage the property of clients with due regard for the rights, safety and health of tenants and others lawfully on the premises.
- Standard of Practice 1-11
Fort Wayne Listings® who are employed to maintain or manage a client’s property shall exercise due diligence and make reasonable efforts to protect it against reasonably foreseeable contingencies and losses.
- Standard of Practice 1-12
When entering into listing contracts, Fort Wayne Listings® must advise sellers/ landlords of:
1) the Fort Wayne Listings company policies regarding cooperation and the amount(s) of any compensation that will be offered to subagents, buyer/tenant agents, and/or brokers acting in legally recognized non-agency capacities;
2) the fact that buyer/tenant agents or brokers, even if compensated by listing brokers, or by sellers/landlords may represent the interests of buyers/tenants; and
3) any potential for listing brokers to act as disclosed dual agents, e.g. buyer/tenant agents.
- Standard of Practice 1-13
When entering into buyer/tenant agreements, Fort Wayne Listings® must advise potential clients of:
1) the Fort Wayne Listings company policies regarding cooperation;
2) the amount of compensation to be paid by the client;
3) the potential for additional or offsetting compensation from other brokers, from the seller or landlord, or from other parties;
4) any potential for the buyer/tenant representative to act as a disclosed dual agent, e.g. listing broker, subagent, landlord’s agent, etc., and
5) the possibility that sellers or sellers’ representatives may not treat the existence, terms, or conditions of offers as confidential unless confidentiality is required by law, regulation, or by any confidentiality agreement between the parties.
- Standard of Practice 1-14
Fees for preparing appraisals or other valuations shall not be contingent upon the amount of the appraisal or valuation.
- Standard of Practice 1-15
Fort Wayne Listings®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property. Where disclosure is authorized, Fort Wayne Listings® shall also disclose whether offers were obtained by the listing licensee, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating broker.
Fort Wayne Listings® shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction. Fort Wayne Listings® shall not, however, be obligated to discover latent defects in the property, to advise on matters outside the scope of their real estate license, or to disclose facts which are confidential under the scope of agency or non-agency relationships as defined by state law.
- Standard of Practice 2-1
Fort Wayne Listings® shall only be obligated to discover and disclose adverse factors reasonably apparent to someone with expertise in those areas required by their real estate licensing authority. Article 2 does not impose upon the Fort Wayne Listings® the obligation of expertise in other professional or technical disciplines.
- Standard of Practice 2-2
Fort Wayne Listings® shall not be parties to the naming of a false consideration in any document, unless it be the naming of an obviously nominal consideration.
- Standard of Practice 2-3
Factors defined as “non-material” by law or regulation or which are expressly referenced in law or regulation as not being subject to disclosure are considered not “pertinent” for purposes of Article 2.
Fort Wayne Listings® shall cooperate with other brokers except when cooperation is not in the client’s best interest. The obligation to cooperate does not include the obligation to share commissions, fees, or to otherwise compensate another broker.
- Standard of Practice 3-1
Fort Wayne Listings®, acting as exclusive agents or brokers of sellers/landlords, establish the terms and conditions of offers to cooperate. Unless expressly indicated in offers to cooperate, cooperating brokers may not assume that the offer of cooperation includes an offer of compensation. Terms of compensation, if any, shall be ascertained by cooperating brokers before beginning efforts to accept the offer of cooperation.
- Standard of Practice 3-2
Fort Wayne Listings® shall, with respect to offers of compensation to another Fort Wayne Listings®, timely communicate any change of compensation for cooperative services to the other Fort Wayne Listings® prior to the time such Fort Wayne Listings® produces an offer to purchase/lease the property.
- Standard of Practice 3-3
Standard of Practice 3-2 does not preclude the listing broker and cooperating broker from entering into an agreement to change cooperative compensation.
- Standard of Practice 3-4
Fort Wayne Listings®, acting as listing brokers, have an affirmative obligation to disclose the existence of dual or variable rate commission arrangements (i.e., listings where one amount of commission is payable if the listing broker’s firm is the procuring cause of sale/lease and a different amount of commission is payable if the sale/lease results through the efforts of the seller/landlord or a cooperating broker). The listing broker shall, as soon as practical, disclose the existence of such arrangements to potential cooperating brokers and shall, in response to inquiries from cooperating brokers, disclose the differential that would result in a cooperative transaction or in a sale/lease that results through the efforts of the seller/landlord. If the cooperating broker is a buyer/tenant representative, the buyer/ tenant representative must disclose such information to their client before the client makes an offer to purchase or lease.
- Standard of Practice 3-5
It is the obligation of subagents to promptly disclose all pertinent facts to the principal’s agent prior to as well as after a purchase or lease agreement is executed.
- Standard of Practice 3-6
Fort Wayne Listings® shall disclose the existence of accepted offers, including offers with unresolved contingencies, to any broker seeking cooperation.
- Standard of Practice 3-7
When seeking information from another Fort Wayne Listings® concerning property under a management or listing agreement, Fort Wayne Listings® shall disclose their Fort Wayne Listings® status and whether their interest is personal or on behalf of a client and, if on behalf of a client, their representational status.
- Standard of Practice 3-8
Fort Wayne Listings® shall not misrepresent the availability of access to show or inspect a listed property.
Fort Wayne Listings® 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 agent or broker. In selling property they own, or in which they have any interest, Fort Wayne Listings® shall reveal their ownership or interest in writing to the purchaser or the purchaser’s representative.
Fort Wayne Listings® 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.
Fort Wayne Listings® shall not accept any commission, rebate, or profit on expenditures made for their client, without the client’s knowledge and consent.
When recommending real estate products or services (e.g., homeowner’s insurance, warranty programs, mortgage financing, title insurance, etc.), Fort Wayne Listings® shall disclose to the client or customer to whom the recommendation is made any financial benefits or fees, other than real estate referral fees, the Fort Wayne Listings® or Fort Wayne Listings firm may receive as a direct result of such recommendation.
- Standard of Practice 6-1
Fort Wayne Listings® shall not recommend or suggest to a client or a customer the use of services of another organization or business entity in which they have a direct interest without disclosing such interest at the time of the recommendation or suggestion.
In a transaction, Fort Wayne Listings® 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 Fort Wayne Listings client or clients.
Fort Wayne Listings® shall keep in a special account in an appropriate financial institution, separated from their own funds, monies coming into their possession in trust for other persons, such as escrows, trust funds, clients’ monies, and other like items.
Fort Wayne Listings®, for the protection of all parties, shall assure whenever possible that all agreements related to real estate transactions including, but not limited to, listing and representation agreements, purchase contracts, and leases are in writing 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 to such agreements upon their signing or initialing.
Duties to the Public
Fort Wayne Listings® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. Fort Wayne Listings® 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. Fort Wayne Listings®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
The services which Fort Wayne Listings® 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; specifically, residential real estate brokerage, real property management, commercial and industrial real estate brokerage, real estate appraisal, real estate counseling, real estate syndication, real estate auction, and international real estate.
Fort Wayne Listings® shall not undertake to provide specialized professional services concerning a type of property or service that is outside their 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 their contribution to the assignment should be set forth.
Fort Wayne Listings® shall be careful at all times to present a true picture in their advertising and representations to the public. Fort Wayne Listings® shall also ensure that their professional status (e.g., broker, appraiser, property manager, etc.) or status as Fort Wayne Listings® is clearly identifiable in any such advertising.
Fort Wayne Listings® shall not engage in activities that constitute the 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, Fort Wayne Listings® shall place all pertinent facts before the proper tribunals of the Member Board or affiliated institute, society, or council in which membership is held and shall take no action to disrupt or obstruct such processes.
Duties to Fort Wayne Listings®
Fort Wayne Listings® shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about competitors, their businesses, members or their business practices.
- Standard of Practice 15-1
Fort Wayne Listings® shall not knowingly or recklessly file false or unfounded ethics complaints.
- Standard of Practice 15-2
The obligation to refrain from making false or misleading statements about competitors’ businesses and competitors’ business practices includes the duty to not knowingly or recklessly repeat, retransmit, or republish false or misleading statements made by others. This duty applies whether false or misleading statements are repeated in person, in writing, by technological means (e.g., the Internet), or by any other means.
Fort Wayne Listings® shall not engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with exclusive representation or exclusive brokerage relationship agreements that other Fort Wayne Listings® have with clients.
- Standard of Practice 16-1
Article 16 is not intended to prohibit aggressive or innovative business practices which are otherwise ethical and does not prohibit disagreements with other Fort Wayne Listings® involving commission, fees, compensation or other forms of payment or expenses.
- Standard of Practice 16-2
Article 16 does not preclude Fort Wayne Listings® from making general announcements to prospects describing their services and the terms of their availability even though some recipients may have entered into agency agreements or other exclusive relationships with another Fort Wayne Listings®. A general telephone canvass, general mailing or distribution addressed to all prospects in a given geographical area or in a given profession, business, club, or organization, or other classification or group is deemed “general” for purposes of this standard.
In the event of contractual disputes or specific non-contractual disputes as defined in Standard of Practice 17-4 between Fort Wayne Listings® (principals) associated with different firms, arising out of their relationship as Fort Wayne Listings®, the Fort Wayne Listings® shall submit the dispute to arbitration in accordance with the regulations of their Board or Boards rather than litigate the matter.
In the event clients of Fort Wayne Listings® wish to arbitrate contractual disputes arising out of real estate transactions, Fort Wayne Listings® shall arbitrate those disputes in accordance with the regulations of their Board, provided the clients agree to be bound by the decision. The obligation to participate in arbitration contemplated by this Article includes the obligation of Fort Wayne Listings® (principals) to cause their firms to arbitrate and be bound by any award.
The reader should be aware any signed document with Fort Wayne Listings® supersedes anything published online by Fort Wayne Listings®
The Standards of Practice serve to clarify the ethical obligations imposed by the various Articles and supplement, and do not substitute for the reader’s or client’s responsibility to be aware of current policies and laws. Fort Wayne Listings®, by publishing this Code is not practicing law or giving advice, and does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. The Code does not create an attorney-client relationship or agent-client relationship or broker-client relationship. Fort Wayne Listings® is not a United States Realtor, Securities Dealer, Broker or US Investment Advisor. This is not a solicitation to purchase any securities of any kind.
Details have been supplied by Seller and should be considered unreliable Buyer is solely responsible for their own Due Diligence. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge. No warranties or guarantees are expressed or implied. We are not liable for errors or omissions. We are not responsible for any loss you may occur as a result of this information. We do not offer legal advice. Consult legal or other counsel for questions to understand opportunities, risks, insurance, or tax consequences regarding any real estate. Offerings subject to prior sale and Seller and Auctioneer approval and may be modified or cancelled for reason or no reason without notice. Pictures are for illustration purposes only and may not represent the actual property. Announcements made at auction sales take precedence over website or printed materials
To stay compliant with law changes modifications to existing Standards of Practice and additional new Standards of Practice are approved from time to time. The Code of Ethics may include Standards newly adopted or Amended. Readers are cautioned to ensure that the most recent publications are utilized.
Any person in Government service should: Put loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to Government persons, party, or department.
- Uphold the Constitution, laws, and legal regulations of the United States and all governments therein and never be a party to their evasion.
- Give a full day’s labor for a full day’s pay; giving to the performance of his duties his earnest effort and best thought.
- Seek to find and employ more efficient and economical ways of getting tasks accomplished.
- Never discriminate unfairly by the dispensing of special favors or privileges by anyone, whether for remuneration or not; and never accept for himself or his family, favors or benefits under circumstances which might be construed by reasonable persons as influencing the performance of his governmental duties.
- Make no private promises of any kind binding upon the duties of office, since a Government employee has no private word which can be binding on public duty.
- Engage in no business with the Government, either directly or indirectly, which is inconsistent with the conscientious performance of his governmental duties.
- Never use any information coming to him in confidentiality in the performance of governmental duties as a means of making private profit.
- Expose corruption whenever discovered.
- Uphold these principles, ever conscious that public office is a public trust.
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