The situation last month:

Salvatore was relatively new to the real estate profession and was listing his first commercial property. Because he found few comparables, he made some assump­tions based on the residential market in the area and some assumptions about the future use of the property. Salvatore’s very demanding client, Albert, told him they would no longer work together.


Albert recognized immediately that Salvatore was in way over his head when he saw the opinion of value and marketing plan. It was obvious that Salvatore failed to do any research about the property and permitted uses and was only guessing at a list price. Albert expected better than that from a real estate professional. Salvatore thought he was smart in the way he approached setting the price for the property, but he should have been even smarter and consulted with someone who actually knew something about commercial real estate.

Article 12 of The REALTOR® Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice states that:

A REALTOR® shall render a skilled and conscientious service, in conformity with standards of competence which are reasonably expected in the specific real estate disciplines in which the REALTOR® engages. When a REALTOR® is unable to render such service, either alone or with the aid of other professionals, the REALTOR® shall not accept the assignment or otherwise provide assistance in connection with the transaction.

There were two options open to Salvatore which would have proved him to be as smart as he thought he was:

1) he should have consulted with a colleague experienced in selling commercial buildings or
2) he should have told Albert that he was unable to help him on this one transaction.

Salvatore not only lost Albert as a client, but left himself open to investigation by RECO. CREA’s Article 12 is found in the Table of Concordance, which means it has a counterpart in REBBA 2002, and RECO would be looking into Salvatore’s actions.