The realities, the innuendos and the fact that this thinly-written article got front page placement on the NYTimes Sunday Real Estate edition is sobering. Yes, it was written about Manhattan agents, who, for one thing, are a breed unto themselves and for another, hardly any are, in fact, Realtors, a designation that only applies to members of the National Association of Realtors who agree to the Realtor Code of Ethics. New York has established the Real Estate Board of New York, which has developed its policies after the NAR, but is not subject to its oversight. But still…it’s pretty sad. FYI, many agents in the Hamptons are not Realtors either, although there appears to be positive movement in that area (more later on that).
The only option I see is for the leadership of our industry to get a backbone and 1) raise the bar to entry through higher standards of education ( now being done in some states), and 2) create partnerships with state agencies to hire inspectors and form commissions that will act as a legal system to cite violations and hear cases that would result in fines, license revocation, and even imprisonment. This is an industry that is self-governed and, like the wild, wild west, has little accountability except for the fastest guns and the toughest sheriff whose roles are now played by the most ruthless agents and the local Board president.
The type of regulation that has befallen Wall Street (by the way, stockbroker, an almost extinct term, was the ONLY profession scoring under real estate agent in the Harris Poll), needs to come to Main Street.
by Vivian S. Toy
FYI, see the official results below: