While the Code of Ethics establishes obligations that may be higher than those mandated by law or by RERA, in any instance where the Code of Ethics and the law or RERA conflict, the obligations of the law and/or RERA must take precedence.

An MLS Member broker / agent has a responsibility of fair practice to his clients, to the general public, and to fellow brokers. To that end, these Code-of-Ethics and Standards of Practice shall address an MLS Member’s conduct towards all these three important groups.

Preamble


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. MLS Members 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 MLS Members should dedicate themselves, and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves. MLS Members, therefore, are zealous to maintain and improve the standards of their calling and share with their fellow MLS Members a common responsibility for its integrity and honor.

In recognition and appreciation of their obligations to clients, customers, the public, and each other, MLS Members 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. MLS Members 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 government authorities.

Realizing that cooperation with other real estate professionals promotes the best interests of those who utilize their services, MLS Members urge exclusive or non-exclusive representation of clients, but 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 MLS Members 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 MLS Member 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, MLS Members 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, MLS Members 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


Article 1


When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, MLS Members pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client. This obligation to the client is primary, but it does not relieve MLS Members of their obligation to treat all parties honestly. When serving a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant or other party in a non-professional capacity, MLS Members remain obligated to treat all parties honestly.


Article 2


MLS Members shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction. MLS Members shall not, however, be obligated to discover latent defects in the property, to advise on matters outside the scope of their real estate broker relationship, or to disclose facts which are confidential under the scope of professional relationships.


Article 3


MLS Members 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.

“Cooperating Compensation” is defined as the percentage of compensation which a listing agent is willing to share with the buyer’s agent upon the successful closing of a transaction with the buyer’s agent’s client. In India


Article 4


MLS Members 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, etc.), MLS Members 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 MLS Member or his firm may receive as a direct result of such recommendation.


Article 5


MLS Members 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.


Article 6


MLS Members, 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


Article 7


MLS Members shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. MLS Members 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, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.


Article 8


The services which MLS Members 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, land brokerage, real estate appraisal, real estate counseling, real estate syndication, real estate auction, and international real estate.

MLS Members 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.


Article 9


MLS Members shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations. MLS Members shall ensure that their status as real estate professionals is readily apparent in their advertising, marketing, and other representations, and that the recipients of all real estate communications are, or have been, notified that those communications are from a real estate professional.


Article 10


MLS Members 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.


Article 11


If charged with unethical practice or asked to present evidence or to cooperate in any other way, in any professional standards proceeding or investigation, MLS Members shall place all pertinent facts before the proper tribunals of RERA or affiliated institute, society, or council in which membership is held and shall take no action to disrupt or obstruct such processes.


Duties to MLS Members


Article 12


Each MLS Member is solely responsible for each property listing entered into IndiaMLS by the MLS Member. MLS Members must ensure their property listings are completely accurate and statuses are current and up-to-date at all times.


Article 13


MLS Members shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, their businesses, or their business practices.


Article 14


MLS Members shall not engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with exclusive representation or exclusive brokerage relationship agreements that other MLS Members have with clients.


Article 15


In the event of contractual disputes or specific non-contractual disputes as defined in Standard of Practice 15-4 between MLS Members (principals) associated with different firms, arising out of their relationship as MLS Members, the MLS Members shall mediate the dispute if RERA requires its members to mediate. If the dispute is not resolved through mediation, or if mediation is not required, MLS Members shall submit the dispute to arbitration in accordance with the policies of RERA rather than litigate the matter.

In the event clients of MLS Members wish to mediate or arbitrate contractual disputes arising out of real estate transactions, MLS Members shall mediate or arbitrate those disputes in accordance with the policies of RERA, provided the clients agree to be bound by any resulting agreement or award.

The obligation to participate in mediation and arbitration contemplated by this Article includes the obligation of MLS Members to cause their firms to mediate and arbitrate and be bound by any resulting agreement or award.


Explanatory Notes


The reader should be aware of the following policies which have been approved by RERA and the Association of Registered Brokers: In filing a charge of an alleged violation of the Code of Ethics by an MLS Member, the charge must read as an alleged violation of one or more Articles of the Code. Standards of Practice may be cited in support of the charge.

The Standards of Practice serve to clarify the ethical obligations imposed by the various Articles and supplement, and do not substitute for, the Case Interpretations in Interpretations of the Code of Ethics.

Modifications to existing Standards of Practice and additional new Standards of Practice are approved from time to time. Readers are cautioned to ensure that the most recent publications are utilized.