Should the DRE reestablish the 1979-1996 Ethics and Professional Conduct Code?

  • Yea. (81%, 133 Votes)
  • Nay. (19%, 32 Votes)

Total Voters: 165

Real estate agents are the gatekeepers of the industry. Because they are in a position of public trust, they are held to high ethical standards; the Department of Real Estate (DRE) requires all licensees to complete a three-hour ethics course every four years to reinforce standards of practice for every licensee.

In 1979, under Real Estate Commissioner David Fox, the DRE adopted DRE Regulation 2785, the Ethics and Professional Conduct Code. Grounded in already-existing case law and Business and Professions Code §§ 10176 and 10177, this code of ethics comprised three sections: (a) Unlawful Conduct, (b) Unethical Conduct and (c) Beneficial Conduct. The code was revised in 1983 and again in 1990, before being finally repealed under Governor Pete Wilson’s Regulatory Reform Project in November, 1996.

Related articles:

Department of Real Estate: Summer 1979 DRE Real Estate Bulletin

Department of Real Estate: Spring 1997 DRE Real Estate Bulletin

It’s time to bring it back.

The key to holding public trust, as real estate agents aspire to do, is honesty and transparency and public awareness of those attributes. Detractors from the DRE’s former regulation argue that everything it contained is already covered by Calif. B & P Codes.

This is true. But how many licensees, buyers or sellers research arcane statutes for agent conduct prior to signing a listing agreement? Today’s agents need public guidance from the DRE in the form of a concise, accessible code of ethics for the industry.

If agents profess to be held to the highest standards, then they and their clients should know what those standards are.

Related articles:

Damage control: restoring public trust in real estate professionals

Conflicts of interest