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Foreclosure 'Rescue' Scams on the Rise

foreclosure-helpAre you facing the threat of losing your home? Be wary of individuals and companies offering to "help" you out of your difficult financial situation. Consumer advocates report an increase in complaints about foreclosure "rescue" scams. These scams specifically target homeowners who are in financial distress. Scam operators advertise over the Internet and in local publications, plaster posters on telephone poles and at bus stops, stick flyers in people's front doors or contact people whose homes are listed in public foreclosure notices. Sometimes they direct their appeals to specific religious or ethnic groups.

 

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A Guide to Buying and Selling a Home

Like finding the right house, selecting a REALTOR® you can trust and comfortably work with is paramount. Just as you wouldn't be casual in the selection of your doctor or your attorney, you shouldn't take the selection of your REALTOR® lightly. Indeed, the best way to find such a professional is through recommendations from family and friends. Of course, you should interview several REALTORS® before you choose one. If you're selling your home, you should ask the candidates how they plan to market your home, what pricing advice they can offer, and what other suggestions they can provide to further enhance the desirability of your home.

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How to Choose the Right REALTOR?

logo web r blueAll real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR "R" logo on their business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.

 

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Disputes

Ethics

All REALTORS® adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. The Code of Ethics is a promise to the public that when dealing with a real estate agent who is a REALTOR®, they can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. Only REALTORS® pledge to abide by the Code of Ethics, and only REALTORS® are held accountable for their ethical behavior. Some of the basic principles of the Code of Ethics include:

  • Protect and promote your client's interest, but be honest with all parties.
  • Avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, and concealment of pertinent facts.
  • Provide equal service to all clients and customers.
  • REALTORS® shall be careful at all times to present a true picture in their advertising and representations to the public.
  • Assure, whenever possible, that transactional details are in writing.
  • Ensure that your comments about other real estate professionals are truthful, and not misleading.
  • Respect the exclusive representation or exclusive brokerage relationship agreements that other REALTORS® have with their clients.

For a complete copy of the REALTORS® Code of Ethics,   pdf click here (1.55 MB) .

If you find yourself in a position where you need to file a complaint, or would just like more information on what is involved in the process, please download our pdf Ethics Complaint packet . If you have any questions, please contact one of our on-staff Professional Standards Administrators at 541-770-7060.

The Rogue Valley Association of REALTORS® can only enforce the Code of Ethics. If you believe your situation is a possible licensing issue, please contact Oregon's consumer protection agency and licensing authority for real estate licensees, the Oregon Real Estate Agency in Salem.

Ombudsman Program

If you are not sure if your concern relates specifically to conduct governed by the Code of Ethics and its related to transactional issues, real estate practices, or technical or procedural matters that could easily be responded to; OR maybe it is more serious, but you would like to try to resolve it prior to it becoming a formal complaint, then the Ombudsman Program might be the right avenue for you.

The Ombudsman Program in its simplest definition is informal telephone mediation. In some cases it can address and solve minor complaints from the public. It can also solve inter-REALTOR® conflicts before they become serious problems. Like a mediator, an ombudsman helps parties find solutions.

  pdf Click here (70 KB) for more information about the Ombudsman Program.

Arbitration

The Rogue Valley Association of REALTORS® can also provide mediation and/or arbitration services for commission disputes between REALTORS® and, in certain situations, between a REALTOR® and their client. We cannot provide mediation and/or arbitration services for monetary disputes between a buyer and seller.

If you are a REALTOR® and have a commission dispute with another REALTOR®, please download this   pdf Arbitration Request packet (616 KB)  for more information, including the necessary paperwork to file a request.

If you are a seller and have a commission dispute with your REALTOR®, please download this   pdf Arbitration Request packet (179 KB)  for more information, including the necessary paperwork to file a request.

If you are a buyer or seller and have a monetary dispute with the other party, please contact Mediation WorksArbitration Service of Portland or an attorney.

 


 

If you have questions about any of these services, please contact one of our on-staff Professional Standards Administrators at 541-770-7060 or see NAR's Professional Standards page.

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