Welcome to Issue #18 of Ethics Thursday brought to you by the Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS ® (GMAR).
GMAR created this newsletter, each issue dedicated to a unique issue, because the REALTOR ® Code of Ethics, on which our industry is built, is the foundation of what it means to be a REALTOR ® .
Your proactive support of the Code of Ethics will assure your fellow REALTORS ® , as well as members of the public, that every member of GMAR operates under the highest ethical standards.
Questions, comments or concerns regarding this issue can be directed to
Scott Bush at the GMAR Office (414-778-4929 or scott@gmar.ws ).
Where You Born in a Barn?
I never truly understood how that saying came to be. However, as children we all heard our parents say it after we left a door wide open.
Increasingly, sellers are complaining about agents not following showing instructions. There has been an increase in the number of reports where homes and/or garage doors are being left unlocked, and sometimes wide open. Sellers are left discontent as a result of their home and personal belongings being left unsecured. Security breaches such as these can cause irreparable damage to the trust that REALTORS ® have built among sellers.
It’s a good idea to discuss showing instructions with your seller. Ask the seller what they prefer. For instance, do they prefer the lights be left on or turned off when the showing is done? Once you've identified the seller's preferences, be sure to communicate these instructions to the showing agents. Leaving lights on in a seller’s home after they've specifically asked for the lights to be turned off, while not as serious as leaving a door unlocked, can be equally upsetting to some sellers. Be sure that showing agents leave the property as they found it, including settings for lights, heating/air conditioning, window treatments, etc.  
Citation Committee Scheduled to Convene
The GMAR’s Board of Directors has adopted the National Association of REALTORS ® (NAR) citation policy for lock box violations. The policy allows for violators to be fined without scheduling an ethics hearing. However, the respondent will still have the right request a due process hearing.

Complaints will still be reviewed by a Grievance Review Panel. After the review, if the Grievance Committee determines that the allegations contain a citable offense , the case will be forwarded to the Citation Policy Committee for the implementation of sanction. The recommended fine for violating articles 1 and 3 of the Code of Ethics (Standards of Practice 1-16 and 3-9) is $5,000. This policy applies to electronic or mechanical lock boxes. 

Standard of Practice 1-16
REALTORS® shall not use, or permit or enable others to use, listed or managed property on terms or conditions other than those authorized by the owner or seller. (Adopted 1/12)

Standard of Practice 3-9
REALTORS® shall not provide access to listed property on terms other than those established by the owner or the listing broker.