Blurring the Ethical Line

Monday, 14 September 2009
eth·i·cal Pronunciation: \ˈe-thi-kəl\
1: conforming to accepted standards of conduct <ethical behavior>

Rhetorical questions:

1. Assuming no dishonesty, is it ethical for a listing agent to use all of her skills, experience and knowledge to try to get her clients the highest possible price at the best possible terms? Is the answer the same if this behavior contributes to rising prices, harming future buyers?

2. Conversely,
also assuming no dishonesty, is it ethical for a buyer's agent to use every bit of his skills, experience and knowledge to obtain the lowest possible price at the best possible terms for his client? Is the answer the same if this behavior contributes to declining prices, harming future sellers?

I ask these questions for a reason. I represent a lot of buyers. In my representation I always use every scrap of market knowledge and all my negotiating skills to try to do the best possible job for my clients which usually means the lowest possible price at the best possible terms. I do this with honesty and fairness to both sides of the transaction. My efforts in recent years have often been a part of the chain of lower and lower selling prices in many complexes and neighborhoods. It was reported to me this past week that my aggressive representation of my clients, buyers all, was being characterized by at least one Cocoa Beach citizen as unethical because it has contributed to lower prices in our market. While the premise seems preposterous, at least to me, I welcome comments here on this blog from anyone who has some insight to share. I certainly know that I tend towards the aggressive in my negotiating but I feel strongly about my character and ethical standards and, in this case, take offense to the accusation. I will take all comments with an open mind. Thanks for reading. Back to our regularly scheduled programming with the next post.

"If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it."
___________Marcus Aurelius