It’s an exciting time to be a CIPS designee. The global real estate market continues to expand, offering new opportunities to agents with the knowledge and resources that come with the pin.
Expanded opportunities also imply expanded responsibilities. As you know, every market operates under different conventions and requirements. Before venturing beyond your borders, observe these critical steps:
1. Know the laws.
Learn the specific requirements for participating in a real estate transaction in another country. For starters, consult these resources:
Real Estate Practices Around the World
A convenient summary of general guidelines in 35 countries. www.nar.realtor/global/real-estate-practices-around-the-world
Global Alliances Directory
Consult the appropriate Cooperating Association for additional country-specific details. www.nar.realtor/intlnet.nsf
Don’t assume that the absence of a regulated real estate industry reduces your risks. Ask yourself:
- Are there business licensing requirements (beyond real estate laws) that govern your activities?
- Have you identified qualified tax and immigration specialists, so your clients can seek their advice on tax laws, visas, residency requirements, and other related matters?
- Does your E&O insurance policy cover your activities in another country?
These are just a few ways you could do your clients a disservice and potentially expose yourself to risk if you aren’t fully informed or working with a local CIPS or an International REALTOR® Member (IRM) agent in that country.
2. Get connected.
To ensure you aren’t violating any laws or regulations, work with representatives of the appropriate Cooperating Association and/or agents in that country. Frequently, co-marketing or co-brokering relationships are best.
CIPS designees are located around the world and include U.S. agents specializing in specific countries as well as IRMs working in their home
countries. To find them:
- Use the CIPS Directory at www.nar.realtor/cips-search1.
- Connect on Facebook via the Official Group: NAR CIPS Designees.
- Attend major networking events, like the REALTORS® Conference & Expo.
3. Remember the Code.
No matter where you practice real estate, REALTORS® are expected to abide by a Code of Ethics. In the United States, it is the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. Outside the U.S., it is the compatible code of ethics as agreed to per the bilateral partnership.
If a country does have licensing laws and you are not licensed in that specific jurisdiction, you could be breaking another country’s laws in addition to violating the NAR Code of Ethics.
While NAR’s core purpose is helping its members become more profitable and successful, it also serves as a leader in promoting ethical real estate business practices.
Ultimately, real estate success and ethical practices go hand in hand—a strongly-shared conviction among CIPS designees, the most trusted resource for navigating the global real estate market.