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On November 21, 2016 the California Supreme Court announced the long awaited decision in Horiike v. Coldwell Banker. Though there was grave concern the Court might use the opportunity to seriously impair California's dual agency law allowing brokers to represent both buyers and sellers in real estate transactions, the decision was decided on the narrow issue of whether an associate agent working for the seller owes the same fiduciary duty to the buyer that a broker owes to both parties. The court held the associate agent owes the same fiduciary duty to the buyer as the broker owes to the buyer even though the associate agent is representing only the seller in the transaction.

This case arises from the sale of a property in Malibu, California. The property was originally listed by Chris Cortazzo, a salesperson in the Malibu West office of Coldwell Banker. As Cortazzo prepared to list the property, he obtained public record information from the tax assessor's office, which stated that the property's living area was 9,434 square feet, and a copy of the residence's building permit, which described a single-family residence of 9,224 square feet, a guest house of 746 square feet, a garage of 1,080 square feet, and a basement of unspecified area. When Cortazzo listed the property on the MLS in September 2006, however, the listing stated that the property "offers approximately 15,000 square feet of living areas." Cortazzo also prepared and distributed a flyer making the same representation about the property's square footage.

In early 2007, a couple working with another Coldwell Banker salesperson made an offer to purchase the property. By a handwritten note in the disclosures he prepared, Cortazzo informed the couple that Coldwell Banker did not "guarantee or warrant" the square footage of the residence, and he advised them "to hire a qualified specialist to verify the square footage." When the couple requested documentation of the square footage, Cortazzo gave them, through the salesperson, a letter from the architect of the residence stating that "[t]he size of the house, as defined by the current Malibu building department ordinance is approximately 15,000 square feet." In a cover note, however, Cortazzo again cautioned them that they should "hire a qualified specialist to verify the square footage." The couple requested an extension of time to inspect the property, which the trust refused to grant. In March, the couple canceled the transaction.

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New Interactive Map Search

The Interactive Map Search has been updated with additional Radius options, allowing MLS users to create a circle around a selected listing pin or location using the following increments:

1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, 3/4 mile, 1 mile, 2 mile, 3 mile, 4 mile, 5 mile, 10 mile, and 20 mile


C.A.R. Member Benefits

2016 CAR Membership Benefits
 REALTORS - Have you been using your C.A.R. Member Benefits?

Economic Outlook and Forecast

Robert A. Kleinhenz, Ph.D.
Economist/Director of Research
UCR Business Forecast


• U.S. Economy
• California Economy
• High Desert/Inland Empire
• Conclusion

N.A.R. Code of Ethics Requirement

REALTORS® are required to complete ethics training of not less than 2 hours, 30 min. of instructional time within two-year cycle. The training must meet specific learning objectives and criteria established by the National Association of REALTORS®.


New members of local REALTOR® associations must complete similar training when they first join. A new member who has completed the New Member Code of Ethics Orientation shall not be required to complete additional ethics training until the next two year cycle.

A REALTOR® who has completed the required ethics training within a two-year cycle in one association shall not be required to complete any further ethics training for that same training cycle if the REALTOR® becomes or is a member of another association. In addition, a member may take courses to satisfy this ethics training requirement through any association or outside training facility where the member can provide satisfactory documentation of completion.

Ultimately, it is the local association where the individual holds membership that will determine if the training taken meets the required learning objectives and criteria. Failure to complete the required ethics training shall be a violation of a membership duty for which membership is suspended and subsequently terminated.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Code of Ethics Training requirements and learning objectives for new members and existing members.

Current Existing Member Course (free course)

Begin or resume

New Member Code of Ethics Orientation Course (free course)

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Membership Suspension Information


• Authority for local and state associations to discipline members is most commonly established in associations' bylaws in Article VI and in Article VII (which incorporates the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual ("Manual") by reference).

Section 1 of the Manual defines "suspension of membership".

• Suspension of REALTOR® membership results in suspension of "all Board/Association-provided rights, privileges and services". This refers only to rights, privileges, and services that are available to REALTORS® as a result of their being REALTORS®.

• While suspensions are generally imposed for at least thirty days and not longer than one year, these limits are not applicable when the cause of the suspension is "remediable", that is something the suspended REALTOR® can correct, thereby lifting the suspension. Examples of this include paying delinquent dues, fees and charges, taking required training (including mandated New Member or Code of Ethics training, etc.).

• Suspensions are generally lifted at the end of the stated term. An exception exists where suspension is imposed for "remediable" violations including failures to pay dues, fees and charges, and failures to meet education requirements.

• Suspensions of indeterminate duration imposed for "remediable" violations/offenses may remain in effect indefinitely.

• Suspensions for specified periods are lifted automatically at the end of the specified term; suspensions for remediable violations/offenses remain in effect until the suspended member "cures" the violation.

• "Reinstatement fees" may not be charged to restore a suspended member to good standing unless authority to assess such fees is specifically established in an association's bylaws, similar to the authority required to assess application fees, annual dues, special assessments, etc. Any reinstatement fee assessed should be reasonable in amount; related to actual costs incurred in restoring members to good standing; and should be assessed uniformly and consistently irrespective of the reason for suspension.

• Suspension and termination are not synonymous. A suspended member is still a REALTOR® and is subject to all of the duties and obligations of membership on an ongoing basis, including the duty to pay membership dues and any pending fees and charges; to abide by the Code of Ethics; to arbitrate disputes with clients and with other REALTORS® in circumstances where arbitration is deemed mandatory, etc.

• The consequences of a REALTOR® principal being suspended on other REALTOR® principals and on non-principal REALTORS® in the same firm depend on the bylaws of the local association. Generally this is addressed in Article VI of an association's bylaws. In some associations the membership of all REALTORS® is suspended automatically if any REALTOR® principal is suspended; and those members' suspensions remain in effect until the originally-suspended member either (a) is restored to good standing or (b) severs his relationship with the firm. Other associations, however, allow suspended REALTOR® principals to "relinquish management control" during the term of suspension with the memberships of other REALTOR® principals and non-principal REALTORS® being unaffected. It is essential to carefully review the local association's bylaws to determine whether/how the status of other REALTORS® will be affected if a REALTOR® principal is suspended.

MLS–related Issues

• MLS Participants are generally REALTOR® principals or firms comprised of REALTOR® principals. Non-principal brokers and sales licensees licensed with MLS participants have access to and use of MLS by virtue of their affiliation with an MLS participant in good standing. MLSs cannot deny non-principal brokers and sales licensees access to and use of MLS on the basis that such licensees do not hold REALTOR® membership or because their REALTOR® membership is suspended.

• If an MLS Participant is a REALTOR® principal who is suspended, his participatory rights in MLS suspend if REALTOR® membership is a condition of MLS participation. This will not occur, however, if an association's bylaws allow suspended REALTOR® principals to "relinquish management control" and if MLS participatory rights are transferred to another REALTOR® principal in the firm. In those circumstances, the REALTOR® membership of other principals is unaffected, and the access or "subscriber" rights of non-principal brokers and sales licensees are unaffected. Where MLS participatory rights are available to nonmember brokers (either as a matter of law or as a matter of local determination), the fact that a REALTOR® participant's REALTOR® membership has been suspended will not affect his continued right to participate in MLS.

• Where MLS participatory rights are available to nonmember brokers (either as a matter of law or as a matter of local discretion); where higher MLS fees are assessed nonmember participants; and where the REALTOR® membership of a participant is suspended, MLS dues, fees and charges should not be increased to the "nonmember level" during the term of suspension. The basis for higher fees for nonmembers is that associations of REALTORS® owning and operating MLSs incur expenses related to MLS operations that are ordinarily supported by member dues rather than MLS fees, e.g. enforcement of rules through associations' professional standards processes, dispute resolution (arbitration and mediation) of contractual/financial disputes between member and nonmember participants, etc. Suspended members continue to pay dues (supporting these services) while suspended.

Lock Box-related Issues
• If lock boxes are an association service and a suspended REALTOR® is a principal broker, that REALTOR®'s right to hold a lock box key or programmer suspends during the duration of the suspension. If the bylaws of the association do not permit the suspended REALTOR® principal to "relinquish management control" so other REALTORS® associated with firm will not be suspended, then the membership of non-principal brokers and sales licensees and their right to hold keys also suspends until the REALTOR® principal's suspension is lifted.

• If lock boxes are an association service and a suspended REALTOR® is a non-principal broker or sales licensee, his ability to hold a lock box key or programmer is unaffected. Refer to the Lock Box Security Requirements found in NAR's Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy for additional detail.

REALTOR® Code of Ethics Training Overview





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