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Professional Standards Manual

Trading Services

1. Practice Standards

(i) Directing Business to Other Professionals

Frequently, licensees are asked by the public to recommend other professionals. Making specific recommendations can put the licensees at risk for liability if something goes wrong (e.g., if the buyer or seller is not satisfied, or is even harmed, if the cost is inappropriate, or if other issues arise). Such professionals include, but are not restricted to, lawyers, notaries public, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, trades people, etc. The safest way to handle this situation is to provide a list, preferably of at least three professionals with whom the licensee or others he or she knows have dealt and have the buyer or seller call, interview and select them independently. Even though a licensee may provide the client with a list of referrals, if any of the professionals have agreed to pay the licensee a referral fee or other form of remuneration, section 5-11 of the Rules requires written disclosure.