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The Ethics of New ...

The Ethics of New Home Sales

By Star Report 3 min read

By Keith McKinney, Vice President of Organizational Development - New Home Star

When thinking of a 'code of ethics' in real estate, most agents look to policies set by the National Association of Realtors. In 1913, a group of Realtors established a professional code of standards. However, there has not been one formed for new home sales agents specifically. So, which guidelines do we follow when writing and closing transactions everyday?  

After years of research and conversing with some of the most established minds in the new home sales industry, I've been able to form a humble opinion of what a 'code of ethics' for new home salespeople might look like: 


- Care for the customer's new home order even while they are absent. It's easy to perform well when a customer is in front of us and is addressing issues or concerns. This is expected. Our customers look to us as the catalyst for guiding an important transaction to a close. This means caring for all aspects of the customer's order by communicating efficiently with the builder...even when the customer is not physically present.


- Tell the truth and nothing but the truth. It's never fun being the deliverer of bad news. Even when you know the information will upset the other party, it's good practice to get those nitty gritty details out in the open as soon as possible. Due to the contractual nature of our business, telling the truth only puts you (and your conscience) in the clear.


- Accept responsibility (but hold parties accountable). Sales professionals often fall into the trap of either taking responsibility for an action they couldn't control, or failing to accept responsibility for something they did do. Both of these responses--though completely different--are an attempt to diffuse the situation or make it go away. This strategy almost never works, and when it does it can destroy the relationship of all parties involved. 


- Conduct all business in writing. The general real estate world is inundated with countless forms, addenda, deadlines and contracts. The best way to conduct business is to process every communication in writing, no matter how large or small. This ensures there is a signature to fall back on -- if you simply rely on verbal conversations,  it'll be harder to set anything in stone.


- Know your industry. With any sales position, the customer is looking to you for expertise. Our job is to show our buyers that they have come to the right place at the right time, and have met the right person. At New Home Star, we believe in constant training and development. Consider subscribing to industry magazines or following publications on social media to keep up with the latest 'new home sales' or 'home building' news. (Follow @newhomestar on Twitter and sign up for our Star Report for more articles like this!)

Though the points listed above are hardly a formalized code, years of experience have taught me that they do act as a directional guide. By implementing some of these best practices into our daily work lives, we are doing ourselves (and our customers) a meaningful service.


Keith McKinney is a seasoned industry leader with 15+ years' experience in sales training and management. He is currently the Vice President of Organizational Development at New Home Star, traveling across the country to lead and develop sales professionals.


Originally published Oct 5, 2016 under Explore the latest topics, updated May 7, 2024

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