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Real estate brokers are sales professionals who negotiate deals on behalf of buyers or sellers of real estate. Many brokers belong to real estate broker associations some of which were formed with the intention of developing industry wide ethical standards. Other associations are composed of individuals who work within a particular region, specialize in selling certain types of real estate or people who share a common religious faith or ethnic background.
In many nations, few laws exist that regulate the activities of real estate brokers; as a result, some brokers disclose fewer pieces of information to clients and charge varying commission percentages than others. Some real estate broker associations are composed of seasoned professionals who have agreed to cap commissions at certain levels and to abide by a code of ethics. Brokers are often keen to join such groups because homeowners are sometimes wary of working with brokers who are not affiliated with major associations. These associations provide tangible benefits to clients; the members also benefit from joining these groups since prospective clients know that these brokers will charge reasonable fees and this often makes it easier for these brokers to attract clients.
While brokers are largely unregulated in many nations, laws do exist that can impact brokers such as laws enabling government agencies to treat real estate sale proceeds as taxable income. Some real estate broker associations take the form of lobbying groups that represent the interest of the industry in the political arena. Active brokers are often elected to lead these groups and these individuals meet with politicians and lawmakers and lobby for broker-friendly laws to be passed.
Many brokers primarily focus on marketing certain types of properties such as commercial buildings, apartments or residential homes. Brokers are presented with different kinds of challenges when attempting to negotiate sales involving these property types. Therefore, some real estate broker associations are comprised of individuals who regularly meet to share ideas and best practices. Such groups are often informal and located within small geographic areas.
In some instances, real estate broker associations are formed on the basis of shared cultural backgrounds or religious beliefs rather than because of shared professional interests. Some Christians, Muslims and people belonging to other religions attempt to conduct themselves while at work in a manner that is in keeping with their religious beliefs. These individuals sometimes form associations to provide moral and practical support for one another. In other instances, people who share a common language, cultural heritage or ethnicity form professional associations. As with those involved in religious groups, these individuals exchange ideas and sometimes mark cultural events with parties or gatherings.