It is the duty of the broker to protect the public against fraud, misrepresentation, or unethical practices in the yacht brokerage profession. Broker should endeavor to eliminate any practices which could be damaging to the public or to the dignity and integrity of the yacht brokerage profession, and assist the Association in regulating the practices of brokers and salespersons in Texas.
In accepting employment as an agent, the broker pledges himself to protect the interests of his client. This obligation of absolute fidelity to the client's interest is paramount, but it does not relieve the broker from the obligation of dealing fairly with all parties to the transaction.
Since the Broker may be representing one or more parties to a transaction, he should not accept compensation from more than one party under any circumstances without the full knowledge of all parties to the transaction.
Broker, for the protection of all parties with whom he deals, should see that financial obligations and commitments regarding brokerage transactions are in writing and express the exact agreement of the parties. Copies of such agreements must be placed in the hands of all parties involved at the time the agreements are executed, or as soon thereafter as practical.
Broker must segregate from his own funds all monies being held for other persons. Separate special bank escrow accounts should be used for this purpose.
Broker should not be a party to the naming of a false consideration in any document. No offer should be submitted, either to an owner or to a cooperating broker, without an adequate cash deposit on hand from the offeror.
In the event that more than one formal written offer on a specific vessel is made before the owner has accepted any offer, any other formal written offer presented to the broker, whether by a prospective purchaser or another broker, should be transmitted to the owner for his decision.
A broker shall neither buy for himself, nor any member of his family, his business nor any entity in which he has substantial interest, vessels listed with him or his firm nor sell an interest in any vessel owned by him, any member of his family, his business or any entity in which he has an interest without making the true situation known to the owner or prospective purchaser.
Broker should use his best efforts to ascertain all pertinent facts concerning every vessel for which he accepts the agency so that he may fulfill his professional obligation to avoid error, exaggeration, misrepresentation or concealment of pertinent facts.
It is the duty of the broker to be well-informed on current market conditions in order to be in a position to advise clients as to the fair market value of vessels.
Broker should not undertake to make an appraisal or render an opinion of value on any vessel where he has a present or contemplated interest unless such interest is specifically disclosed to all parties to the transaction. Broker should not undertake to make an appraisal that is outside the field of his experience unless be obtains the assistance of an authority on such types of vessels or unless the facts are fully disclosed to the client. In such circumstances, the authority so engages should be identified and his contribution to the appraisal should be clearly set forth.
Broker should always recommend the timely employment of an independent qualified marine surveyor as a condition precedent to the completion of a brokerage transaction.
Signs giving notice of any vessels for sale, rent, lease or exchange should not be placed on any vessel by more than one broker, and then, only if specifically authorized by the owner.
Broker should not submit or advertise vessels without authority and, in any offering, the price quoted should not be other than that agreed upon with the owner as the offering price.
Broker in his advertising should be especially careful to present a true picture and should neither advertise without disclosing his identity nor permit others in his brokerage entity to use individual names or telephone numbers, unless the connection with the broker is obvious in the advertisement.
Broker should not engage in activities that constitute the practice of law and should recommend that legal interest of either party requires it.
Broker should cooperate with other brokers on vessels listed with him whenever it is in the interest of the client. Negotiations concerning a vessel listed exclusively with one broker should be carried on with the listing broker not the owner, except with the express consent of the listing broker. All shared commission agreements should be negotiated prior to the submission of any offer to purchase.
The agency of a broker who holds an exclusive or central listing should be respected. A broker cooperating with the listing broker should not invite the participation of a third broker without the express consent of the listing broker.
A broker should not voluntarily disparage the business practice of a competitor nor volunteer an opinion of a competitor's transaction. If his opinion is sought, it should be rendered with strict professional integrity and courtesy.
A broker should seek no unfair advantage over his fellow brokers and should willingly share with them the lessons of his experience and study.
In justice to those who place their interests in his care, the broker should endeavor always to be informed regarding laws, proposed legislation, governmental orders and other essential information and public policies which affect those interests.
Broker should keep himself informed as to movements affecting recreation and yachting in his community, state and the nation so that he will be better able to contribute to public thinking on matters of taxation, legislation, marine use, waterfront planning and other issues affecting boating interests.
A broker should so conduct his business as to avoid controversies with his fellow brokers. In the event of a controversy between brokers who are members of the Association, such controversy should be arbitrated in accordance with the regulations of the Association rather than litigated.
When a broker is charged with unethical practice, he should place all pertinent facts before the proper tribunal of the Association for investigation and judgement.
When a dispute involves both member brokers and non-member parties, the Association will conduct an independent investigation at the request of any interested party and issue a written opinion to all parties.
It is in the best interests of society, of his associates and of his own business that the broker be loyal to the Gulf Coast Yacht Brokers Association and be active in its work.