Most professionals--whether they're Realtors, doctors, lawyers, consultants (as I am), accoutants, etc--have some kind of ethical standard, have various certifications (some voluntary and otherwise), receive continuing education, and are aware of what kinds of advice they may or may not offer freely, legally, and ethically (according to the standard). True professionals, who are on top of their game, don't need to be taught or reminded of their professional obligations in this forum, because they have their continuing education for that purpose.
There's a difference between asking a physician friend, "Does this blemish on my arm look serious enough for me to go see my doctor?" and asking him/her to administer one's chemotherapy. There's a difference between asking a real-estate attorney a general question about easements, and asking him/her to (re-)write one's offer. There's a difference between asking a CPA a general question about the tax implications for doing a 1031 exchange, and asking him/her to review or do one's Schedule E form. There's a difference between asking general questions about negotiating, and asking someone else to write one's offer.
Incidentally, Realtors aren't the only ones who CAN write offers, and they're also NOT the only ones who can facilitate a transaction. I expect that Realtors should have already learned this--just as many real-estate and title attorneys, title agents, professional investors, etc have learned this too--via their training.
Christopher, normally I agree with you nearly 100% of the time, but I have to agree to disagree with your interpretation of my previous comment. The point of my previous comment was not to harshly judge Realtors, brokers, other agents, or anyone else for opting to not answer the posted questions or participate in the dialogue. They have that right. I focused the scope of my rebuttal on 2 comments: the latter one was an attempt to indirectly coerce everyone here to refrain from posting anything else on this topic, and the prior one judged everyone else here using ethics with flawed logic. My point was--and still is--to point out that one to not judge unless one wishes to judged by the same standard, and to proclaim my rights too.
I believe it's hypocritical for Realtors (or anyone else) to "not be judged too harshly for guarding their proverbial turf," while harshly judging me (and others) for guarding my turf (anything computer-related and pertaining to real-estate investment). Online forums are domains of the mind. Other IT professionals and I designed and implement them for the purpose of exchanging knowledge and other information. They're not just another place where someone may plant a sign, and start dictating to everyone else the rules for sharing any information that gets conveyed via this means. We designed the software to work somewhat like telephones. There are no thought police guarding the phone lines, and I believe there shouldn't be any thought police guarding the forums too. The moderaters here have done a wonderful job of helping to facilitate excellent dialogue--just as many agents (not just Realtors) have done an equally wonderful job of helping to facilitate various real-estate transactions. The moderaters and IT professionals don't trample into realty offices trying to dictate how things should run there, so I think it's only fair to expect to receive the same respect here.