The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® adopted the Code of Ethics in 1913, following the professions of medicine, law, and engineering. REALTORS® are real estate professionals who have chosen to join the National Association and abide by its strict Code of Ethics.
What does this mean to you? It means that any REALTOR® with whom you work has voluntarily agreed to abide by a Code of Ethics, based on professionalism and protection of the public. REALTORS® are subject to disciplinary action and sanctions if they violate the duties imposed by the Code of Ethics.
The Code of Ethics is a detailed document that spells out the professional responsibilities of very REALTOR®. Do not hesitate to ask a REALTOR® for a copy of the Code, including the Standards of Practice. The Code is your assurance of dealing with a professional who has your best interests in mind.
The Code of Ethics consists of 17 Articles and related Standards of Practice. The basic principles of the Code are summarized below. Please note that the following is not a substitute for the Code, but simply a general overview of the Code’s key principles.
Duties to Clients and Customers
REALTORS® protect and promote their clients’ interests while treating all parties honestly.
REALTORS® refrain from exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts related to property or transactions.
REALTORS® cooperate with other real estate professionals to advance their clients’ best interests.
When buying or selling on their own account or for their families or firms, REALTORS® make their true position or interest known.
REALTORS® do not provide professional services where they have any present or contemplated interest in property without disclosing that interest to all affected parties.
REALTORS® disclose any fee or financial benefit they may receive from recommending related real estate products or services.
REALTORS® accept compensation from only one party, except where they make full disclosure to all parties and receive informed consent from their client.
REALTORS® keep the funds of clients and customers in a separate escrow account.
REALTORS® make sure that details of agreements are spelled out in writing whenever possible and that parties receive copies.
Duties to the Public
REALTORS® give equal professional service to all clients and customers irrespective of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation. REALTORS® do not discrimate in their employment practices.
REALTORS® are knowledgeable and competent in the fields of practice in which they engage or they get assistance from a knowledgeable professional, or disclose any lack of expertise to their client.
REALTORS® are honest and truthful in their communications and present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and in other public representations.
REALTORS® do not engage in the unauthorized practice of law.
REALTORS® willingly participate in ethics investigations and enforcement actions.
Duties to REALTORS®
REALTORS® make only truthful, not misleading, comments about other real estate professionals.
REALTORS® respect the exclusive representation or exclusive brokerage relationship agreements that other REALTORS® have with their clients.
REALTORS® arbitrate and mediate financial disagreements with other REALTORS® and with their clients.