Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics Celebrates 100 Years!

As REALTORS®, our success isn’t measured by the bottom line. It’s measured by the trust of our clients and customers and the esteem in which we’re held by our colleagues and competitors. The National Association was founded with the goal of uniting the real estate profession through high standards to protect buyers and sellers. 100 years after its adoption, the Code of Ethics continues to be what sets us apart as REALTORS®.

The Code of Ethics is a living document. Real estate is a dynamic business, and as long as we serve the public, the Code will evolve and remain significant

Because the Code of Ethics is a living, dynamic credo guiding us in our daily professional lives, it must be constantly revisited, reviewed and improved. In fact, the Code has been refined every year for the past 23 years. Besides educating REALTORS® on important changes to the Code, mandatory Code of Ethics training reaffirms our commitment to integrity and fair dealing.

Click on the link below to see more on the history of the Code of Ethics.

Changes to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
(underscoring indicates additions; strikeouts indicate deletions)

• Standard of Practice 12-10

REALTORS®’ obligation to present a true picture in their advertising and representations to the public includes Internet content posted, and the URLs and domain names they use, and prohibits REALTORS® from:
1. engaging in deceptive and unauthorized framing of real estate brokerage websites;
2. manipulating (e.g., presenting content developed by others) listing and other content in any way that produces a deceptive or misleading result; or
3. deceptively using metatags, keywords or other devices/methods to direct, drive, or divert Internet traffic, or to otherwise mislead consumers.; or
4. presenting content developed by others without either attribution or without permission, or
5. to otherwise mislead consumers.
(Adopted 1/07, Amended 1/13)

• The following amendments to Article 10 and Standard of Practice 10-3 will become effective January 1, 2014 only if the Delegate Body approves the amendment to Article 10 at the 2013 Annual Convention:

Article 10
REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation, or gender identity.
REALTORS®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Standard of Practice 10-3
REALTORS® shall not print, display or circulate any statement or advertisement with respect to selling or renting of a property that indicates any preference, limitations or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation, or gender identity.



Never Give Out Lock Box Combinations to Unauthorized Individuals!
Agents continue to hand-out lock box combinations to buyers. There is never a good reason to do this and you are inviting serious liability issues. In addition, providing lock box combinations does not promote and protecting the interest of the client. Listing brokers and sellers are often furious at these acts and have filed formal complaints.

When a property is vacant, there seems to be an assumption that it is okay to allow access to workers, buyers, or investors without permission from the owner before closing. Vacant or not, the proper permission needs to be obtained. Also, co-brokes who received a combination for a specific showing may not re-access the property without permission.

Unfortunately, even with several reminders not to do this—it seems to keep happening! There are so many bad things that could happen that would leave the agent who gave out the combination holding the liability bag!

The Realtors Code of Ethics Article 3, Standard of Practice 3-9 states:
Realtors® shall not provide access to listed property on terms other than those established by the owner or the listing broker.