Keeping an eye on the Code of Ethics and Professional Standards

By Lisa Aaron | Dec. 8, 2011 | 2 min. read

The Realtor® Code of Ethics is constantly being reviewed and changes recommended in an effort to strengthen professional conduct among Realtors®.

During the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Annual Convention several changes to the code were adopted that will be reflected in the NAR Code of Ethics effective January 1, 2012.

A sneak preview of the 2012 Code of Ethics changes are:

  • Language was adopted to implement discretionary authority for boards and associations to require their members mediate disputes that would be otherwise arbitrated.
    • Rationale: The amendment allows local associations to create a policy that mandates mediation before arbitration.
  • A new Standard of Practice under Article 1 has been adopted similar to existing Standard of Practice 3-9 to prohibit Realtors® from accessing or using, or permitting or enabling others to access or use, listed or managed property on terms or conditions other than those authorized by the owner or seller.
    • Rationale: Adding this under Article 1 now makes it clear that the rule applies to in-house deals as well as cooperative deals and clarifies that it applies to both listed and managed properties.
  • In Article 15 of the Code the word “competitors” was changed to “other real estate professionals” that prohibits the making of false of misleading statements about others.
    • Rationale: For instance a Realtor® engaging in appraisal might not be the competitor of a Realtor® engaging in property management but one would still be barred from knowingly or recklessly making false or misleading statements about the other.

Be sure to keep your eye out for the release of the 2012 Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of Realtors®.  The Realtor® Code of Ethics is always changing to reflect evolving real estate industry practices.

To make sure you are aware of the changes that affect your business and ensure that you are in compliance with the code, contact your local Professional Standards Administrator regarding educational and training opportunities in your area.

As a reminder, all Realtors® are required to complete the NAR Realtor® Code of Ethics Training by December 31, 2012.

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