Stephen R. Casper is chairman of NAR's Professional Standards Committee
Updating the Code of Ethics
Making the Code of Ethics stronger and helping REALTORS® become more familiar and comfortable with the principles of the Code were behind changes approved by the NAR Delegate Body at the National Convention in November.
January 1, 2000
The Preamble includes an aspirational goal urging REALTORS® with direct personal knowledge of conduct potentially in violation of the Code to bring such matters to the attention of the local association, particularly in instances involving potential misappropriation of client or customer funds or property, willful discrimination, or fraud resulting in substantial economic harm.
A “housekeeping” measure clarifies that Article 2--which prohibits exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts--applies to REALTORS® in agency and non-agency relationships defined under the law or regulations of the respective states.
Article 4, which addresses disclosure of interest or position when buying and selling property, has been clarified to ensure it applies to REALTORS® acting as agents or in legally defined non-agency roles.
The expansion of Article 10 permits the Code for Equal Opportunity in Housing to be dropped. The requirement that REALTORS® maintain equal opportunity employment practices was made part of Article 10 to ensure that all REALTORS® become and remain familiar with it.
Changes to Article IV of Bylaws
The NAR Board of Directors also approved several changes to the Bylaws related to the Code of Ethics.
Mediation. Effective Jan. 1, 2002, local associations will be required to offer mediation of contractual disputes as a service to REALTORS®; this is in addition to offering arbitration.
Training. Effective Jan. 1, 2001, all applicants for REALTOR® membership will be required to complete a minimum of two and a half hours of orientation on the Code of Ethics; and REALTORS® who are already members will be required to complete a minimum of two and a half hours of ethics training every four years.
Administrator standards. Effective Jan. 1, 2002, persons primarily responsible for administration of professional standards enforcement procedures will be required to have successfully completed training to meet learning objectives and minimum criteria established by the NAR Board of Directors.
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