Changes to Code Keep it Vital

January 1, 2001

NAR’s Professional Standards Committee has an important ongoing goal: to heighten appreciation for and awareness of the Code of Ethics.

That’s why, each year, we publish the full text of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice in REALTOR® Magazine, complete with any changes approved by NAR’s Board of Directors and Delegate Body at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in November.

This year, changes were made to the Code--and new policies and programs introduced--to enhance the protection the Code affords those who rely on REALTORS®’ services; minimize unintended liability; and provide REALTORS® with enhanced dispute resolution.

Here’s a synopsis of the changes, which become effective in January 2001.

Article 1: The mandate that REALTORS® protect and promote their client’s interests remains unchanged, but the restatement of that duty in the second sentence has been clarified by eliminating the words “of absolute fidelity.”

Article 17: The effectiveness of arbitration in resolving financial issues between REALTORS® has been enhanced not only by establishing arbitration as the personal responsibility of individual REALTORS® but also by requiring REALTORS® to cause their firms to arbitrate and be bound by resulting awards.

Standard of Practice 1-9: The protection the Code affords to potential purchasers has been increased with an addition to Standard of Practice 1-9 establishing that information about latent material defects isn’t considered confidential under the Code, and clarifying that disclosure of such information isn’t prohibited under the Standard.

Standard of Practice 11-1: The duties of REALTORS® preparing opinions of real property price or value (other than opinions offered in pursuit of listings or to assist purchasers in preparing offers) have been simplified and clarified by eliminating the Code’s reliance on the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and substituting seven succinct, objective requirements.

Code of Ethics training: The ethics education requirements for new and continuing REALTOR® members, approved at the 1999 National Convention, became effective Jan.1, 2001.

Information about these requirements, and comprehensive educational materials that associations can use to deliver Code training programs, is available on the Board Policy and Programs page on

Training completed since the 1999 convention will count toward the first training cycle that begins Jan. 1, 2001.

Mediation: Although associations won’t be required to offer mediation until January 2002, NAR’s efforts to train an initial cadre of mediators and mediation trainers got under way with a three-day pilot training seminar in December. Additional sessions will be conducted in 2001 for REALTORS® and association executives selected by their respective state associations.

Multiple offers: Guidance on presenting and negotiating multiple offers is available on on

Kelly is chairman of the NAR Professional Standards Committee and a broker with RE/MAX Realty Consultants, Winston-Salem, N.C. He has been active at the local and state levels for many years and is a past president of the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®.

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