The Ever Evolving Code

The latest enhancements ensure that the ‘living document’ remains relevant for the industry.

January 10, 2013

For a century the Code of Ethics—described by some as a "gift of vision," and others as the "golden thread" that unites us—has been the hallmark of our organization. During 2013, please take time to reacquaint yourself with the Code, both its stirring and aspirational preamble and the ethical obligations embodied in its articles. Recommit yourself to its promises to clients, customers, the public, and fellow Realtors®. And remember that the Code is a living document that requires ongoing review and enhancement. Among the issues addressed last year by the Professional Standards Committee and its Interpretations and Procedures Subcommittee were:

Dispute mediation. In 2012, for the first time associations had discretionary authority to require members to mediate disputes that would otherwise be arbitrable. That significantly increases the likelihood of win-win outcomes to disputes between members. Policies and procedures that associations need to exercise this new authority have been developed and published. Learn more on NAR's Code of Ethics policy page.

Presenting a 'true picture.' Enhancements to the Code dealing with the duty to present a "true picture" in our advertising, marketing, and other representations were approved, effective January 1, 2013, to make it clear that the “true picture" duty applies to electronic and Internet communications as well as those made through more traditional channels.

Gender identity. The assurance of equal professional service in Article 10 was amended by the addition of "gender identity" to referenced groups. That change was approved by the Board of Directors in November and will be considered by the NAR ­Delegate Body at the 2013 annual conference.

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