4 Code of Ethics Changes You Need to Know for 2012

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ Board of Directors last year made several enhancements to the NAR Code of Ethics that take effect this year to help ensure the Code remains up-to-date as practitioners confront new situations. Here are four changes you’ll want to make note of.

March 1, 2012

1. Authorized use of property
The duty of fidelity to clients’ interests was advanced through a new Standard of Practice interpreting Article 1 as prohibiting members from accessing or using, or permitting others to access or use, listed or managed property on terms or conditions other than those authorized by the owner or seller.

2. False statements against others
Article 15’s obligation to refrain from knowingly or recklessly making false or misleading statements was expanded to cover “other real estate professionals, their businesses, and their business practices.” These changes are also reflected in Standards of Practice 15-2 and 15-3.

3. Mediating disputes
The dispute resolution scope of Article 17 was enhanced to include the duty to mediate otherwise-arbitrable disputes in cases where the association of REALTORS® has established a duty to mediate.

4. Waiving mediation and arbitration
Standard of Practice 17-2 (which interprets and explains Article 17) was amended to make it clear that REALTORS® are not obligated to mediate or arbitrate in cases where all parties to the dispute choose not to have it mediated or arbitrated through the association.

Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is the former director of multimedia communications at NAR.