Realtors® are real estate agents. The difference is that Realtors® join the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), which holds them to a higher standard of ethics than real estate agents must abide by. According to the NAR, about half of all real estate agents in the United States are certified Realtors®.

The Realtor® Party is a powerful alliance of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations working to advance public policies and candidates that build strong communities, protect property interests, and promote a vibrant business environment.

Realtors® pay membership dues to join the NAR and a state and local board of Realtors®, and they take and pass an online course on the Code of Ethics. They take an oath to adhere to the NAR's standards of practice throughout their career and retake the course every three years to maintain the certification.


Click here to view the Code of Ethics and Standard of Practice at the National Association of Realtors.



Code Of Ethics

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) created the Code of Ethics as an enforceable set of ethical guidelines that Realtors® must uphold and are strictly enforced by real estate boards. It states Realtors’® duties to clients and customers, the public, and other Realtors®, which are more limiting than state laws.

The Code of Ethics comprises 17 articles covering different areas of professional standards of practice that must be upheld. Articles one through nine make up a Realtor’s® duty to their clients and customers. Articles 10 through 14 state a Realtor’s® duty to the public. And Articles 15 through 17 define a Realtor’s® duty to other Realtors®.

The following are summaries of the ethical duties realtors promise to abide by:

17 Articles

1.     Promote their clients’ interests before their own and treat all parties involved honestly.

2.     Avoid exaggerating, misrepresenting, or withholding facts about the property or transaction that are within the scope of their real estate license.

3.     Cooperate with other brokers when it is in their client’s best interest.

4.     Disclose with their client if they are working with another member of their existing client’s family.

5.     Avoid providing professional services regarding a property they have an interest in, unless it is disclosed to the client.

6.     Receive the client’s consent and knowledge before accepting any form of payment or commission.

7.     Disclose to all parties and receive consent from their client if a payment is to be received from more than one party involved in a transaction.

8.     Keep personal funds and clients’ funds separated.

9.     Ensure all agreements are clearly and understandably communicated between all parties involved in a transaction, and that each party receives a copy of each agreement.

10. Refrain from discriminating against any person based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

11. Competently abide by standards of practice in their real estate discipline, and do not provide services they are unqualified for.

12. Remain truthful in their advertising and marketing materials.

13. Do not practice law if they are not authorized to do so.

14. Present all evidence and cooperate if charged with unethical practice.

15. Refrain from making false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals.

16. Do not interfere in another Realtor’s® contractual relationships.

17. Handle disputes with other Realtors® through arbitration instead of litigation.