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Why the Century-Old REALTOR® Code of Ethics Still Guides Today

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By Bob Goldberg

Throughout 2013, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has been marking the centennial anniversary of the adoption of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. The 100-year-old Code is a vital component of our organization—and our members—and an essential building block of your business.

A Century of Solid Ethics
The Code of Ethics has a rich history. It was established by our predecessors, real estate practitioners in 1913, who understood the importance of protecting the public, representing clients’ interests, and building trustworthy relationships with consumers.

“As REALTORS® today, we have a proud heritage which we continue, and a valuable point of differentiation from real estate licensees who are not members,” says Kemper Funkhouser, Chief Operating Officer of a real estate group inHarrisonburg, Va., REALTOR® and Chair of NAR’s Professional Standards Committee. “The Code serves the public and continues to strengthen the trust of the REALTOR® brand.”

The Code, sometimes called the “golden thread” of the real estate profession, guides the professional activities of REALTORS® and their relationships with other practitioners. The Code is enforced by NAR’s local Associations, where REALTORS® can mediate and arbitrate disputes with each other and where ethics complaints can be filed by anyone who believes a REALTOR® may have violated the Code.

‘A Business Plan for Career Success’
Literally millions of REALTORS® have agreed to follow the Code of Ethics since its inception. Although it has evolved over the years, the Code’s guidelines for professional behavior have shaped our industry and ensured honesty and integrity—and thus consumer trust and success—in our transactions.

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