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

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By Bob Goldberg

“The REALTOR® Code of Ethics is a business plan for career success and longevity in our industry. A sustainable business thrives on positive relationships built through honest dealings with clients and the public,” says Funkhouser. “The REALTOR® Code of Ethics gives members guidance during the course of a transaction to make sure members are taking the right actions to protect their clients and the public.”

Today the Code continues to be important in guiding brokers and agents through complex transactions. “For example, as the real estate market has improved across the nation, we have experienced an increase of multiple-offer situations,” explains Funkhouser. “Protecting buyers’ and sellers’ interests in multiple offer dealings is not always simple or clear. But, Standard of Practice 1-15 provides guidance for both buyers’ and sellers’ representatives in just such instances.”

Looking Ahead
Like our organization and the real estate industry at large, the Code of Ethics is a dynamic, continually evolving and progressive document. In 1974, for example, NAR added provisions mirroring the federal fair housing laws. The Code has been revised over 40 times during its first century. And it will continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of REALTORS®’ clients and customers, and the real estate profession. “The National Association of REALTORS® Professional Standards Committee continues to enhance and adapt the Code to today’s business challenges,” says Funkhouser. “The committee is committed to nurturing and growing members’ understanding of the Code, which translates into assurances of professional service to the public.”

The REALTOR® Code of Ethics has provided ethical guidance to brokers and their agents for one hundred years, keeping up with the times and leading REALTORS® into uncharted territory. The Code matters in what REALTORS® do every day, and it will continue to matter for REALTORS® and consumers for years to come.

For more information, visit www.REALTOR.org/coecentennial.

To see a code of ethics centennial timeline, click here.

Bob Goldberg is NAR Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Business Development & Strategic Investments, Professional Development and Conventions.

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