Click above to download the full Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, also available in Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.
The "Professional Standard" that sets REALTORS® apart from other real estate practitioners is their acceptance and adherence to the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics. The principles of the Code can be loosely defined as:
- loyalty to clients;
- fiduciary (financial and legal) duty to clients;
- cooperation with competitors;
- truthfulness in statements and advertising; and
- non-interference in exclusive relationships that other REALTORS® have with their clients.
The IAR Legal Affairs department provides annual Professional Standards, or Code of Ethics, training to local Board/Association Grievance and Professional Standards committee members to help them with Code enforcement. This training also fulfills the NAR Quadrennial Ethics training requirement and thus, is available to all IAR members.
Despite the best efforts of well-intentioned REALTORS® disagreements still occur. While less formal, faster, and less expensive than litigation, arbitration is not without cost in both time and money on the part of the parties. Substantial board/association human and financial resources are also consumed in providing this service to members. There is an alternative to arbitration, albeit one that is available only where all parties to a dispute voluntarily agree to use it - mediation.
Boards/associations generally have one or more mediation officers who act as facilitators/intermediaries. These are typically REALTORS® who are experienced and adept in dispute resolution techniques. While mediators often have personal "styles", their primary objective is to help each party appreciate the position of the other party, then to move them forward toward an amicable resolution.
"Mediation lets participants accept responsibility for the outcome of their disputes, as opposed to relinquishing that authority to a third party."
C. Hilea Walker
The Legal Affairs department strongly recommends the NAR Code of Ethics video series as a way to find out what separates you, a REALTOR®, from other real estate practitioners. Click here to watch the video series, which can also be used by brokers to start office meetings or as part of other training sessions. Extensive information on the Arbitration and Mediation process is available in the NAR Field Guide to Mediation.