Professional Standards

The REALTOR Code of Ethics signifies the decision REALTORS make to commit themselves to honor and service. Since 1913, the Code has grown in meaningfulness, and value, and a commitment to integrity, and professionalism.

Click here to view the National Association of REALTORS Real Estate Resources: Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

To view the REALTOR Code of Ethics, click here.

The National Association of REALTORS Professional Standards Committee has developed a list of professional courtesies for REALTORS to use when dealing with other REALTORS as well as clients and customers on issues of courtesy or etiquette titled, “Pathways to Professionalism.” The list is intended to promote and encourage more professional conduct on the part of REALTORS, however, none of the items listed are enforceable as is the Code of Ethics.

Pathways to Professionalism

While the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association establish objective, enforceable ethical standards governing the professional conduct of REALTORS, it does not address issues of courtesy or etiquette. Based on input from many sources, the Professional Conduct Working Group of the Professional Standards Committee developed the following list of professional courtesies for use by REALTORS on a voluntary basis. This list is not all-inclusive, and may be supplemented by local custom and practice.

I. Respect for the Public

1. Always follow the "Golden Rule."

2. Always respond promptly to inquiries and requests for information.

3. Schedule appointments as far in advance as possible; call if you are delayed or must cancel an appointment.

4. Always schedule property showings in advance.

5. If a prospective buyer decides not to view an occupied home, promptly explain the situation to the listing broker or the owner.

6. Communicate with all parties in a timely fashion.

7. Enter listed property first to ensure that unexpected situations, such as pets, are handled appropriately.

8. Leave your business card if not prohibited by local rules.

9. Never criticize property in the presence of the owner.

10. Inform sellers that you are leaving after a showing.

11. When showing an occupied home, always ring the doorbell or knock before entering. Knock before entering any closed room.

12. Present a professional appearance at all times; dress appropriately and have a clean car.

13. If the seller is home during a showing, ask their permission before using the telephone or bathroom.

14. Advise the clients of other brokers to direct questions to their agent or representative.

15. Communicate clearly; don't use jargon not readily understood by the general public.

16. Be aware of and respect cultural differences.

17. Show courtesy and respect to the general public.

18. Be aware of and meet all deadlines.

19. Promise only what you can deliver and keep your promises.

II. Respect for Property

1. Be responsible for visitors to listed property; never allow buyers to enter property unaccompanied.

2. When the seller is absent, be sure to turn off lights, shut windows, and lock doors after a showing.

3. Tell buyers not to smoke in listed property.

4. Use sidewalks; if weather is bad, take off shoes and boots inside property.

5. When a property is vacant, check that heating and cooling controls are set correctly and check the outside of the property for damage or vandalism.

III. Respect for Peers

1. Call the listing broker to report the results of any showing.

2. Notify the listing broker immediately if anything appears wrong with the property.

3. Notify the listing broker if there appears to be inaccurate information on the listing.

4. Share important information about a property, including the presence of pets; security systems; and whether sellers will be present during the showing.

5. Show courtesy, trust and respect to other real estate professionals.

Arbitration of Business Disputes
Arbitration Procedures

INTRODUCTION:
By becoming and remaining a member of the National Association of REALTORS, REALTOR Principals are obligated to arbitrate business disputes (both contractual and specific non-contractual issues as defined by Standard of Practice 17-4 with REALTOR Principals in other firms or clients of REALTORS. Arbitration proceedings are conducted primarily by each local Member Board/Association of REALTORS*, as defined in Article 17 of the Code of Ethics and Part Ten, Sections 43 and 44 of The National Association of REALTORS Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual.

INITIATION OF PROCEDURES:
A REALTOR Principal or Client of a REALTOR can initiate an arbitration by written request to the Executive Officer of the Board / Association or of which the REALTOR principal is a member, or participant in a Board’s MLS where they do not hold REALTOR membership providing a summary of the nature of the controversy and the monetary amount of the dispute. The determination as to whether an arbitrable matter exists shall be made by the local Board/Association’s Grievance Committee pursuant to those procedures outlined in Part 10, Section 47 of the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual. Appeals of arbitration requests dismissed by the Grievance Committee and alleged misclassification of an issue as being subject to either voluntary or mandatory arbitration shall be considered by the Board of Directors of the local board or by a panel of Directors.

Upon the Grievance Committee’s determination as to whether the matter is properly arbitrable the parties shall be notified (generally within five (5) days) and the matter is referred to the Professional Standards Committee for a hearing.

TIME LIMITATION:
All requests for arbitration must be filed within one hundred eighty (180) days after the facts constituting the arbitrable matter could have been known in the exercise of reasonable diligence, whichever is later. See Section 47 Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual.

FEE DEPOSIT:
The request for arbitration shall be accompanied by a deposit established by each local board/association of REALTORS not exceeding $500. (five hundred dollars), which may be returned or retained to go toward the costs of the arbitration (local board option) and by a signed arbitration agreement which may be in the form of Specimen Form #A‐1, Part Thirteen of NAR’s Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual, or in any other form provided or permitted by law. The deposit shall be returned if the matter is determined not arbitrable.

IMPARTIAL HEARING PANEL - SELECTION OF PANEL:
The Professional Standards Chairman of each Board/Association procedure shall appoint at least three (3) eligible members of the Professional Standards Committee not successfully challenged the Arbitration Panel to hear the dispute. The Executive Officer or professional standards administration shall serve as Secretary to the Panel.

CHALLENGES TO PANEL MEMBERS:
All parties have the right to challenge the qualifications in writing of any potential panel member showing sufficient cause why the Arbitrator should not serve.

The party must state the grounds assigned for disqualification. A party shall be deemed to have waived any grounds of disqualification of which he then has knowledge unless he filed the request at least 10 days prior to the hearing. If a majority of the members of the Panel find any automatic ground of disqualification to be present or find any other facts which in their judgment may prevent the member from rendering an impartial decision, or appear to do so, he/she shall stand disqualified.

NOTICE:
All notices required in this procedure will be made by personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested or by email (See Part Seven, Section 32) if a board/association has adopted electronic notification.

REPLY:
The Executive Officer (Professional Standards Administrator) shall notify the respondent that he/she must file a written reply in response to the arbitration request within (generally 15) days of the date of the mailing to the respondent. Along with the reply the respondent shall submit a deposit not exceeding $500.00. The deposit may be returned or may be retained by the board/association to be used toward the cost of the arbitration hearing (local board option) The Executive Officer (Professional Standards Administrator) shall send a copy of the response not sooner than fifteen (15) days nor later than twenty-one (21) days after mailing notice to the respondent of the request for arbitration.

NOTICE OF HEARING:
The Executive Officer (or Professional Standards Administrator) shall inform all parties of the date, time, and place of the hearing established by the arbitrators (Form #A-9, Official Notice of Hearing). The arbitration request and response, if any, shall be provided to the Hearing Panel members prior to the hearing. Such time period shall be (generally 7 days) as established by the Board of Directors. All parties and panel members shall be provided with the Arbitration Guidelines and Arbitration Worksheet.

HEARING:
All parties to the dispute shall present to the arbitrators such statements and proof which they deem necessary to support their claims. Proof may be in the form of affidavits or otherwise. The arbitrators shall receive written statements, documents or other papers, shall hear oral testimony. The Hearing Panel may receive and consider any evidence they deem material and proper. Parties to arbitration shall be entitled to have legal counsel present at any hearing. Each party is responsible for the expenses of his / her respective counsel.

CONDUCT OF HEARING:
The Chairman shall preside at the hearing, which shall not be bound by the strict rules of evidence applicable to judicial tribunals, but instead by the Outline of Procedure for Ethics or Arbitration Hearings and by the Chairman’s Procedural Guide for Conduct of an Ethics or Arbitration Proceeding found in Part Twelve of The National Association of REALTORS’ Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual. The Outline of Procedure For Ethics or Arbitration Hearings (Part Thirteen, Form #A-10 in NAR’s Professional Standards Manual) should be made available to the parties involved in advance of the Hearing.

RIGHT OF ARBITRATION PANEL TO RELEASE MEMBERS FROM OBLIGATION TO ARBITRATE:
If the arbitration panel determines that because of the amount involved, or the legal complexity of the controversy, the dispute should not be arbitrated, they shall advise the parties; the arbitration shall terminate and the parties shall be relieved of their obligation to arbitrate. In this event, any deposits made by the parties shall be returned to the parties. Further, if the panel determines that an arbitrable matter exists but it is not subject to mandatory arbitration, neither party may be compelled to arbitrate, and the arbitration shall terminate unless all parties voluntarily agree to take part and abide by the decision.

TESTIMONY AND DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE:
Parties to the controversy may testify on their own behalf and present testimony of witnesses, and/or documentary evidence. All parties may examine and cross-examine witnesses, and at the request of any party or on its own motion, the panel, at its discretion, may exclude witnesses or evidence. It shall be the responsibility of the Parties to summon and have their witnesses present at the hearing.

LEGAL COUNSEL:
Parties, at their own expense, may have legal counsel present during the hearing. If a party intends to have legal counsel present at the hearing, the party must provide written notice (including name, address and phone number of their legal counsel) to the Panel Chairman and the other party, not less than fifteen (15) days before the hearing date. Failure to provide this notice will not invalidate a party’s right to legal representation. In the event the parties do not provide advance notice of their intention to have counsel, the panel shall take all steps, including continuance of the matter, if necessary, to guarantee the rights of all parties to representation by counsel. The panel may have its own legal counsel present to advise it on issues of procedure and law. Board counsel is not a part of the Hearing Panel and may not take an active role in the conduct of the hearing.

RECORDS/TRANSCRIPTION:
The board/association must record all arbitration hearings. A tape/digital recorder or court reporter may be used. The Panel’s tape recording or court reporters transcript shall be considered the official record of the proceeding. Copies of any tape recording or any transcript prepared from any tape recording or court reporter of the hearing are to be used only for the purpose of a request for procedural review. Any party to a hearing has the right to obtain a copy of the Panel’s official tape recording (or court reporter transcript) subject to payment of the Panel’s duplication cost and any tape /digital recorder duplication will be conducted under the supervision of the Executive Officer (Professional Standards Administrator). If more than one party requests copies of the transcript, the Panel’s costs will be apportioned between or among the parties.

If a party purchases a copy of the Panel’s official tape/digital recording, and subsequently has it transcribed at his own expense, that party must provide a copy of the transcript to the Executive Officer ((Professional Standards Administrator) at no cost. After the Secretary has received a copy of the transcript, the Secretary shall advise the other party that copies are available subject to their payment of the panel’s duplication cost.

RECESS/CONTINUANCE:
The Panel may recess or call for a continuance of the hearing from time to time as necessary or as convenience dictates.

SETTLEMENT:
The parties to an arbitration may settle the issue between them by agreement at any time. In such event, upon written notification to the Executive Officer (Professional Standards Administrator) or, in the event the hearing is in progress, to the panel chairman, signed and dated by the parties, the arbitration proceedings shall be terminated.

A portion, or all, of each party’s deposit may be retained by the Panel to cover the costs incurred by the Panel up to the point of the settlement of the dispute.

AWARD:
The award of the arbitrators (Form #A‐12, Part Thirteen of NAR’s Manual) shall be made as soon as feasible after the evidence is presented and a copy of the decision will be delivered within 21 days after the hearing is concluded to each of the parties, The Panel’s decision shall be in writing and signed by a majority of its members.

Dissemination of the award shall be limited to the parties involved, on a need to know basis, and to legal counsel and staff.

REQUEST FOR PROCEDURAL REVIEW:
Any request for procedural review (which must be limited to issues of due process) must be filed within 20 days after the award has been served upon each of the parties. The request must be filed with the Executive Officer (Professional Standards Administrator) and will be given consideration at the next meeting of the Board of Directors or by a Panel comprised of eligible Directors. If no request is filed, the award becomes final and binding, following the 20‐day period.

ENFORCEMENT:
If a member fails to comply with an award, the recipient to whom the award has been rendered by the Arbitration Panel shall be advised by the Hearing Panel to seek judicial enforcement and request reimbursement of all legal costs incurred in seeking judicial enforcement. At the discretion of the Board of Directors of the Board may support the request for judicial enforcement in the court and, at the further discretion of the Board of Directors, reimburse the award recipient for costs incurred in seeking judicial enforcement if the courts do not award reimbursement of such costs.

Request and Agreement to Arbitrate

Request and Agreement to Arbitrate (Nonmember)

Agreement to Mediate

Request for Procedural Review (Arbitration)


ETHICS COMPLAINTS

It is the Code of Ethics that separates REALTORS from other licensees and we take enforcement of the Code very seriously. Ethics complaints may be filed by REALTORS or members of the public. Ethics complaints serve to educate members as well as provide a disciplinary process when violations have occurred. Any person having reason to believe that a member is guilty of any unethical conduct subject to disciplinary action may file a complaint in writing with the Local Board/Association of REALTORS that the member holds membership in.

In order to file a complaint, you will need the forms available by clicking on the following links:

Before You File an Ethics Complaint  

Ethics Complaint Form

 

Code of Ethics

To read the Code of Ethics in several other languages, click here.
Click here to read the Certification of Compliance,  NAR Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual.

To read the  Code of Ethics in pdf format, click here

Duties to Clients and Customers
Articles 1-9

Duties to the Public
Articles 10-14

Duties to REALTORS®
Articles 15-17

Where the word REALTORS® is used in this Code and Preamble, it shall be deemed to include REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®s.

While the Code of Ethics establishes obligations that may be higher than those mandated by law, in any instance where the Code of Ethics and the law conflict, the obligations of the law must take precedence.

Preamble

Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. REALTORS® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.

Such interests impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty to which REALTORS® should dedicate themselves, and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves. REALTORS®, therefore, are zealous to maintain and improve the standards of their calling and share with their fellow REALTORS® a common responsibility for its integrity and honor.

In recognition and appreciation of their obligations to clients, customers, the public, and each other, REALTORS® continuously strive to become and remain informed on issues affecting real estate and, as knowledgeable professionals, they willingly share the fruit of their experience and study with others. They identify and take steps, through enforcement of this Code of Ethics and by assisting appropriate regulatory bodies, to eliminate practices which may damage the public or which might discredit or bring dishonor to the real estate profession. REALTORS® having direct personal knowledge of conduct that may violate the Code of Ethics involving misappropriation of client or customer funds or property, willful discrimination, or fraud resulting in substantial economic harm, bring such matters to the attention of the appropriate Board or Association of REALTORS®. (Amended 1/00)

Realizing that cooperation with other real estate professionals promotes the best interests of those who utilize their services, REALTORS® urge exclusive representation of clients; do not attempt to gain any unfair advantage over their competitors; and they refrain from making unsolicited comments about other practitioners. In instances where their opinion is sought, or where REALTORS® believe that comment is necessary, their opinion is offered in an objective, professional manner, uninfluenced by any personal motivation or potential advantage or gain.

The term REALTOR® has come to connote competency, fairness, and high integrity resulting from adherence to a lofty ideal of moral conduct in business relations. No inducement of profit and no instruction from clients ever can justify departure from this ideal.

In the interpretation of this obligation, REALTORS® can take no safer guide than that which has been handed down through the centuries, embodied in the Golden Rule, “Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

Accepting this standard as their own, REALTORS® pledge to observe its spirit in all of their activities whether conducted personally, through associates or others, or via technological means, and to conduct their business in accordance with the tenets set forth below. (Amended 1/07)

Duties to Clients and Customers

Article 1

When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, REALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client. This obligation to the client is primary, but it does not relieve REALTORS® of their obligation to treat all parties honestly. When serving a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant or other party in a non-agency capacity, REALTORS® remain obligated to treat all parties honestly. (Amended 1/01)

Standard of Practice 1-1
REALTORS®, when acting as principals in a real estate transaction, remain obligated by the duties imposed by the Code of Ethics. (Amended 1/93)

Standard of Practice 1-2
The duties imposed by the Code of Ethics encompass all real estate-related activities and transactions whether conducted in person, electronically, or through any other means.

The duties the Code of Ethics imposes are applicable whether REALTORS® are acting as agents or in legally recognized non-agency capacities except that any duty imposed exclusively on agents by law or regulation shall not be imposed by this Code of Ethics on REALTORS® acting in non-agency capacities.

As used in this Code of Ethics, “client” means the person(s) or entity(ies) with whom a REALTOR® or a REALTOR®’s firm has an agency or legally recognized non-agency relationship; “customer” means a party to a real estate transaction who receives information, services, or benefits but has no contractual relationship with the REALTOR® or the REALTOR®’s firm; “prospect” means a purchaser, seller, tenant, or landlord who is not subject to a representation relationship with the REALTOR® or REALTOR®’s firm; “agent” means a real estate licensee (including brokers and sales associates) acting in an agency relationship as defined by state law or regulation; and “broker” means a real estate licensee (including brokers and sales associates) acting as an agent or in a legally recognized non-agency capacity. (Adopted 1/95, Amended 1/07)

Standard of Practice 1-3
REALTORS®, in attempting to secure a listing, shall not deliberately mislead the owner as to market value.

Standard of Practice 1-4
REALTORS®, when seeking to become a buyer/tenant representative, shall not mislead buyers or tenants as to savings or other benefits that might be realized through use of the REALTOR®’s services. (Amended 1/93)

Standard of Practice 1-5
REALTORS® may represent the seller/landlord and buyer/tenant in the same transaction only after full disclosure to and with informed consent of both parties. (Adopted 1/93)

Standard of Practice 1-6
REALTORS® shall submit offers and counter-offers objectively and as quickly as possible. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/95)

Standard of Practice 1-7
When acting as listing brokers, REALTORS® shall continue to submit to the seller/landlord all offers and counter-offers until closing or execution of a lease unless the seller/landlord has waived this obligation in writing. REALTORS® shall not be obligated to continue to market the property after an offer has been accepted by the seller/landlord. REALTORS® shall recommend that sellers/landlords obtain the advice of legal counsel prior to acceptance of a subsequent offer except where the acceptance is contingent on the termination of the pre-existing purchase contract or lease. (Amended 1/93)

Standard of Practice 1-8
REALTORS® , acting as agents or brokers of buyers/tenants, shall submit to buyers/tenants all offers and counter-offers until acceptance but have no obligation to continue to show properties to their clients after an offer has been accepted unless otherwise agreed in writing. REALTORS®, acting as agents or brokers of buyers/tenants, shall recommend that buyers/tenants obtain the advice of legal counsel if there is a question as to whether a pre-existing contract has been terminated. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/99)

Standard of Practice 1-9
The obligation of REALTORS® to preserve confidential information (as defined by state law) provided by their clients in the course of any agency relationship or non-agency relationship recognized by law continues after termination of agency relationships or any non-agency relationships recognized by law. REALTORS® shall not knowingly, during or following the termination of professional relationships with their clients:

reveal confidential information of clients; or
use confidential information of clients to the disadvantage of clients; or
use confidential information of clients for the REALTOR®’s advantage or the advantage of third parties unless:
a) clients consent after full disclosure; or
b) REALTORS® are required by court order; or
c) it is the intention of a client to commit a crime and the information is necessary to prevent the crime; or
d) it is necessary to defend a REALTOR® or the REALTOR®’s employees or associates against an accusation of wrongful conduct.
Information concerning latent material defects is not considered confidential information under this Code of Ethics. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/01)

Standard of Practice 1-10
REALTORS® shall, consistent with the terms and conditions of their real estate licensure and their property management agreement, competently manage the property of clients with due regard for the rights, safety and health of tenants and others lawfully on the premises. (Adopted 1/95, Amended 1/00)

Standard of Practice 1-11
REALTORS® who are employed to maintain or manage a client’s property shall exercise due diligence and make reasonable efforts to protect it against reasonably foreseeable contingencies and losses. (Adopted 1/95)

Standard of Practice 1-12
When entering into listing contracts, REALTORS® must advise sellers/landlords of:
the REALTOR®’s company policies regarding cooperation and the amount(s) of any compensation that will be offered to subagents, buyer/tenant agents, and/or brokers acting in legally recognized non-agency capacities;
the fact that buyer/tenant agents or brokers, even if compensated by listing brokers, or by sellers/landlords may represent the interests of buyers/tenants; and
any potential for listing brokers to act as disclosed dual agents, e.g. buyer/tenant agents. (Adopted 1/93, Renumbered 1/98, Amended 1/03)

Standard of Practice 1-13
When entering into buyer/tenant agreements, REALTORS® must advise potential clients of:

the REALTOR®’s company policies regarding cooperation;
the amount of compensation to be paid by the client;
the potential for additional or offsetting compensation from other brokers, from the seller or landlord, or from other parties;
any potential for the buyer/tenant representative to act as a disclosed dual agent, e.g. listing broker, subagent, landlord’s agent, etc., and
the possibility that sellers or sellers' representatives may not treat the existence, terms, or conditions of offers as confidential unless confidentiality is required by law, regulation, or by any confidentiality agreement between the parties. (Adopted 1/93, Renumbered 1/98, Amended 1/06)

Standard of Practice 1-14
Fees for preparing appraisals or other valuations shall not be contingent upon the amount of the appraisal or valuation. (Adopted 1/02)

Standard of Practice 1-15
REALTORS®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property. Where disclosure is authorized, REALTORS® shall also disclose, if asked, whether offers were obtained by the listing licensee, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating broker. (Adopted 1/03, Amended 1/09)

Standard of Practice 1-16
REALTORS® shall not use, or permit or enable others to use, listed or managed property on terms or conditions other than those authorized by the owner or seller. (Adopted 1/12)

Article 2
REALTORS® shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction. REALTORS® shall not, however, be obligated to discover latent defects in the property, to advise on matters outside the scope of their real estate license, or to disclose facts which are confidential under the scope of agency or non-agency relationships as defined by state law. (Amended 1/00)

Standard of Practice 2-1
REALTORS® shall only be obligated to discover and disclose adverse factors reasonably apparent to someone with expertise in those areas required by their real estate licensing authority. Article 2 does not impose upon the REALTOR® the obligation of expertise in other professional or technical disciplines. (Amended 1/96)

Standard of Practice 2-2
(Renumbered as Standard of Practice 1-12 1/98)

Standard of Practice 2-3
(Renumbered as Standard of Practice 1-13 1/98)

Standard of Practice 2-4
REALTORS® shall not be parties to the naming of a false consideration in any document, unless it be the naming of an obviously nominal consideration.

Standard of Practice 2-5
Factors defined as “non-material” by law or regulation or which are expressly referenced in law or regulation as not being subject to disclosure are considered not “pertinent” for purposes of Article 2. (Adopted 1/93)

Article 3
REALTORS® shall cooperate with other brokers except when cooperation is not in the client’s best interest. The obligation to cooperate does not include the obligation to share commissions, fees, or to otherwise compensate another broker. (Amended 1/95)

Standard of Practice 3-1
REALTORS®, acting as exclusive agents or brokers of sellers/ landlords, establish the terms and conditions of offers to cooperate. Unless expressly indicated in offers to cooperate, cooperating brokers may not assume that the offer of cooperation includes an offer of compensation. Terms of compensation, if any, shall be ascertained by cooperating brokers before beginning efforts to accept the offer of cooperation. (Amended 1/99)

Standard of Practice 3-2
Any change in compensation offered for cooperative services must be communicated to the other REALTOR® prior to the time that REALTOR®
submits an offer to purchase/lease the property. After a REALTORr® has submitted an offer to purchase or lease property, the listing broker may
not attempt to unilaterally modify the offered compensation with respect to that cooperative transaction. (Amended 1/14)

Standard of Practice 3-3

Standard of Practice 3-2 does not preclude the listing broker and cooperating broker from entering into an agreement to change cooperative compensation. (Adopted 1/94)

Standard of Practice 3-4
REALTORS®, acting as listing brokers, have an affirmative obligation to disclose the existence of dual or variable rate commission arrangements (i.e., listings where one amount of commission is payable if the listing broker’s firm is the procuring cause of sale/lease and a different amount of commission is payable if the sale/lease results through the efforts of the seller/ landlord or a cooperating broker). The listing broker shall, as soon as practical, disclose the existence of such arrangements to potential cooperating brokers and shall, in response to inquiries from cooperating brokers, disclose the differential that would result in a cooperative transaction or in a sale/lease that results through the efforts of the seller/landlord. If the cooperating broker is a buyer/tenant representative, the buyer/tenant representative must disclose such information to their client before the client makes an offer to purchase or lease. (Amended 1/02)

Standard of Practice 3-5
It is the obligation of subagents to promptly disclose all pertinent facts to the principal’s agent prior to as well as after a purchase or lease agreement is executed. (Amended 1/93)

Standard of Practice 3-6
REALTORS® shall disclose the existence of accepted offers, including offers with unresolved contingencies, to any broker seeking cooperation. (Adopted 5/86, Amended 1/04)

Standard of Practice 3-7
When seeking information from another REALTOR® concerning property under a management or listing agreement, REALTORS® shall disclose their REALTOR® status and whether their interest is personal or on behalf of a client and, if on behalf of a client, their relationship with the client. (Amended 1/11)

Standard of Practice 3-8
REALTORS® shall not misrepresent the availability of access to show or inspect a listed property. (Amended 11/87)

Standard of Practice 3-9
REALTORS® shall not provide access to listed property on terms other than those established by the owner or the listing broker. (Adopted 1/10)

Standard of Practice 3-10
The duty to cooperate established in Article 3 relates to the obligation to share information on listed property, and to make property available to other brokers for showing to prospective purchasers/tenants when it is in the best interests of sellers/landlords. (Adopted 1/11)

Article 4

REALTORS® shall not acquire an interest in or buy or present offers from themselves, any member of their immediate families, their firms or any member thereof, or any entities in which they have any ownership interest, any real property without making their true position known to the owner or the owner’s agent or broker. In selling property they own, or in which they have any interest, REALTORS® shall reveal their ownership or interest in writing to the purchaser or the purchaser’s representative. (Amended 1/00)

Standard of Practice 4-1
For the protection of all parties, the disclosures required by Article 4 shall be in writing and provided by REALTORS® prior to the signing of any contract. (Adopted 2/86)

Article 5
REALTORS® shall not undertake to provide professional services concerning a property or its value where they have a present or contemplated interest unless such interest is specifically disclosed to all affected parties.

Article 6
REALTORS® shall not accept any commission, rebate, or profit on expenditures made for their client, without the client’s knowledge and consent.

When recommending real estate products or services (e.g., homeowner’s insurance, warranty programs, mortgage financing, title insurance, etc.), REALTORS® shall disclose to the client or customer to whom the recommendation is made any financial benefits or fees, other than real estate referral fees, the REALTOR® or REALTOR®’s firm may receive as a direct result of such recommendation. (Amended 1/99)

Standard of Practice 6-1
REALTORS® shall not recommend or suggest to a client or a customer the use of services of another organization or business entity in which they have a direct interest without disclosing such interest at the time of the recommendation or suggestion. (Amended 5/88)

Article 7
In a transaction, REALTORS® shall not accept compensation from more than one party, even if permitted by law, without disclosure to all parties and the informed consent of the REALTOR®’s client or clients. (Amended 1/93)

Article 8
REALTORS® shall keep in a special account in an appropriate financial institution, separated from their own funds, monies coming into their possession in trust for other persons, such as escrows, trust funds, clients’ monies, and other like items.

Article 9
REALTORS®, for the protection of all parties, shall assure whenever possible that all agreements related to real estate transactions including, but not limited to, listing and representation agreements, purchase contracts, and leases are in writing in clear and understandable language expressing the specific terms, conditions, obligations and commitments of the parties. A copy of each agreement shall be furnished to each party to such agreements upon their signing or initialing. (Amended 1/04)

Standard of Practice 9-1
For the protection of all parties, REALTORS® shall use reasonable care to ensure that documents pertaining to the purchase, sale, or lease of real estate are kept current through the use of written extensions or amendments. (Amended 1/93)

Standard of Practice 9-2
When assisting or enabling a client or customer in establishing a contractual relationship (e.g., listing and representation agreements, purchase agreements, leases, etc.) electronically, REALTORS® shall make reasonable efforts to explain the nature and disclose the specific terms of the contractual relationship being established prior to it being agreed to by a contracting party. (Adopted 1/07)

Duties to the Public

Article 10
REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. (Amended 1/14)

REALTORS®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. (Amended 1/14)

Standard of Practice 10-1
When involved in the sale or lease of a residence, REALTORS® shall not volunteer information regarding the racial, religious or ethnic composition of any neighborhood nor shall they engage in any activity which may result in panic selling, however, REALTORS® may provide other demographic information. (Adopted 1/94, Amended 1/06)

Standard of Practice 10-2
When not involved in the sale or lease of a residence, REALTORS® may provide demographic information related to a property, transaction or professional assignment to a party if such demographic information is (a) deemed by the REALTOR® to be needed to assist with or complete, in a manner consistent with Article 10, a real estate transaction or professional assignment and (b) is obtained or derived from a recognized, reliable, independent, and impartial source. The source of such information and any additions, deletions, modifications, interpretations, or other changes shall be disclosed in reasonable detail. (Adopted 1/05, Renumbered 1/06)

Standard of Practice 10-3
REALTORS® shall not print, display or circulate any statement or advertisement with respect to selling or renting of a property that indicates any preference, limitations or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. (Adopted 1/94, Renumbered 1/05 and 1/06, Amended 1/14)

Standard of Practice 10-4
As used in Article 10 “real estate employment practices” relates to employees and independent contractors providing real estate-related services and the administrative and clerical staff directly supporting those individuals. (Adopted 1/00, Renumbered 1/05 and 1/06)

Article 11
The services which REALTORS® provide to their clients and customers shall conform to the standards of practice and competence which are reasonably expected in the specific real estate disciplines in which they engage; specifically, residential real estate brokerage, real property management, commercial and industrial real estate brokerage, land brokerage, real estate appraisal, real estate counseling, real estate syndication, real estate auction, and international real estate.

REALTORS® shall not undertake to provide specialized professional services concerning a type of property or service that is outside their field of competence unless they engage the assistance of one who is competent on such types of property or service, or unless the facts are fully disclosed to the client. Any persons engaged to provide such assistance shall be so identified to the client and their contribution to the assignment should be set forth. (Amended 1/10)

Standard of Practice 11-1

When REALTORS® prepare opinions of real property value or price they must:

be knowledgeable about the type of property being valued,
have access to the information and resources necessary to formulate an accurate opinion, and
be familiar with the area where the subject property is located
unless lack of any of these is disclosed to the party requesting the opinion in advance.

When an opinion of value or price is prepared other than in pursuit of a listing or to assist a potential purchaser in formulating a purchase offer, the opinion shall include the following unless the party requesting the opinion requires a specific type of report or different data set:

identification of the subject property
date prepared
defined value or price
limiting conditions, including statements of purpose(s) and intended user(s)
any present or contemplated interest, including the possibility of representing the seller/landlord or buyers/tenants
basis for the opinion, including applicable market data
if the opinion is not an appraisal, a statement to that effect
disclosure of whether and when a physical inspection of the property's exterior was conducted
disclosure of whether and when a physical inspection of the property's interior was conducted
disclosure of whether the REALTOR® has any conflicts of interest (Amended 1/14)

Standard of Practice 11-2
The obligations of the Code of Ethics in respect of real estate disciplines other than appraisal shall be interpreted and applied in accordance with the standards of competence and practice which clients and the public reasonably require to protect their rights and interests considering the complexity of the transaction, the availability of expert assistance, and, where the REALTOR® is an agent or subagent, the obligations of a fiduciary. (Adopted 1/95)

Standard of Practice 11-3
When REALTORS® provide consultive services to clients which involve advice or counsel for a fee (not a commission), such advice shall be rendered in an objective manner and the fee shall not be contingent on the substance of the advice or counsel given. If brokerage or transaction services are to be provided in addition to consultive services, a separate compensation may be paid with prior agreement between the client and REALTOR®. (Adopted 1/96)

Standard of Practice 11-4
The competency required by Article 11 relates to services contracted for between REALTORS® and their clients or customers; the duties expressly imposed by the Code of Ethics; and the duties imposed by law or regulation. (Adopted 1/02)

Article 12
REALTORS® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations. REALTORS® shall ensure that their status as real estate professionals is readily apparent in their advertising, marketing, and other representations, and that the recipients of all real estate communications are, or have been, notified that those communications are from a real estate professional. (Amended 1/08)

Standard of Practice 12-1
REALTORS® may use the term “free” and similar terms in their advertising and in other representations provided that all terms governing availability of the offered product or service are clearly disclosed at the same time. (Amended 1/97)

Standard of Practice 12-2
REALTORS® may represent their services as “free” or without cost even if they expect to receive compensation from a source other than their client provided that the potential for the REALTOR® to obtain a benefit from a third party is clearly disclosed at the same time. (Amended 1/97)

Standard of Practice 12-3
The offering of premiums, prizes, merchandise discounts or other inducements to list, sell, purchase, or lease is not, in itself, unethical even if receipt of the benefit is contingent on listing, selling, purchasing, or leasing through the REALTOR® making the offer. However, REALTORS® must exercise care and candor in any such advertising or other public or private representations so that any party interested in receiving or otherwise benefiting from the REALTOR®’s offer will have clear, thorough, advance understanding of all the terms and conditions of the offer. The offering of any inducements to do business is subject to the limitations and restrictions of state law and the ethical obligations established by any applicable Standard of Practice. (Amended 1/95)

Standard of Practice 12-4
REALTORS® shall not offer for sale/lease or advertise property without authority. When acting as listing brokers or as subagents, REALTORS® shall not quote a price different from that agreed upon with the seller/landlord. (Amended 1/93)

Standard of Practice 12-5
REALTORS® shall not advertise nor permit any person employed by or affiliated with them to advertise real estate services or listed property in any medium (e.g., electronically, print, radio, television, etc.) without disclosing the name of that REALTOR®'s firm in a reasonable and readily apparent manner. This Standard of Practice acknowledges that disclosing the name of the firm may not be practical in electronic displays of limited information (e.g. "thumbnails", text messages, "tweets", etc.). Such displays are exempt from the disclosure requirement established in the Standard of Practice, but only when linked to a display that includes all required disclosures. (Adopted 11/86, Amended 1/11)

Standard of Practice 12-6
REALTORS®, when advertising unlisted real property for sale/lease in which they have an ownership interest, shall disclose their status as both owners/landlords and as REALTORS® or real estate licensees. (Amended 1/93)

Standard of Practice 12-7
Only REALTORS® who participated in the transaction as the listing broker or cooperating broker (selling broker) may claim to have “sold” the property. Prior to closing, a cooperating broker may post a “sold” sign only with the consent of the listing broker. (Amended 1/96)

Standard of Practice 12-8
The obligation to present a true picture in representations to the public includes information presented, provided, or displayed on REALTORS®’ websites. REALTORS® shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that information on their websites is current. When it becomes apparent that information on a REALTOR®’s website is no longer current or accurate, REALTORS® shall promptly take corrective action. (Adopted 1/07)

Standard of Practice 12-9
REALTOR® firm websites shall disclose the firm’s name and state(s) of licensure in a reasonable and readily apparent manner.

Websites of REALTORS® and non-member licensees affiliated with a REALTOR® firm shall disclose the firm’s name and that REALTOR®’s or non-member licensee’s state(s) of licensure in a reasonable and readily apparent manner. (Adopted 1/07)

Standard of Practice 12-10
REALTORS®’ obligation to present a true picture in their advertising and representations to the public includes Internet content posted, and the URLs and domain names they use, and prohibits REALTORS® from:

engaging in deceptive or unauthorized framing of real estate brokerage websites;
manipulating (e.g., presenting content developed by others) listing and other content in any way that produces a deceptive or misleading result;
deceptively using metatags, keywords or other devices/methods to direct, drive, or divert Internet traffic; or
presenting content developed by others without either attribution or without permission, or
to otherwise mislead consumers. (Adopted 1/07, Amended 1/13)

Standard of Practice 12-11
REALTORS® intending to share or sell consumer information gathered via the Internet shall disclose that possibility in a reasonable and readily apparent manner. (Adopted 1/07)

Standard of Practice 12-12
REALTORS® shall not:

use URLs or domain names that present less than a true picture, or
register URLs or domain names which, if used, would present less than a true picture. (Adopted 1/08)

Standard of Practice 12-13
The obligation to present a true picture in advertising, marketing, and representations allows REALTORS® to use and display only professional designations, certifications, and other credentials to which they are legitimately entitled. (Adopted 1/08)

Article 13

REALTORS® shall not engage in activities that constitute the unauthorized practice of law and shall recommend that legal counsel be obtained when the interest of any party to the transaction requires it.

Article 14
If charged with unethical practice or asked to present evidence or to cooperate in any other way, in any professional standards proceeding or investigation, REALTORS® shall place all pertinent facts before the proper tribunals of the Member Board or affiliated institute, society, or council in which membership is held and shall take no action to disrupt or obstruct such processes. (Amended 1/99)

Standard of Practice 14-1
REALTORS® shall not be subject to disciplinary proceedings in more than one Board of REALTORS® or affiliated institute, society or council in which they hold membership with respect to alleged violations of the Code of Ethics relating to the same transaction or event. (Amended 1/95)

Standard of Practice 14-2
REALTORS® shall not make any unauthorized disclosure or dissemination of the allegations, findings, or decision developed in connection with an ethics hearing or appeal or in connection with an arbitration hearing or procedural review. (Amended 1/92)

Standard of Practice 14-3
REALTORS® shall not obstruct the Board’s investigative or professional standards proceedings by instituting or threatening to institute actions for libel, slander or defamation against any party to a professional standards proceeding or their witnesses based on the filing of an arbitration request, an ethics complaint, or testimony given before any tribunal. (Adopted 11/87, Amended 1/99)

Standard of Practice 14-4
REALTORS® shall not intentionally impede the Board’s investigative or disciplinary proceedings by filing multiple ethics complaints based on the same event or transaction. (Adopted 11/88)

Duties to REALTORS®

Article 15
REALTORS® shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, their businesses, or their business practices. (Amended 1/12)

Standard of Practice 15-1

REALTORS® shall not knowingly or recklessly file false or unfounded ethics complaints. (Adopted 1/00)

Standard of Practice 15-2
>The obligation to refrain from making false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, their businesses and their business practices includes the duty to not knowingly or recklessly publish, repeat, retransmit, or republish false or misleading statements made by others. This duty applies whether false or misleading statements are repeated in person, in writing, by technological means (e.g., the Internet), or by any other means. (Adopted 1/07, Amended 1/12)

Standard of Practice 15-3
The obligation to refrain from making false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, their businesses, and their business practices includes the duty to publish a clarification about or to remove statements made by others on electronic media the REALTOR® controls once the REALTOR® knows the statement is false or misleading. (Adopted 1/10, Amended 1/12)

Article 16
REALTORS® shall not engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with exclusive representation or exclusive brokerage relationship agreements that other REALTORS® have with clients. (Amended 1/04)

Standard of Practice 16-1
Article 16 is not intended to prohibit aggressive or innovative business practices which are otherwise ethical and does not prohibit disagreements with other REALTORS® involving commission, fees, compensation or other forms of payment or expenses. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/95)

Standard of Practice 16-2
Article 16 does not preclude REALTORS® from making general announcements to prospects describing their services and the terms of their availability even though some recipients may have entered into agency agreements or other exclusive relationships with another REALTOR®. A general telephone canvass, general mailing or distribution addressed to all prospects in a given geographical area or in a given profession, business, club, or organization, or other classification or group is deemed “general” for purposes of this standard. (Amended 1/04)

Article 16 is intended to recognize as unethical two basic types of solicitations:

First, telephone or personal solicitations of property owners who have been identified by a real estate sign, multiple listing compilation, or other information service as having exclusively listed their property with another REALTOR®, and

Second, mail or other forms of written solicitations of prospects whose properties are exclusively listed with another REALTOR® when such solicitations are not part of a general mailing but are directed specifically to property owners identified through compilations of current listings, “for sale” or “for rent” signs, or other sources of information required by Article 3 and Multiple Listing Service rules to be made available to other REALTORS® under offers of subagency or cooperation. (Amended 1/04)

Standard of Practice 16-3
Article 16 does not preclude REALTORS® from contacting the client of another broker for the purpose of offering to provide, or entering into a contract to provide, a different type of real estate service unrelated to the type of service currently being provided (e.g., property management as opposed to brokerage) or from offering the same type of service for property not subject to other brokers’ exclusive agreements. However, information received through a Multiple Listing Service or any other offer of cooperation may not be used to target clients of other REALTORS® to whom such offers to provide services may be made. (Amended 1/04)

Standard of Practice 16-4
REALTORS® shall not solicit a listing which is currently listed exclusively with another broker. However, if the listing broker, when asked by the REALTOR®, refuses to disclose the expiration date and nature of such listing; i.e., an exclusive right to sell, an exclusive agency, open listing, or other form of contractual agreement between the listing broker and the client, the REALTOR® may contact the owner to secure such information and may discuss the terms upon which the REALTOR® might take a future listing or, alternatively, may take a listing to become effective upon expiration of any existing exclusive listing. (Amended 1/94)

Standard of Practice 16-5
REALTORS® shall not solicit buyer/tenant agreements from buyers/ tenants who are subject to exclusive buyer/tenant agreements. However, if asked by a REALTOR®, the broker refuses to disclose the expiration date of the exclusive buyer/tenant agreement, the REALTOR® may contact the buyer/tenant to secure such information and may discuss the terms upon which the REALTOR® might enter into a future buyer/tenant agreement or, alternatively, may enter into a buyer/tenant agreement to become effective upon the expiration of any existing exclusive buyer/tenant agreement. (Adopted 1/94, Amended 1/98)

Standard of Practice 16-6
When REALTORS® are contacted by the client of another REALTOR® regarding the creation of an exclusive relationship to provide the same type of service, and REALTORS® have not directly or indirectly initiated such discussions, they may discuss the terms upon which they might enter into a future agreement or, alternatively, may enter into an agreement which becomes effective upon expiration of any existing exclusive agreement. (Amended 1/98)

Standard of Practice 16-7
The fact that a prospect has retained a REALTOR® as an exclusive representative or exclusive broker in one or more past transactions does not preclude other REALTORS® from seeking such prospect’s future business. (Amended 1/04)

Standard of Practice 16-8
The fact that an exclusive agreement has been entered into with a REALTOR® shall not preclude or inhibit any other REALTOR® from entering into a similar agreement after the expiration of the prior agreement. (Amended 1/98)

Standard of Practice 16-9
REALTORS®, prior to entering into a representation agreement, have an affirmative obligation to make reasonable efforts to determine whether the prospect is subject to a current, valid exclusive agreement to provide the same type of real estate service. (Amended 1/04)

Standard of Practice 16-10
REALTORS®, acting as buyer or tenant representatives or brokers, shall disclose that relationship to the seller/landlord’s representative or broker at first contact and shall provide written confirmation of that disclosure to the seller/landlord’s representative or broker not later than execution of a purchase agreement or lease. (Amended 1/04)

Standard of Practice 16-11
On unlisted property, REALTORS® acting as buyer/tenant representatives or brokers shall disclose that relationship to the seller/landlord at first contact for that buyer/tenant and shall provide written confirmation of such disclosure to the seller/landlord not later than execution of any purchase or lease agreement. (Amended 1/04)

REALTORS® shall make any request for anticipated compensation from the seller/ landlord at first contact. (Amended 1/98)

Standard of Practice 16-12
REALTORS®, acting as representatives or brokers of sellers/landlords or as subagents of listing brokers, shall disclose that relationship to buyers/tenants as soon as practicable and shall provide written confirmation of such disclosure to buyers/tenants not later than execution of any purchase or lease agreement. (Amended 1/04)

Standard of Practice 16-13
All dealings concerning property exclusively listed, or with buyer/tenants who are subject to an exclusive agreement shall be carried on with the client’s representative or broker, and not with the client, except with the consent of the client’s representative or broker or except where such dealings are initiated by the client.

Before providing substantive services (such as writing a purchase offer or presenting a CMA) to prospects, REALTORS® shall ask prospects whether they are a party to any exclusive representation agreement. REALTORS® shall not knowingly provide substantive services concerning a prospective transaction to prospects who are parties to exclusive representation agreements, except with the consent of the prospects’ exclusive representatives or at the direction of prospects. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/04)

Standard of Practice 16-14
REALTORS® are free to enter into contractual relationships or to negotiate with sellers/ landlords, buyers/tenants or others who are not subject to an exclusive agreement but shall not knowingly obligate them to pay more than one commission except with their informed consent. (Amended 1/98)

Standard of Practice 16-15
In cooperative transactions REALTORS® shall compensate cooperating REALTORS® (principal brokers) and shall not compensate nor offer to compensate, directly or indirectly, any of the sales licensees employed by or affiliated with other REALTORS® without the prior express knowledge and consent of the cooperating broker.

Standard of Practice 16-16
REALTORS®, acting as subagents or buyer/tenant representatives or brokers, shall not use the terms of an offer to purchase/lease to attempt to modify the listing broker’s offer of compensation to subagents or buyer/tenant representatives or brokers nor make the submission of an executed offer to purchase/lease contingent on the listing broker’s agreement to modify the offer of compensation. (Amended 1/04)

Standard of Practice 16-17
REALTORS®, acting as subagents or as buyer/tenant representatives or brokers, shall not attempt to extend a listing broker’s offer of cooperation and/or compensation to other brokers without the consent of the listing broker. (Amended 1/04)

Standard of Practice 16-18
REALTORS® shall not use information obtained from listing brokers through offers to cooperate made through multiple listing services or through other offers of cooperation to refer listing brokers’ clients to other brokers or to create buyer/tenant relationships with listing brokers’ clients, unless such use is authorized by listing brokers. (Amended 1/02)

Standard of Practice 16-19
Signs giving notice of property for sale, rent, lease, or exchange shall not be placed on property without consent of the seller/landlord. (Amended 1/93)

Standard of Practice 16-20
REALTORS®, prior to or after their relationship with their current firm is terminated, shall not induce clients of their current firm to cancel exclusive contractual agreements between the client and that firm. This does not preclude REALTORS® (principals) from establishing agreements with their associated licensees governing assignability of exclusive agreements. (Adopted 1/98, Amended 1/10)

Article 17
In the event of contractual disputes or specific non-contractual disputes as defined in Standard of Practice 17-4 between REALTORS® (principals) associated with different firms, arising out of their relationship as REALTORS®, the REALTORS® shall mediate the dispute if the Board requires its members to mediate. If the dispute is not resolved through mediation, or if mediation is not required, REALTORS® shall submit the dispute to arbitration in accordance with the policies of their Board rather than litigate the matter.

In the event clients of REALTORS® wish to mediate or arbitrate contractual disputes arising out of real estate transactions, REALTORS® shall mediate or arbitrate those disputes in accordance with the policies of the Board, provided the clients agree to be bound by any resulting agreement or award.

The obligation to participate in mediation or arbitration contemplated by this Article includes the obligation of REALTORS® (principals) to cause their firms to mediate or arbitrate and be bound by any resulting agreement or award. (Amended 1/12)

Standard of Practice 17-1
The filing of litigation and refusal to withdraw from it by REALTORS® in an arbitrable matter constitutes a refusal to arbitrate. (Adopted 2/86)

Standard of Practice 17-2
Article 17 does not require REALTORS® to mediate in those circumstances when all parties to the dispute advise the Board in writing that they choose not to mediate through the Board's facilities. The fact that all parties decline to participate in mediation does not relieve REALTORS® of the duty to arbitrate.

Article 17 does not require REALTORS® to arbitrate in those circumstances when all parties to the dispute advise the Board in writing that they choose not to arbitrate before the Board. (Amended 1/12)

Standard of Practice 17-3
REALTORS®, when acting solely as principals in a real estate transaction, are not obligated to arbitrate disputes with other REALTORS® absent a specific written agreement to the contrary. (Adopted 1/96)

Standard of Practice 17-4

Specific non-contractual disputes that are subject to arbitration pursuant to Article 17 are:

Where a listing broker has compensated a cooperating broker and another cooperating broker subsequently claims to be the procuring cause of the sale or lease. In such cases the complainant may name the first cooperating broker as respondent and arbitration may proceed without the listing broker being named as a respondent. When arbitration occurs between two (or more) cooperating brokers and where the listing broker is not a party, the amount in dispute and the amount of any potential resulting award is limited to the amount paid to the respondent by the listing broker and any amount credited or paid to a party to the transaction at the direction of the respondent. Alternatively, if the complaint is brought against the listing broker, the listing broker may name the first cooperating broker as a third-party respondent. In either instance the decision of the hearing panel as to procuring cause shall be conclusive with respect to all current or subsequent claims of the parties for compensation arising out of the underlying cooperative transaction. (Adopted 1/97, Amended 1/07)

Where a buyer or tenant representative is compensated by the seller or landlord, and not by the listing broker, and the listing broker, as a result, reduces the commission owed by the seller or landlord and, subsequent to such actions, another cooperating broker claims to be the procuring cause of sale or lease. In such cases the complainant may name the first cooperating broker as respondent and arbitration may proceed without the listing broker being named as a respondent. When arbitration occurs between two (or more) cooperating brokers and where the listing broker is not a party, the amount in dispute and the amount of any potential resulting award is limited to the amount paid to the respondent by the seller or landlord and any amount credited or paid to a party to the transaction at the direction of the respondent. Alternatively, if the complaint is brought against the listing broker, the listing broker may name the first cooperating broker as a third-party respondent. In either instance the decision of the hearing panel as to procuring cause shall be conclusive with respect to all current or subsequent claims of the parties for compensation arising out of the underlying cooperative transaction. (Adopted 1/97, Amended 1/07)

Where a buyer or tenant representative is compensated by the buyer or tenant and, as a result, the listing broker reduces the commission owed by the seller or landlord and, subsequent to such actions, another cooperating broker claims to be the procuring cause of sale or lease. In such cases the complainant may name the first cooperating broker as respondent and arbitration may proceed without the listing broker being named as a respondent. Alternatively, if the complaint is brought against the listing broker, the listing broker may name the first cooperating broker as a third-party respondent. In either instance the decision of the hearing panel as to procuring cause shall be conclusive with respect to all current or subsequent claims of the parties for compensation arising out of the underlying cooperative transaction. (Adopted 1/97)

Where two or more listing brokers claim entitlement to compensation pursuant to open listings with a seller or landlord who agrees to participate in arbitration (or who requests arbitration) and who agrees to be bound by the decision. In cases where one of the listing brokers has been compensated by the seller or landlord, the other listing broker, as complainant, may name the first listing broker as respondent and arbitration may proceed between the brokers. (Adopted 1/97)

Where a buyer or tenant representative is compensated by the seller or landlord, and not by the listing broker, and the listing broker, as a result, reduces the commission owed by the seller or landlord and, subsequent to such actions, claims to be the procuring cause of sale or lease. In such cases arbitration shall be between the listing broker and the buyer or tenant representative and the amount in dispute is limited to the amount of the reduction of commission to which the listing broker agreed. (Adopted 1/05)

Standard of Practice 17-5
The obligation to arbitrate established in Article 17 includes disputes between REALTORS® (principals) in different states in instances where, absent an established inter–association arbitration agreement, the REALTOR® (principal) requesting arbitration agrees to submit to the jurisdiction of, travel to, participate in, and be bound by any resulting award rendered in arbitration conducted by the respondent(s) REALTOR®’s association, in instances where the respondent(s) REALTOR®’s association determines that an arbitrable issue exists. (Adopted 1/07)

Explanatory Notes

The reader should be aware of the following policies which have been approved by the Board of Directors of the National Association:

In filing a charge of an alleged violation of the Code of Ethics by a REALTOR®, the charge must read as an alleged violation of one or more Articles of the Code. Standards of Practice may be cited in support of the charge.

The Standards of Practice serve to clarify the ethical obligations imposed by the various Articles and supplement, and do not substitute for, the Case Interpretations in Interpretations of the Code of Ethics.

Modifications to existing Standards of Practice and additional new Standards of Practice are approved from time to time. Readers are cautioned to ensure that the most recent publications are utilized.

Copyright 2015, National Association of REALTORS®, All rights reserved. Form No. 166-288 (01/14 VG)