Written by Terese (Terry) Penza, RCE, CAE, REAL Trends Director of Network Membership
The National Association of Realtors’ Code of Ethics is going to be on the front burner this year. California just announced that they will be publishing the names of those who have been part of an ethics hearing and were found guilty of violating articles of the code.
NAR has, within their new mandated core standards, required every local association to make access to professional standards and arbitration filing processes available. Also, locals are to adopt expedited enforcement and may use citations. By providing information, easy access and faster results, there will probably be additional filings. The hopeful results of these new mandates will take away the threats of retaliation for filings or intimidation, as well as long delays that have hampered many cases from seeing the day of light.
Each REALTOR® must complete a course on the Code of Ethics every four years. Placed into three categories, duties to clients and customers, duties to the public and duties to REALTORS®, the Code offers benchmarks on how to conduct your life as a real estate professional. It’s a living document that changes along with the trends of the current real estate market. Also, the Code of Ethics is not a residential Code of Ethics, it covers all forms of real estate.
The best way to understand the Code is to read the interpretations. These interpretations are a series of cases developed by NAR’s Professional Standards committee which embody the official interpretation of each article. Each year, a revised Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual is published. You may access the manual online http://www.realtor.org/code-of-ethics-and-arbitration-manual. Go to table of contents—Interpretations of the Code of Ethics which is page 263 of the 2014 pdf version.
May the Code be with you!