NAR's Code of Ethics, adopted in 1913, was one of the first codifications of ethical duties adopted by any business group. The Code ensures that consumers are served by requiring REALTORS® to cooperate with each other in furthering clients' best interests.

The Code of Ethics

View the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of REALTORS® Effective January 1, 2020.

Download: PDF: 797 KB or DOC: 31 KB | Color Poster (PDF: 97 KB) | Translations | Audio Clips

Check Code of Ethics Status

REALTOR® is a trademark; a brand name that separates licensed agents from those who are bound to adhere to a higher standard.  Only members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) may conduct business under the REALTOR® brand. A great advantage of working with a REALTOR® is that ALL REALTORS® are bound by the NAR Code of Ethics and must complete training every two years.  The code establishes rules, procedures and best practices designed to ensure the highest standards of ethical conduct and professionalism.  

The code often establishes rules that exceed the requirements of law.  It is frequently adjusted to adapt to the challenges of the ever-changing market, but always adheres to an ethical core that makes working with a REALTOR® a significant advantage.  Click here to see the most recent NAR Code of Ethics and Standard Practices.     

Pathways to Professionalism

While the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association establishes 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. [read more below]

Filing an Ethics Complaint

The Southern Maryland Association of REALTORS® is responsible for enforcing the REALTORS® Code of Ethics.  If you feel a REALTOR® has not abided by the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, you may wish to file a complaint.  The following information is beneficial: "Before You File an Ethics Complaint,"Ethics Complaint Instructions, and the Ethics Complaint Form.