Frequently Asked Questions About the Bylaws Certification Process

Frequently asked questions and answers regarding NAR's Bylaws Certification Process.

1: The NAR Model bylaws include many other provisions that are not on the certification form. Do we need to delete the other provisions? 

No. The other provisions do not need to be deleted. State law may specify what provisions must be contained in the local association's bylaws. Whether provisions outside the five categories  that are currently in the bylaws should or must be included in the bylaws moving forward is a matter of local discretion and state law. Local association legal counsel can advise on issues related to state law. 

2: Are there other resources available from NAR?

To complement the certification process, NAR has developed Good Sense Governance a monthly series created by NAR's Member Experience team, and provides association governance "best practices", as well as topical resources, aimed to help associations implement sound governance practices, and tackle important governance issues. 

3: What language in the mandatory provisions were updated for 2022?

The language in the Privileges and Obligations provisions were updated by the Membership Policy and Board Jurisdiction Committee and were subsequently approved by the Board of Directors at the REALTORS® Conference and Expo in San Diego in 2021. The revised language is below:

Privileges of REALTOR® Members.

REALTOR® members, whether primary or secondary, in good standing whose financial obligations to the association are paid in full shall be are entitled to vote and to hold elective office in the association;, and may use the term REALTOR® and REALTORS; and have the primary responsibility to safeguard and promote the standards, interests, and welfare of the association and the real estate profession. For purposes of this section, the term “good standing” means the member satisfies the “Obligations of REALTOR® Members”, is current with all financial and disciplinary obligations to the association and MLS, has completed any new member requirements, and complies with NAR’s trademark rules.

Obligations of REALTOR® Members.

It shall be the duty and responsibility of every REALTOR® member of this association to safeguard and promote the standards, interests, and welfare of the association and the real estate profession., and to protect against conduct that may cause a lack of public confidence in the real estate profession or in REALTORS®.  REALTOR® members also must abide by the Constitution and Bylaws governing documents and the rules and regulations policies of the association, the Constitution and Bylaws of the State Association, and the Constitution and Bylaws of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, and to abide by as well as the Code of Ethics of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, including the duty to arbitrate controversies arising out of real estate transactions as specified by Article 17 of the Code of Ethics, and as further defined and in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual of this association, as from time to time amended.

Every REALTOR® member shall maintain a high level of integrity and adhere to the association’s membership criteria.  Any violent act or threat of violence to person or property, hateful conduct, or acts of moral turpitude impacting the public shall not be tolerated and may be cause for disciplinary action, up to and including termination of membership.

Alternate Section 2 for associations that require members to mediate otherwise-arbitrable disputes.

It shall be the duty and responsibility of every REALTOR® member of this association to safeguard and promote the standards, interests, and welfare of the association and the real estate profession., and to protect against conduct that may cause a lack of public confidence in the real estate profession or in REALTORS®.  REALTOR® members also must abide by the Constitution and Bylaws governing documents and the rules and regulations policies of the association, the Constitution and Bylaws of the State Association, and the Constitution and Bylaws of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, and to abide by as well as the Code of Ethics of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, including the duty to mediate and arbitrate controversies arising out of real estate transactions as specified by Article 17 of the Code of Ethics, and as further defined and in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual of this association, as from time to time amended.

Every REALTOR® member shall maintain a high level of integrity and adhere to the association’s membership criteria.  Any violent act or threat of violence to person or property, hateful conduct, or acts of moral turpitude impacting the public shall not be tolerated and may be cause for disciplinary action, up to and including termination of membership.

4: The form uses the term "association" throughout, our bylaws use the term "board", do we need to change our bylaws? 

No. The terms are interchangeable. 

5: Did the review process change for MLS governing documents? 

No. The process for reviewing MLS governing documents has not changed. MLS governing documents must be sent to NAR staff for review once every two (2) years at NARPolicyQuestions@nar.realtor

6: What procedures should be followed if there is a threat of litigation against the association? 

In the event the association has been sued or someone has threatened to sue, a current copy of the association's bylaws must be submitted to confirm adoption of the mandatory provisions. 

7: How do we ensure our bylaws are consistent with state law? 

The association's bylaws should be reviewed by association legal counsel to ensure consistency with state law. 

8: Must all the provisions on the certification form be in our bylaws? 

Yes. NAR policy requires all the provisions on the certification form be included in the association's bylaws. 

9: Do we have to offer affiliate, student and/or honorary membership? Why aren't these categories of membership on the certification form? 

No. The association does not have to offer affiliate, student and/or honorary membership. These categories of membership are optional and therefore are not included with the mandatory bylaws provisions.

10: If our association amends its bylaws with changes not required by NAR, do we need to send to NAR those changes for approval.

No.

11: If, in the future, NAR mandates changes to any of the provisions required per the certification form, should our association send a copy of its amended bylaws to NAR as evidence of adoption of the change?

No. However, all associations, in that event, will be notified of mandated changes and will, in turn, need to re-certify via a link provided on this page.

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