The Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS® is universally recognized by lawyers and laymen alike as the measure of professionalism in real estate. It does not describe the lowest common denominator of permissible performance as do the licensing laws of several states. Rather, it describes the optimum performance the public has the right to expect and makes that performance the norm for REALTORS®.

But, as the real estate marketplace is a dynamic, demanding environment, so the Code is, has been, and will continue to be a demanding and dynamic document; a plan for professionalism in real estate capable of including and accommodating every change, challenge, and controversy which arises.

And, it is precisely because the Code must continue as a meaningful and relevant standard of professional performance that this Manual is especially dedicated to the men and women who have served on the Professional Standards Committee of the National Association with unstinting devotion, as well as the Member Experience team which has staff responsibility to the Professional Standards Committee. It is their charge to give early warning of the changes, challenges, and controversies which the Code must confront; it is they who must identify the misapplications and misinterpretations of the Code which, if uncorrected or unnoticed, would discredit and ultimately destroy it.

This Manual reflects the efforts and contributions of the entire Member Experience staff on behalf of the Professional Standards Committee to meet the REALTOR®’s need for a ready reference synthesis of the Code.

It is in hope of satisfying this need, that this Manual is published.

William D. North
Executive Vice President
December, 1984