One of the fundamental objectives of the founders of the National Association of REALTORS® was a Code of Ethics which would be, “. . . as the ten commandments to the real estate fraternity.” When the first Code was approved in 1913 at the Annual Convention in Winnipeg, Canada, a delegate arose to say, “. . . many important things have occurred here today, but none so important as the action we have just taken.”

And thus the Code was born, and it has served since 1913 as a “golden thread” binding REALTORS® together in a common, continuing quest for professionalism through the ethical obligations premised upon moral integrity and competent service to clients and customers, and dedication to the public interest and welfare. The Code has been amended many times to reflect changes in the real estate marketplace, the needs of property owners, and the perceptions and values of society, but its demand for high standards of professional conduct protecting the interests of clients and customers, and safeguarding the rights of consumers of real estate services has not and will never change.

The Code of Ethics was amended at the 1994 Annual Convention to make the aspirational objectives of the former first six Articles an integral part of the Preamble to ensure that the duties and obligations imposed by the Code, through its Articles, are objective, readily understood, and will be interpreted and applied consistently and uniformly nationwide.

The 17 Articles of the Code establish standards of conduct which the REALTOR® must satisfy. These Articles govern the REALTOR®’s conduct in everyday business dealings with clients, customers, and other REALTORS®. Failure to observe these standards can result in disciplinary action.