Pathways to Professionalism

Issues of courtesy and etiquette are also important factors when it comes to NAR's Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice.

The Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of REALTORS® establishes objective, enforceable ethical standards governing the professional conduct of REALTORS®. This list of suggested professional courtesies is meant to complement the Code of Ethics, may not be all-inclusive, and may be supplemented by local custom and practice.

These Professional courtesies are intended to be used by REALTORS® on a voluntary basis, and cannot form the basis for a professional standards complaint.

Respect for the Public

  1. Follow the "Golden Rule”: Do unto other as you would have them do unto you.
  2. Respond promptly to inquiries and requests for information.
  3. Schedule appointments and showings as far in advance as possible.
  4. Communicate promptly if you are delayed or must cancel an appointment or showing. If a prospective buyer decides not to view
    an occupied home, promptly communicate the situation to the listing broker or the occupant.
  5. When entering a property ensure that unexpected situations, such as pets, are handled appropriately.
  6. Never criticize property in the presence of the occupant.
  7. When showing an occupied home, always ring the doorbell or knock—and announce yourself loudly before entering. Knock and announce yourself loudly before entering any closed room.
  8. Present a professional appearance.
  9. If occupants are home during showings, ask their permission before using the bathroom.
  10. Encourage the clients of other brokers to direct questions to their agent or representative.
  11. Communicate clearly; ensure specialized language and real estate terminology is understood.
  12. Be aware of and respect cultural differences. Show courtesy and respect to everyone.
  13. Be aware of—and meet—all deadlines.
  14. Promise only what you can deliver—and keep your promises.
  15. Do not tell people what you think—tell them what you know.

Respect for Property

  1. When showing a property, be responsible for your clients/customers and keep the group together.
  2. Make reasonable and timely accommodations to provide access to listed properties.
  3. Make reasonable and timely requests to access listed properties.
  4. Leave the property as you found it (lights, heating, cooling, drapes, etc.) If you think something is amiss (e.g. vandalism), contact the listing broker immediately.
  5. Be considerate of the seller's property. Do not allow anyone to eat, drink, smoke, dispose of trash, use bathing or sleeping facilities, or bring pets. When instructed or appropriate, remove footwear when entering property.
  6. Obtain permission before photographing, videographing, or streaming the interiors or exteriors of properties, or allowing others to do so.

Respect for Peers

  1. Respond to other real estate professionals' communications promptly and courteously.
  2. Contact the listing broker if there appears to be a discrepancy in the listing information.
  3. Inform anyone accessing the property about important information, (e.g., pets, security systems, video and audio recording equipment).
  4. Inform if sellers or listing agent will be present during the showing.
  5. Show courtesy, trust, and respect to other real estate professionals.
  6. Avoid the inappropriate use of endearments or other denigrating language.
  7. Do not prospect at other REALTORS®' open houses or similar events.
  8. Secure property and lockbox and/or return keys promptly.
  9. Real estate is a reputation business. What you do today may affect your reputation—and business—for years to come.

(Revised 5/23)