Important Notice of Change to Realtor Code of Ethics and its Enforcement

The National Association of Realtors Board of Directors met in mid-May in D.C.  Among the many matters considered by the Directors were two items relating to the Realtor Code of Ethics and its enforcement.

The NAR Directors approved an addition to Standard of Practice 1-7 that all Realtors should be aware of.  The addition reads “Upon the written request of a cooperating broker who submits an offer to the listing broker, the listing broker shall provide a written affirmation to the cooperating broker stating that the offer has been submitted to the seller/landlord, or a written notification that the seller/landlord has waived the obligation to have the offer presented.”

The rationale for this addition to the Code of Ethics is that it benefits the listing brokers by confirming their ethical duty to present offers consistent with the other provisions of Standard of Practice 1-7, and it benefits cooperating brokers by affording them written confirmation of offer presentation to provide to their buyers.  In a real estate market where inventory is extremely low, this requirement establishes a valuable assurance of offer presentation for consumers.

The other important item relating to the Code of Ethics and its enforcement was the adoption by the NAR Directors of an amendment to the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual that allows, as a matter of location discretion, the publication to members of the names and nature of violations of repeat ethics violators.  

At their June meeting, the KAAR Directors approved to publicize the names of repeat ethics violators and the nature of their violations.  Publication will only occur after a second violation within three years. Publication will be to all association members. At least one of the violations must be based on conduct which occurs after June 14, 2018.

The rationale for the adoption of this policy is that publication of repeat Code of Ethics violators can provide an increased deterrent to unethical behavior.