Code of ethics changes

In addition to voting on membership dues, NAR’s board of directors also voted to amend Article 4 of the trade group’s code of ethics, in an attempt to clarify Realtors’ obligations when they have ownership interest in a property.

As these changes pertain to the code of ethics, however, they will only go into effect if NAR’s delegate body — which is made up of local board presidents who attend one delegate body meeting in their one year of service, and who only meet when changes to the NAR Constitution or the code of ethics are being considered — approves of them at NAR’s annual conference in November.

As it currently stands, Article 4 states: “Realtors shall not acquire an interest in or buy or present offers from themselves, any member of their immediate families, their firms or any member thereof, or any entities in which they have any ownership interest, any real property without making their true position known to the owner or the owner’s agent or broker. In selling property they own, or in which they have any interest, Realtors shall reveal their ownership or interest in writing to the purchaser or the purchaser’s representative.”

If the delegate body approves of the changes, Article 4 would read: “Realtors who have a present ownership interest in property for sale or lease, or contemplated interest to purchase or lease property, must disclose in writing the existence of such interest to all parties to the transaction prior to a party signing any agreement.”

Additionally, the board also voted to change Article 4’s first standard of practice, which currently reads: “For the protection of all parties, the disclosures required by Article 4 shall be in writing and provided by Realtors prior to the signing of any contract.”

If approved in November, the standard would be changed to:

“The present ownership interest in property for sale or lease, or contemplated interest to purchase or lease property, includes transactions in which Realtors:

1. represent themselves

2. represent a member of their immediate family

3. represent their firm or any broker or agent thereof

4. represent an entity in which the REALTOR(R) or member of their immediate family has a legal interest.”

In addition to these two proposed changes, NAR’s delegate body will also consider a new standard of practice the trade groups board voted to include.

The proposed standard states: “REALTORS(R) are not required to disclose the identity of the client or customer, nor the specific nature of the interest referred to in Article 4, but must disclose that an interest exists.”

The National Association of REALTORS® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Posted by: Byron King on 05/13/24 (This information is only accurate as of 05/13/24. You must contact SCR for updates and changes to this information after 05/13/24 as laws and regulations may change over time. SCR 803-772-5206 or email info at or email byron at

This information is not legal advice. This information is intended only to provide general information and may not be relied upon as specific legal guidance. Legal counsel should always be consulted before acting in reliance on this information.