REALTORS® Celebrate the Centennial of their Code of Ethics
This year, the National Association of REALTORS® celebrates the centennial of its professional Code of Ethics. The first draft of the dynamic code, by which all REALTORS® must abide, was introduced at the annual convention of NAR in 1913. It was divided into two sections, “The Duty of Real Estate Men Towards Their Clients” and “The Duty of Real Estate Men Towards Other Real Estate Men.” The foundation of the code was built on the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as ye would that other should do unto you.”
Linda Terry, 2013 President of the Richmond Association of REALTORS®, recognizes this significant milestone as the celebration of what makes her most proud to work in this profession. “Do you know of any other profession where we actually write one another’s paychecks? Think about it; for every two-sided transaction, sales or lease, one brokerage actually pays a competitor to have completed the deal,” Linda remarked. “This fact demands that we collaborate and cooperate in ways no other world of work does. It demands the highest degree of integrity and professionalism—not only toward our clients, but also toward one another. Subscription to this strict code is essentially what sets REALTORS® apart from all others in the real estate industry,” she added.
The preamble of the Code of Ethics still also reflects the collective sentiments of REALTORS® today—the honor and sense of duty in helping our communities take shape and thrive. It begins:
Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. REALTORS® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.
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