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What Is a REALTOR®?

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. Not all real estate licensees are REALTORS®!

Founded in 1908, NAR has grown from its original nucleus of 120 to over 1 million members today. NAR is composed of residential and commercial REALTORS®, who are managing brokers, brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors and others engaged in all aspects of the real estate industry. Members belong to one or more of some 1,700 local associations/boards and 54 state and territory associations of REALTORS®. NAR is considered the largest professional association in the world.

REALTORS® are pledged to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.  The Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS® is universally recognized as the measure of professionalism in real estate. Adherence to the Code is the first great bond between REALTORS® throughout the country, enduring high standards of professional conduct in serving the interest of your clients and customers.

Time-honored and baseline principles have come from the collective experiences of REALTORS® since the Code of Ethics was first established in 1913 and can be loosely defined as:

  • Loyalty to clients
  • Fiduciary (legal) duty to clients
  • Cooperation with competitors
  • Truthfulness in statements and advertising
  • Non-interference in exclusive relationships that other REALTORS® have with their clients