One More for Your Christmas List

By 2013 NAR President Gary Thomas

This time of year is very busy…work projects, gift shopping, holiday parties.  It all seems to pile up, and most of us don’t need more to do.  Even so, please let me put just one more thing on your Christmas list.

If you haven’t done so already, you have until December 31 to complete ethics training. As you probably know, REALTORS® are required to complete not less than two and one half hours of ethics instruction within a four-year cycle.  This training must meet specific learning objectives and criteria established by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS®.

The year 2013 marks the centennial of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. The first Code was written before license laws and most other regulations governing real estate existed.  It was one of the first times that codifications of ethical duties were adopted by any business group.

Modeled on ethical codes of physicians, engineers and lawyers, the Code was the precursor to state license laws.  It was seen as a declaration of the industry’s principles and beliefs.  Establishing ethical standards for real estate practitioners was the spark that led to organizing the National Association of REALTORS®.

Today, the Code is a living document that today undergoes annual review and revision to ensure it stays relevant.

Because it embodies the “Golden Rule,” the Code has been called a “golden thread,” uniting those devoted to raising the standards of professionalism and service in real estate.

It does this in a number of ways.  One is by ensuring that consumers are served by requiring REALTORS® to cooperate with each other in furthering clients’ best interests.  Other ways the Code unites REALTORS® is by demanding respect for others’ exclusive relationships with clients and keeping disputes between members “in the family” by requiring REALTORS® to arbitrate—and many associations require members to mediate.  The Code is enforced at the local level through knowledgeable peer panels.

So don’t wait.  December 31, 2012, is the deadline for all REALTORS® to complete NAR Code of Ethics training this cycle to maintain their membership.  Training may be completed through local REALTOR® associations or through another method such as home study, correspondence, classroom courses or online courses.  An online training course at fulfills the requirement and is free of charge.  Just go to

Silver and gold…naughty or nice…learn the Code…don’t think twice!



  1. carol leygraaf

    do appraisers need to take this course also?



  3. Ed

    The NAR Ethics requirement reflects poorly on REALTORS. In California, the Department of Real Estate (DRE) requires an Ethics course to be taken every four years for license renewal. However, this course does not have to pertain to or address the NAR Code of Ethics. Yet up and down the state, local association of REALTORS are allowing ANY DRE ethics course to satisfy the NAR requirement. Why? Because local association of REALTORS have become so competitive for members that they have dropped their standards for the ethics requirement in order to maintain their members. Frankly, I am embarrised to be a REALTOR and have dropped the word REALTOR from my name.

  4. Thank you for providing an online training course at making it very convenient to fulfill the requirement along with offering it free of charge.  The course is available at

    Happy New Year
    Marzia Rivera, Broker