Establishing ethical standards for real estate practitioners was the reason for organizing the National Association REALTORS® (NAR).

The Code of Ethics—adopted in 1913—was one of the first codifications of ethical duties adopted by any business group and was modeled on ethical codes of physicians, engineers, and lawyers.

The Code was the precursor to state license laws.

The Code embodies the "Golden Rule."

The Code ensures that consumers are served by requiring REALTORS® to cooperate with each other in furthering their clients’ best interests.

The Code demands respect for others’ exclusive relationships with clients.

The Code keeps disputes out of court and between members "in the family" by requiring them to arbitrate.

The Code consists of 17 Articles; 87 supporting Standards of Practice which interprets how the Code relates to daily real estate practices and an additional 160 explanatory case examples.

The Code is enforced at the local level through knowledgeable peer panels.

The Code is a living document subject to ongoing review to ensure it stays relevant. An updated version is published every year.