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Changes to the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual will go into effect January 2023. Those changes are as follows:

  • Limits on expedited enforcement. The board added language to Section 20 of the manual, which describes an expedited ethics enforcement process. The new language enables Grievance Committees to refer a complaint to the Professional Standards Committee for a hearing—despite a respondent’s request for expedited enforcement—if the conduct described in the complaint is sufficiently egregious and/or a potential violation of public trust. Reason: The expedited process doesn’t allow associations sufficient latitude to deal with such complaints. Under the expedited ethics enforcement process, a member can’t be suspended for more than 30 days. The expedited process also takes expulsion off the table and doesn’t allow for suspension or expulsion from MLS participation. In addition, hearing panels have no mechanism to require respondents to cease or refrain from conduct deemed to be in violation of the Code or to take affirmative steps to ensure compliance with the Code.
  • Anonymous complaints. The board also modified Section 20 to clarify that anonymous complaints, other than those allowed for in an association’s citation policy, are prohibited. If an association’s citation policy allows for anonymous complaints, any complaint referred for hearing must include a complainant (such as a member of the Grievance Committee) to shoulder the burden of proof.

* The Arizona REALTORS® does not accept anonymous complaints.

  • Definition of “real estate professional.” Section 1 of the manual has been amended to define “Real Estate Professional” as an individual engaged in the disciplines of real estate specified under Article 11 of the Code of Ethics. Those disciplines include residential real estate brokerage, property management, commercial and industrial real estate brokerage, land brokerage, real estate appraisal, real estate counseling, real estate syndication, real estate auction, and international real estate.

Note: This definition clarifies other “real estate professionals” as identified in Article 15.

  • Replace the term “handicap” with “disability”. The Board of Directors voted to replace the term “handicap” with “disability” in Article 10 of the Code of Ethics, in the Standards of Practice, and in corresponding NAR references to protected classes under fair housing law. This change to the Code was subsequently approved by the NAR delegate Body.
  • Approved changes to the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual to remove the board president from the process of disseminating ethics complaints, responses, and appeal decisions. These amendments strengthen the grievance process by removing any appearance of impropriety.

* This change does not affect the Arizona REALTORS® process.

  • Amended Standard of Practice 3-9 of the Code of Ethics to replace “the listing broker” with “the seller” to clarify that it’s the seller, not the listing broker, who establishes terms relating to the marketing and sale of the property.

For questions regarding the changes to the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual, please contact Michelle Sinclair, Arizona REALTORS® Professional Standards Administrator.

Michelle Sinclair, Professional Standards Administrator


602.248.7787 (Ext. 1447)