One of the most important things that sets REALTORS® apart from real estate agents is the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. The term Realtor® has come to connote competency, fairness, and high integrity resulting from adherence to a lofty ideal of moral conduct in business relations. No inducement of profit and no instruction from clients ever can justify departure from this ideal. In the interpretation of this obligation, Realtors® can take no safer guide than that which has been handed down through the centuries, embodied in the Golden Rule, “Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them.”
The Code is designed to establish a public and professional consensus against which the practice and conduct of REALTORS® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®s may be judged. Adherence to the Code is an obligation voluntarily accepted by REALTORS® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®s to ensure high standards of professional conduct to serve the interests of their clients and customers.
The Code of Ethics was first adopted in 1913, was one of the first codifications of ethical duties adopted by any business group. The Code ensures that consumers are served by requiring REALTORS® to cooperate with each other in furthering clients' best interests.
The Code of Ethics is available in several translations. These translations of the REALTORS® Code of Ethics are provided as an informational service to REALTORS® and their clients and customers. The Code of Ethics in English is the only official version for purposes of enforcement.