The Code of Ethics Toughens Its Wording

Article 3 Revised to Include Antidiscrimination Ban

 Code of Ethics, National Association of REALTORS®

Published Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Close-Up of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics

An implicit antidiscrimination ban is now spelled out by a new standard of practice in the Code of Ethics. NAR’s Board of Directors recently approved a new standard of practice to Article 3 of the Code of Ethics, effective Jan. 1, 2020:

Article 3 had long mandated that "REALTORS® shall cooperate with other brokers except when cooperation is not in the client’s best interest." That provision has always implicitly forbidden refusal to cooperate with other brokers based on other brokers’ membership in any protected class. The revision dispenses with any subtlety by explicitly prohibiting what was previously implicitly prohibited.

The revision to Article 3, which adds Standard of Practice 3-11, reads as follows:

REALTORS® may not refuse to cooperate on the basis of a broker’s race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Read more about the revision at