REALTOR® Code of Ethics

The National Association of REALTORS® adopted the Code of Ethics in 1913 following the professions of medicine, law, and engineering.

REALTORS® are real estate professionals who have chosen to join the National Association and abide by its strict Code of Ethics. What does this mean to you? It means that any REALTOR® you work with has voluntarily agreed to abide by a Code of Ethics based on professionalism and protection of the public. REALTORS® are subject to disciplinary action and sanctions if they violate the duties imposed by the Code of Ethics.

The Code of Ethics is a detailed document spelling out the professional responsibilities of every REALTOR. The following summary is provided for your convenience, but is not a substitute for the actual Code, including Standards of Practice. Do not hesitate to ask a REALTOR® for a copy of the Code, including the Standards of Practice. The Code is your assurance of dealing with a professional having your best interests in mind.

Duties to Clients and Customers

  • Article 1
    REALTORS® protect and promote their client's interests while treating all parties honestly.
  • Article 2
    REALTORS® refrain from exaggeration, misrepresentation or concealment of pertinent facts related to property or transactions.
  • Article 3
    REALTORS® cooperate with other real estate professionals to advance their client's best interests.
  • Article 4
    When buying or selling on their own account or for their families or firms, REALTORS® make their true position known.
  • Article 5
    REALTORS® do not provide professional services where they have any present or contemplated interest in property without disclosing that interest to all affected parties.
  • Article 6
    REALTORS® disclose any fee or financial benefit they may receive from recommending related real estate products or services.
  • Article 7
    REALTORS® receive compensation from only one party, except where they make full disclosure and receive informed consent from their client.
  • Article 8
    REALTORS® keep entrusted funds of clients and customers in a separate escrow account.
  • Article 9
    REALTORS® make sure that contract details are spelled out in writing and that parties receive copies.

Duties to the Public

  • Article 10
    REALTORS® give equal professional service to all clients and customers irrespective of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
  • Article 11
    REALTORS® are knowledgeable and competent in the fields of practice in which they engage or they get assistance from a knowledgeable professional, or disclose any lack of expertise to their client.
  • Article 12
    REALTORS® paint a true picture in their advertising and in other public representations.
  • Article 13
    REALTORS® do not engage in the unauthorized practice of law.
  • Article 14
    REALTORS® willingly participate in ethics investigations and enforcement actions.

Duties to REALTORS®

  • Article 15
    REALTORS® make only truthful, objective comments about other real estate professionals.
  • Article 16
    REALTORS® respect the exclusive, professional relationship that other REALTORS® have with their clients.
  • Article 17
    REALTORS® arbitrate financial disagreements with other REALTORS® and with their clients.

Ethics and Complaints

If you have a problem with your Odessa REALTOR®, you can file an Ethics Complaint with the Texas Association of REALTORS®. To make sure the individual you have a complaint against is a REALTOR®, go to the Texas Association of REALTORS® File a complaint page.

If your agent is not a REALTOR®, you will need to contact the licensing agency in Texas, the Texas Real Estate Commission, at 512-936-3000.


Before you file a complaint

Many problems arise because of lack of communication or the communication breaks down. Try talking to your agent's broker first, if your agent holds a salesperson's license. If your agent is the broker, you can utilize the services of the Texas Association of REALTORS® OMDUDSMAN program. This program can re-establish the lines of communication, and save both parties the trouble of filing a complaint.

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