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Core Standards

New Core Standards video featuring Dorcas Helfant-Browning

Core Standards for State and Local Associations

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)  adopted new Core Standards in May 2014, which replace any standards which previously existed. All REALTOR® chartered organizations must comply with the new standards by June 30 of each year in order to remain a REALTOR® chartered organization. The purpose of the new standards is to raise the bar for REALTOR® associations, and, to ensure all REALTOR® members are receiving high level service from their state and local association regardless of association size or location.

Local, state, and territorial associations of REALTORS®, as a condition of membership in the National Association of REALTORS®, must meet NAR’s Organizational Alignment Core Standards, a set of requirements that fall into six categories:

  1. Code of Ethics 
  2. Advocacy
  3. Consumer Outreach      
  4. Unification Efforts and Support of the REALTOR® Organization 
  5. Technology
  6. Financial Solvency

REALTOR® associations must certify compliance with the standards by June 30, 2015—and by June 30 of each subsequent year—or be subject to revocation of their charter.

Highlights from the Virginia Core Standards Summit - July 23-24, 2014

  • Code of Ethics: All associations must have member training, have an enforcement process and must provide mediation services.
  • Advocacy: Our associations serve as our advocate on business and property rights issues to policy makers, consequently local associations are critical to ensuring we have both the financial tools and the strength of voice to impact public policy. The new Core Standards require more effort is incorporated into education about RPAC and into increasing RPAC contributions.  Additionally they require local associations to encourage Members to respond to "Calls For Action"
  • Consumer Outreach: NAR has implemented requirements that underscore the need for our associations to play an active role in educating the public about the value of using a REALTOR®. The requirements are also designed to ensure REALTORS® are viewed as the resource and voice by the public and media when it comes to Real Estate issues.  Finally there are requirements to enhance the Image of REALTORS® to the public through community participation and engaging the public in political advocacy.   
  • Unification Efforts and Support of the REALTOR®: All associations must have access to legal counsel to provide legal guidance with respect to laws and regulations governing the operation of real estate associations and other matters that might create liability to the association. Associations shall adopt and maintain corporate documents, policies and procedures that conform to local, state and federal laws. Associations will timely file legally required reports and documents. Every association shall have and annually adopt a business or strategic plan including an advocacy component. Local and state association chief staff must complete at least six hours of REALTOR® association professional development on an annual basis.  
  • Technology: Every association must have an interactive website (defined as the ability to move between websites and create active links), post access to professional standards and arbitration filing processes on the website and create a link to the websites of the other levels of the association for promotion of member programs, products and services. Every association must utilize an e-mail and/or internet based means for member communication.
  • Financial Solvency: Every Association must adopt policies to ensure the fiscal integrity of their financial operations and must submit a report from a CPA which includes either an audit opinion or an accountant's review report on an annual basis. For those associations with revenues less than $50,000 annually, a compilation report prepared by a CPA will be acceptable.