All REALTORS® must abide by NAR's Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. The Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice outline duties that REALTORS® have to clients and customers, the public, and other REALTORS®.
The Code of Ethics imposes duties above and beyond those imposed by law or regulation and applies only to real estate professionals who choose to become REALTORS®. REALTOR® members of the National Association of REALTORS®, Illinois Association of REALTORS, and Illini Valley Association of REALTORS® are required to take a Code of Ethics class.
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The National Association of Realtors ® (NAR) adopted a code of conduct for its members in 1913. This code, called the "Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice" establishes strict professional standards for all Realtors®. While not all licensees are Realtors®, the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice has become a foundation of sound business ethics in the practice of real estate.
Illinois licensees are required to adhere to all principles of equal opportunity in housing. Failure to comply with state and federal housing laws is grounds for license revocation in addition to other civil or criminal penalties.
Federal regulations regarding equal opportunity in housing are contained principally in the Federal Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin in the sale, rental, or financing of residential property. The state of Illinois also includes ancestry, age, marital status, physical and mental disability, military service, unfavorable military discharge, sexual orientation and order of protection status. Discriminatory actions include refusing to deal with an individual or a specific group, changing any terms of a real estate or loan transaction, changing the services offered for any individual or group, creating statements or advertisements that indicate discriminatory restrictions or attempting to make a dwelling unavailable to any person or group because of one of the protected classes. The law also prohibits steering to certain towns or neighborhoods, blockbusting (also called panic selling), and redlining (containing loans to specific areas for reasons other than the applicant's financial qualifications).