National Association of Realtors The National Association of Realtors ® (NAR), is one of the largest trade associations in the US. Membership is international. Most buyers agents belong to this huge association of over 1.4 million members

The word “Realtor” is commonly used in the English language to refer to any licensed broker of real estate. However, more precisely, the person is a member of this trade association. Those who are not members cannot call themselves, “Realtors”.  Thus the word is protected by the registered trademark symbol ®

Membership in this association usually goes in tandem with membership in local state associations. Many multiple listing services require membership in NAR to access their listing services. Our National Association of Buyers Agents provides a list of its members by state located here.

NAR members agree to adhere to a code of ethics. State associations typically enforce the code of ethics through a Professional Standards Council or Committee. Members of the association form hearing panels charged with the responsibility to hear testimony and evaluate evidence from complaints filed by the public, or other members, against association members for alleged violations of the code of ethics.

If the panel finds the member in violation, disciplines recommended may be enforced. These disciplines may include: a letter of warning or reprimand, taking additional educational courses, suspension or even expulsion of membership, probation or fines.

States with the U.S. also have real estate commissions or boards who also oversee complaints by the public regarding real estate licensees.

In 2023, NAR was a part of several lawsuits filed by consumers who were questioning how buyer agents get paid.  The industry is changing!