The National Association of Realtors (NAR), whose member brokers are known as realtors (member agents are known as realtor associates), is a North American trade association for those who work in the real estate industry. It has over 1.1 million members, including NAR's institutes, societies, and councils, involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. NAR also functions as a self-regulatory organization for real estate brokerage. The organization is headquartered in Chicago.
|National Association of Realtors|
Logo of the National Association of Realtors
|Formation||May 8, 1908|
The National Association of Realtors was founded on May 13, 1908 as the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges in Chicago, Illinois. In 1916, the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges changed its name to The National Association of Real Estate Boards. The current name was adopted in 1972.
NAR's members are residential and commercial real estate brokers, real estate salespeople, immovable property managers, appraisers, counselors, and others engaged in all aspects of the real estate (immovable property) industry, where a state license to practice is required. Members belong to one or more of some 1,600 local realtor boards or associations. They are pledged to a code of ethics and standards of practice, which were adopted in 1913.
The use of the term "realtor" was first proposed by Charles N. Chadbourn, in an article in the National Real Estate Journal in March 1916. Chadbourn, then a real estate agent in Minneapolis and vice-president of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, wrote "I propose that the National Association adopt a professional title to be conferred upon its members which they shall use to distinguish them from outsiders. That this title be copyrighted and defended by the National Association against misuse... I therefore, propose that the National Association adopt and confer upon its members, dealers in realty, the title of realtor (accented on the first syllable)." The association adopted the term the following year, at its national convention in New Orleans in April 1916.
In 1949, the National Association of Real Estate Boards obtained U.S. registration no. 515,200 for "realtors" as a collective trademark for real estate brokerage services. In 1950, it obtained a second registration, registration no. 519,789, for "realtor", in the same field. NAR has since obtained registrations for the term in such fields as electronic lock-boxes, clothing, and jewelry.
The 515,200 and 519,789 registrations have been subject to a number of cancellation proceedings:
The NAR governs the hundreds of local Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) which are the information exchanges used across the nation by real estate brokers. (However, there are many MLSs that are independent of NAR, although membership is typically limited to licensed brokers and their agents; MLSPIN is an example of one of the larger independent MLSs in North America.)
Through a complicated arrangement, NAR sets the policies for most of the Multiple Listings Services, and in the late 1990s, with the growth of the Internet, NAR evolved regulations allowing Internet Data Exchanges (IDX) whereby brokers would allow a portion of their data to be seen on the Internet via brokers' or agents' websites and Virtual Office Websites (VOW) which required potential buyers to register to obtain information.
These policies allowed participants—whether they were individual one-person brokers or large regional companies—to limit access to some or all of the MLS data by individual brokers (whether they were brokers operating solely on the Internet or local competitors). In 2005, this prompted the Department of Justice to file an antitrust lawsuit against NAR alleging its MLS rules in regard to these types of limitations on the display of data were the product of a conspiracy to restrain trade by excluding brokers who used the Internet to operate differently from traditional brick-and-mortar brokers. (For a description of the DOJ action, see Antitrust Case filings for US v. National Association of Realtors.) Meanwhile, various real estate trends such as expanded consumer access and the Internet are consolidating existing local MLS organizations into larger and more statewide or regional MLS systems, such as in California and Virginia/Maryland/Washington DC's Metropolitan Regional Information Systems.
In response to the case, NAR had proposed setting up a single Internet Listing Display system which would not allow participants to exclude individual brokers (whether of a bricks-and-mortar type or solely internet-based) but require a blanket opting out of display on all other brokers' sites. This system became the IDX system. Although IDX allows the public to view MLS listings, it still requires the listing brokerage information to be placed on the listing every place it appears (brokers legally "own" the listings of their brokerage), to prevent misrepresentation of the listing information, and to place accountability for the information on the broker as the law dictates.
The antitrust lawsuit was settled in May 2008. The agreement mandates that all Multiple Listing Service systems allow access to Internet-based competitors. The NAR will be required to treat online brokers the same as traditional brokers and cannot exclude them from membership because they do not have a traditional business model. The NAR admitted no wrongdoing, and it paid neither fines nor damages as part of the deal. The settlement will not be official until a federal judge formally approves it, most likely in 2008. While the general counsel of the NAR believes that the settlement will have no effect on the commission paid by the general public, a business professor at Western Michigan University predicted that the increased competition would cause a 25 to 50 percent decrease in commissions.
Another major anticompetitive practice is supported (indirectly) by various state laws which prohibit the "sharing" of commissions with unlicensed individuals. In broad interpretations, this is deemed to prevent a buyers' agent from providing a credit to his or her buyers from commissions received. Currently, there are 10 states where real estate agents and brokers are barred from offering homebuyers or sellers cash rebates or gifts of any kind with a cash value more than $25. Various realtors in such states have successfully contested this interpretation in states which now allow the practice (notably, Patrick Lea, a realtor in Ohio, and numerous agents in Kentucky). The Kentucky case was ultimately tried with the United States Department of Justice as the plaintiff and the Kentucky Real Estate Commission as the defendant.
The NAR wields substantial power as a lobbying organization. Since 1999, the NAR has spent more than $99,384,108, and spent $22,355,463 in 2011 alone. It has consistently ranked among the largest Political Action Committees in the United States.
In its 2016 figures, the Center for Responsive Politics ranked the National Association of Realtors as the 2nd largest top spender in lobbying after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The NAR spent $64,821,111 in 2016. 
On the total spending, the largest share—46%—has gone to Republicans, and 30.8% has gone to Democrats. Key political issues for the group revolve around federal de-regulation of the financial services industry.
Some experts believe that brokers and realtors bear at least partial responsibility for the subprime mortgage crisis, purposefully inflating the perceived market values of homes, and subsequently encouraging buyers to take out larger mortgages than needed. The theory is that collusion with mortgage lenders enabled realtors to earn high volumes of commission on borrowed money for inflated house values with no risk to the realtors. Many victims feel that home buyers were tricked into taking out larger loans to buy more expensive homes, and the higher sales prices paid the realtors higher commissions. This practice is not considered "unethical" by the NAR which claims to be a Self-regulatory organization; however, obvious implications show extensive and substantial harm rendered to the public. Many victims are encouraging the Securities and Exchange Commission to begin aggressively regulating agents and refunding overpayments to homebuyers.
In 2005, the United States Department of Justice filed a formal complaint against the National Association of Realtors for violating Section 4 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The complaint sought to enjoin the National Association of Realtors "from maintaining or enforcing a policy that restrains competition from brokers who use the Internet to more efficiently and cost effectively serve home sellers and buyers, and from adopting other related anticompetitive rules.
The DOJ challenged NAR's MLS rules that inhibited competition from Internet-based brokers. On November 18, 2008 the Court entered a Final Judgment approving a settlement against NAR. Under the Final Judgment, the NAR agreed to the policies challenged by the United States and replaced those policies with rules that do not discriminate against brokers who use the Internet to provide low-priced brokerage services to consumers.
In 2012, American Home Realty Network, Inc. the operator of NeighborCity filed antitrust counterclaims in response to a pair of copyright lawsuits, alleging that the "copyright lawsuits filed against it by two multiple listing services with financial backing from the National Association of Realtors are part of a concerted effort by NAR to drive the company out of business and eliminate it as a provider of services to real estate brokers." The counter-claims also allege that the copyrights asserted were never properly registered. In the Minnesota case, which recites claims against the NAR but does not directly name the NAR as a counter-defendant, AHRN filed a second amended counterclaim adding Edina Realty and Home Services of America as Counter-Defendants in the antitrust and unfair competition claims. Edina Realty is a subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company, which owns real estate brokerage firms in states across the country, including Minnesota, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, Illinois, Kansas, South Carolina, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama, and California. Earlier in 2012, the mid-Atlantic multiple listing service Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. (MRIS) and St. Paul, MN-based Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota Inc. (NorthstarMLS) filed copyright claims against NeighborCity. The National Association of Realtors said it would provide financial support for NorthstarMLS and MRIS legal expenses.
Realtors, as members of NAR, also have the option of studying for additional certifications in a variety of specialties, several of which are backed by NAR with offerings of certification and update courses available nationwide.
The most well known NAR sponsored designations are the following:
The NAR launched HouseLogic.com in February 2010 in an attempt to reach consumers directly for the first time. Beyond establishing that bond with consumers, the goal of the site is to provide education—with much commercial interests—to consumers about investing in their homes.
.realtor is an active generic top-level domain (gTLD) intended for real estate brokers who are members of the National Association of Realtors or the Canadian Real Estate Association. The registry for .realtor is run by Real Estate Domains (RED). The sole registrar of .realtor domains is Real Estate Domains LLC.Certified Property Manager
Certified Property Manager (CPM) is a real estate professional designation awarded by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and recognized by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The Institute offers a comprehensive program developed exclusively for property and asset managers working with large portfolios of all property types. The designation is considered to be among the industry's premier real estate management credentials. There are over 8,600 professional real estate managers who hold this designation worldwide. CPM members manage approximately $900 billion in real estate assets.
To attain the CPM designation, the candidate must join IREM, which costs about $500 a year, and join the local IREM chapter for the city in which the candidate lives. There is also a fee to become a CPM candidate.
To achieve the CPM designation, a candidate must pass about 10 required courses given by IREM, including marketing, human resources, asset management and ethics and complete a management plan on a subject building. Most courses can be taken in a classroom setting, on-line or via home study. IREM also examines the candidate's experience and asks for 3 professional references.David Lereah
David Lereah is the President of Reecon Advisors, Inc., a real estate advisory and information company located in the Washington, DC area. Lereah was previously an Executive Vice President at Move, Inc. and before that, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Lereah served as the NAR's spokesman on economic forecasts, interest rates, home sales, mortgage rates, as well as other policy issues and trends affecting the United States real estate industry. Lereah was also the Chief Economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association during the 1990s and has testified before Congress on economic and real estate matters.
On April 30, 2007, the NAR announced that in May Lereah would be leaving his job as chief economist to join Move, Inc. as an Executive Vice President. He was succeeded by Lawrence Yun. Lereah left Move in 2008 to join Reecon Advisors, Inc.He received his B.A. in Economics & Marketing from American University, Washington, D.C. and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Virginia. He lives in Fairfax Station, Virginia.For sale by owner
For Sale By Owner, or FSBO, is the process of selling real estate without the representation of a real estate broker or real estate agent. Homeowners may employ the services of marketing or online listing companies or market their own property but do not pay a commission and represent themselves with the help of a lawyer or Solicitor (mostly in Commonwealth) throughout the sale.Green (certification)
Green rating or certification is used to indicate the level of environmental friendliness for real estate properties.
In the US, it is a real estate designation for REALTORs approved by the (American) National Association of Realtors (NAR). The program was developed in 2008 by the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council of NAR, with administration transferred to the Green Resource Council. The course curriculum includes sustainable building practices, marketing, and rating systems (e.g., LEED, IFGICT and Energy Star). As a result, there is some course content overlap with the EcoBroker and NAGAB's Accredited Green Agent and Broker designations.
In India, the Energy Resources Institute (TERI) developed the GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment). GRIHA is promoted by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) as a national rating system. It originally developed from LEED and has additional requirements. There is also the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) rating system.Institute of Real Estate Management
Institute of Real Estate Management (officially, Institute of Real Estate Management of the National Association of Realtors) is an international community of real estate managers dedicated to ethical business practices, maximizing the value of investment real estate, and promoting superior management through education and information sharing. An affiliate of the National Association of Realtors, Institute of Real Estate Management is the home for all industry professionals connected to real estate management and the only organization serving both the multifamily and commercial sectors.
Institute of Real Estate Management believes that good management matters, and that well-managed properties pay dividends in terms of value and in the quality of life for residents, tenants, and customers. Institute of Real Estate Management believes in professional ethics, the power of knowledge, and the importance of sharing it.
Institute of Real Estate Management offers a variety of membership types for professionals of every experience level, from on-site managers to high-level executives. Institute of Real Estate Management credentials, earned by meeting high standards of education, experience, and ethical business practices include: Certified Property Manager (CPM), Accredited Residential Manager (ARM) Accredited Commercial Manager (ACoM), or Accredited Management Organization (AMO).
Since 1933, when it was founded in Chicago, Institute of Real Estate Management has set the standard for best practices in real estate management. At the beginning of 2014, Institute of Real Estate Management membership included 19,000 individual and 580 corporate members.Internet Data Exchange
An Internet Data Exchange (IDX, also known as Information Data Exchange) refers to the agreement between listing (Selling) Agents or Brokers and Buyers' Agents to display Multiple Listing Service properties online, across multiple websites (via Real Estate Syndication where the listing Agent/Broker allows a listing to be Syndicated).
IDX search users are home buyers or sellers in the market to buy or sell real estate. Their interests may focus on new development, land, condos, rentals, and any other property listed by a particular MLS.
Real estate agents use IDX to market homes, attract leads, and close more sales. By displaying listings online, agents can reach a larger audience and better match available homes to prospective buyers.Certain rules apply to the real estate companies' ability to display each detail about a property. These "display rules" are set by the Multiple Listing Service organization, which generally forms its policy around the recommendations of the National Association of Realtors. Pricing for IDX services is set by MLS boards and third party vendors. In some cases basic IDX services are free, and premium features are available for a fee. IDX implementations and standards have changed drastically over recent years, as brokers and agents using IDX services along with companies proving IDX services have focused on the inherent ability to optimize websites with IDX-driven listing content. A variety of options for displaying IDX content on individual websites exist, including the practice of "truly embedding" IDX content into pages to iframe-driven implementations, which some consider a hidden implementation, since the true site delivering the IDX service is only framed into another website. Policies around these implementations as well as IDX content on social media is a hot topic in many circles.An alternative policy called the Internet Listing Display was considered in 2005, but later abandoned in the same year as a result of investigation from the U.S. Department of Justice into anti-competitive practices by traditional real estate brokers.
A common and standard data exchange protocol for IDX information is the Real Estate Transaction Standard (RETS).John T. Reed
John T. Reed is an American businessman, author and former real estate investor. Reed has authored and self-published books on real estate investing, football coaching, baseball coaching, success, and self-publishing. He has been reportedly recommended by the National Association of Realtors as a serious investigator in the industry.Reed, who claims many years of experience in property management, considers real estate investment a hands-on business. He has been writing and publishing "nuts-and-bolts guides devoid of motivational or promotional filler" since 1979. Reed also publishes the Real Estate Investor’s Monthly newsletter.The most popular feature on John Reed's website is his real estate "guru" rating, with his opinions of the legitimacy of their claims. Those whom Reed critiques include Robert G. Allen, Robert Kiyosaki, Carleton Sheets and Russ Whitney. Whitney sued Reed for three years, later withdrawing some of the suits and settling another on confidential terms.Reed has a B.Sc. from West Point and a MBA from the Harvard Business School. He is based in Alamo, California.Laurie Rushing
Laurie Jeanette Rushing (born September 10, 1968) is a real estate broker from Hot Springs, Arkansas, who is a Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives for District 26, which includes Garland and Hot Spring counties.
In the 2014 general election, Rushing narrowly unseated the Democratic incumbent David Kizzia, 4,369 (51.4 percent) to 4,126 (48.6 percent).
serves on the House committees of (1) Judiciary Committee, (2), Aging, Children and Youth, Legislative and Military Affairs, (3) Select committee for Rules, and (4) the Legislative Joint Auditing.Rushing is heavily involved in various activities of the National Association of Realtors. She is a member of the Baptist Church. She graduated from Fountain Lake High School in Hot Springs. She has a son, Kevin Rushing of Little Rock. She formerly lived in Fayetteville, Arkansas,].In 2002, Rushing and her mother, Lorna Jean Nobles, opened Trademark Real Estate in Hot Springs.Lawrence Yun
Lawrence Yun is a Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the National Association of Realtors.Move (company)
Move, Inc. is a real estate listing company based in Santa Clara, California. The company operates the Move Network of real estate websites, the largest of which is Realtor.com. Move has a longstanding partnership with the National Association of Realtors, the real estate industry's largest trade association, for operating Realtor.com.Multiple listing service
A multiple listing service (MLS, also multiple listing system or multiple listings service) is a suite of services that real estate brokers use to establish contractual offers of compensation (among brokers) and accumulate and disseminate information to enable appraisals. A multiple listing service's database and software is used by real estate brokers in real estate (or aircraft broker in other industries for example), representing sellers under a listing contract to widely share information about properties with other brokers who may represent potential buyers or wish to work with a seller's broker in finding a buyer for the property or asset. The listing data stored in a multiple listing service's database is the proprietary information of the broker who has obtained a listing agreement with a property's seller.NeighborCity
NeighborCity is a residential real estate information and service company that rates real-estate agents in the United States, offering a way for buyers and sellers of homes to compare and evaluate agents.
It is based in San Francisco.
The company rates virtually every member of the National Association of Realtors in the United States, based on transaction and listing history. NeighborCity analyzes agents’ performance based on closing rate, number of closings, number of active listings, geographic specialization, number of days on market, rate of dual agency, sales price per square foot, and the difference between ask and sale price, for the homes they sell. NeighborCity provides an evaluation of the quality of service delivered by agents, with respect to their clients’ interests and relative to competing real-estate agents.The company also maintains a national database of real-estate listings. The site recommends corresponding independent buy-side real estate agents next to each for-sale listing along with a performance score and a link to a detailed professional profile for each recommended agent.Real Estate Transaction Standard
RETS is an acronym which stands for Real Estate Transaction Standard.
RETS is a framework used in Canada and the United States by the real estate industry to facilitate the exchange of data. RETS was launched in 1999 by the National Association of Realtors and related groups.RETS was originally created to overcome the difficulties presented by the existence of a large number of organizations desiring to share and distribute real estate information with others. Prior to RETS, much of the data exchange was done using the FTP protocol, which did not allow for queries, and required transfer of complete datasets. The inefficiencies of this approach meant that to generate a query such as "new listings since yesterday", the entire dataset had to be downloaded again and compared with a local copy. Rather than basing a solution on alternatives used by other industries to allow for such queries, RETS was created from the ground up as a new framework to attempt to address the need for a common and efficient standard for the exchange of real estate data. Most North American multiple listing service (MLS) data exchange service providers use the RETS protocol. Although the implementation of the protocol has offered some standardization, the field names of the underlying datasets still vary widely between markets.
RETS is a framework that can be adopted by computer systems to receive data from the multiple listing service (MLS) servers, as well as those of other real estate systems provided they also have software installed designed to communicate using the RETS framework. The National Association of Realtors refers to RETS as a "common language".
Multiple other systems exist which support the secure and standardized transfer of datasets and associated access control requirements in a secure and efficient manner, such as MySQL. These other systems enjoy widespread adoption across most industries, whereas RETS is for one specific industry. RETS is generally not used outside North America.
In 2018, the Real Estate Standards Organization announced that it planned to retire RETS and replace it with the RESO Web API.Real estate license
Real estate licenses, authorizations issued by state governments, give agents and brokers the legal ability to represent a home seller or buyer in the process of buying or selling real estate. Real estate agents and real estate brokers are required to be licensed when conducting real estate transactions in the United States and many other countries.
Through a complicated arrangement, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a trade and lobbying group for agents and brokers, sets policies for most of the multiple listing services. As the Internet gained widespread use in the late 1990s, NAR created regulations allowing Information Data Exchanges (or Internet Data Exchanges) (IDX) whereby brokers would allow a portion of their data, such as listings of homes for sale, to be seen online via brokers' or agents' websites.The association attempted to limit online access to some or all of that data, particularly by brokers operating solely on the Internet. In 2005, the Department of Justice brought an antitrust lawsuit against the NAR trade group. The complaint accused the association of unfairly limiting access to the multiple listing service (MLS), which effectively prevented online brokerages from competing with traditional brick-and-mortar offices. The Justice Department accused the NAR of conspiring to restrain trade.Realtor.com
Realtor.com (stylized as realtor.com) is a real estate listings website operated by the News Corporation subsidiary Move, Inc. and based in Santa Clara, California. The site launched as the Realtor Information Network in 1995, serving as a closed network for members of the National Association of Realtors. It relaunched in 1996 as a public website displaying property listings. Since then, Realtor.com claims to have become the largest website in the United States for real estate listings, and in 2016 was valued at $2.5 billion by Morgan Stanley. The website's advertising campaigns have been recognized by Adweek and the Webby Awards.Residential Real Estate Council
Founded in 1976, the Residential Real Estate Council, formally the Council of Residential Specialists, is the largest not-for-profit affiliate of the National Association of Realtors, with its headquarters in Chicago, IL. It is composed of nearly 30,000 Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designees and Candidates/General Members and over 52 chapters across the United States. According to the Council's website: "the association was created to attract and retain those Realtors seeking the knowledge, tools and relationship-building opportunities needed to maximize their income and professionalism in residential real estate."The Council also quality tests products related to the real estate industry by seven independent reviewers followed by a committee and upon approval will receive the CRS Quality Tested Seal. Examples of products that have received this seal are: Pro Step Marketing’s Action Agent Web System, Point2 Agent, Agency Logic and Single Property Sites. The Council is also recognized by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).Self-regulatory organization
A self-regulatory organization (SRO) is an organization that exercises some degree of regulatory authority over an industry or profession. The regulatory authority could exist in place of government regulation, or applied in addition to government regulation. The ability of an SRO to exercise regulatory authority does not necessarily derive from a grant of authority from the government.
In United States securities law, a self-regulatory organization is a defined term. The principal federal regulatory authority—the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)—was established by the Federal Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The SEC originally delegated authority to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and to the national stock exchanges (e.g., the NYSE) to enforce certain industry standards and requirements related to securities trading and brokerage. On July 26, 2007 the SEC approved a merger of the enforcement arms of the NYSE and the NASD, to form a new SRO, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In addition, Congress created the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) as an SRO charged with adopting investor protection rules governing broker-dealers and banks that underwrite, trade and sell tax-exempt bonds, 529 college savings plans and other types of municipal securities.
The American Arbitration Association is also an SRO with official, statutory status.
Because of the prominence of the SROs in the securities industry, the term SRO is often used too narrowly to describe an organization authorized by statute or government agency to exercise control over a certain aspect of the industry.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is an example of an SRO that fills the vacuum left by the absence of government oversight or regulation. The NAR sets the rules for multiple listing services and how brokers use them. Another example is the American Medical Association which sets rules for ethics, conflicts, disciplinary action, and accreditation in medicine.William W. Hannan
William Washington Hannan (July 4, 1854 – December 24, 1917) was a real estate developer and the first president of the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges (now National Association of Realtors).